Looking for ways to bring in more revenue each month? Moving your members from credit card to ACH payments is one of the easiest and most lucrative ways to impact your bottom line. I talk to businesses everyday that either:
- Don’t know what ACH means
- Don’t understand how ACH works
- Haven’t made the switch to collecting payments via ACH
What is ACH?
ACH is a method of taking payments through your member’s bank account (via bank account and routing number). It’s a direct draft from their bank account, much like a credit card payment, but from their account instead.
Why Should I take ACH payments?
It’s expensive to process credit card payments because there are a lot of variables. Generally speaking, debit cards will be your cheapest card option. Then there are rewards cards, which always have a surcharge. For example, if you process a credit card that gives a consumer points, airline miles or cash back, there is a surcharge. This means that you, the business owner, pay a higher fee to process that card. Southwest Airlines isn’t going to give away free miles without recouping their costs, and unfortunately this becomes the business owner’s expense. While credit cards are convenient and handy, they’re the most expensive way to collect payment from your members.
Monetizing ACH Over Credit Cards
Say your average member pays $100 per month for their membership. If they pay you each month with a credit card, you’re spending somewhere between $2.50 to $3.00 to collect their $100. Now, if you switch their payment method to ACH, you’ll only be paying $0.55 for that transaction, as ACH is a flat $0.55 fee per transaction. That’s a saving of roughly $2.00 to $2.50 per person, per month. If you have 50 active members, that’s over $100 a month in savings. At 100 active members, that’s over $200 a month. You can see how quickly this adds up.
So do yourself a favor, use these numbers as motivation to start making the switch today!
Making the Switch to ACH
The majority of businesses that I speak with are taking the majority of their payments via credit card. So how do they go about the migration to ACH?
There are many approaches to making this switch. Think about this, when you pay your monthly bills (mortgage, insurance, energy bill, etc.), you pay online. You have two options when making that payment: credit card or ACH. If you pay with a credit card, there’s typically a $4 surcharge, right? If you pay with a bank account, there isn’t a fee. Follow suit with what the big companies are doing.
1. Simply ask them for a bank account and routing number
- “With the new chip cards, expiring credit cards, etc., we’ve had to track down people for payment, so we’re just going to use ACH payments moving forward. Can you please bring us a check on your next visit?”
2. Have them sympathize with you
- “John, we’re getting gouged by (Visa, MasterCard, AMEX). Could you do us a favor and bring us a check to draft your monthly payment?”
3. Offer a one-time incentive
- “If you bring us check to draft your membership payments, we’ll discount your next month by ($5, $10, $20).”
4. Incentivize your entire customer base
- CrossFit Palm Beach was spending $1,200 a month on credit card processing, so they created a gym-wide incentive to switch to ACH. Essentially they said the following, “We’re spending an astronomical amount on credit card processing per month. So, if you guys help us out by moving to ACH, we’ll spend the savings on new gym equipment for the next three months. New rowers, new mats, more barbells and a better weight variety for dumbbells.”
Again, this is the easiest and most lucrative way to impact your bottom-line. It will take some effort on the front end, but if you did the math for your own gym, you’ll be able to save a boatload of money, which only adds up month after month after month.
Zen Planner is a management and billing software for boutique fitness businesses.
We help gym, school, and studio owners streamline their day-to-day tasks so they can get back to doing what they love — helping their members. Enjoy all the features you need to manage your fitness business, including robust reporting dashboards, automated payment processing, skills and belt tracking, attendance history, and online retail.