Gravity Active Entertainment bounces back from Covid with Instant Bank Pay
Gravity Active Entertainment operates an international chain of trampoline and leisure parks. Its mission is to make fitness affordable and accessible for all, particularly families given that improved fitness is proven to have a positive influence on children’s learning outcomes.
In six years it has grown to 15 sites in the UK with others in Germany and Saudi Arabia, and its offering has diversified to include additional activities such as climbing walls.
Among Gravity’s key routes to market is the Very Important Bouncer (VIB) scheme, launched as part of the company’s response to the pressures of the COVID pandemic. For a monthly subscription, customers can make unlimited use of their chosen facility for less than the cost of a single trampoline session and gain access to other discounts.
To collect payments reliably and cost-effectively from customers at the point of sign-up, the company uses Instant Bank Pay from GoCardless, a simple, convenient way to collect one-off payments powered by open banking. Monthly recurring payments are also processed by GoCardless, creating an end-to-end payments platform that improves cash flow, reduces churn, and improves visibility into the company’s finances.
Instant Bank Pay enhances customer experience, improves the bottom line
Collecting initial payments via Instant Bank Pay ensures that Gravity verifies the funds as soon as customers access their facilities.
This is a more reliable and secure process than the company’s previous system, as Shane Williams, Customer Experience Director, Gravity Active Entertainment explained: “Unfortunately, some customers took advantage of the lag between signing up and the 14 days it takes to collect a direct debit, gaining free access by cancelling the mandate after their visit. We’d been working with GoCardless on the Direct Debit side of things for a couple of years already, and the Instant Bank Pay solution seemed perfect for shutting down that misuse.”
Making GoCardless the only option available for new VIB sign-ups has enhanced the customer and employee experience, according to Shane: “Moving to GoCardless Instant Bank Pay has reduced sign up time by about 40 seconds - or 55% - which gives our staff more time to interact with our members and generate a better customer experience. Each facility’s general manager is also happier now that payment failure rates and people cancelling direct debits are having less of an impact on their profit and loss statements.”
It has also improved the bottom line. For example, in August 2021, prior to the adoption of Instant Bank Pay, 33% of VIB customers at Gravity’s Bluewater facility failed to pay, illustrating the feature’s importance in protecting revenue.
Chloe Blake, Assistant General Manager at Gravity Bluewater, said: “We have had customers say how quick and simple the new process is – they just scan our QR code, choose the service they want, and it takes them straight to the payment page. It's all done within two minutes.”
Shane agrees: “With the payments experience overall still being Gravity branded, GoCardless just works silently in the background to enable a great customer journey. We have had nothing but great customer feedback for Instant Bank Pay from GoCardless - and it’s saving the business money too.”
A platform for growth
Overall, the majority of Gravity’s subscription customers now pay via GoCardless, which has reduced costs and contributed to a positive growth outlook for Shane and his team.
“Collecting payments via GoCardless is 50% cheaper than credit cards,” he said. “That quickly adds up. 90% of subscription customers now pay via GoCardless and we expect that to be 100% within months. With almost five and a half thousand VIB customers and projected monthly growth of 6% over the next year, this is a significant source of revenue for the business.”
As the company evolves its offering, with programmes that tie into school curriculums, and with plans for nine new UK sites and three in Saudi Arabia, Shane is looking forward to a deepening relationship with GoCardless.
He said: “From the beginning, the GoCardless team has been great. The onboarding process was smooth, and someone was always on hand to guide us through the transition with minimal impact on our guests. We were one of the first businesses to trial Instant Bank Pay, and we’re looking forward to discovering what additional opportunities GoCardless will open for our business.”