Our Agricultural Entrepreneurship team at Penn State, in collaboration with other universities, has been developing as series of webinars pertaining to communications and marketing opportunities for independent producers in a large, digital world. One such topic that will be discussed is mobile payment options for credit cards. About two months ago I ordered takeout and paid using my debit card and their iPad. I thought it was pretty cool at first, then I got to thinking about direct marketing of agricultural products.
I picture a Farmers’ Market or other direct-to-consumer scenarios – a common factor being that they often cannot accept credit or debit card payments. About two weeks after my iPad-paid Pad Thai I encountered mobile payment once again at an Apple store, this time using iPhones.
Curiosity got the best of me, so I went out and found the right attachment (it was about $10, and that can be recovered using the service) and signed up for an account with SquareUp. This just happens to be the one I found … there many other tools like SquareUp available. In about 10 minutes of setting up the gizmo that pops into my iPhone headset receiver and signing up for an account using a web browser, I charged myself $5.00 (plus a $2.00 tip to see if the tip function worked). Soon enough, it credited my account and all I lost in this experiment was 2.75% of the total transaction.
Such tools can be used by individuals having a garage sale, a waiter taking payment at the table, or an agricultural entrepreneur selling green beans and gourds at a Farmers’ Market. Beef, pork – or even if you’re a custom venison processor looking for payment options – this could be an option for you.