CONTENT BROUGHT TO YOU BY: Jonas Fitness Inc.
In today's business environment, club owners and operators are always looking to increase collections, but member credit cards are declining at ever-higher rates due to fraud alerts, lost or stolen cards and account changes.
If you ever have had a member's credit card payment returned due to their billing information being out of date, you understand the frustration and loss of cash flow that can result from not being "in the know." And, if you have had to repeatedly contact a member to get that updated card information, you have risked waking the "sleeper member" and wasted countless hours of your employee's time.
This scenario is happening to hundreds of health club operators every day. Owners and operators need faster and more reliable collections every month. And missing payments from regular members can cause interruptions to their active membership and force you to pass late or return fees on to members.
But what if it didn't have to be that way? Fortunately, a solution exists that can improve your collection rates. Your payment processor or club management software provider (if you use them for billing) offers an account updater service that enables you to ensure continuity in your recurring billing operations and, of course, to increase your collection rate.
First off, let's define terms. An account updater is an automated service provided by Visa and MasterCard (or your billing/CMS provider) that retrieves updated billing information when a card has been replaced, reported lost or stolen, or has a new expiration date. This information can include an updated cardholder name, expiration date and account number, which can eliminate potential declines in the future caused by invalid card numbers.
How Does the Account Updater Work?
In a nutshell, all MasterCard and Visa credit cards that were used at your club during a certain period of time are sent from your CMS or billing provider's payment engine to the Visa/MasterCard account updater system where all card numbers are scanned to see if updated card numbers may apply. (See graphic above.)
If updates exist, that new information is provided to the payment engine, and the updated information is then used during your next billing period. Even during the intervening months between the master account updater runs, the payment processing system sends new and consumer-updated card numbers to the Visa account updater system for verification.
If updates exist, that new information is provided back to the payment engine, and the updated information is then used during your next billing period. Even during the intervening months between the master account updater runs, the payment processing system sends new and consumer-updated card numbers to the Visa account updater system for verification
Benefits of the Account Updater
Account updater provides a pretty straightforward means of staying current with your members' accounts, saving time and assuring that you continue receiving uninterrupted payments. And why upset your members with extra late fees just because they didn't get the chance to call you with the updated information? Think about the headcount time and money you can save not needing to make collection calls.
On average, clients utilizing account updater have experienced at least a 14 percent response rate based on cards submitted each month, which puts money right back in their pocket with improved collectability.
And if you use a club management software vendor for billing, you should be able to access and run ad-hoc reports that detail which member accounts have been automatically updated with this service.
Account updater can generate outstanding amounts of recovered revenue for your health club. Contact your club management software (or billing) provider and ask for further information on whether account updater is right for your club(s).
Kristan Prokopec is marketing director at Jonas Fitness. Jonas Fitness' vision is to be the branded global leader in fitness software and billing services. The company strives every day to be recognized by customers and industry stakeholders as a trusted provider of "Software For Life" and as an ambassador for technology, product innovation, quality and customer service. For information on possible cost savings, contact (888) 590-0026 or http://www.jonasfitness.com/contact.html for a free ROI analysis.