A significant number of our members have recently been asking about improved methods of payment of Club membership fees, particularly direct debit. Facilities such as direct debit take all the hassle out of remembering your renewal date, prevent you from forgetting, and ensure that you continue to receive your Club benefits and copies of Driving Force magazine.
Direct debit is available for UK bank account holders and is one of those facilities which makes absolute perfect sense, especially in today’s world where the cheque book is suffering a demise due to the increased convenience of chip & pin and online banking. However up until recent times, the direct debit facility has been out of reach due to the relatively high administration cost for organisations such as The Rover P6 Club. The only way to use the established direct debit facilities would have been through an agent who would offer a number of debits per month for a fee with no ability to carry unused debits forward, followed by an additional fee per debit issued.
Recently, through our friends at the Rover Sports Register, we learned about an online service through a company called “GoCardless” who specialise in direct debits. The RSR have been using this facility with great success over the past year. The GoCardless cost structure is impressive and brings the direct debit facility within reach of smaller organisations such as ours. Signing up to direct debits is done online and notifications of pending withdrawals are made via email making the system very convenient.
We are currently trialling the GoCardless system, but there is still work to be done prior to launch including:
Mapping out the process for sign-up, payments and cancellation
Setup of different payment structures to cater for different months of membership renewal and different amounts (a number of our European/Overseas members have UK bank accounts)
Ensuring notifications are properly sent to the membership secretary to update membership records
Alterations to the website to enable sign-up to the direct debit facility and notification to the membership secretary this has occurred
Alterations to the membership database and reporting software to prevent renewal letters being issued to direct debit subscribers
As with all our processes, we want them to work seamlessly from the moment of launch so that you receive the best possible service from your Club. There is a lot to do, but we’re hopeful that we can put this service live by August/September 2015.
We will of course continue to accept payment by cash, cheque and PayPal, but we would like to encourage you all to consider using the new direct debit facility, it will help reduce the huge workload involved in creating, sending, and following up on renewal reminders on our already busy volunteers!
Keep your eye on the News section of the website, Driving Force and the eNewsletter for more information as it becomes available.