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Start-ups get card payments boost

By Retail Technology | Wednesday May 1 2013

New all-in-one payment system lets small-to-midsized merchants, including those in the Crafty Fox Market, accept card payments face-to-face and over the phone

A number of early adopting small-to-midsized business (SMB) merchants are already enjoying the benefits of using Intuit Pay, a new and low-cost way to accept credit and debit card payments.

First made generally available in the UK by payment technology provider Intuit in March, the all-in-one system has been designed to enable businesses to take secure payments face-to-face and over the phone. 

Accessible via mobile app

The system  includes an app – for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch – and a chip & PIN card reader, which has been made available for free to early adopters for a limited time. 

With a speedy application process, the provider said users of Intuit Pay can get activated ready to take their first online payment within minutes of applying (subject to status and credit check) and there are no monthly fees or commitment – just a 2.75% fee per transaction. 

Sarah McLeod, who runs a fashion retail brand Nanukk, is one of hundreds business owners that have been trialling the service. McLeod is one of the merchants using Intuit Pay in the PopUp Britain stores, most notably in the DCLG building in Victoria. 

Peace of mind with premium sales

"I sell a premium product, my British-made silk scarves, and people don’t want to carry larger amounts of cash around," McLeod commented. "Once they wander away to the cash machine to get more money, they could get side-tracked and you’ll lose the sale. Thankfully, Intuit Pay took the problem out of the equation and I could take card payments quickly and easily.

"PopUp Britain was a fantastic experience and I sold out – you can’t really ask for much more and it was a very good cash injection for my business," she said, adding, "Intuit Pay is an easy way to take card payments. It’s what customers want and helps me secure more and higher-value sales."

Inuit has also supplied Crafty Fox Market stall holders in Brixton, South London. Sinead Kohler, co-founder of the Crafty Fox Market, said: “After receiving feedback from our Christmas market, we knew that we wanted to be able to take card payments at our next Crafty Fox event and Intuit Pay was the best solution we found. Intuit Pay is affordable for our stallholders and really easy for them to set up and use.

"We helped stallholders get set up with card readers before the market and had a central payment station for those stallholders who couldn’t get hold of one."

Encouraging bigger purchases

Kohler reported that Intuit Pay proved to be very popular with traders, who found they could accept more payments when they had the option to take cards. "We found that customers spent more at the stalls using Intuit Pay, as they weren’t limited by the cash in their pockets; often deciding to make larger purchases on an impulse," she added.

"Customers responded really well to Intuit Pay and were impressed that we could take cards at a market stall. The Chip and PIN nature of the card reader meant that no one had any queries on security.”

Stacie Swift, an illustrator and owner of Stacie Swift Illustration – creating greetings cards, art prints and stationery items – sells her products online, through independent and High Street shops and at craft fairs such as The Crafty Fox Market, where she uses Intuit Pay.
Swift commented: "I usually do most of my business online, but markets are a great way to meet customers face to face. In the past I have found that only being able to accept cash has really limited how much money I can make at a market. A customer might really like an art print, but not buy it because they have no cash. Using Intuit Pay means I don’t miss out on people making ‘impulse buys’."
She also admitted: "I’m not the most tech-savvy person, but I found Intuit Pay really easy to set up and use. The interface is really intuitive and, because the card reader uses chip & PIN, customers feel safe using it.
"I will certainly continue to use Intuit Pay at craft fairs in the future," added Swift. "Being able to take card payment increases sales and reflects well on my business. Mobile payment is definitely going to be the future for market stalls and an easy to use, professional looking device like Intuit Pay is perfect for me.”

Card-not-present capabilities 

Users can also enter card details online using the secure Intuit Pay site to take payments from home or office over the phone, while the system offers pre-integration with SMB finance software package, QuickBooks.

A survey for Intuit of 1,000 UK SMBs found just 19% of those with less than 10 employees currently accept card payments. Almost half (47%) said they would accept cards if there was a more affordable way of doing so using their smartphone or tablet. There are an estimated 4.6 million SMBs in the UK with less than  10 staff according the Department for Business Innovation & Skills.

As well as offering customers peace of mind with chip & PIN capability, Intuit Pay also meets Visa’s security standards and is also EMV-standards approved and fully compliant with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS) regulations. 

Stanley Skoglund, senior vice president of payment systems risk at Visa Europe, added: "Visa Europe is delighted to see solutions like Intuit’s emerge that can bring chip & PIN out of the shop and into the hands of small merchants. Intuit Pay helps to not only provide a secure solution for cardholders, but also delivers great value for small businesses with the QuickBooks integration.”

Intuit also announced the release of Intuit Pay for Android late last month.

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