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Best Apps For Girl Scouts To Take Payments

It has never been easier to accept credit cards or contactless payments for Girl Scout Cookie sales through options like Square, Clover, or Venmo.

    Kymberlin Bush
  • Last updated onUpdated

  • Matt Sherman
  • REVIEWED BY

    Matt Sherman

    Lead Staff Writer

Advertiser Disclosure: Our unbiased reviews and content are supported in part by affiliate partnerships, and we adhere to strict guidelines to preserve editorial integrity.

The number one question people ask when buying cookies from their local troop: “Do Girl Scouts take credit cards?”

More than ever, troops are expanding their payment options and finding ways to take credit card and mobile wallet payments. We’ve reviewed the best credit card readers to find the best options for Girl Scout troops looking to take mobile payments.

Learn More About Our Top Picks

CompanySummaryNext StepsSummary
Square

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  • 2.6% + $0.10 payment processing fee
  • No monthly cost
  • $59 contactless & chip card reader
  • 2.6% + $0.10 payment processing fee
  • No monthly cost
  • $59 contactless & chip card reader

Visit Site

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Venmo

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  • 1.9% + $0.10 processing on business accounts
  • No monthly fee
  • No card reader required
  • 1.9% + $0.10 processing on business accounts
  • No monthly fee
  • No card reader required

Visit Site

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Clover Go

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  • Custom payment processing rate
  • $14.95/month
  • $49 chip + contactless card reader
  • Custom payment processing rate
  • $14.95/month
  • $49 chip + contactless card reader

Visit Site

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Digital Cookie

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  • No payment processing fees
  • No monthly fees
  • No hardware required
  • No payment processing fees
  • No monthly fees
  • No hardware required

Visit Site

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Read more below to learn why we chose these options.

Do Girl Scouts Take Credit Cards?

Yes, Girl Scouts can take credit cards for payment. There are so many reasons to take credit cards for cookie payments: many people no longer carry cash, customers tend to spend more with cards as opposed to cash, and electronic payment methods are just more organized than cash payments.

Here’s what you need to know before getting started.

Rules, Regulations & More

You should only use the mobile payment app or apps approved by the council governing the troops in your region. Some councils give you a choice of apps you can use, and others do not.

With payment apps, you will have to pay a per-order fee for the app to “process” the funds and facilitate payment to your or your troop’s bank account. This is called a payment processing fee and will vary depending on which app you use to take digital payments.

Your council may or may not pay credit card processing fees. If your council does pay for card processing fees, they will likely only pay fees on sales made through a specific app, such as Clover or Square.

Here are some more basic things you need to know about accepting mobile payments as a Girl Scout troop leader or Troop Cookie Manager:

  • Your Girl Scout council will provide names of any approved app(s) for mobile credit card sales
  • You may be able to combine mobile payment apps to give customers more ways to pay (for example, you can use a Square card reader and an app like Venmo to take payments)
  • The council should provide guidelines for use and tax ID info for mobile payments
  • Mobile payment funds should be directed to troop bank accounts, not personal bank accounts
  • Troops may be responsible for paying credit card processing fees from mobile sales
  • You are not allowed to pass any credit card fees to your customers

Again, you’ll be able to find more specific information and guidelines from your local Girl Scout council.

How Girl Scouts Can Take Credit Cards In-Person & Online

There are a few different ways to take credit card payments in person using a mobile device:

  • Phone/Tablet + App: Credit card information is entered manually by typing it into the app.
  • Phone/Tablet + App + Mobile Reader: Swipe/dip customers’ credit cards the traditional way. Check out our article on the best options for free credit card readers.
  • Mobile Invoicing: Customer pays later; this feature is useful for large orders or group buys.
  • Contactless Reader: With tap-to-pay readers that are typically around the $50 price point, you can accept tapped payments from contactless credit cards, smartphones, and smartwatches.
  • Payment Link: A payment link allows you to send a payment button via email, SMS, or social post and let your customer pay online.
  • QR Code Payment: With many mobile payment apps, customers can scan your QR code and pay using their own devices.

Girl Scouts can also set up free or low-cost online ordering websites so people can order online with their cards. Buyers can pick orders up or get them delivered.

Can Girl Scouts Take Mobile Payments?

Yes, Girl Scouts can accept Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other types of mobile wallet payments using most of the apps we’ve included below.

