The ABCs of Getting Paid Virtually Anywhere

There’s a new entrepreneur open for business at a public school near you.  No, it’s not the kid peddling the Star Wars Pez dispensers. It’s called the PTA.  Oh, I know what you’re thinking. Once-a-month social hours and some homemade goodies?  But today’s PTA is a 24/7 money-making force to be reckoned with. It props up the sagging budgets of the public school system, and like many small businesses, the CEO doesn’t take a salary and they’re looking for and finding big bucks where ever they can.

That brings us to today’s lesson. I recently attended our children’s school talent show and fundraiser, where the PTA had created a retail space that would rival your local mall  – dinner, baked goods, children’s artwork, raffles, vote tickets, apparel. As I browsed through the vast selection of purchase opportunities, I saw lots of generous parents reaching for their credit cards. Unfortunately, they were met with an apology.  “Oh, I’m sorry, we only take cash or check”. That was game over for most, whose wallets haven’t seen anything green in years.  The amount of business lost that night could have bought a lot of Darth Vader Pez dispensers.

But there was one seller who had obviously done some homework– at the graphic tees table, cards were swiping right and left…and on an AT&T mobile phone, no less.  I bought a shirt and watched the smartest vendor there swipe my card through an Intuit Go Payment device attached to her phone.

She explained to me that the transaction would immediately deposit funds into her account and my receipt would be in the proverbial mail (email that is).  The PTA got their cut too. And the cost of the transaction for the vendor was a small percentage!

So it appears that the days of cash & checks and even of the wired credit card reader with high fees and printed receipts are winding down. And that means small businesses everywhere can catch the next flight to “Sell your products virtually anywhere”.

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