Bookstore: Multiple payment methods for purchase

Our bookstore has received inquiries about the possibility of gift certificates. We are not coming up with a good way to make that work in the Populi system.

Creating the certificates and selling them won't be a problem, it's how to accept them as a form of payment.

For starters, Gift Certificate is not an option as a payment form.

I suggested using the Check method, and marking it as a Gift Certificate, but if there is a small amount remaining on a gift certificate, there is no way to use that AND another form of payment on the next purchase. If we could accept 2 payment methods on a transaction, that problem would be solved.

Our bookstore staff suggested using a discount code, but the discount code removes the dollar amount PRE-tax so we would not be charging accurate sales tax. Ex: customer purchases $30 worth of taxable merchandise, we apply a $25 "discount" for the gift certificate, and Populi calculates tax on the remaining $5 balance - shorting the government (or us).

Solution: charge sales tax on the gift certificate purchase. But what happens if the person uses their entire gift certificate for non-taxable items? We've charged sales tax unnecessarily and give the government more money than they should be receiving.

The other problem with the discount method is that if the recipient receives a certificate for $25 and their purchase comes to $18, what happens with the remaining $7? I suppose they could come back another time and receive a $5 discount, but they still lose $2. Or if their purchase is a $22.50 book and they use a $25 gift certificate, they lose $2.50 AND we fail to charge any sales tax on the taxable merchandise.

I believe allowing more than 1 method of payment would solve ALL the scenarios.

One more example that happened a few weeks ago: we had someone who came in with a Visa gift card for $25. Their bookstore purchase came to $40 or $50. They wanted to use the prepaid Visa first and put the rest on their personal credit card. We had to run both cards at our Receptionist's desk and record the payment as a "check". It would have been more efficient and accurate if we could have charged both cards through the Populi portal.

Could we make this a priority with the developers/programmers? Thank you!

1 comment

Please sign in to leave a comment.