How to Decide What Payment Methods to Offer Your Members

With the increasing number of payment options in today’s world, how do you decide which options to offer your members?

In this article, we discuss the advantages and disadvantages of different payment methods:

  • Bank Transfer/Standing Order

Offering payment via standing order has advantages in that it is cheap for both the member and the organisation.  However, the disadvantage is that there can be alot of admin involved - people frequently forget to add a reference to their bank transfer, resulting in alot of time spent chasing and investigating who the payment belongs to.

Ultimately, there tends to be a lot of manual work with offering bank transfers, and manually matching the payment with the member, as well as disputing with members who may insist they have transferred the money and haven’t.

If you have volunteers who are able to spend time doing this for the organisation, then that is perhaps the only time we would consider it to be worth it.

  • Direct Debit

Direct debit is perhaps the most popular choice for members, and can also provide additional flexibility in terms of paying (e.g. direct debit date, full payment or payment in installments).  Out of all the members of the organisations that work with ClubCollect, 60% chose to pay by direct debit in 2018.

There may be some administrative work to do, for example, when a direct debit fails or is cancelled, but it is still significantly less than that associated with bank transfers and standing orders.

  • Debit/Credit Card

Card payments are an increasingly popular method of payment, and so it’s probably a good idea to have these as an option.

  • Paypal

Paypal can be a great option to have especially if you have members globally, as Paypal is currently available in more than 200 countries, and negates the need to explore the payment methods individual to certain countries.

  • Cash

For many organisations, it is simply not practical to accept cash, as the members are not meeting regularly in one place (for example, professional bodies).  For smaller organisations e.g. sports clubs, it can be easier to offer cash as a payment method, but it is important to make sure you remember who paid when, and it also brings with it, the necessity to go to the bank and lodge the physical cash, and not everyone has time for that these days.

  • Cheque

Contrary to popular belief, cheques are not being phased out in the UK, but are here to stay!   They tend to be popular with the older demographic who are perhaps not as familiar or as confident in using newer electronic payment methods.  346 million cheques were cashed in the UK in 2018*, so it may be worth providing a postal address for those who wish to pay by cheque, especially now with the creation of the image clearing system, which makes it possible to process cheques without having to physically go to the bank.

In conclusion, the main things to consider when deciding on payment methods are the age demographics of your members; where your members are located; and how much capacity for payment-associated administration you have.

To find out more about how ClubCollect could help with reducing time spent on admin and  streamline your payment processes, click here.