A Tip On Tokens


As I was a customer of the Main St. Farmer’s Market before becoming a vendor, I understood the token program as a way for farmers to accept credit cards without having to directly accept credit cards. The token program has been around for a handful of years and has allowed many small businesses to thrive without succumbing to technology. At first, the customer was charged for purchasing tokens but that has since stopped and the vendors now absorb the charge.

However, with the magnitude of methods for payment (ie. Square, Paypal, Venmo, and even a daggone cash app called Cashapp), most vendors accept credit cards. As I approach the market from the other side of the booth, I now see the tokens from a different angle so I was curious about how others viewed them.

Long time market supporter and current board member, Heather Cross, thought making purchases with tokens was better for the farmer than with a credit card because of the fees. I would have thought that too and then I found out the token program charges vendors 3% of their sales whereas the Square charges 2.75%.

As processing the tokens takes time for the vendors as well as our market manager, I would like to suggest to shoppers to reconsider purchasing tokens if running a credit card at each vendor is acceptable. I can tell you that as a customer, I was buying tokens because it helped me regulate my spending but I have come to realize there are better ways to budget.

The SNAP program is an entirely different basket of produce. The Main St. Farmers Market loves it as it encourages folks to eat healthier. Keep your fingers crossed, as we are, that they will double again someday. In the meantime, shop on and shop local!