EFT Versus Credit Card
Retention is more important to your gym than seeking out new members. You’re better off prioritizing gym member retention in an effort to reduce churn than you are always having new members come in the door only to have current ones walk out. Toward that end, we’re always looking for ways to help you improve your gym retention rates. One area to consider is whether one payment option is better than the other between EFT and credit cards for keeping your members.
Comparing Payment Methods
As a gym owner, you have the option of taking member payments by credit card or through an electronic funds transfer (EFT) straight from the member’s bank to yours. Which method is better for your gym? While you may want to consider additional pros and cons of each, the focus right now is on which one will better help you retain your members. The answer is that signing up new members with EFT has shown higher retention compared to signing them up with a credit card. With EFT, the cancel rate is lower.
Why could this be the case? Members are able to give their banking information and have your gym conveniently take money from their account each month. This automatic setup makes the process easier for them compared to going through the hassle of a monthly payment.
You can also reduce negative interactions with your gym because you’ll skip steps of asking for payments each month or tracking down late payments. By taking payments out of the equation, your relationship can be more positive and focused on the benefits you’re offering members.
Also, if members need to pay their dues every month by credit card or another method, they have more opportunity to think about canceling. They may also be frustrated by the hassle of this payment method and consider switching gyms for this or another reason. Setting up EFT provides a better user experience and takes away an extra hurdle that could encourage members to leave. Instead, you automatically take the dues and make the process easier and more seamless each month. Members don’t need to worry about anything; they just need to show up and take advantage of their memberships.
Tips for Implementing EFT
If you decide you want to use EFT as your payment method, these tips can help:
- Create a process for having new members sign up with EFT. You would have them give you pertinent banking information. Ask your bank exactly what you would need from members to get the process going. Often, your members will need to give a voided check and provide a bank account number and authorization for you to withdraw funds. With a professional process, your members will feel more secure about providing their bank account information. Be clear about your process and stick to your word.
- Think about how you will handle no-shows for certain services like trainer sessions or programs. After automatically taking funds, will you reimburse members if they don’t show up, or will they still pay if they miss classes/sessions? Have a process that’s laid out for members.
- Use gym management software to manage the electronic funds transfers from your members. This will make the payment process easier for your gym to manage and will keep records of every transaction for your records.
EFT can be very beneficial for your gym, especially because it can help with member retention. Is your gym considering this payment method?