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Looking for help with PTFA payment systems

(12 Posts)
Mumski45 Thu 07-Nov-19 08:44:31

I am the treasurer of a secondary school PTFA and we are looking at ways of taking payments by contactless and chip and pin payments at events as we are missing out on sales by having to take cash only.

I have researched this and looked at the izettle reader which seems like good value and a simple system to use but wondered if I could please harness the power of mums net to ask the following:

- does anyone have experience of using izettle in either a PTFA or small business setting
- Could anyone recommend another system which they are currently using
- the basic system does not provide receipts and I wondered if this would be a problem and prevent people from using it. I think we could buy a printer but this involves more cost and would make selling at events more complicated.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

OP’s posts: |
Mumski45 Thu 07-Nov-19 09:05:18

Sorry I have another question. As we are a registered charity I think there may be issues with security as we have a policy of requiring 2 signatures for any payments.

An online account would be under the control of only one person i.e. the bank account which deposits are paid into could be changed by whoever knows the password for the account leaving open the opportunity for fraud. However is this any different than one person having the takings from an event in cash and taking it to the bank the next working day.

Has anybody found a way around this or is the risk accepted in the same way that risks around cash are accepted on the basis of trust.

Thanks again.

OP’s posts: |
TeenPlusTwenties Thu 07-Nov-19 09:11:52

Hi. Fellow treasurer here. smile

We also occasionally use izettle. We have had no issue with people wanting receipts.

- people who no longer carry cash can buy things
- seems quick to get going on the evening provided you have internet access (I think we use the school wifi)
- seems relatively easy to add new things (e.g. we have hot drink, cake, cookies, wine etc)

- someone needs to provide their tablet / phone to run it. I don't currently have a tablet or an app enabled phone so we need our chair/secretary to be their with theirs
- we often have 2 or 3 selling/payment points at school musical and the izettle can only be at one point (unless of course we bought more), so we have it with the alcohol where sales are higher
- as treasurer I have to wait until the emails come through the next day to know how much we took online

At the moment I would still say cash is easier for me, but for parents without cash on them it's great.

On the whole positive, and that is from a tech-averse person.

JammyDodgersandPeas Thu 07-Nov-19 09:14:02

I use SumUp for my small business, it works really well, easy to use and you can send receipts by email or text by just entering details at the checkout.

TeenPlusTwenties Thu 07-Nov-19 09:16:01

The izettle payments only go in to your bank account, they take their commission before transferring the rest, so I don't think the 2 signature thing should matter.

We have recently started trying to do rough count of cash at events to mitigate the risk of me running off with all the takings. But we currently only have 1 signature on cheques as it's just too awkward otherwise. It's a risk v practicality issue.

TeenPlusTwenties Thu 07-Nov-19 09:17:53

The thing with PTA events is you tend to need very fast throughput (eg refreshments in intervals of shows), so I think faffing with emails or phone numbers could slow things down a lot?

Mumski45 Sat 09-Nov-19 07:50:41

Thanks very much for your help and advice. My main worry is around security and the ability for someone to get into the app and change the bank details for account which the money goes to.

OP’s posts: |
MrsJoshNavidi Sat 09-Nov-19 07:56:27

Can you not advertise the event as cash only OP?
We don't have any problem at Guiding events, no one expects our Christmas Fayres etc to take electronic payments.

Hoppinggreen Sat 09-Nov-19 09:27:31

We only take cash (PTA), we are very clear about it and it’s never been a problem. The Treasurer says it’s easiest for her and as she’s the one who would have the extra faff then the rest of us agree.

Mumski45 Sat 09-Nov-19 09:36:26

Yes we do currently advertise our events as cash only. However people don't always take notice and as generally people carry less cash we sometimes lose sales. At events it is generally drinks sales but we also sell other school related items.

In addition to events we have a school shop which is open for a few hours on a Friday and Saturday selling second hand uniform and school branded products. Apparently there are often people asking to pay by card or restricting items they buy to the amount of cash they have on them so we could use it for that as well.

OP’s posts: |
CostcoFan Mon 11-Nov-19 12:52:01

I use iZettle with a youth group - mainly for ticket sales but also for club t shirts. Works well. We don’t always email receipts if it’s very busy - but once a card has been used the system remembers the email. We have never done printed receipts.

I think the risk of the money being redirected to another account is the same as trust for taking cash. You could in theory change the bank, but we only have the app installed on selected, trusted peoples devices. When people are taking payments, the door people never have time to alter the app (and most wouldn’t know how to) and the owners are trusted not too.

We like the reports of type of taking.

If you want multiple selling points, I guess you have a cash only bar and another that can take card payments. People can cope with this in supermarkets so think it would also work in other situations.

It does rely on an internet connection - but I have used my phone as a hotspot before and it’s fine.

Lonecatwithkitten Mon 11-Nov-19 15:24:18

@Mumski45 the Barclays community ( charity account) allows on line payment authorised by a single person ( cheques still need two). We use this for a charity I run.

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