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How to Accept Payments for Coworking Spaces

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Last editedJul 20233 min read

We work better together and while remote work has certainly become more popular in the wake of the pandemic, there are many of us that still thrive in an environment where we’re surrounded by the electric thrum of a busy room full of other people. For those people, coworking spaces offer the ideal middle ground between remote freedom and creative collaboration.

As the popularity of coworking spaces continues to soar, however, effectively managing payments becomes a crucial aspect of both running a successful coworking workspace and running a business or solo enterprise out of one. Whether you're operating a large coworking facility or a small, shared office, providing multiple payment options for your members is essential if you want to keep your workers happy, motivated and coming back for more.

What are coworking spaces?

Think of a coworking space as a shared office space that accommodates everyone from freelancers to small startups that might not be able to afford their own space, and even remote workers from different companies. These spaces offer a wide range of amenities such as workstations, meeting rooms, ultra-fast Wi-Fi, networking opportunities and numerous community events.

The idea has been around for decades, but it was the popularity of the WeWork company that really brought it into the mainstream. The concept is an affordable, shared space that fosters collaboration and productivity and it’s a booming industry with over 6,000 shared working centres in the UK alone today and an increase in demand of 22% in 2022 alone.

But how should coworking spaces be setting up their payment processing solutions to make it easier and more practical for their members?

Manual payments

For some, the old ways remain the best ways and while we wouldn’t necessarily recommend relying solely on manual payment for your coworking space, offering it as an option might at least bring in a few stragglers that would otherwise be turned off. Note, however, that this method requires a lot of admin effort.

Invoice generation

Manual payments require clear and concise invoices with in-depth details of the services provided, payment due dates and accepted payment methods. You can, however, still use coworking management software or accounting tools to generate these invoices. Also, remember to send payment reminders to members when they’re approaching their due dates.

Payment channels

Offer as many payment channels as possible (from bank transfers and credit/debit cards to payment gateway options like PayPal or Stripe). This flexibility ensures greater convenience for your members and means they’re more likely to pay on time, every time.

Automatic payments

Coworking spaces are busy and often manic places where ideas are firing off constantly and there are dozens or even hundreds of different members to organise. In such a chaotic environment, automating as many processes as possible makes a lot of sense. Automating payment not only reduces the admin burden on the space’s owner but allows you to set up hassle-free recurring payments.

Subscription plans

With automatic payments, you can easily create multiple subscription plans with different pricing tiers and durations to cater to each member. This allows for easy selection and automated billing according to the chosen plan and gives members the incentive to scale up their plan if they feel it would be worth the investment.

Card on file

Encourage members to securely store their payment information on file. This not only simplifies the payment process by automatically charging the member’s card at regular intervals, but also gives you access to more of their information.

Late payment handling

Define policies for handling late payments, such as setting up automated late payment fees or suspending access to certain amenities until dues are cleared. Clear communication and transparency here should lead to accountability.

Cash payments

We are moving gradually towards a cashless society. However, there are still holdouts that prefer to pay in cash. In fact, while the use of cash payments has fallen in recent years, they remain the second most common payment method in the UK, representing around 15% of all payments. Offering this option ensures inclusivity and convenience for those who may not have access to digital payment methods.

Clearly defined process

Cash may no longer be king, but a transparent payment process is still a must. Establish designated collection points and specific hours for accepting payments when there is staff available to accept them. Clearly communicate this information to your members to avoid any confusion and always offer other 24/7 payment alternatives as a backup.

Safety measures

Implement appropriate security measures like secure lockboxes or cash registers, to safeguard cash payments. You should also be issuing detailed digital and physical receipts for all cash payments and giving each a unique reference number to allow easier tracking of payments.

Incorporating technology

To optimise your payment processes further, consider investing in coworking management software platforms like Nexudus and Cobot. These offer a range of features to simplify payment management and integrate seamlessly with most popular payment gateways. You could also explore other quality-of-life integrations like accounting software (Xero or Quickbooks) to streamline financial reporting and bookkeeping.

We can help

GoCardless is a smart and safe solution when taking payments for customer invoices via Direct Debit. GoCardless’ seamless integration with a range of software coworking management platforms means that all filed invoices will automatically be marked as soon the payment has been taken. This makes it even easier for you to keep track of your finances and accept recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help
Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

Interested in automating the way you get paid? GoCardless can help

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