Are Mobile Payments New Golf Course Trend for Credit Card Processing?

I’ve golfed at  a private resort course in Naples Florida for many years. To purchase food and drinks on the golf course, players charged to their member number or to their room. I can recall a time when cash was not accepted, though I’m not sure if that policy ever changed.

This past winter golf season I should not have been surprised to see the cart girl with a wireless dial up terminal for accepting credit cards, but I was surprised  by the choice of technology in 2012.

  • Wireless credit card processing terminals are expensive to buy, have a special monthly wireless fee and have no integration into other operations.
  • Clubhouse has no clue what transactions are occuring until reconciliation with dial up terminals.
  • ‘Cashier’ has to hold on to the days signed receipts in windy and sometimes wet conditions. These can be crumpled, smeared, and even faded before they get back to the clubhouse for storage in the case of a later dispute.

What other options are there for mobile payments on the golf course? A card reader attached to any mobile device. Even if you buy a new Android device, for example, and a card reader, the hardware is less than half the cost of a wireless machine. Usage costs vary, but are typically in line with wireless terminals.

Benefits of wireless terminals include:

  • integrated paper receipt printer
  • some solutions have a store and forward option if out of network

Benefits of ‘cloud’ or SaaS mobile solutions vs wireless dial up include:

  • integrated with existing POS system
  • tight control on user access
  • automated user alerts
  • scalability- lower cost and easier to add more users for events
  • lower cost of entry per device

Mobile solutions are offered by several players in the marketplace. The value and services vary by each so it’s important to review  your needs carefully. Read some of our reviews here on different applications here: RoamPay, Payware, Square and CenPOS. Which is the best application for the private golf resort? My recommendation is one that supports remote user  management. Imagine if a staff member leaves the bulky wireless device on the cart while stepping away. What if someone stole it? You’re out big bucks or worse, what if someone uses it to add credits to a card? By the time you know what happened, it’s way too late. Crime may not be big at private resorts, but crimes of opportunity are always an issue. This scenario is highly unlikely when using a mobile device such as an iPhone or Samsung Galaxy because users are highly unlikely to leave unattended. (It’s a different mindset and they are small enough to fit in a pocket.) Additionally, the user credentials can be remotely shut down or password changed, rendering the device useless for credit card processing.

The receipt. The wireless dial up device with integrated receipt printer has an advantage if it’s important to print on paper. With mobile, which include signature capture :

  • Add a wireless receipt printer (if devices supports), prices start over $200.
  • Enter Email address and send the receipt.
  • With CenPOS mobile, club members can store their payment information, then give their secure TOKEN, an alphanumeric character set, to charge purchases. They can have receipts emailed with the address on file,  look up their purchase history on the customer portal, and update their payment methods.

WHERE TO BUY: If you prefer a wireless dial up terminal, call your existing merchant processor. For CenPOS and other mobile solutions, contact Christine Speedy.

CenPOS is sold through direct agents and resellers. There is also a referral program. Click here to become a CenPOS agent, reseller, or referral partner.  Click here to become CenPOS customer or call the hotline at the top of this web page.