Mobile wallets essentially allow people to pay for things without even needing to pull out a credit card. The information is already stored in their phone, so it’s even faster and easier for people to buy cookies!

The hardware we will discuss falls into the mobile POS (mPOS) system category. mPOS systems include smartphones, tablets, and any other device that allows a business to take payments anywhere with or without a connection to power or WiFi.

The Best Apps For Girl Scouts To Take Credit Cards & Mobile Payments

Taking credit cards and mobile payments is a fast, easy way to sell more cookies in-person and online.

Here are the 4 best apps for Girl Scout troops looking to take card payments:

How The Best Mobile Apps For Girl Scout Troops Compare

Real-Time Reporting Credit Card Processing Affordable Hardware Transparent Pricing
Square
Venmo N/A
Clover Go
Digital Cookie N/A

Square: Best Overall

Total Rating 4.8
Fees & Rates5.0

Products & Services4.7

Contract4.3

Sales & Advertising Transparency5.0

Customer Service4.9

User Reviews4.9



Get a free card swiper from Square at no cost when you create a free account. Claim your card reader.

Pros

  • Instant setup & easy to use
  • Low-cost card readers available

Cons

  • Troops may have to pay their own processing fees
  • Higher fees for payments taken without hardware

square contactless reader

Why We Chose Square As The Best Overall App For Girl Scout Cookie Sales

Square is a very popular choice for in-person cookie sales, likely because the app is super easy to sign up for and free to use.

Square offers so many free features and is so easy to use that there's no reason not to love this payment processor. If your troop wants to sell cookies in-person or online for pickup/delivery, Square allows you to do it for free (minus payment processing fees, of course.)

Square App Features

Square offers many benefits (most of them are free) for Girl Scout troops taking credit cards and mobile payments, including:

  • Fast and easy setup
  • Free and low-cost card readers are available
  • No monthly fees to use Square
  • Accept swipe, chip, tap, and contactless card payments
  • Send text and email Square checkout links, and print payment QR codes, so people can pay even if they don’t have a card or mobile payment method with them, and pay online for bulk orders
  • Free website builder, so people can order from your troop online, and Girl Scouts can deliver
  • Unlimited users on accounts, so a whole troop can work with one account
  • Digital signature capture for credit card payments
  • Online dashboard to track sales, taxes, payment processing fees, cookie inventory, and more

There are also some Girl Scout councils, such as the Girl Scouts of Greater Chicago and Northwest Indiana, that partner with Square. Through the partnership, the council will pay some or all of the troop’s Square card processing fees.

Square App Pricing

Square is free to install and use on mobile devices, tablets, and computers. The only fees associated with using Square software to take payments for Girl Scout cookies are the following payment processing fees:

  • Card-Present Orders: 2.6% + $0.10 per order (includes swipe, chip, and mobile device order payments)
  • Card-Not-Present Orders: 2.9% + $0.30 per order (includes online, text, email, and manually-entered card payments)

Visit Square’s pricing page to find more detailed terms and conditions.

Square App Hardware Costs

You can technically take card payments without purchasing a Square card reader at all. However, payments taken without a card reader are subject to higher payment processing fees and take longer to complete than paying with a card.

The Square Contactless Chip + Card Reader is only $59, so it’s worth investing in this one-time hardware purchase.

Also, Square’s hardware is light, simple, affordable, and allows you to take all kinds of payments. Girl Scouts of just about any age can take card payments fast with the intuitive checkout process and tap card reader.

What To Watch Out For

The most common complaints from users relate to unstable accounts and frozen funds. This is a trend you will see across all payment service providers (PSPs), so it isn’t something you should see as a bright red flag.

Other users dislike the pay-to-play features (like Marketing and Customer Loyalty) Square offers. An upside to this additional fee structure is that the basic plans stay affordable but have the option to grow with your needs.

Contracts with Square are month-to-month meaning there are no early termination fees or tricky terms to watch out for.

Choose Square If You Want...

  • An easy-to-use system that can be instantly set up
  • Affordable card readers
  • No monthly cost/fees

Get Started With Square

Read our in-depth review

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Venmo: Best Budget-Friendly Option

Venmo


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Pros

  • No monthly fees & no card reader needed
  • Fast QR code payment method

Cons

  • Cookie buyers must have a Venmo account
  • Not approved by all Girl Scout councils

Why We Chose Venmo As The Best Payment App For Girl Scout Troops On A Budget

Venmo, a peer-to-peer mobile payment app, offers a completely contactless way for Girl Scouts to accept payment for cookies.

