Forget the cash and enjoy the movie: Utilizing the iPad for mobile payment at the Indianapolis Museum of Art

By Ben Traub, Account Manager A recent project the MacExperience assisted in was finding a solution for patrons to enjoy refreshments at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Summer Nights movie series without having to hit up the ATM before showing up. David Wainscott, resident MacExperience solutionist, had set up a meeting and it just went from there:

It was my pleasure to work directly with Melissa Canter of Sodexo, the management group that takes care of the IMA’s concessions. We decided early in the project that a simple 16GB iPad2 with Verizon connectivity was the right device for the project: Monthly service plans were very reasonably priced, aren’t contract based, and they can work in many different locations. Paired with the (free) Square card reader, some Kensington SecureBack 2 lock systems for physical security, and ClearCal anti- glare screen protectors, the IMA is now increasing sales and enriching the experience of moviegoers.

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Ben Traub: How is this set up different than what had been used in the past for payments? Will this make things easier for sales tracking?

Melissa Canter: The only means of taking payment before employing the iPads was our hardwired system in the (Nourish) Cafe and one hardwired credit card reader for catering purposes. We had no way of accepting credit cards on the museum campus without the main building's wifi and a phone jack. Customers have been responding very positively to how clever the Square setup is on the iPad, while being very pleased we are now accepting credit cards for Summer Nights and other outdoor events. Being able to track the quantities of items being sold has been invaluable. We are saving tremendous amounts of time on inventories while also being able to effortlessly track the popularity of each item.

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B.T.: What level of standard to you hope to create with the configuration and what problems/solutions can come from it? For example, it’s one thing to use this set up in a food truck or a craft fair, but for concessions?

M.C.: The Square register (free via the App store) on our iPad has been ideal for our concessions set up. It's extremely user friendly while being able to handle the volume of customers. In using this, we hope to show other units in our company the potential revenue on which they're currently missing out by not utilizing this system. It has not only paid for itself in less than a month's time, but has contributed to consistently higher revenues compared to similar past functions.

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B.T.: How did this make it easier for both the workers and the attendees?

M.C.: Our employees enjoy working with Square on the iPad because it is so innovative and user friendly. Patrons constantly remark on their relief that we're finally accepting credit card payments, and the amounts placed on the credit cards are slowly outnumbering our total cash sales. Revenue has increased about 20 percent to 30 percent because of this technology. An example of this is shown in current sales reflecting more customers purchasing bottles of wine as opposed to single glasses.

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B.T.: How has your overall experience been working with the MacExperience?

M.C.: I am consistently pleased with the help and expertise I receive from the MacExperience. From the conception of this project, David and you have been available to answer all of my questions, have provided solutions for all of my concerns. I love working with the MacExperience because you are experienced technicians first and salespeople second. As always, the MacExperience has been absolutely wonderful to work with.