Sports and athletic organizations are one of the most popular activities for kids. Young athletes participate in travel teams, private coaching programs, seasonal camps, after school teams and more. However, these organizations are still stuck in the past, asking parents to sign paper registration forms, to use paper checks for payments or write down their credit card numbers on these forms as well. These traditional methods present unacceptable risks for a number of reasons. That is why more and more sports businesses are going digital.
Keeping paper checks or credit card numbers stored on paper registrations for later deposit is extremely risky. It is far too easy to lose this info or check. Imagine storing a folder full of checks in a car while practice or camp is in progress. The folder could fall out of the car or be stolen. In that case, all of the checks would have to be canceled and re-issued. And you definitely don’t want cash lying loosely around.
It is an extremely embarrassing and irresponsible situation to put your business in, and could end with loss of customers. Even worse, imagine of a folder full of credit card numbers was lost. The perpetrator could immediately start making purchases with different numbers that result in losses for the parents and athletes making the payment. In that case, they will probably never want to do business with the organization again. For that reason, more and more businesses are moving to digital payment processing for sports training expenses.
Secondly, requiring clients pay with paper checks or cash, and then tracking registrations on paper or in an excel sheet, is just inefficient. Paper registration forms eventually have to be digitized to store properly. That means the assistant or manager has to take time and effort to re-type everything that has been written down on the registration form including names, addresses, ages, phone numbers and other pertinent information. The documents may also be scanned but then it cannot be searched through regular means and will be hard to call up or organize information efficiently to market to, or contact past participants.
If the information is not digitized, it has to be filed in drawers. When the documents are needed again, of course there is no electronic search. There is no app, nor cloud server. Instead, you will need a person on site to physically find the paper and access the information.
Imagine a case of a soccer player breaking their leg during a game. They need to go to the hospital and the parents or emergency contact also has to be called. The coach has to make a decision, do they go with the player to the hospital or do they go back to the office where the emergency contact information is held? If the coach had the information on record stored in a digital contact management platform, they could simply look on their phone on the way to the hospital and find the information they need in such an emergency.
Liability and Fee Disputes
Lastly, the risk of lawsuits or other liabilities can be great. For example, most training businesses require that athletes sign an athlete release and sports waiver form against injury or stress due to practice and games. If that form is lost and the athlete endures a significant injury, the business could be at risk of a big lawsuit. There are many potential pitfalls in this area. Or perhaps you didn’t lose the waiver, perhaps it was never signed to begin with. If you are tracking all of these submissions through a paper-based system, there is greater room for error.Additionally, companies want to keep track of all their accounts receivable. Paper forms that can be lost may inhibit tracking this information. In the case of a dispute, electronic records will be crucial to avoid this risk.