retail news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Adjust or die.

That would seem to be what the Salvation Army is doing this holiday season. The New York Times reports that in addition to urging people to throw money in those familiar pots, the charity also “is testing the use of Square, a mobile payments start-up that allows anyone to accept credit card payments via mobile devices.”

According to the Times, “The Salvation Army plans to put Square to use at 10 locations each in Dallas, San Francisco, Chicago and New York. Bell ringers will carry Android smartphones donated by Sprint Nextel that are equipped with Square’s postage-stamp-size card reader and two apps, one from Square and one from the Salvation Army. Donors swipe a card, just as they would at any credit card processing terminal, and the money goes into the Salvation Army’s account.”

While Square does get 2.75 percent of teach contribution, the arrangement could actually be positive for the Salvation Army, since it also could reduce the opportunity for theft that exists with small cash donations. And, since fewer people carry cash these days, it is termed by one expert as being a “no-brainer” if the charity wants to be relevant in 2011 and beyond.

It is that kind of Eyes-Open approach to doing business that is required these days.
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