Girl Scout Cookie Booths Will Accept Plastic Payments - The Missourian: Local News

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Girl Scout Cookie Booths Will Accept Plastic Payments

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Posted: Wednesday, February 20, 2013 5:32 pm

No cash as you pass the Girl Scout cookie booth? No problem — the group now accepts credit cards.

“Girls today are tech-savvy,” says Bonnie Barczykowski, chief operating officer. “Our organization must firmly enter the digital age and encourage the girls to let their interests in science and technology grow.”

For the first time, the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri will ring up cookie sales by accepting credit cards on their mobile phones with Square. The secure credit card reader attaches to a smartphone allowing troops to accept debit and credit cards, email receipts and even refund money to customers on-the-spot.

AT&T equipped the Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri with devices for the pilot program. It includes the Square payment app, free Square credit card readers and smartphones to be used in 20 different cookie booth locations across St. Louis.

Square offers an easy and affordable way to process credit card payments on mobile devices while protecting sensitive credit card information with industry-leading data encryption.

“We’re delighted that we can help local Girl Scouts expand their fundraising efforts with today’s technology,” said John Sondag, president of AT&T Missouri. “AT&T’s commitment to education and technology is as much a part of our legacy as our future. By giving girls access to the latest technology, we want to encourage them to develop the skills to become the next generation of business leaders and high-tech innovators.”

But it’s not just the booths that are going high tech. All Girl Scouts were able to reach out to customers on the Internet to make a sale. Using online technology, girls were able to choose a designed eCard, create their own message and send requests to customers via email for sales. Order forms were returned to the girls in the same online portal for processing.

“These new tools are not only going to teach our girls about technology, but it’s going to make it easier for our customers to support the organization,” said Marti Kelly, director of product sales.

Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri (GSEM) high tech Cookie Booths and Cookie Cupboards kick off on March 2. Visit the Cookie page at http://bit.ly/cookiesSTL to view all of the cookie locations.

Proceeds from the Girl Scout cookie program stay within the community to benefit local girls. Troops use the money for everything from field trips to community service projects. With these funds, Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri can also deliver programs for girls, provide training for adult volunteers and maintain three local Girl Scout camps.

The Girl Scout cookie program is the largest girl-led business in the world and generates immeasurable benefits for girls and their communities. Girl Scouts have been selling cookies for more than 80 years.

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