Our mission is to make musicians more profitable. Simple as that. Every decision we make is grounded in this guiding philosophy and nowhere is it more considered than when prioritizing your feedback.
Over the past six months, a common theme to the conversations we’ve had with you has been integrating credit card transactions into the Merch app checkout flow. We’ve found that you’re turning away fans (and merch sales) because you don’t have the ability to take cashless payments. For the bands that do, as much as 50% (on the high end) of your merch sales comes from credit cards. On the low end, 10% of your orders are paid via credit card. The number of fans wanting to use a cashless payment option is likely to rise across the board and we want to get you in the game.
The TL:DR. Yes, you can now accept credit cards with Merch App. We’ve partnered with Stripe to bring secure, low-cost, cross-border, no-hardware-or-swipey-thing, credit card transaction capabilities to hard-working musicians and tour managers. For now, we’ve rolled this feature out to our artists in Canada and The United States. Other countries will follow over the next few months – we can’t wait to make this available wordwide.
Does this change anything?
As you know, Merch has been free to use while we were proving the idea that musicians and managers want a solid, well-designed application to help them manage the business side of gigging and help them make more money. From August to October alone, we’ve helped you track the sales of over $100K in merch. That’s an average of $850 per show and $22.28 per transaction.
It seems like you’re all getting a ton of value from Merch App, and that’s awesome. We don’t want to do anything that will take money out of your pocket (remember, we’re trying to put more in) but for us to continue to make you more money, and for Merch App to keep improving, we need to make money, too. So, yes, there will be some changes but we think you’ll dig ’em, as they incorporate other feedback you’ve mentioned. Keep reading!
Cash is king. Cashless keeps the lights on.
When the heavy lifting, like collecting cash or managing inventory, is done by you, we don’t think you should have to pay for that. When the app is helping you put more money in your pocket and makes your life easier, we’ll take a small fee. To us, that feels like a good partnership.
Simply put: The app is free to download, and all cash transactions will be free.
Credit card transactions will include a small fee from us (along with the typical credit card fees) to help you bring in more cashless merch sales and turn away fewer fans.
There are no subscriptions, no rolling fees, no per-show fees. When you get paid, we get paid (but only when taking credit card payments).
Start collecting credit card payments now
We’ve made it pretty simple to get started (there’s a video!). First, you’ll need to create a Stripe account, either through their awesome site, or through Merch, when you connect Stripe to the app. To connect to Stripe and start collecting credit card payments at your merch table (or anywhere else) go into your Settings tab in the Merch App and, under Payment Details, tap Stripe.
You’ll need to have a few things on hand in order to complete the integration, but most of these details you’ll know off the top of your head. Stripe will ask you about the kind of business you operate, the products you’re selling, where you’re located, some details to confirm your identity, and then the really important stuff, like the bank account where your credit card transactions will be deposited. You’ll also be asked to enter your email and a password, should you need to log in to your Stripe account outside of Merch App.
Here’s a video about how that all shakes out.
No hardware, move across borders
We looked at a lot of options. We wanted something that was easy for you or your manager to set up and use at your merch table within Merch App; that put a premium on security and privacy, and could be used across borders. Square or other swipe-hardware based solutions (PayPal too) didn’t pass muster. We didn’t think that using two different apps to complete a sale—which is what you’d need if we went with Square—fit the definition of easy. Additionally, the card-reader hardware only works for a single country. Carrying different swipers for different countries and bank account setups for each country is hardly ideal and can be super frustrating if one of those card readers is lost or damaged.
Security is also a huge concern. We don’t want you to be responsible for your fans’ privacy and sensitive information. And truthfully, neither do we. Stripe is trusted by some of the biggest brands, brands you’ve no doubt interacted with. They power payments for Shopify, Kickstarter, Pinterest, Squarespace, Lyft, and Warby Parker, to name a few. Stripe is compliant with the most stringent level of security standards. Rest assured that you (and us) are in good company and sensitive information is well taken care of.
Low fees, great value
Alright, so let’s get down to brass tacks and give you an idea of costs. There are two elements that factor into cost; Stripe fees and Merch App fees. Stripe has a standard cost of 2.9% + $.30 per transaction. We’ll be charging a single $0.69 transaction fee. Here’s how that breaks down with a sale from a t-shirt priced at $15.00:
T-shirt Sale Price = $15.00
Stripe Fees: (2.9% of $15.00 = $0.44) + $0.30 = $0.74
Merch Fees: $0.69
$15.00 – 0.74 – $0.69 = $13.57 in your pocket.
Friendly Tip: Don’t be shy about setting a minimum for someone paying with a credit card (maybe transactions over $10?). It can make accepting credit cards more worthwhile for you and, considering that this is a common practice at any 7-Eleven, it wouldn’t be unexpected for your fans. Plus, unless someone is buying a single sticker, they’re probably spending more than $10 anyways.
A look towards the future
We’re really excited about this new release but with all that excitement, we know that you’ll have feedback. We welcome it! After all, Merch App is what it is today because of you. If you have some trouble connecting with Stripe or if you have questions, we’re here and ready to help.
With the addition of this valuable feature, we’re not going to be taking our foot off the gas pedal. We’ll be looking to improve the app more often — giving you more opportunities to become more profitable with each release. If there are any features you absolutely must have, reach out and say so! Your feedback is the reason why credit card transactions were integrated in the first place. This is an app designed for musicians by musicians! Keep touring and keep hustling and if you haven’t downloaded Merch app, Go get it in the app store.