Tuesday, August 14, 2012

You've got mail

No - not the movie, nor the  AOL computer alert - it's the volume of letters I just received (30 today) as the new Indian Hill Booster Treasurer. The fall membership campaign started last week with 1100 solicitation letters.  My home address is listed for the return of the membership forms and since last year's membership was over 340 people, in the next two weeks I can expect  approximately 340 letters.

For the first time I can now see the value of a letter opener and could even begin to justify and electric opener (wow they range in price from $125 to $5K for businesses).  Here is a great application for efficiency with technology - email the offer and accept payment from your web site.  The problem with this is the cost of accepting credit cards - 1% to 3% with transaction fees.

At the Board meeting the Bravesline store volunteers would like to accept credit cards.  As I researched different options on Merchant Payment Systems it was clear there are numerous hidden fees - setup fees, monthly fees, transaction fees, returns, unauthorized card user risks, settlement clearing time etc.  But it won't be long before the iphone will be our ecommerce credit card substitute.  Starbucks just did a deal with Square (the new upstart merchant processor) in the mobile payments war against Intuit.  It will be interesting to see how fraud creeps into this process.  Security will be what makes or breaks this technology.

So the small non-profits like Indian Hill Boosters will limp along with volunteer muscle and dinosaur technology.

The check's in the mail :)

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