Leisure management service 1Life teams up with DFC to deliver Direct Debit offering

Exciting times are afoot for lifestyle and leisure company 1Life Management Solutions, who recently appointed DFC as the bureau provider to handle their members Direct Debit process

1Life is responsible for over 40 leisure and culture sites across the UK, including gyms, swimming pools, golf courses, theatres and more. They service around 12 million customers per year, their venues continuing to snowball in popularity.

Streamlining cashflow

With footfall at such a volume, it seemed only pertinent to move as many visitors onto a Direct Debit as possible, for the benefit of the company and its customers.

1Life has been aware of the benefits of Direct Debit for some time already. Of their 50,000 fitness members and 25,000 swimming members, the majority use this method to pay for their memberships. However, a large number are still paying up front for annual memberships, whilst many others are using 1Life facilities on a pay-as-you-go basis.

1Life’s aim is to make Direct Debit their customer’s chosen method of payment and to try and encourage new members to sign up to Direct Debit where possible. They decided to pair up with DFC after seeing the host of services on offer, deciding that DFC’s Fully Managed Service would dovetail nicely with their operations.

National Membership Manager, Neil Harrison, said: “Business collaboration seemed the right fit given the strategy of the business to develop its digital strategy.”

Full steam ahead

Under their recent processes, Direct Debits have been managed in house alongside all other cashflow solutions. All collection has been administered in their CRM, by the finance and customer support team function.

Overall, they’ve found that keeping track of incoming Direct Debit payments has been a drain on resources, which can now be redistributed to service the members and development of the product and services. In particular, the member sign up process has been extremely labour intensive – a task that will be made much slicker with customer access to DFC’s online joining portal, in an ever evolving digital market

By working with DFC, their aim is to increase the average length of stay, reduce attrition rates and improve debt recovery. Time will also be freed up to focus on customer service enquiries, which are not just related to membership payments, leaving DFC’s experienced call centre team to do the hard work for them.

Neil continued: “The integration program has gone very smoothly. DFC has been very accommodating. There has been a bit of back and forth needed between ourselves and our CRM and DFC have facilitated this in a professional and efficient manner.”