Swim England

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Three tips to help clubs leave stress of chasing late payments behind

GoCardless is determined to help aquatics clubs leave the stress of chasing payments behind in 2024. 

The bank payments company conducted a benchmarking survey of more than 1,700 small and medium businesses and found that SMBs spend an average of 6.7 hours every month chasing late payments. 

What’s more, a large portion of late payments could be easily preventable as 34 per cent are simply due to payers forgetting to send the money. 

As the official payments partner of Swim England, GoCardless wants to help clubs avoid the familiar frustration of chasing payments, and feel better equipped to manage payments in a fuss-free way that works for them.

To help clubs get started, GoCardless has put together three key tips to help reduce the pain of late payments.

Make it as easy as possible for people to pay you

Keeping up with payments can be confusing at the best of times. Members are probably juggling a variety of payment requests for school, sports clubs, uniform and swim kit, in addition to general household bills. That’s why it’s important to help members by making it as simple as possible to pay.

Let’s take manual bank transfers as an example. If a club requests payments by bank transfer, but doesn’t accept automated direct debit, then they’re asking members to log in to their bank, find the club on their list of payers, re-enter the amount due and then re-authorise the transaction every time. 

It’s admin that members can do without, and it leaves clubs having to spend extra time manually reconciling payments and tracking who has paid for what.

Eliminate as many barriers as possible to collecting payments. 

For example, GoCardless offers Instant Bank Pay which lets clubs create an online payment link that can be shared by email, WhatsApp or behind a button on a club’s website. 

Once clicked, it automatically directs payers to their mobile banking app, pre-populating the club’s details which makes it easy to pay on the go or the moment they receive a payment request. 

Plus it sends both clubs and its payer an instant payment confirmation, so they can both keep track of payments.

Ask for payment upfront

A total of 25% of SMBs feel uncomfortable talking to customers and suppliers about money, with some even preferring to lose money if it means avoiding an awkward conversation. 

This can quickly cause cash flow problems, as clubs may need to pay upfront for access to facilities or a coach’s time. 

Small adjustments like adding a QR code at the entrance when members arrive at the pool mean that they can scan, pay online and then get ready for their session. 

It’s something that Gravity Active Entertainment added to its trampoline and leisure parks, helping to reduce late or failed payments in a customer-friendly way.

Automate payment collection

Of course, the best way to avoid late payments altogether is to automate them. 

Direct Debit for businesses and clubs works the same way as a personal Direct Debit. 

It requires one upfront authorisation from the payer and then automatically pulls the money from their account each time a payment is due.

Plus, unlike with standing orders, Direct Debit gives you the ability to adjust the frequency and amount you collect without requiring re-authorisation from the payer, ensuring any extra account top-ups or price increases are easily taken care of.

Swim England’s official payments partner

GoCardless now works with more than 7,000 customers and 75 partners in the sport, health and wellness space, providing organisations with a convenient, safe, and cost-effective way to collect recurring fees and dues.

To find out more about how you can use Direct Debit to reduce late payments, read GoCardless’ beginner’s guide here.