Girl Scout troops across the U.S. using Sage Mobile Payments sold more sweet treats during the 2012 Cookie Program. Earlier this year, Sage North America announced its partnership with more than 30 Girl Scout councils, representing more than 40,000 troops, to add mobile payment via credit or debit card as an option for sales of Samoas, Tagalongs, Thin Mints and eight other cookie varieties.
Sage Mobile Payments is a Payment Card Industry (PCI)-compliant mobile payments product that comes bundled with a Sage merchant account and allows organizations like the Girl Scouts to cost effectively and securely process credit and debit card transactions on mobile phones and tablets.
Experiencing Sweet Results
Girl Scout councils are primarily funded through the cookie program and fundraising activities. The $760 million Girl Scout Cookie Program is the largest girl-led business in the country. Seventy percent of the proceeds from cookie sales are used to fund Girl Scout programming.
"Our troops using Sage Mobile Payments saw their average cookie sale transaction increase almost four-fold, from about $20 in 2011 to nearly $80 this year," said Hezron Gurley, chief financial officer of Fresno, Calif.-based Girl Scouts of Central California South. "As the girls learn about the world of business, they experience first-hand the advantages of evolving technologies like these. They enable more spontaneous purchases, and provide a more secure -- virtually cash-free -- sales environment."
"Cookie sales for the troops in our council using Sage Mobile Payments increased by 27 percent and the per-girl-average in those troops increased from 154 boxes to 176 boxes, a 14 percent increase," said John Graves, chief financial officer for Macedonia, Ohio-based Girl Scouts of North East Ohio.
"Our troops using Sage Mobile Payments increased their sales by 13 percent, while overall cookie sales for our council grew by about three percent," said Lisa Rower, controller for Raleigh, N.C.-based Girl Scouts - North Carolina Coastal Pines. "A post-cookie-season survey about Sage Mobile Payments returned comments like 'fabulous and very easy' and 'very convenient.' Troop leaders especially love that the product sends an email receipt to each customer and daily detailed batch reports to them, and that money goes straight into troops' bank accounts."
"Many people don't carry cash or checks anymore," added Cathy Ferguson, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Central California South. "Girls today are tech-savvy. They need to see we're moving along their same wavelength. Overall, the girls using Sage Mobile Payments can gain a better sales experience for both their customers and themselves."
Providing a Taste of the Future
"We see mobile payments as a great way for girls to get exposed to technology that will be a part of their lives," said Rower. "Sage Mobile Payments allows Girl Scouts to learn there are different ways to accept payments, what a merchant account is, and how to swipe a credit card. For 2013, we'll make tweaks to our process and do more targeting of the troops who can benefit most from implementing a mobile payments option."
Graves said, "We look forward to expanding our Sage Mobile Payments program to more troops during next year's Cookie Program and are expanding our use of the technology at fundraising events and at our mobile shops."
"We hope to expand our use of Sage Mobile Payments beyond the annual cookie program sales drive," said Gurley. "We'll likely also use the product for event ticketing, fundraising, and retail operations."
The Girl Scout troops are using Sage Mobile Payments Version 2.0, which features an updated user interface, signature capture capabilities, a tax and tip calculator, and a free Sage Mobile "app store" download. To watch a video about the Girl Scouts of North East Ohio's use of Sage Mobile Payments, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewVnNBx5DdU