For years now, JCI UK have been looking at how to make paying for your membership easier. It’s been a bit of a faff having to complete the sign up for, then go to your back and set up a BACS or Standing Order. It can also be a pain when it comes to renewing as well, you either have to make another BACS payment or potential set up a new standing order and if you don’t remember to do so, then you membership can lapse and you have arrears to sort out. It’s not a very nice experience and it’s something we’ve been wanting to change for a while now, but not been able to find the right solution.
Earlier in the year, we found out about GoCardless, a quick and simple to use system that takes Direct Debit payments for organisations of all sizes from local scout groups and sport clubs, right through to companies like The Guardian and Funding Circle. It made taking repeat and one off payments easy to do whilst being low cost and no long term contracts or ongoing fees.
We decided to run a trial of the system with three chambers, Rotherham, Sheffield and Barnsley, to see how it worked. Over the trial period, it was clear the sign up process was quicker and ongoing payments were easier to manage and members had a greater view of what was happening with their membership.
As the trial was such a success, it was voted on at National Council on the 23rd April 2016, that JCI UK would use GoCardless for all recurring membership payments going forward and also offer the ability to pay yearly via the system as well.
We’re now in the process of rolling moving all current members who pay via standing order to the new GoCardless system. We’re doing it in stages so your chamber might not be for a month or so, but you will get an e-mail explain exactly what you need to do shortly. It only takes five minutes to switch over and will provide you with a better membership experience.
The reason we chose GoCardless is that is has very low fees (just 1% per transaction), at no point does anyone from JCI see you bank details (which at the moment, occasional we can see depending on the bank that has sent the standing order payment), and it’s a really simple system to use from both a members perspective and a admin perspective.
The new system will also be integrated into the new member sign up process as quickly as possible on both the current JCI UK website and the new JCI UK website (more info and another blog coming on that one soon!).
Below is a selection of questions we’ve been asked during the trial and since, but if you have any others, please let me know and I’ll be happy to answer them for you. You can drop me an e-mail to email@example.com.
It’s a low fee of 1%, but the standing order option is free. Aren’t we better stay with that? Whilst yes there is a charge, it is envisaged that by automating this process and eliminating paper being send to head office, we will save more in head office fees than the 1% processing fee.
What happens if people are signed up for a year, isn’t it going to just take without warning them? No. The Go Carless system would not automatically take the payment when the year is due for renewal. As currently, members would get an email before the membership is renewed advising that their membership is due for renewal and supply them with a link to pay again via GoCardless, as well as the option to change to monthly or quarterly payments.
Will anyone in the organisation see my bank account details? No. At no point will any individual’s bank account details be seen by anyone in JCI UK. They are stored securely on the GoCardless system and we have no access to them so they are completely secure.
Categorised in: Charity
This post was written by Ben Hawley