“In just a couple of months, Success+ recovered £1,400 in failed payments and saved about 10 hours a week of collections work – and all without us having to do a single thing.”
Andrew Charalambous - Director, Ignite
Find out more about Ignite
Seamless payments help Ignite make working out feel like going out
Ignite is a family-run boutique gym in the South of England with a difference. Taking cues from the hospitality industry, it attracts both fitness fanatics and nervous novices alike with positive and fun experiences.
“Launching as we came out of lockdowns in 2021, we took a lot of inspiration from bars and clubs to create a new and exciting environment that would tempt people back out,” said Andrew Charalambous, Director, Ignite. “So as well as serious bits of kit we've also got a great lighting and sound system – and Monday night is DJ night.”
In just over a year the gym has grown rapidly, reaching more than 1,000 annual members, all of which pay their monthly fees via GoCardless.
“Above and beyond” consultancy
GoCardless was recommended to Ignite by its membership-management software partners, ClubRight – and by every other software provider it considered working with.
“As we were setting up the business and building our systems, whether we were speaking with ClubRight or alternatives, GoCardless kept being recommended to us for payments,” said Andrew.
This consensus of expert advice made it relatively easy to decide to work with GoCardless to automate monthly bank payment collections. But, as the engagement developed, Andrew was impressed by the additional Essential Customer Success support GoCardless offered as he worked towards launch day.
“Nobody wants to deal with more admin or more payment processes and we wanted to make the payments experience as seamless as possible, for us and our customers – and that's what it's been,” he said. “The GoCardless Essential Customer Success team went above and beyond, providing insights from its wealth of industry data to inform our projections. That additional consultancy was invaluable for us as a start-up, and totally unexpected.”
Less than half the cost of card payments
Today GoCardless processes 80% of Ignite’s turnover, enabling it to cost effectively and reliably collect monthly bank payments from more than 1,000 members.
The solution’s reliability has also made sure the team isn’t burdened with any unnecessary admin, with the company’s accounts manager mostly tied up reconciling the 20% of card payments that still remain.
GoCardless even helped Ignite through some testing growing pains, explained Andrew: “The solution is bulletproof – it’s never gone wrong. It’s so dependable that when our previous management software began to let us down on collections, we defaulted to GoCardless as the single source of truth. It never faltered, and never got it wrong – we were very grateful for that.”
Failed payments, fixed
As Ignite’s customer base has grown, the complexity of its collection requirements has increased, with higher volumes naturally giving rise to more missed payments. As the admin burden of working with customers to resolve these issues grew, taking key members away from their main roles, Andrew turned to Success+ from GoCardless.
Success+ uses GoCardless’ payment intelligence data and machine learning to reduce failed payments. It does this thanks to intelligent retries, which identify when each customer is most likely to have funds in their account, and automatically retries payments on that day.
“As we've grown past the 1,000-plus members mark, we’ve seen people that have either missed payments or struggled with payments, perhaps due to life events impacting their cash flow,” he said. “In just a couple of months, Success+ recovered £1,400 in failed payments and saved us about 10 hours a week of collections work – and all without us having to do a single thing."
Round the clock revenue
The seamless payment experience that Andrew envisaged is now well-embedded in the customer experience at Ignite.
“I think it surprises people how little information we need or how quick and painless it can be to set up a monthly payment – it honestly takes just a minute to do, whether in person or online,” he said. “We get notifications when somebody joins, and I can see people join late evening when we're closed and I’m at home, which is fantastic. It's easy enough that people can do it unaided.”
Ignite now plans to expand its current site to include spa facilities and to expand the business by opening new sites. And wherever this growth takes them, GoCardless will be along for the scalability journey.
“When we were starting out, we needed that stability and predictability that GoCardless provides,” said Andrew. “Now, as we look to grow, we know GoCardless will be there for us again and that payments are already solved. That will allow us to dedicate more energy to our expansion.”