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From increased loyalty, more cash flow and clear reporting, our handy guide helps you to get the best payment software for your gym without any heavy lifting. Learn about:

Payment Solutions Gyms

5 benefits of using direct debits for gyms & membership businesses  

1. Give your customers flexibility and encourage loyalty

It’s commonplace for most of us to pay our regular outgoings by Direct Debit – think utility bills for example. So offering the option for automated membership payment for your gym or fitness club makes perfect sense. And there are various reasons why your customers or members will appreciate the option. For starters, once they’ve spent a few minutes setting up their Direct Debit, then they don’t have to think about payments again as it’s all covered. On a practical basis, there’s no need to bring cash or cards with them when they come to train. And it’s easy to budget too as the monthly membership fee covers their visits.   

2. Get better cashflow

Once you’ve got the majority of your membership base paying by Direct Debit, your monthly income is much easier to forecast. Even if individuals decide not to train on some days, their Direct Debit payments will still come through to you – and that’s a much healthier option for your gym or club than ‘pay-as-you-go’. Plus you’ll also be notified straight away if a payment fails, providing an opportunity to resolve the issue in good time.  

3. Security for you and your customers

When choosing a gym billing software solution, obviously providing good service to your membership is important – but an added bonus from offering online Direct Debit payments is that it makes your business or club look more professional. Direct Debit payments are the most secure way to make an online payment which is great for peace of mind all round. You can have peace of mind as all payments are protected by the Direct Debit Guarantee.

4. Save time and reduce your paperwork 

It’s really useful to have gym billing software in place because it makes processing those Direct Debit applications and payments stress free for your staff. No need to worry about time-consuming paperwork and finding somewhere to file it all because it’s all completed online and held as a secure digital copy. From a reporting point of view you can easily see all successful and failed payments in one place. And from a compliance perspective, a payment processing platform will help ensure you meet the GDPR and data protection regulations regarding holding information about individuals (which is really important to do correctly).  

5. Offer different membership options 

With an easy-to-use gym payment processing platform in place, you’ll be able to improve choice and flexibility for your customers. From pricing plans and changes, to flexible payment dates or upgrades, adjusting your offering and how it’s paid for can be done quickly and easily. That level of positive response to requests is great for customer retention too.  

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How to ensure you get the best payments provider for your gym

🗸 Pay for what you need

Each business varies, so it's important to do your due diligence when it comes to the payments of your payments. Some Direct Debit companies charge an all-in fee. You pay a flat rate for the software and it doesn’t matter how many transactions or reports you upload or receive. Others charge you per file submission so every time you upload a DD or ADDACS you get charged. Companies can also charge extra for set-up, changes or for what they call ‘premium’ support. In a nutshell, not every provider charges in the same way for processing Direct Debits, so make sure you ask the questions. For example Paysuite charges on transaction volumes whereas others also look at transaction value.

🗸 Make sure the collection runs work for your business

Different Direct Debit providers have varying amounts when it comes to transaction limits and how often payments are collected. Do a comparison of the providers to make sure you find a solution that works for the way your business operates.

🗸 Make sure your current systems integrate with the new payment software

What existing systems and processes do you have in place? You’ll need to ensure that the membership payment software you choose can easily be integrated with what you have already such as accounting software, CRM etc. PaySuite's leading API integrates with a number of systems which you can learn about here.

🗸 Get visibility of your payments

Getting detailed reporting of your cashflow in real time is key to helping your business grow and scale over time. Look for a Direct Debit provider which can provide you reports easily allowing you visibility of where you stand at any time when it comes to payments and cashflow. 

🗸 Get the right support

Look for a Direct Debit provider that offers the level of support you are after. If you choose a provider such as PaySuite, you’ll be supported through the set-up and integration process, plus there are always customer service people on hand if you have to call with a query. 

How to set up a Direct Debit for your customers

You'll need to get set up with Bacs and join the Direct Debit scheme in order to start to accept Direct Debits from your customers. 

1. Speak with your bank. Get in touch with the bank handling your business transactions to talk about Direct Debits. There are a few administrative aspects to go over before you can join the scheme.

2. Choose a Direct Debit Provider. To make your payments simple, find a payment specialist (like us!) or a Bacs approved bureau.  Depending on what type of business you are and who you choose to go with you may need to get a Service User Number (SUN) from your bank. Our guide goes into more detail about how to obtain a service user number.

3. Get Direct Debit mandates from your customers. To be able to actually collect the money from your customers you'll need to get a Direct Debit mandate, also known as a Direct Debit Instruction (DDI) This is an integral part of the Direct Debit Scheme which gives permission from the customer for you the business to collect payments from their bank. Customers need to sign these DDIs, we offer online or paper forms, as well as telephone approval to make things easier for you. 

How easy is it to switch Direct Debit provider for your gym? 

If you’ve got an existing bank of customers and you plan to make a bulk change then the good news is that it’s a simple process – just three steps in fact.  

1. Tell your existing customers in writing that you’re switching to another Direct Debit provider – they don’t need to do anything, you just need to make them aware. 

2. Work with your new provider to transfer your Direct Debit mandates across including Service User Numbers (SUN). 

3. Update the SUN field in your payment processing platform with the new provider details. 

And if you’re starting from scratch and offering Direct Debit payment as a new option for your customers, it pays to do your homework before deciding which provider to go with. They are not all the same and some will offer a better fit for your business needs than others. If you want to make an informed decision you can compare the UK's Direct Debit providers here. 

Why Access PaySuite?

  • Flexible solutions

    Flexible plans to suit your business. Choose one that meets the unique needs of your organisation that scales as you grow.

  • Customer focused

    We have a customer service line and online ticketing system for you. Pick a plan that suits the level of customer service support to suit your business. We are proud to have a +59 NPS score for customer satisfaction.

  • Cost-effective

    We offer simple, affordable pricing, with no set-up fee and transaction fees as low as 4p. We often work out far cheaper than our competitors as we charge on a volume only basis – not on transaction value.

  • Backed by the best

    Led by a team of payment experts with over 20 years of experience and technical expertise, Access PaySuite is a reliable, resilient solution that helps your business thrive with every payment.