During the Saturday "Bark in the Park Top Dog Festival
," a technology first for Mecklenburg County added to the success of the annual celebration at Rural Hill for people and their dog best friends.
Participants paid for official festival T-shirts with debit and credit cards onsite.
With this first time availability of mobile point of sale as an option for customers, debit and credit card payments accounted for half the T-shirts sold at the Park and Recreation Department's April 27 event presented by Purina and Harris Teeter.
That's news Sandy Goodwin could not wait to share. She is a senior information technology business analyst for Park and Recreation.
Goodwin sent an email sharing her effusive praise Saturday night to Business Support Services Agency Information Technology and Park and Recreation leaders and staff involved with the project:
"I just wanted to take a minute and let you folks know how successful we were with our "mobile POS" system at our Bark in the Park event today," Goodwin wrote. "For the first time EVER, we were able to accept credit cards and [V]isa/[M]astercard debit cards at this event for our T-shirt sales.
"Using a Dell Latitude 10 setup with a USB receipt printer, over a 4G cellular mifi hotspot, were able to connect to our CLASS system just as if we were in one of our centers. The setup worked flawlessly and the virtual desktop performed like a champ. Almost half of our sales were credit card/debit sales resulting in about $570 worth of sales.
"The virtual desktop and the entire system was fast and effortless. I am sold on this technology!! I can't wait to get some of these setups in our parks for entrance booths, boat rentals, etc.......the possibilities are endless!"
How's that for getting across the message of a job well done?
Without the mobility, Goodwin said, those T-shirt sales may have been lost. While there is an ATM onsite, she said, there is a fee associated with getting cash from the machine.
Later, in another email from Goodwin in answer to questions about what this change means for Mecklenburg's County's delivery of programs or services and for employees and residents, Goodwin had this to say:
"What this means to our citizens is that they will be able to pay for things like park entrance fees and boat rentals without having to carry cash and without having to incur ATM related fees," she said. "We can serve the customers onsite, by the lake, or in the park, in the most convenient manner. The possibilities for increased customer service are really endless with this technology."