Sunday, June 23, 2013

Credit cards for small traders and model railway shows

Last weekend, I bought some juggling clubs. Nothing special about this except that the transaction took place in a field at the Leamington Peace Festival.

And I paid with a debit card.

The vendor was able to take payment using a clever device that "talked" to a smartphone. By the time I'd returned home on the bus, a receipt was in my In-box.

Looking up the details, I found the official website:

What has this to do with toy trains?

Well, most clubs run a second hand stall at exhibitions and most punters would prefer to pay for their goodies by card. If payment must be with cash then the sale will be lower. When it's possible to bash the plastic, temptation can run wild and the second hand stall profit rocket.

Same deal with traders. I know many take cards but not all.

The thing is, that the price on this gizmo seems within reach of many clubs. At the time of writing 50 quid plus 2.75% of all sales. While there will be some members who whine about the later, it's a fee for a service provided.

Downsides - the sale took 5 minutes so you'd be wary of using it on a busy door for ticket sales. Receipts are electronic so a book to write them in for those who need paper.

I've no connection with the company, it just seemed a bit nifty and might solve a problem for someone.


Steve said...

I use a similar iZettle device for Narrow Planet - very impressed with the usability of the iPhone app and once you get the hang of it transactions take much less than 5 minutes.

The cut they take is better than Paypal's, anyway. I can't begrudge them making a bit of money!

Michael Campbell said...

I have used something like this at a model railway show recently - I think it was the 3mm SMR stand. It did take a few minutes to process (sports halls often have poor mobile reception too), but it has to be a good idea.

Failing that, what happened to the click-clack card machines with the carbon paper?

Phil Parker said...

I think you can still use the click-clack (great name BTW!) machines but the vendor isn't covered if the card turns out to be bad any more.