If you’re a youth sports photographer who collects money from parents the day of a shoot you’ve mostly got two options when it comes to collecting payments, cash or check.
Accepting cash is ideal for everyone, but not all parents are going to have enough cash on hand to purchase different packages or products. You could also take checks, but then you risk the chance of checks bouncing and you finding it very hard to collect the money you’re owed.
However, a third option is to collect credit card payments. While it’s not the most popular option, youth sports photographers have been collecting credit card payments at sports shoots for years.
But collecting credit card payments can present a challenge for many photographers.
Most don’t have a credit card reader they can take on site, so many have to write down numbers on pre-pay order forms.
Using this method, parents might feel uneasy about writing their credit card number down and letting a stranger walk off with it, as order forms can be left unsecured around the office for anyone to look at. Plus, this will present extra work for the photographer as they will need to key in each credit card entry by hand after the shoot.
But now, a company called Square has created a safe and easy to use device that plugs directly into your smart phone which allows you to accept credit card payments easier and on-site.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle “The technology is a boon for many fledgling entrepreneurs who found the traditional way of processing credit cards either cost prohibitive or unfeasible.”
With Square it’s easy to get started. The device itself is 100% free and the only cost associated with it is when you actually swipe the customer’s card and the fees are more than reasonable.
For every swipe, Square charges you 2.75% of the total purchase and if you were to input the credit card number manually it would cost you 3.5% of the total purchase plus $0.15 per transaction.
You’ll also need to download their app to your smart phone (it’s available for free for both the iPhone and any Android powered phone). Other than that you simply provide some basic financial information and you’re ready to go.
Also, the device doesn’t just collect payments. It can automatically sends out digital receipts to customers either via email or text message and it can also process refunds among a host of other capabilities.
But probably the best advantage to using Square is that there is greater potential for more sales than any other payment medium. The USA Today reports that the average purchase when using Square is $75. While results vary by business, our own research shows a much higher sales average from people paying with credit cards than with cash or check.
For the youth sports photographer, Square is a great option if you’re collecting money from parents the day of a shoot. With mobile payment transactions expected to double this year to $86.1 billion it also makes sense as more and more people are looking for easier ways to pay for products and services. Square alone has helped small business process $2 billion worth of transactions. How can they help you?