Gym and club payments a merchants guide

Membership payments

Payment of membership fees to gyms and clubs is also known as subscriptions or recurring payments. These work using membership payment software, with pre-authorisation from the customer when signing up to the club. Unlike a direct debit, where the monthly cost to the customer remains the same throughout a set contract period, pre-authorised gym payments can be taken pro rata. For example membership payment for a sports club may be taken per session, in February there may be fewer sessions compared to September. This works particularly well with clubs that run during term time only.

Membership payment systems

Online payment of membership fees is normally done through a payment system or an app. On sign up the client will enter their card details, as they would when shopping online, or give them to you over the phone which would be entered into a virtual terminal by the employee. The client will authorise further payments up to an agreed amount. Future payment of membership fees will then be taken automatically until further notice, the customer will be notified when a subscription payments is made.

Lots of businesses look for a membership payment plugin for their website using systems such as WordPress.To accept online payment of membership fees you will require both a merchant account and a payment gateway. Some membership payment software providers work with selected merchant account providers, however it’s important to shop around to ensure you do not pay over the odds.

Merchant accounts for member payments

To accept club payments viacards you will require a merchant account, the account authorises customer payments by contacting their bank and ensuring fees are in place, once the funds are cleared they can be transferred to your business bank account. This is done in a matter of days and charged at a small percentage of the transaction value.

Companies accepting gym payments online will also require a payment gateway, which encrypts customer card details to ensure they remain secure and don’t fall into the wrong hands. To find out how payment gateways work CLICK HERE.

Finding a merchant account and payment gateway that will work alongside your membership payment system is imperative for streamline and simple processing, if you currently use a specific system please mention this to our advisors.

Club payment via cards

At Merchant Advice Service we work alongside advisors who specialise in gym and sports club payments, as well as clubs in univercities, schools and colleges. Our experts can help you find a streamlined way to accept card payments, the benefits of which include;

  • Ease for customers and members
  • Time saved on banking cash or cheques and chasing missed payments
  • Ease when it comes to end of year accounts and reporting

Gym payments face-to-face

Some gyms require a PDQ machine to accept face to face payments, this can be for additional classes, courses, clothing or supplements and shakes. Speak with our experts about your requirements and they will talk through your options with you. Please note that some supplements are viewed as high-risk by account providers, therefore a list of products may be required prior to application.

Gym equipment payment plan

Some newer and expanding companies choose to buy gym equipment viapayment plans, enabling them to spread the cost over a set period, this is known as asset finance. Lending is secured against the value of the equipment or machinery. Terms are agreed for the monthly payment gym of the equipment, however if you are unable to make these repayments the asset could be ceased. To find out more about asset finance CLICK HERE.

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