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How to use a Givebutter card reader for in-person donations
How to use a Givebutter card reader for in-person donations

Use your card reader to collect donations in person, purchase a new card reader, or troubleshoot your connection.

Alyssa avatar
Written by Alyssa
Updated over a week ago

You can collect donations in person using the Givebutter app in combination with a card reader! You can also collect in-person payments using Tap to Pay on iPhone, however you must purchase a card reader to process swipe or chip payments.

Getting a card reader πŸ’³

If you need to purchase a card reader, you can do so from your desktop or mobile browser. You cannot currently purchase a card reader from within the app.

  • Card readers cost $99 each.

  • US shipping is included.

  • Delivery is estimated in 5-7 business days.

Important shipping limitations:

Card readers cannot be shipped to a PO Box, or internationally.

Card readers cannot be shipped with expedited service.

If you are an admin on a single Givebutter account, you'll be redirected to a checkout page. If you are an admin on multiple Givebutter accounts, select the account you'd like to proceed with, then complete the checkout information. You cannot currently pay for a card reader using the balance of funds in your Givebutter account.

You can use your card reader on multiple Givebutter accounts, but you'll need to select one to proceed. Card readers are not locked to a single account.

After you've paid, Stripe will email you a receipt, and update you when your order ships. We do not offer refunds or exchanges, but if you have a problem with your card reader, please reach out to us directly so we can assist.

Connect a card reader 🌐

Connecting your card reader for the first time may take 15 - 20 minutes. We recommend you connect your card reader prior to your event so it can update if necessary. Make sure your card reader is fully charged.

  • First, ensure that you have a Primary Address set under Account > About > Address. If you don't, you'll be prompted to add one before you can begin. This cannot be done on the app β€” this must be added on the mobile or desktop site.

  • Ensure your card reader is switched on, and Bluetooth is enabled on your device.

  • In the Givebutter mobile app, click the Settings icon in the lower righthand corner, and click the blue Connect Card Reader button.

Please note that you can only connect one device per card reader. If you would like to collect payment using multiple devices, you will need to purchase multiple card readers.

If you do not plan on accepting in-person donations, you do not need a card reader! You can scan tickets and check guests in without one.

Using your card reader πŸ’°

With a card reader, you can accept in-person donations via credit or debit card! Donations collected via the app are called Quick Donations. These transactions are charged the standard 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction rate, plus a 1% platform fee. These fees are combined and appear on the Quick Donation checkout page.

It is not currently possible to sell tickets through the app (using the card reader). Please see the feature request for the ability to sell tickets via the app, and add a vote if this is something you would like to see in the future!

Enter a Quick Donation

  • Click the blue + button at the bottom of your screen, and select Quick Donation.

  • Ensure that the relevant campaign is selected at the top of the screen.

  • Enter the donation amount, or select from the pre-populated amounts.
    ​

  • Select an option for Processing Fees. This amount is 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction, plus a 1% platform fee. The fee amount will appear on the right side. This is editable regardless of the fee settings chosen in the campaign settings.

    • Toggling On: The fee amount will be added to the donation amount, and the donor will be charged for the donation + processing fee.

    • Toggling Off: The donor will only be charged the donation amount, and the fee will come out of the funds donated, once processed.
      ​

  • Add a contact for the donation. You can click Search for a supporter if they have donated previously, or have already purchased a ticket β€” alternatively you can click the blue + button to create a new contact.

    • If you create a new contact, an email address is necessary to send the donor an automated receipt.
      ​

  • Click Finalize Payment when you're ready to process the donation. This will bring up the card reader screen, and you can accept the payment via chip, contactless, or swipe.

If you click + > Quick Donation while viewing a donor's contact, the transaction will auto-populate with their information.

Troubleshooting πŸ’‘

Having issues with getting your card reader connected? Try these steps one by one to troubleshoot your connection.

  • Make sure your card reader is charged. When the card reader is on, press and release the power button once to check the battery level. The LEDs on top of the reader show the current status. Four lights means the card reader is fully charged.

charged card reader
  • Ensure your mobile device's Bluetooth is switched on, and allow Givebutter permission to access Bluetooth on your device. You'll find this under your mobile device's Settings > Givebutter. After you've done this, log out of the app, and then log back in.

  • Let the card reader try to connect for at least 30 minutes without interfering with your phone or card reader. It may need to update firmware the first time you connect – this can take some time.

  • Check that you have an address entered for your account. This cannot be done on the app β€” this must be added on the mobile or desktop site by clicking on Account, then About, and lastly on Address. After you've done this, log out of the app, and then log back in.

More options

  • Log out of the app, log back in, and try again.

  • Remove any existing pairings with the reader in device settings (if they show up).

  • Turn the card reader off, wait one minute, and turn it on again.

  • Reset the reader. Use a paperclip to reset the device using the reset button (which looks like a pinhole) located at the back of the reader, near the USB port. Wait a couple of minutes and attempt to power on the reader again.

reset reader
  • Make sure you've connected the card reader through the Givebutter app, not directly through Bluetooth. If you're not sure, unpair the reader and repair it from inside the app.

If all else fails, and you continue to receive the same error, please uninstall/reinstall the app and do a hard reboot of your phone. In some cases, the initial connection can take longer. After trying all of these suggestions, please wait 10 minutes on the connecting page.
​

Givebutter is not able to provide a refund or exchange for card reader purchases. In certain circumstances, Givebutter will consider a refund if a card reader is considered defective. If you have a defective card reader, please reach out to [email protected].

FAQ πŸ€”

Can I get express shipping on my card reader?

Unfortunately, we are not able to offer expedited shipping on card reader purchases. Please plan ahead if you have an event coming up! Card readers are generally delivered in 5 to 7 business days.

Can I have a card reader sent to a PO box?

No – you will need to enter a full delivery address. We cannot deliver card readers to PO boxes, and the delivery will be refused.

Can I connect multiple devices to a single card reader?

No – you can only connect a single device to a single card reader at any given time. If you would like to collect payment using multiple devices, you will need to purchase multiple card readers.

Can I get a refund on my card reader?
Givebutter is not able to provide a refund or exchange for card reader purchases. In certain circumstances, Givebutter will consider a refund if a card reader is considered defective. If you have a defective card reader, please reach out to [email protected].

I'm getting an error message on my Samsung device when I try to connect my card reader. "An app is needed to use this device."

This is a known issue with apps on Android devices, notably Samsung devices – it is not specific to the Givebutter app or your card reader. Reset your App Preferences by going to Settings > Apps > Reset App Preferences. You can also take a look at the Samsung guide for resetting this on Galaxy devices.


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