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You might think charging credit cards right inside the booth during your festival would need a credit card processing machine, an electric line and a phone line. No, not anymore. You can swipe credit cards and debit cards using your smartphone or tablet and double the amount of your donations.

In the Booth Fundraising

When someone can just swipe a card and shop, get more tickets, food, drinks or make a donation, it is very convenient. Be prepared to swipe credit cards and debit cards inside the booth during your carnival, school fundraiser, auctions and wine festivals. You might find your take from the event will be twice the usual “cash only” amount.

How to Process Credit Cards

You will need to order a device called “Square.” It is a little attachment that plugs into the top of just about any smartphone, iPad or tablet. You set the device up on their website by entering your organization’s information along with a checking account number. Test out the system and then you’re ready to go.

Connect to WiFi for best reliability, but if you have a great signal then cell service is the most secure connection. You run the credit card through that Square device. On your smartphone you’ll fill out the charge form, the customer signs it with their finger and enters their e-mail address to receive a receipt in their email’s inbox.

You’ll see all the charges when you check your account from a desktop later in the day.

There are a lot of devices like this, but Square is the most convenient. PayPal has one also but they might put a 6+ month hold on your funds. So, PayPal is not recommended.

You’ll see that you’ll take in far more money when people have the convenience of using a credit card right in your vendor booth or ticket booth. Even though the credit card processing will cost 2%-3%, you will still end up far ahead.