6 reasons to integrate GoCardless with your fitness software

From reducing admin to providing a better customer experience, hare are the6 most important reasons to integrate GoCardless with your existing software.


GoCardless integrates with many of the best fitness membership platforms. This means you can easily start taking Direct Debit (or switch from your previous Direct Debit provider) within your existing setup.

But beyond being able to simply use one system instead of two, what are the benefits of joining over 1,500 gyms and fitness clubs that use GoCardless to process their payments?

This guide takes a look at 5 key benefits of integrating GoCardless into your membership software and what this will look like in real terms.

1. Improve cash flow

Whether you don’t use Direct Debit at all, use another provider, or go directly through a bureau, the same problem crops up again and again - poor cash flow

The lack of visibility on the status of payments, along with slow payout times mean using Direct Debit through other providers can stifle healthy cash flow.

GoCardless, however, puts reporting insight at the heart of Direct Debit, as John Pye, Operations Director at Fitness Space, explains:

“We saw GoCardless as the most forward-thinking option and a good fit for us. We liked the fact that it integrates with ClubRight and gives us instant visibility into the status of member payments and mandates.”

2. Reduce admin dramatically

In addition to the bottom line savings of integrating GoCardless into your membership software, there’s also a huge potential to shave hours off the time your team spends on processing, monitoring and reconciling payments.

Take 3-1-5 Health Club. The 4000 member-strong gym switched to GoCardless and integrated it with ClubManager. Finance Lead Helen Parkinson explains the admin reduction due to the integration:

“The GoCardless integration with ClubManager is better than other integrations we’ve used. We no longer need to manually update payments, it’s all automatic. We save a couple of hours of time each week.”

In short, all GoCardless partner integrations negate the need to build and manually manage any connection between your payments provider and your wider membership platform. Doing this would be a big and time-intensive undertaking.

3. Transform member experience and boost retention

The process of managing Direct Debit has historically involved a lot of manual processes (such as payment reconciliation), which inevitably leads to human errors. In turn, this impacts member experience and ultimately harm retention rates.

By integrating GoCardless into a membership platform, the improved visibility and reporting on payments allow businesses to take action when a member misses a payment or lapses. Lee Drayton, Managing Director at LD Fitness, explains how he was able to do exactly that:

“[Real time payment updates] gave me the opportunity to respond immediately and discuss it with the member. Most often, members cancel because they’ve lost motivation, so I can work with them to set new goals or a design a new programme. 9 times out of 10, I can rectify the situation.”

4. Make acquisition easier, too

Along with strong retention rates, acquisition is the key to building and growing your fitness business. But a poor and inflexible payments process can stifle acquisition

John Pye, of Fitness Space, explains how lack of flexibility over payment dates can create a poor acquisition process (and how moving to GoCardless fixed the problem):

“The last thing you want is to make a new sale and not be able to collect the money for 20 days. With GoCardless, there is one less barrier to joining. We can take a payment there and then. That’s really important for a growing business and for membership sales. It’s helped us to sign up more members.”

5. Focus on payment success

As explained above, using GoCardless along with a membership software partner, you can improve member experience. One tactic that has historically been used to recover revenue that was lost because of failed or missed payments, but at the expense of member experience, is debt recovery.

The smart payment retry function, available with GoCardless, gives you much greater control of recovering failed payments, without the need to call in the debt collectors.

Lee Drayton of LD Fitness explains how he was happy to ditch debt recovery since moving to GoCardless for Clubright:

“For us, outsourced debt recovery has done more harm than good. The way my previous providers went about it was inconsistent and upset members more often than it recovered money.”

Integrating GoCardless into your membership software is the perfect opportunity to leave behind this outdated tactic, and instead focus on payment success. It’s more important than ever because 83% of potential members are put off by the prospect of being chased by debt collectors.

6. Future-proof your payments

Any payments solution you use as part of your membership software has to be able to scale as you do. There are three main aspects to this:

1) Will admin increase exponentially as the number of members you take payments from increase? 2) Will costs increase dramatically (per member) as you grow? 3) Will your business be able to expand internationally and still take payments easily?

In answer to the first question, the core ethos of automating your payments means a GoCardless integration can scale without adding unnecessarily to the admin burden. As for the 2nd question, no matter how you access GoCardless, the pricing model is completely transparent.

Finally, for gyms and fitness clubs considering international expansion, the nightmare of different payment schemes is very real. At GoCardless, we’re working on connecting the various Direct Debit schemes across the globe. You can already take payments across the Eurozone, in Australia and New Zealand, and more. The USA and Canada are among the schemes that will be added to the network very soon.

The digital transformation that all large and scaling gyms are faced with means that finding ways to improve member experience will be the litmus test for success. At the end of the day, integrating GoCardless into your membership software is simply another way to empower this shift in focus.

If you’re ready to make the switch and start taking recurring payments in a way that’s good for you and your members, fill out the form below and one of our Direct Debit experts will be in touch to chat.

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