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Every week we speak to hundreds of long-standing gyms, health clubs and PTs that operate on cash payments and a single spreadsheet to manage their business. The most common question we get asked by all of them is, how can I collect payments more efficiently?

There’s no set answer because every business will have a slightly different offering, so we’re breaking down what we believe to be the most effective ways to collect payments for gym memberships, class passes, PT sessions and in-person purchases so that you can build a stable, recurring income for your business.

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Collecting Membership payments.

Direct Debit is the best way to collect regular membership payments from your members because it pretty much guarantees money in your bank each month. You can forget about manually chasing payments as you would with cash or bank transfers because the Direct Debit provider will automatically make a collection on whichever date you select; significantly reducing your admin time. 

Direct Debit is also fast, safe and secure for both you and your customers, with payment failure rates of less than 1% in comparison to card payments (3-5%), making them ideal for recurring payments like gym memberships. Plus, they’re flexible enough for you to adjust amounts if you need to increase your prices or introduce new membership packages.

Collecting payments for one-off class passes and PT sessions.

When it comes to class passes or PT sessions – or any other scenario where the payment isn’t regular – card payment might be the most effective way to take payment. 

One widely used method is by allowing your members to book and pay for these sessions themselves through an online portal, and it’s effective because you’re giving your customers the flexibility to buy on their own time. On the same note, there will be times when customers will be on the gym floor and decide that they want to attend a class – at which point you can collect payment in person using a card reader that supports contactless payments, Apple Pay, Google Pay etc.

Card payments are useful for personal trainers that train clients on an ad-hoc basis because it removes the hassle of getting clients to share their bank details, reminding them to pay and so on. You can book them onto a session and collect payment from the same system, making the experience a whole lot more convenient for both of you.

how to collect payment at my gym

Day passes and other ad-hoc purchases.

Card present transactions are great for when the purchase isn’t necessarily planned. For example, a customer wants to buy a protein shake after their session or an individual is visiting from another area and wants a simple day pass. Cash is one way to accept the payment, but using a card reader is better because that money will appear in your bank account without you having to bag up the cash and take it down to your local high street bank.

You’ll also have the opportunity to collect their email addresses to send them their purchase confirmation and market to them with future offers, such as buying bolt-ons to enhance their experience. These can be purchased online after their visit or in person, a bit like the protein shake scenario we mentioned.


The one thing that all of these options have in common is that they’re cashless. Cash works in a few scenarios, but it’s no longer the most effective way to generate a stable, recurring income. Giving your customers convenience and flexibility should be the number one priority when deciding how to collect payments at your gym – not just for your customers, but for you too. Streamlined payments lead to increased revenue and better cash flow, making your business secure.

Payments shouldn’t be a barrier to growth for your club, nor should it be a headache to get online payments set up. Fortunately, ClubRight has all of the tools you need to build a stable, recurring income to make your business stronger. With our clear and concise dashboard, you’ll be able to see exactly who’s paid and who hasn’t so that you can focus on the stuff that matters most.

Our software has also been built by people that have experienced what it’s like to run a gym. Our team has more than forty years of experience in the leisure industry combined. To work with us, contact one of our product experts at +44 (0)203 884 9777 or get a free virtual demo to see the software in action.

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