Venmo has one of the lowest barriers to entry in terms of taking contactless payments, since sellers don't need a card reader, and buyers don't need to have a card with them. It's also simple to make online sales since all you need to do is post your Venmo username and let people find you online.

Venmo Features

Venmo offers the following features for Girl Scout cookie sales:

  • It’s fast, easy, and free to set up a Venmo account
  • No credit cards, or credit card readers, are necessary
  • Dedicated business profiles are available
  • Online and contactless QR code payment methods
  • Buyers can pay by looking up your troop’s Venmo username, or you can request payment from them within the Venmo app
  • Venmo provides transaction documentation for troops
  • Buyers recognize Venmo as a payment method and will be more willing to use it
  • No monthly fees to take Girl Scout cookie payments with Venmo

Venmo Pricing

Some Girl Scout troops allow families to sell through their own Venmo account and then transfer those funds to a troop Venmo account. Other troops create a Venmo troop business account and have all troop members sell through this account.

There are no fees to accept payments using an individual (non-business) Venmo account. However, when selling through a personal account, cookie buyers must pay a 3% transaction fee if they use Venmo to pay with a credit card instead of their bank account/debit card.

Venmo Business accounts have to pay a seller transaction fee at a flat rate of 1.9% + $0.10, but buyers will not ever have to pay any fees to make a purchase. Venmo has lower payment processing fees than payment apps like Square, so there are fewer fees your troop needs to absorb.

If your council has approved Venmo for Girl Scout troop cookie sales, be sure to verify how the Scouts’ individual Venmo accounts, as well as the troop’s Venmo account, should be structured.

Venmo Hardware Costs

Venmo requires no hardware. Just print out your payment QR code, or generate your unique QR code on your phone, and allow users to pay this way.

You can also list your Venmo username online and allow cookie buyers to look you up within the Venmo app, and pay for cookies this way.

What To Watch Out For

There are a few drawbacks to using this popular payment app.

The main issue is that buyers have to already have, or are willing to make a Venmo account.

Your best option may be to offer Venmo as a payment method and consider using another service like Square to take physical cards. To get lower payment processing fees, you can steer people toward Venmo if they already have an account.

Like Square, Venmo also receives a good amount of complaints regarding held or frozen transactions. It’s worth noting that a lot of these complaints involve customers who haven’t validated their accounts.

Venmo is well within their rights to hold, freeze, or even reverse transactions if they suspect the terms of service may have been violated.

Choose Venmo If You Want...

  • No monthly fees
  • To take payments with your phone only, no hardware needed is needed
  • To use a popular app most cookie buyers will have

Get Started With Venmo

Read our in-depth review

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Clover Go: Best For Large Sale Quantities

Total Rating 4.3
Pricing4.1

Ease Of Use4.4

Features4.7

Customer Service4.4

User Reviews3.9



Pros

  • Dedicated merchant account
  • Easy to use hardware
  • Lower payment processing fees

Cons

  • Additional monthly fees possible
  • Not all Clover sellers are reputable
  • Long-term commitment with possible early termination fees

clover go hardware

Why We Chose Clover Go As The Best Payment App For Girl Scout Troops Who Make Large Sales

With Clover, Girl Scout troops have the opportunity to get lower payment processing fees than other payment providers like Square. This means that troops that sell a lot of cookies will have to pay way less per order and make more money overall.

The Clover Go (Bluetooth card reader) itself is straightforward, and the Clover online dashboard is easy to use, so there will be very few barriers for Scouts and volunteers to start using it.

Clover Go Features

The Clover Go is a Bluetooth card reader (developed by Clover) that offers the following features:

  • Fast and easy setup
  • Accept swipe, chip, tap, and contactless card payments
  • Online ordering module, so people can order from your troop online, and Girl Scouts can deliver
  • Invoicing module, so people can pay ahead for you to deliver later on
  • Digital signature capture for credit card payments
  • Online dashboard to track sales, taxes, payment processing fees, cookie inventory, and more (depending on plan level)
  • Access to Clover apps from Clover App Market (depending on plan level)

Clover Go Pricing

Clover Go pricing can be complicated. This is because, unlike Square, you get your own merchant account with Clover devices, and can get special monthly pricing and payment processing fees.

