What is Saving Card on File and why is it the most important feature for your silent auction?

Saving a Card on File is the process of having guests pre-register a credit card at registration so they can avoid having to line up to pay at the end of the event. It is done with the Bidstation app, which operates with Square payments.

Bidstation tracks all winning bids, purchases and donations by bidder number. Square processes the payments when it is optimal for organizers (typically after the event ends, when final amounts owing have been confirmed).

Silent auctions are unique events in that they involve both an event end time, when most attendees are ready to leave, as well as auction purchases that require payment. When both these situations happen at once, it leads to exceptionally long checkout lines.

Lining up is a negative way to end an evening or special event, and it is not uncommon for some guests to leave without collecting and paying for their auction items.

The process of Saving Cards on File eliminates this issue. It involves swiping attendees’ credit cards at check-in/registration to store a Square token that can be charged at a later time if the attendee wins an auction item or makes a purchase or donation. The credit card information is linked to the bidder number so that any winning bids or purchases made with that number are added to the attendee’s invoice. When a card is Saved on File, a card icon will be displayed in the Attendee’s profile in the app.

With this Express Checkout function, the card is not charged if no balance is owing.

For additional information, watch the Quick Start video.