Using a Cash Discount Program for Mobile and Online Payments

When describing our mobile app solution, one of the services we’ll mention is the cash discount program. We’ve described it before, but here’s a quick summary:

Our cash discount program allows you to accept credit cards without paying transaction fees. When one of your customers pays with a credit card, they will pay a small service charge that covers all transaction costs. Your cost is a flat monthly rate (usually $100 or less). Applying for a cash discount program is similar to applying for traditional credit card processing: some information about your business, a few signatures, and supporting documents.

Let’s look at how a cash discount program could be used in a mobile app, and on your website for online ordering. No rocket science here—unless you’re selling rockets, or course.

Mobile Payments

Payment processing is connected to our client’s mobile apps using a “gateway.” This is simply a piece of software that connects to the app, and securely collects the information needed to accept a payment. Gateways are used by virtually every online business: Amazon, eBay, even your utility companies. There’s no added cost for this: it’s included in the cash discount monthly fee. When building your app, we enroll and set up your gateway for you.

Let’s use Stacey’s Pizzas* as an example. Stacey has a small pizza shop, and Swoop has built a branded mobile app for her business. She sells lunch and dinner orders through her app. During setup, she decided to use our cash discount program.

When Stacey’s customers check out on her app, they’ll see a screen similar to this one:

Cash Discount In App Example1.jpg

See the “Service Charge” field? That’s where the service charged has been automatically calculated and applied for the order. If Staceys’ customer selects to pay with cash, the charge is automatically dropped. Either way, Stacey keeps 100% of her profits.

Staceys’ costs remain the same each month: a flat rate for the app, and a flat cash discount rate.

If your organization is selling a different kind of product or service—sport league memberships, for example—your customers or members can still order in-app, and the checkout will have a similar look.

Seems straightforward, right? If you think this is the payment solution for you, give us a call to learn more.

Online Ordering

What about selling products or services on a website? The answer’s a little more complicated, depending on what you’re selling. In Stacey’s case, since she’s using our mobile app service, she’s got automatic access to her online menu via our food solution service; Stacey can simply add a link from her website to her online menu. When her customers checkout, this is what they’ll see:

Cash Discount Online Example1.jpg

The service charge is easily seen, and her customers are notified well in advance of payment.

What if you’re not selling food? This is where it’s a little trickier. If you don’t yet have an online shopping cart service, there are a few we can suggest:

  • WooCommerce

  • Magento

  • Tomato Cart

  • OpenCart

  • Zen-Cart

  • aMember Pro

If you’re using a different shopping cart solution, we may be able to give you the API keys you’ll need to connect a cash discount gateway to your service. (Ask your website administrator or IT team what API keys are.) Not all shopping cart solutions allow third-party gateways, however, so it’s always wise to check with us first. We’re happy to hop on a call with you or the person who manages your website to see what’s possible.

What if (horror of horrors) you don’t have a website?! We can help! We’ve got a great digital marketing and website design team, who’d be happy to discuss your organizations’ needs. Email or call us and we’ll get you set up. If you think your website just needs a face-lift, we can do that too.

Third Option

Some of our clients need another option: accepting payments on-the-go from their phone or a mobile terminal. This one’s easy: we can set up a PayHub + gateway for you (at no added cost) that allows you to accept payments right from your smartphone, via the PayHub app. If you think this would fit your needs, call and ask about accepting payments from your phone. We’re always happy to help. Alternately, we can set you up with a mobile terminal: a physical unit that will accept payments. Receipts are emailed or sent via text to your customers. Both the PayHub app and a physical mobile terminal are great solutions.

Still not sure what you need? We’ll say it again: give us a call, or email us at We look forward to chatting!

*Name of business has been changed for privacy reasons.

What is Cash Discount?

Right after our mobile app services, our cash discount program is one of our favorite topics. But what, exactly, is a cash discount? The short answer is that it’s a better way to accept credit card payments—but let’s take a deeper look at what, exactly, sets a cash discount program apart.

Two Camps

If your business or organization is like most, you fall into one of two camps: Camp Arm-and-a-Leg, or Camp Already Burnt.

Joe is in Camp Arm-and-a-Leg. His pizza parlor accepts credit card payments, and it’s costing, well, an arm and a leg. He’s paying monthly and transaction fees, equipment leasing, and early termination fees. The customers like the arrangement, but Joe wonders when he’ll have to raise their prices just to make a decent profit again. Credit cards are costing him over $1,500/month—that’s $18,000/year.

Camp Already Burnt is the home of Jill. Her non-profit used to accept credit card payments, but she got a surprise fee of $30/month for a terminal worth $200 brand new. (Sound familiar to anyone?) When she tried to cancel services, she was charged a $1,300 termination fee that she’s still paying off. No credit card payments here, thank you very much!

The good news is that there’s a new camp in town: Camp Cash Discount.

At Swoop, we’ve partnered with SignaPay® to offer the Paylo Cash Discount Program. It’s based on a simple concept: let your customers know what your fees are, while cutting up to 90% of your costs.

The Paylo Cash Discount program works as follows:

A small service fee is added to all transactions. When a client pays using Visa, MasterCard or Discover, they pay the service fee as well. The business owner incurs no transaction fee. When a client pays via check or cash, the fee is removed—hence, the “cash discount.” The business is charged a flat monthly rate of between $50 and $100.

Per year, that’s a total cost of about $1,200.

How does that compare to your current rate?

The only time the business sees another fee is if a customer pays with American Express. For every $1,000 in Amex revenue, the fee is about $1.50. If you want, you can also lease equipment from us, but we don’t recommend it, since we can usually provide a new terminal, or an online payment option, at no cost. More expensive options, like a Clover, are also available, but we suggest buying them outright—if you lease, you’ll pay for them three times over, and they’re usually $500 or less.

Incredible Savings

Let’s pretend Joe tries our cash discount program for his pizza parlor. He pays a flat monthly fee of $89.99, and a one-time payment of $200 for a new terminal. Most of his customers keep using their cards, and one person pays with American Express. Joe’s first monthly statement looks like this:

Joe's Pizza Parlor Cash Discount Statement.GIF

Joe’s estimated costs are now just under $1,300/year. Compare that to the $18,000/year he was spending before, and you’ll understand why Joe’s doing the happy dance behind the counter.*

Who’s Using Cash Discount?

The Paylo program is perfect for businesses with an average transaction between $5 and $50, like clothing boutiques or corner marts. It’s also great for businesses with a loyal customer base, such as salons, local restaurants, or that hobby store that’s been in the family for generations. Non-profits, such as schools, can also benefit by using a cash discount program, since it keeps costs low while still allowing easy payment and donation options.

So, let’s just look at the Paylo Cash Discount program in summary:

  • Your customers pay a minimal service fee, but only if they choose to use a credit card.

  • The monthly fee is a set rate for your business—no surprises.

  • You receive a basic terminal or online payment option for free.

  • Your only other cost is a negligible fee on American Express cards.

  • Total yearly costs: usually around $1,200.

Total savings: you tell us, but they’re usually fantastic!

The cash discount program can sound confusing at first, but when implemented, it’s surprisingly simple. It’s available for in-store, online and in-app transactions. If you think the Paylo Cash Discount program could work for your organization, please, reach out—we look forward to helping you. In future articles, we’ll cover topics like customer reactions, how to implement cash discounts, and why it’s legal in all 50 states.

*Joe’s Pizza Parlor is a fictional example. Any resemblance to one or many real pizza parlors is purely coincidental—but if there is a real Joe’s Pizza Parlor, we’re sure they make a great pizza, and that they should be using a cash discount program.