You can get a more “normal” plan directly from Clover, with the following pricing structure:

  • Monthly Pricing: $14.95/month
  • Card-Present Transaction Payment Processing: 2.6% + $0.10
  • Card-Not-Present Transaction Payment Processing: 3.5% + $0.10

If you get your Clover Go card reader and merchant account from one of these best Clover resellers, you could get a better deal on payment processing and lower your overall fees.

At the same time, many Girl Scout troops, including the Girl Scouts of Western Ohio and the Girl Scouts Heart of Central California, have partnerships with Clover to minimize or even eliminate the amount of payment processing fees that troops have to pay.

If your troop has an existing partnership with Clover, or you can negotiate one, it may be worth it to get your Clover Go and merchant services directly from Clover.

Clover pricing can be confusing, so read our complete guide to Clover pricing to make sense of it all before committing.

Clover Go Hardware Costs

A Clover Go Bluetooth card reader costs $49 if you purchase from Clover.com.

If you sign a merchant agreement with a Clover seller, you may spend more or less on your Clover Go hardware.

What To Watch Out For

It is worth noting that getting a merchant account can be difficult, and you can run into Clover scams.

Make sure you read and negotiate your merchant agreement before making any long-term commitments.

Choose Clover Go If You Want...

  • A dedicated merchant account
  • Lower payment processing fees
  • Affordable hardware options

Get Started With Clover Go

Read our in-depth review

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Digital Cookie: Best Option With No Fees

Digital Cookie


Visit Site


Pros

  • No payment processing fees
  • Each Girl Scout gets their own website for online ordering
  • Added legitimacy

Cons

  • No swipe, chip, tap, or mobile payments available
  • Credit card numbers must be manually typed in
  • App functions poorly

Why We Chose Digital Cookie As The Best Payment App With No Fees

Digital Cookie is the official Girl Scouts of the USA online cookie sales solution.

The main advantage of the Digital Cookie app is that it's completely free and there are no payment processing fees involved. It's also great that Girl Scouts get their own individual websites for people to order online.

Digital Cookie Features

Digital Cookie offers the following features for cookie sellers:

  • Online “digital cookie” website for each Girl Scout
  • People can buy cookies from their websites and get cookies shipped to them
  • Phone app to accept in-person payments (all credit card info must be manually keyed in)
  • Girl Scout troops do not need to pay any payment processing fees with Digital Cookie

Digital Cookie Pricing

Digital Cookie is available as a free app for download on iPhone and Android devices.

There are no payment processing fees, or any fees at all, for Girl Scouts to use this digital payment solution.

Digital Cookie Hardware Costs

Girl Scouts do not need hardware, as credit card numbers are manually keyed in.

What To Watch Out For

However, there are many drawbacks to using Digital Cookie.

Girl Scouts are very limited on the types of payment they can take, and physically typing in card numbers takes so long that people may not be willing to wait. Also, the app itself can glitch. If this happens, you really may lose out on customers.

We recommend using Digital Cookie only if you really want to avoid fees and want to use something specifically made by Girl Scouts of the United States of America.

Choose Digital Cookie If You Want...

  • The legitimacy of an app created and maintained by the Girl Scouts of America
  • No payment processing fees
  • A personalized online ordering site for each troop member

Get Started With Digital Cookie

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Final Thoughts On Girl Scouts Taking Card Payments

It’s exciting that Girl Scouts do take credit cards. With just a free app, it’s easy to accept credit card payments on your phone.

There is very little risk in adopting credit card payments for Girl Scout cookie sales; you just need to be thorough in researching your options and making sure that whatever platform you choose works for your troop.

Make sure to advertise that your troop takes credit cards, mobile wallet payments, and/or payments through apps like Venmo. Also, let people know that they can order online in case their favorite flavor at a booth runs out or if they want a large order delivered.

By helping your troop select a credit card payment processor, you can provide young Scouts with useful business know-how that will allow them to approach the payments industry with confidence later in life.

If your troop requires a more “official” credit card payment processor and has no problem paying for a better-known service, check out our article on the best mobile credit card processing apps for some ideas to pitch!

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Kymberlin Bush

Kymberlin Bush

Staff Writer
Kymberlin started contributing to Merchant Maverick as a freelancer in 2022 and joined the team as the full-time small business health insurance expert in 2023. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Pacific University in 2020 and continues to reside in Portland, Oregon.
Kymberlin Bush
View Kymberlin Bush's professional experience on LinkedIn.