Girl Scout Mobile Payments Show As Much Variety as Their Cookies

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The Girl Scout troops are once again proving to be an ideal test case for mobile card acceptance.

Sage North America is working with more than 30 Girl Scout councils, which represent more than 40,000 troops, to handle mobile credit and debit card payments for cookie sales. Other vendors, such as Intuit and Mophie, have worked with Girl Scout troops in past years to promote mobile payments.

The technology is boosting sales, the Sage said in a June 21 announcement.

The Girl Scouts of Central California South claim a four-fold increase in transaction amounts from 2011 for troops that used the Sage reader. Girl Scouts of North East Ohio claims a 27% increase in total cookie sales and a 14% increase in the per-girl average number of boxes sold.

Girl Scouts of North Carolina Coastal Pines saw a 13% increase in sales for troops using Sage's technology. It saw a 3% increase in overall sales.

"Girls today are tech-savvy," said Cathy Ferguson, chief executive officer of Girl Scouts of Central California South, in a press release. "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."

Last year, Girl Scouts of North East Ohio used Intuit's GoPayment device to accept card payments for cookie sales. The scouts said at the time that the organization sometimes lost out to sales when potential buyers did not carry enough cash.

Also last year, Girl Scouts San Diego used technology from Mophie, which relies on Intuit's hardware. Sage North America is a unit of Sage Group PLC.

Aaron McPherson, a research manager for payments at the Framingham, Mass., research firm IDC Financial Insights, said in an interview last year that the Girl Scouts serve as a good model for how small or unconventional businesses can accept payments.

The Girl Scouts' example will make mobile card acceptance "a more popular choice for small businesses or organizations," he said.

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