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Wednesday
Apr292015

The #1 Investment Your Club Should Make to Improve Cash Flow

This post is sponsored by Jonas Fitness, Inc.:

In today’s business environment, club owners/operators are always looking to increase collections, but member credit cards are declining at ever-higher rates due to fraud alerts, lost or stolen cards and account changes.

If you’ve ever had a member’s credit card payment returned due to their billing information being out of date, you understand the frustration and loss of cash flow that can result from you just not being “in the know”. 

And, if you’ve had to repeatedly contact a member to get that updated card information, you’ve risked waking the “sleeper member” and wasted countless hours of your employee’s time. But little did you know, there is a solution you may not be aware of that is guaranteed to improve your collection rates.

This scenario is happening to hundreds and hundreds of health clubs every day and owners/operators need faster and more reliable collections every month. And missing payments from regular members can cause interruptions to their active membership and force your merchant to pass late\return fees on to the member. But what if it didn’t have to be that way? Most club operators may not be aware of this, but fortunately, your payment processor or club management software provider (if you use them for billing) offer an Account Updater service enabling you to ensure continuity in your recurring billing operations and of course, increase your collection rate! 


First off, let’s define terms. “What is this Account Updater? 

Account Updater is an automated service provided by Visa and MasterCard (or your billing\CMS provider), that retrieves updated billing information when a card has been replaced, reported lost or stolen, or has as new expiration date. This information can include an updated card holder name, expiration date and account number, which can eliminate potential declines in the future caused by invalid card numbers. 


Sounds great! “But how exactly does it Work?”

In a nutshell, all MasterCard and Visa credit cards that were used at your club during a certain period of time are sent from your CMS or billing provider’s payment engine to the Visa/MasterCard Account Updater system where all card numbers are scanned to see if updated card numbers may apply.

If updates exist, that new information is provided back to the payment engine and the updated information is then used during your next billing period.  And even during the intervening months between the master Account Updater runs, the payment processing system sends new and consumer-updated card numbers to the Visa Account Updater system for verification. 


OK, so how will I benefit from the Account Updater?
 

Account Updater provides a pretty straightforward means of staying current with your members’ accounts, saving time and assuring that you continue receiving uninterrupted payments. And why upset your members with extra late fees just because they didn't get the chance to call you with the updated information?  Think about the headcount time and money you can save not needing to make collection calls.

On average our clients utilizing Account Updater have seen at least a 14% response rate based on cards submitted each month, which puts money right back in their pocket with improved collectability.

And get this, if you use a club management software vendor for billing you should be able to access and run ad-hoc reports that detail which member accounts have been automatically updated with this service!


Key Takeaways?

Account Updater can generate outstanding amounts of recovered revenue for your health club. Contact your club management software (or billing) provider and ask them for further information on whether or not Account Updater is right for your club(s).  

Want to learn more about the Account Updater service and what Jonas Fitness offers; request a quick free demo.

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