Living with credit, New products, Shopping

Girl Scout cookie payments go mobile

Julie Sherrier

Way back when I was a Girl Scout selling cookies, wall-to-wall shag carpeting, pink Princess phones, avocado-colored appliances and white patent leather go-go boots were all the rage.

789px-Girl_Scout_Thin_Mint_cookies_(Girl_Scouts_of_the_USA).jpgWe typically sold the cookies door to door, too, with no parental units hovering nearby to ensure our safety from ill-meaning strangers.

And customers paid with cash or checks.

Fast forward several decades. For the first time in history, Girl Scout cookie buyers in Point Loma, Calif., and northeast Ohio, will be able to use credit cards to get those treasured Thin Mints or savory Samoas.

In partnerships with mobile payment app vendors GoPayment (in Ohio) and mophie marketplace (in California), these lucky girls will be supplied with Android phones, iPhones and card reader devices to allow them to process credit card payments for cookie purchases. The card data is encrypted for safety and will not be stored on the phones. Buyers just swipe, sign and a receipt is e-mailed to them.

“We’ve lost out on sales in the past because many potential cookie customers did not carry cash,” said Girl Scouts of North East Ohio director of business services Marianne Love in a press release.

So the excuse of, “sorry, I don’t have any cash on me,” most likely won’t work in the future as you rush past the Girl Scout sales table in front of your local Walgreens.

As can be expected, sales will no doubt improve. “We’re hoping that being able to use credit cards at our site sales will help us reach our troop sales goals, raising enough money to make a trip to San Francisco and cross the Golden Gate Bridge for a Girl Scout ceremony next year,” said Shelley Shinohara of Troop 3099 in California in another news release.

Of course, now all the scouts will want smart phones with card readers in order to compete on a more level playing field. If Susie Girl Scout hasn’t won the argument with her parents over getting a smart phone before, she’s now got cookie sales and prizes on her side.

(Note: Test your knowledge of the Girl Scout cookie flavors in this Wall Street Journal interactive.)

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  • Mmmmmm … Thin mints … Better not try to eat mine
    And I’m glad you couldn’t bring yourself to calling Samoas by their new name, Carmelo Anthony deLights or Karmen Ghias or Carmen Mirandas or whatever it is.

  • I’m glad they are doing this. It seems as though it’s getting harder and harder to get these cookies. Back in the day I bumped into a group of girlscouts infront of a grocery store almost every other weekend. It seems as though they are learning that with technology comes great profits.