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Upper Hand

Sports Management Blog

3 Reasons Why Every Sports Academy Should Accept Credit Cards

Posted by Upper Hand | Apr 9, 2015 3:22:01 PM

Quite often, our sales team at Upper Hand hears from prospective academy customers - “Most of our clients pay with cash or check, so there’s no reason for us to add credit card payment options,” or “Why add the extra cost to my training if I can get paid in cash?” Here are 3 reasons why every sports coaching academy, club or organization should actively offer credit card payment options for their lessons, camps and team registrations!

Increased revenues
Sports organizations would benefit from an increase in revenue caused by three positive effects of offering credit card payment options:

  1. Opening the Door to New Customers
  2. Increase Average Transaction Values
  3. Increase in Repeat Business from Existing Clients

Let's look at each of these a little more closely.

  1. Opening the Door to New Customers - When offering additional payment options, academies are essentially broadening their customer base to accommodate parent clients who prefer to make purchases on a credit card or debit card. Benefits to the buyer range from letting them manage their personal cash flow as they see fit to wanting the reward points that come as a benefit with most major credit cards.
  2. Increase Average Transaction Values - When McDonald’s made a corporate decision in 2004, to begin accepting credit and debit card payments at all their national stores, the idea was to give customers a faster way to pay (USA Today, 2004). Fast food needs to be exactly that, fast, and the new payment option was supposed to create a faster transaction. Some ten plus years later, McDonald’s and other businesses have benefited significantly from offering credit card payment options. McDonald’s not only simplified the transaction process, but their average order value went up by over 55% from $4.50 to $7.00. And in 2013, the Journal of Experimental Psychology reported shoppers spend 12-18% more when using credit cards instead of cash (Merchant Warehouse, 2013). Even if a sports academy benefited from one new customer from a broader customer base or increased their value per training transaction by even 25%, imagine the impact this growth would have on their bottomline. Fewer academies would go out of business and more would be sharing their knowledge of training in their sport in the industry.  
  3. Increase in Repeat Business from Existing Clients - Upper Hand sports software customers are seeing an increase in revenue from a rise in repeat business from their clients who are coming back to buy more frequently due to the ease of marketing communication and our checkout process. Our academies are able to send automated training invites to their existing clientele when they create any new training event. This helps ensure revenue growth starts first with an academy’s existing revenue base by giving them an easy avenue to quickly pay for the next available training opportunity online with a credit card. This kind of communication and ease of use, is increasing conversion rates for academies who use Upper Hand sports software by over 30%.

Time savings for everyone 

While obvious, time savings is often overlooked when weighing cost / benefit analysis of adding a new service for any business. Everyone benefits from time savings when you offer the ability to pay by credit card because you are creating a faster way for parents and athletes to book training with you. And while many parents will likely enjoy the added convenience of taking care of the administrative work from before the training event, you too will benefit from spending more time preparing for training and coaching. This is especially important for larger training events like camps or clinics where avoiding collections before or after the training will save significant time.

Improved cash flow 

Money today is worth more than money tomorrow. Or so the saying goes. The bottomline is that when you offer credit cards to pay for anything from your lessons, clinics, camps, training programs, or team and player registration you are getting paid up front for those services. The impact of which creates improved cash flow for your business. I am often amazed at how many academies are willing to admit they lose a check or one of their clients shows up “forgetting to bring their checkbook”. If you are good at something, you should never do it for free. And if you spend time tracking down payments, you are offering a free service to your clients. Since we automate payouts to our academies and their coaches, with every transaction they are getting paid upfront. This is significant in that we are able to help them use the improved cash flow to the advantage of their business, for re-investing as they see fit. Ultimately, there will always be a cost associated with introducing a new payment option for customers, but the benefits of that decision will outweigh the costs over time. And often significantly.


Learn more about the impact of improved online credit card processing or other automation services for your sports academy!

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References:
USA Today. (2004, March 26). Re: McDonald’s embraces plastic for its restaurants. Retreived from: http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/2004-03-26-mcdonalds-credit_x.htm

MerchantWarehouse.com. (2013, February 19). Re: The Impact of Accepting Credit cards and Mobile Payments versus Cash Only. Retreived from: http://merchantwarehouse.com/impact-of-accepting-credit-cards-and-mobile-payments

Topics: Financial, Sports Business Management

Written by Upper Hand

Upper Hand simplifies front and back-end office tasks for sports businesses, provides cutting-edge marketing tools and offers business intelligence that enables unsurpassed performance for its customers. Customized software and pricing are fit to each individual’s sports business needs with the objective of helping every customer grow their business.