Friday, June 24, 2011
Monday, June 20, 2011
Final Chapter in my Saga to accept credit cards at craft shows.
This blog is about my real world experience using Intuits GoPayment to accept credit cards at craft shows.
We were really excited to get our first credit card sale. The lady was also excited that she could use her card at a vendor even though there was an ATM on site. She was curious about my credit card contraption but overall she was impressed. However, I should have tested it once I hooked the card reader in. I didn't realize you couldn't just hook it up and then take the reader off and put it back on again. It needs to stay on.
So for the first CC I accepted I had to manually enter in all the info. Still not bad! I emailed the lady a receipt and immediately also received an email confirming the charge. You can also go to your “Past Charges” and it will show you if the transaction cleared. After that, it was pretty much clear sailing. We had several sales that day. A few cards were stubborn and needed to be swiped more than once, but that’s usual for any type of swiper. Even though some people were curious about it no one seemed put off or nervous to use it, and some didn’t even ask for a receipt. Most people have heard of Intuit and recognize the name, so that really helped with the trust factor. The swiper has an Intuit lanyard on it and people really identified with that! You hear QuickBooks, Turbo Tax and Mint mentioned a lot. I even met a guy who works for Intuit, so that was cool! After the craft show, I went straight into my intuit account and it showed all the charges. Then, after a couple of days, the money was transferred to my bank account with no problems. You can also go onto your intuit account and see what the fees were in your statement section.
Be sure to go to your Intuit settings to make sure your swiper is connected and activated, especially if you remove and then replace the swiper at anytime. Also be sure that your volume is turned all the way up. If it is going to be a while between swipes, log out of your phone app after each transaction. My last show was slow and it would let me go through the whole process until I clicked charge, then it would make me log back in and go through the whole process again! That made me worry about double charges. But, thankfully, that didn't happen. It's simple to make sure that it doesn't charge twice, just check your Past Charges before you retry the transaction.
PLEASE check the customers drivers license and make sure it matches with the CC info. If you want to be extra cautious, write out a paper receipt and record their drivers license number and address and get them to sign it. That way, if the charge is ever disputed, you can prove that you had every reason to believe the person was legit.
I have an Android Phone, so some of these tips may not apply if you have an iPhone.
Check out YouTube for videos on the GoPayment App for even more tips.
I hope these blog post have been informative for you. Please feel free to ask any questions you may still have.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Saturday, May 21, 2011
Now, After receiving the reader and activating my new phone I clicked this link that I was sent earlier and went through the application process for the Intuit Payments service. I am actually not very good with all this technical stuff so I had a few questions. I emailed the person back who sent me the link and who was so helpful with the card reader. Within no time she replied back with an answer and was very nice! We actually ended up talking back and forth for quite sometime through e-mail as she walked me through! It was so nice to have someone who seemed to care and didn’t seem bothered by my questions one bit!
**Just a quick note: Intuits GoPayment is the service you use to swipe the credit cards on your phone. Intuit Payments is your account that handles your transactions, statements and transfers the money to your checking account, and where you will go to accept credit cards or access your account on your computer. As of right now, you cannot link your Intuit account with your PayPal account. Hoping that will change soon!**
Once I finished the application process I was approved very quickly. Then I went to the Market on my smartphone and searched for GoPayment. It came right up and I downloaded it to my phone. She then told me to go into my Intuit Payments account and set up another user. This user is actually for my phone. To do this, log into your Intuit Payments account, go to “manage payments” and then “add new user." Choose a short user name and password that will be easy to type in on your smart phone.
Now you are all set up and ready to go! If you are anything like me, you are going to want to test it out first to make sure it works! So first things first: Attach your intuit card reader to the speaker jack in your smartphone/device. Then go to your GoPayment app and type in your user name and password/pin. Now, before you go to “charge” you need to go to “settings” then “enable swiper.” It may ask you to choose a swiper. You are looking for the “audio swiper.” Choose and enable your swiper. You need to go in and do this every time you take the swiper off and put it back on, just to make sure! Now go back to the first screen, then go to charge. Now type in the amount you want to charge - I chose $1.00 - then it will ask you to swipe the card (unable to talk one of my neighbors into coming over and buying some jewelry, I swiped my own card! lol). Once you swipe the card all the information will auto fill. Then click the “charge” button at the bottom. Once the charge goes through it will ask you if you want to send an email receipt to the credit card holder. Most buyers ask that you do, so just enter their email address and viola! - it sends the receipt to buyer. You will also receive a confirmation on the payment. Yay!! You have made your first credit card charge! Now you can log into your Intuit Payments account and void the charge. That way it doesn’t bill your credit card for the $1.00.
Just a little note: Be sure and have your volume turned up all the way as this will ensure a good signal for the card reader. Also, while the reader is plugged in, you will not be able to hear anything out of your speaker. So you won’t know if someone calls/texts and you won’t be able to make calls.
If you have not received your reader by your first show, don’t fret. You can enter the credit card info manually. Log into your GoPayment account with your phone or your Intuit Payments account with your laptop. Go to charge or process credit card. Enter in the amount, the credit card info and then click charge. Intuit charges a slightly higher fee for this method.
Another perk of Intuit is you can enter credit card numbers online. So if you have someone who wants to give you their info over the phone or by email you can do it that way.
Now for some technical info:
Fees: GoPayment is totally free to use including the reader. All you pay is 2.7% on each swiper transaction and 3.7% on each manual transaction.
