The Right Way for Your Gym to Collect Payments
Retention is one of the best ways to make your gym successful. You want to keep the same members and get them to simply continue to pay their membership dues month after month. How do you achieve that? One way is to create recurring, automatic payments through ACH transfers.
How Do Payments Relate to Member Retention?
The basic formula to gym member retention includes providing a positive experience at your gym and making it as easy as possible for them to stick with you. No hassle. Case in point: payments. If you choose a hassle-filled payment method that encourages your members to consider whether each payment is worth it, you’re encouraging them to cancel.
But if you make it seamless for them to pay their next dues with no thought or effort on their point, they’re much more likely to stay on. What’s the key? While there are a few ways to improve the payment process, a top one is to take ACH payments instead of collecting credit card information.
Why Are ACH Payments Better Than Taking Credit Cards?
ACH stands for the Automated Clearing House Network and is simply a technical name for a type of electronic money transfer. In reference to your gym, it gives a convenient way for you to take payments. Instead of taking credit card information, you can set up recurring, automatic payments directly from the person’s bank account through ACH transfers. You have members give their bank account number and routing number so you can set up the transfers to go from the member’s bank to your business bank when each payment is due.
If you have a person’s ACH information on file, you will have fewer declines and members will be less likely to cancel their memberships compared to using credit card payments. ACH payments help to solve scenarios like these:
1. Credit Card Declines
A credit card could be declined for multiple reasons, including a limit that has been reached, an expired card, the bank freezing the card or a lost card. A credit card decline happens four to 10 times more than returns through the ACH system.
If a payment with a credit card is declined, you’ll have to follow up with the person. They may ignore you or get annoyed by the extra hassle.
2. Canceled Memberships
Alternatively, if the person has to go through the steps of paying their membership fee with a credit card each month rather than having an auto payment set up, this step gives them the chance to consider canceling each time. They may also decide to cancel their membership if their credit card is declined and you follow up with them about it.
Benefits of ACH Payments
Automatic ACH payments offer benefits to you as the owner/manager, your staff and the members. Here are some examples:
- Members have more positive interactions with your gym, without muddying the water by discussing dues.
- Your staff skips the hassles of declined credit card payments and members who are disgruntled over payment problems.
- Switching from credit card payments to ACH payments is one of the ways you can cut expenses at your gym. ACH payments greatly reduce the fees that your business would have to pay on credit card transactions.
- Members are more likely to take advantage of their gym memberships if they have automatically paid the dues.
Overall, taking ACH payments is one of the ways you can improve business for your gym while creating more satisfaction for your members.