Bill Matthews, the chief revenue officer of Antaris Club Management Software, shares how to better understand your true software costs.
Credit card processing is likely the most difficult to comprehend variable in regards to operational expenses for club owners and operators. Ironically, credit card processing volume at clubs is typically directly correlated to software companies’ financial performance in this industry. Many clubs openly admit they don’t know the true total costs being assessed by their software provider. They state they are frustrated by the total charge on the monthly merchant statement, as they were led to believe they would save money with a too-good-to-be-true software fee.
An immediate way to understand your costs is to provide your monthly merchant statement to a third party company like FiServ for a merchant statement analysis. An initial red flag is if your current provider is not being upfront and transparent with you on the exact card types your club is taking.
This means your provider should be disclosing multiple types of Visa, Master Card, Discover and AMEX, assuming you accept each of those forms of payment. Each card has a variety of types that vary in their cost to the merchant, which is referred to as interchange. However there are club management software providers charging clubs flat rate pricing, which many times yields the provider a higher margin above interchange.
A second red flag is if you are being assessed the same rate for all card types — flat rate pricing — as card types can vary drastically. Some card types are as low as 1.4% for interchange. If your provider is charging you flat rate pricing, especially at rates we’ve seen in the neighborhood of 4% or higher, then your club is losing considerable amounts to your software provider.
A third red flag is if you ask your software provider to allow you to work directly with the third party merchant processor, such as FiServ or TSYS, instead of them and they don’t allow you to. If your software provider is preventing you from the transparency of acquiring your rates directly, then you should likely begin looking for a more ethical and transparent club management software partner.