To allow your membership club to thrive you must be able to take credit card and debit payments. Not everyone has cash on them all the time, and the decision to join a membership club often happens on the spur of the moment, so that capitalizing on the customer?s attitude is crucial. This is true of both local payment processing (at a storefront terminal), as well as online payment processing, which invites an international customer base. This is why it is in the best interest of any membership club to obtain a merchant account. There are very few industries that rely so heavily on the ability to accept debit and credit card payments.
There are many aspects that can make a merchant account high-risk, and a membership club is no exception. The main factor making membership clubs high-risk is the intangible nature of their services. One of the main pitfalls to be avoided in a membership club merchant account is the chargeback. This can be a big problem for membership club accounts, because people may get involved with you expecting services you cannot guarantee. For example, a person joining your fitness club may expect to lose all their excess pounds within a certain amount of time, but without monitoring their every move and diet no one can guarantee this.
That being said, if your membership club offers a service that people can relate to, or need, you can have great success both locally and online. This is why the merchant account is so important: you may have a sudden balloon of success that you didn’t initially expect and are in need of taking payment rapidly, on a large scale.
Another huge bonus of the membership club is that you could be doing a great service for people by bringing them together. Sometimes the only reason we feel isolated is because we have not met others like us. A membership club helps to combat this isolation, which can be so common. This is especially true if your club is based on a particular group of people with specialized interests. The more specific your membership club, the more likely you will be to have a large amount of people joining, and the more you will need to be able to accept payment constantly.
Managing membership sign-ups and fees with a merchant account is not that different from managing any other high-risk account. But the continuous nature of membership fees requires you to enact some sort of recurrent billing option, so that you do not have to set up the payment each time it has to come out of your customer?s credit card or debit card account. This option also helps to make your business look more professional.
Obtaining a high-risk account for your membership club gives you a few options. You can usually find an account that allows an unlimited amount of transaction, as well as some leeway on the chargeback issue. This is your best bet, and a first step on the way to success with your business.