26 Sep 2021 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2019 issue 7

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Leisure Management - Maximising revenue

Member payments

Maximising revenue

It’s essential for clubs that the payment process is as easy to use as possible. HCM caught up with some of the leading member payment services to find out how they’re helping clubs

Services that reduce admin and make cash collection easier can boost a club’s profi ts
Making the customer journey eff ortless and intuitive results in more reliable payments


What’s new?
A big advantage of being a centralised provider of payment collections, club software and access control, is that we’re able to call on information from every corner of the industry. For example, our new Business Intelligence Dashboard gives operators an at-a-glance view of a range of data insights, as well as various reports and invoices. Management then acts on these insights by reaching out to members with emails, texts and app push notification campaigns. All this through an online portal which can be accessed anywhere.

How does your pricing work?
For a small fee per direct debit or card transaction, Ashbourne effectively acts as the ‘back office’ of the gyms and clubs we work with. Our in-house support team handles member queries while chasing any late payers or defaulting members. This allows our partners to focus on running their clubs and creating value for members.

Alongside our payment collection services, all Ashbourne packages include our fully integrated suite of club software, including things like class booking technology and a prospect management system which can enable staff to managing the membership sales pipeline during the sales and induction process.

What else can you tell us?
We’re constantly working with our partner clubs to fine-tune the services we provide and develop new software features. In a market that is constantly evolving at speed, we have no intention of standing still!


What’s new?
The service provided by Harlands Group continues to go from strength to strength and we now manage the payments for around 30 per cent of the membership payments in the UK health and fitness industry.

Our service uses technology to drastically reduce membership administration, allowing clients to focus on service delivery and sales, while at the same time reducing defaulters and increasing income. Seen as a ‘no-brainer’ in the low-cost industry for some time, our new clients include the likes of Marriott Hotels, Places for People, Active Nation, Freedom Leisure, Total Swimming and Beth Tweddle Gymnastics.

How does pricing work?
Our pricing model allows leisure operators large and small to benefit from our service as we charge per successful membership transaction. Larger clients benefit from a bespoke service where we can brand the service to their requirements. Smaller clients such as single sites and boutique studio operators get all the same technology but branded by Harlands.

Costs are nearly always significantly outweighed by the extra income we generate for clients as we change the behavior of defaulters and make it easier for members to pay – we call this ‘The Harlands Effect’.

What else can you tell us?
Harlands Group is now branching out into Euro-zone countries. This year we started to deliver our full service with local language capability in Spain and the Netherlands, and this will shortly be followed by Italy and Germany.


What’s new?
We offer a unique proposition for customers by using a single database solution to provide our payment services. This is a key factor in boosting performance in cash collection, customer
service scores, increased member acquisition and retention.

Clients love their financial performance metrics and interactive dashboards too – which sweep in attendance, bookings, secondary spend and longevity for unparalleled business insights.

A new feature is our in-built algorithms to measure risk of default, which triggers a preemptive communication to improve collection rates.

How does pricing work?
We charge a low rate per direct debit. We avoid charging default fees to members unless clients insist, in which case this is a client revenue line. Default fees are a concern as evidence shows this damages overall member satisfaction and hurts long term.

For clients switching payment provider, we de-risk the process by providing guarantees and managing the transition. We delay service charging until we have demonstrated improved collection rates. We offer a very flexible service, so managing a transition, extracting records from planned collections, altering membership packages or record removal from credit control are all complimentary services.

What else can you tell us?
Operators are well aware that getting the direct debit function right in-house is difficult. Yet it is such a key deliverable that affects customer service so acutely and has a big impact on cash flows and revenues. Speak to a specialist provider today to see how they can help.

What’s new?
We are continuously working to enhance the customer journey at the front end and drive innovation of omni-channel payment capabilities. Our joining process takes as little as three minutes end-to-end and we recently managed to cut-down the sign-up process time by almost 75 per cent for one client.

We also provide a stable customer service solution both to clients and members. Our customer service team takes thousands of calls a day, ensuring answer rates and grade of service levels are consistently high.

How does pricing work?
At DFC, we pride ourselves on a transparent service with no hidden extras. Our pricing model is extremely competitive – we take a flat fee per transaction. This means that no matter what the transaction cost, our pricing will remain stable and our clients never have to concern themselves with inflated rates.

What else can you tell us?
We have onboarded several public and private sector clients recently, as the revenue management value proposition becomes increasingly more understood and important – particularly from a holistic perspective, where the focus is on member acquisition and re-engagement.

What’s new?
We’re delighted to welcome easyGym and Jetts Fitness as GoCardless customers, as well as HITIO, Be Military Fit, King’s College and 1610 Leisure. We’re working closely with these businesses to boost payment success rates, improve member experience and simplify direct debit collection. In other news, GoCardless’ global network now covers 70 per cent of the world’s recurring payment volume, including the US, as we go live with ACH debit in July. We’re also busy developing tools to help customers reduce payment failures further – for example, by automatically rescheduling failed payments. More news on this later in 2019!

How does pricing work?
Business can choose between three different plans: Standard, Plus and Pro. We’re transparent with our fees: find out more at gocardless.com/pricing.

What else can you tell us?
We’re on a mission to take the pain out of payments for businesses with recurring revenue. This guide covers some of the typical problems and questions our customers come to us with – and how we can help: www.gocardless.com/guides/posts/questions-about-your-direct-debit-solution/

Originally published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 7

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