No More Cheques in the Mail with an AMS
Nothing seems more archaic in the business world than unnecessary paper processes. This digital age is not something new. It wasn’t just yesterday that almost every paper process could be replaced and made more efficient with computer software or online.
There are a multitude of paper-based processes that an AMS can make obsolete. Each process that is made more efficient digitally makes your association all the more agile and dynamic. However, there is one process in particular that, when digitized, is extremely beneficial to AMS administrators and by extension, the well-being of the association and its membership. That process is the management of payments (member fees / paid event registrations).
Of all the processes involved in managing an association, the processing of payments has the ability to slow your association down (extensively and unnecessarily) more than most. When payments are physically completed instead of digitally, there are quite a few more steps between registration and confirmation. Instead of a couple of clicks on your mouse and taps on your keyboard, the prospective member will have to gather all the relevant information (price, accepted methods of payment and association address), draft a cheque, acquire an envelope and postage, physically submit the mail at a post office or box and wait for receipt confirmation from an association administrator. The administrator, instead of just reviewing the details of a payment online, has to go back and forth with a prospective member – answering any of their inquires, wait for the mailed payment to arrive (hoping there are no slow downs with the postal service), review the mailed payment upon arrival, manually process the payment by physically going to the association’s bank institution, properly filing any and all associated paperwork at the office and finally, letting the new member know that their payment has been accepted.
What. A. Nightmare. Let’s hope, in the above scenario, that when a prospective member looks at the mountain they need to climb just to become a full-fledged member, that they don’t just decide otherwise and move on.
Might I suggest that we don’t let things be left to chance. There’s no need. Digitizing the processing of payments will make things easier for everyone, quicker and more cost-effective. There are so many benefits in modernizing the way payments are completed, via an AMS. The following are just a couple of these benefits.
- Automation from the Start
- Because making payments online via a member management software is so straightforward and everything is laid out plain and clear, the administrator can be completely hands-off (or much less hands-on than a manual payment process). The prospective member can still ask questions on how to do something, should they need to, but it’s reasonable to assume that generally, new applicants will be able to start and finish the payment process on their own. With a simple to understand payment system, there will be no barriers that would otherwise serve as reasons not to pull the trigger on applying for membership. Prospective members will be empowered to decide affirmatively toward becoming a member.
- Auto-Renewal Option
- Should a member choose, they can select an auto-renewal feature on their AMS account, which will automatically action their renewal payment when that time comes. When a member is satisfied with the value they are getting out of the association, some may not want to think about having to make payments anymore. The auto-renewal process is perfect for members like this. Not only that, it accomplishes two positive things for the association. One, it makes it so administrators don’t need to chase people down to post their renewal and, two, the more that members select the auto-renewal option, the more confidence the association can have that there is satisfaction among the membership with the association’s offerings and initiatives, as the members who have selected auto-renewal intend to stick around.
- Members Choose How They Pay
- Through the AMS, the association can select the payment options they want to make available to members, from which they can choose to complete registration. By doing this, members will not be constricted to one method of payment and instead, will be able to use their preferred method to submit payment.
- Administrators Save Valuable Time
- Every which way, professional administrators will save large swaths of time when payments are completed digitally. When a payment can be easily completed online, the administrator won’t have to clarify details with the prospective member, manually process the payment or transfer payment to another software for processing, control and file associated documents, or inform the new applicant that their payment has been accepted. Instead, all the administrator will have to do is warmly welcome the new member once they receive a notification of their successful application (which will be immediate). Essentially, the administrator will be freed up to build strong relationships with members – which is exactly what they should be empowered to do.
- Instantaneous Processing of PaymentsThis article detailed all the things that need to happen between registration and confirmation when making payments manually. When fees are paid via an online AMS, the completion of the process is immediate. So, instead of waiting a week or so for mailed payment to arrive and be processed, the new member can get involved as a full-fledged member that very day.
- This article detailed all the things that need to happen between registration and confirmation when making payments manually. When fees are paid via an online AMS, the completion of the process is immediate. So, instead of waiting a week or so for mailed payment to arrive and be processed, the new member can get involved as a full-fledged member that very day.
- API Capability
- When your association implements an AMS with comprehensive API capabilities, administrators will not only be able to be hands-off during the member submitting payment process – they will also not need to worry about transferring that payment data to your organization’s accounting software. An effective, customized membership management system will transfer this data to the accounting program automatically. Yet another way that using an AMS to process your members’ payments digitally saves untold amounts of time for your administrators.
In the future, there is only one way forward – digitizing as many manual processes as possible. Making everyone’s life as simple as possible is the name of the game. Processing payments never needs to be a pain again – not when they are being done digitally via your AMS.