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Etsy Launches a Credit Card Reader for In-Person Purchases

Mobile Commerce Insider Featured Article

October 28, 2014

Etsy Launches a Credit Card Reader for In-Person Purchases

By Michael Guta
TMCnet Contributing Writer

The Etsy (News - Alert) e-commerce platform allows individuals and organizations to sell handmade and unique factory manufactured items on the company’s website. As of 2013, it had 30 million registered users buying and selling a wide range of products, including art, jewelry, food, toys and vintage items. Each seller has a personal storefront on Etsy’s site, where they can sell their goods for a fee. As the company continues to grow, it is expanding to the physical world by providing payment solutions for individuals selling their products in person. The Etsy Reader attaches to a smartphone or tablet and allows sellers to accept credit and debit card purchases anywhere.

The device looks a lot like Square, another popular card reader, and basically works very much the same way. Etsy provides the Reader for free, and payments are assessed a fee of 2.75 percent per swipe. The Reader is available for U.S. Etsy sellers that are enrolled in Direct Checkout, and once they receive the Reader, they can download or update the app for Android (News - Alert) or iOS smart mobile devices and start using it.

As the company points out on its blog, 90 percent of all retail purchases are still made off-line, even though online commerce seems to control a larger percentage of purchases. With that glaring statistic staring at its bottom line, Etsy had to address this market with a solution that allowed its members to integrate their online and off-line sales seamlessly. This move was partly based on the 35 percent of the sellers on its website who also frequent craft fairs, flea markets and other events to sell the products they create.

The Sell on Etsy Reader app has been designed to simplify every transaction its users make online or off-line, even if a customer is paying with cash. The funds of customers making payments using a credit card in person are deposited into the seller’s account just like the online sales, integrating both formats to simplify the accounting. Whenever an item is sold, the app automatically adjusts the online inventory, counts toward the total sales number for the Etsy seller’s shop and becomes part of the buyer feedback.

“We designed the Sell on Etsy Reader specifically for Etsy sellers to help better manage their creative businesses, allowing them to focus more on doing what they love. Unlike other card readers, our Reader isn’t a commodity point-of-sale system; it’s for Etsy sellers and their shops,” said the company blog.

Edited by Rory J. Thompson

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