Case studies

Goltho Gardens Discovers Money-saving App

Release date: 2nd June 2014

 Goltho Gardens main

If you have a retail business, it’s vital that you can offer quick and easy payment options for customers. 

However, the cost of using a chip and pin card machine can sometimes add up to more than the service itself brings into the business. Now, Goltho Gardens near Wragby has found a cost-effective and techno-savvy alternative using an iPad and app to meet that need.

Launched nine years ago, Goltho Gardens is a family-run, 4.5-acre garden boasting long grass walks flanked by abundantly planted borders peppered with a network of meandering paths. Garden lovers can purchase shrubs, flowers and fruit and vegetable plants at the shop, enjoy lunch in the tea rooms and even stay on site at the B&B.

Debbie Hollingworth, who runs the business with Lesley Burton, said: “As a retail outlet we needed to offer customers the option of paying by card, as most people find this the easiest way to pay.

“We started off with a chip and pin machine which cost us £22 a month to rent, and with one in the tea shop and one in the gardens it was quite a big bill. We researched alternative ways we could offer a card payment service and discovered the WorldPay Zinc app for iPad.

“It was very easy to set up and it works via Wi-Fi, so it’s also incredibly portable around the site.”

Users download the app to their iPad and then buy a small chip and pin keypad which is about the size of a deck of cards. Customers enter their pin as they would with a regular card reader, and the two devices ‘talk’ to each other via Bluetooth before issuing a paperless receipt which can be emailed directly to the customer. 

None of the data gathered is stored, and the system offers the same level of service available through traditional payment methods. Users pay a one-off charge for the card machine of £79.99 and a monthly subscription and the app service itself. Debbie pays 2.75% a month on all payments processed – but she says the real benefit is that if it’s not used, there is no charge.

“During parts of December and all of January we’re closed, so not having the pay for that service helps keep our running costs down,” she said.

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