Devices: GoPayment is compatible with iPhone, iPad, Android and Blackberry phones. To see if your phone is compatible go here. Scroll down to “compatible devices” and click “see all devices.”
Credit Cards: You will be able to accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and with an extra application process, American Express.
More Questions: Check out the FAQ section for even more info!
Intuits Payments: When you want to access your payment info on your laptop or computer go here. Go up to “login” in the upper right hand corner. Select “Other Services” and then select “Payment Solutions”. Then type in your main login(which should be your email address) and your password.
I hope that this information has been helpful! Feel free to ask any questions that I may not have covered! My next post will describe my first craft show experience with my GoPayment, including shoppers reactions and ease of use! Stay Tuned!
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
My first show of the season was also my first juried art show. It was a HUGE success! Although, I know I could've had at least 4 more sales had I been able to accept credit cards. So I went home and seriously looked into getting a credit card reader and a new phone to use the reader. Having heard the names Square and GoPayment passed around the Etsy forums, I started doing my research.
Before I go much further, I think it is important to state that I went into this leaning towards the Square. It is more popular in the forums and I've even watched TV commercials for it. And it made sense to me that customers would be more comfortable handing over their credit card if I were using something they recognized from TV.
So to start my journey, first I had to find a phone that would be compatible with both credit card reader apps. (You can find more information on their websites about compatible phones.) I ended up going with a certified pre-owned smart phone from my provider so I wouldn't have to invest too much to get started. Once I ordered the phone I started browsing social media to see what real people were saying about both Square and GoPayment.
I first searched their Facebook pages.
Square on Facebook: The first thing I noticed about Square is that you couldn't post to their wall, although, they did allow anyone to open a discussion. However, all of the discussions seemed to be people trying to find answers, and from what I could tell, no one was answering the questions.
I also noticed that when Square would post something, if anyone commented on that post with a question, the questions went unanswered. I also left a question to see if I would hear anything back - never did. Well, I figured, hey, this is a huge company, surely they can’t answer all of their fans questions? So then I go to their website to see if they have a customer service number you can call just in case any of the issues were being brought forward - no number…what? No customer service number?!? So then I hit Twitter.
Square on Twitter: Twitter seems to be where it’s at with Square! They have lots going on over there and they even have a separate Twitter account just for Support. So if you need answers that’s the best place to go! I tweeted “Can you guys expedite me a Square Reader?” And, within no time, I got a reply telling me I may be able to buy one from a local Apple store (I could not, but if you can, you will get a credit for the purchase price, I was told). Or, you could find an inner Square member to get one from. The only way you can find one is to search Twitter for the term “inner square” in relation to your area. I was out of luck with that as well.
I was using “Expedite a Reader” question as my test question to see how their customer service worked. I wasn’t actually expecting to get one overnighted to me. This was on a Thursday and my next show was that Saturday. You can use the credit card service without the credit card reader. You just type in the credit card numbers manually and run them that way. Then start swiping once you receive the reader (there is a difference in fees).
Okay, at the same time I am doing all this on Squares Facebook and Twitter , I am doing the same thing on GoPayments Facebook and Twitter.
GoPayment on Facebook: WOW… they actually let you post on their wall! Cool! So I read a lot of posts - look at that! Someone is actually replying to the post! Wonderful! So I leave my question, and low and behold, I get a reply pretty quick! They tell me they are going to look into the matter and get back to me….hmmm. So I go to their website - Oh look! A number to call! So I call the number. Apparently, because of higher than normal call volume, I get a guy who obviously is not used to working with Gopayment. He takes my number and a message about expediting the reader and says someone will call me back….hmm. But after asking other Gopayment users, this was actually highly unusual. They all got in touch with Intuit GoPayment easily using the phone number. After further explorations into their site, I realized that these are the same people who bring us QuickBooks, TurboTax and Mint. I love Mint! So I think…maybe people WILL recognize the Intuit name!
So, I then popped over to their Twitter. I tweeted my question about expediting a reader. Within no time, someone direct messaged me on Twitter from Intuit. They tell me if I can send them my address they will have it the credit card reader out to me as soon as humanly possible….hmmm. So I send my address and within minutes someone e-mails me from Intuit. They want to confirm my address and they send me the link to get pre approved for the service. So I confirm my e-mail and save the link for later. But I still haven't made up my mind yet. I don’t make my mind up until the next morning.
Who did I choose?
I went with Intuits GoPayment. Why? Because, even though I ordered my cell phone (overnighted) several hours before the Intuit Card reader. The card reader made it here (GA) FROM CALIFORNIA early Friday morning. And if you remember, I did all this searching and contacting on Thursday evening. So I have to say, I was impressed with their customer service. Having done the same thing with SquareUp that got me no reader, with Intuit, it got one overnighted to my door step! So Intuit GoPayment won me over!
Keep in mind this is just MY experience. I was rushed and this was all the info I could dig up in a short amount of time. Someone who has more time to devote may come up with more information. But, for me, as a very small business owner with a part time job and working on my product almost 24-7 I needed someone who could be RIGHT there to help me at any time. I feel I made the right decision for me. I suggest that everyone do the research and find out which works best for them!
If you have any question please feel free to ask!
Be sure and read my next blog post on how it went downloading the app attaching the credit card reader and actually getting my first credit card sales!