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Membership-based organizations often struggle with dues collection because of payroll deduction issues and inadequate payment collection infrastructure among other challenging roadblocks That’s why these organizations need a reliable way to collect dues and other important payments so they can provide quality benefits and strengthen their membership retention efforts.

In this guide, we’ll explain how to face your payment collection challenges and diversify your revenue streams by following these key tips:

  1. Determine your must-have software features.
  2. Choose a member-facing platform.
  3. Look for industry-specific features.

Whether you’re a union, a sorority, or a professional association, you can reap the benefits of the right software solution for your needs. Let’s explore the payment collection software landscape.

1. Determine your must-have software features.

Achieving financial freedom looks different for every organization, so pinpointing the capabilities you need helps you immediately hone your search. UnionWare suggests looking for software that has:

  • Extensive payment processing tools to schedule, start, and stop recurring payments
  • The ability to refund members, provide chargeback documentation, and retry failed payments
  • The ability to sync member payment data with their existing database profile
  • A user-friendly digital portal that enables members to submit payments, view transaction history, and manage automatic recurring payments
  • A dedicated customer service representative
  • PCI-compliant interface
  • An online payment system with autopay capabilities that allows members to pay from a bank account or credit card
  • On-demand settlement reporting features

By leveraging these features, your organization can fully equip members with financial management tools, safeguard against revenue loss, and continue thriving in the ever-evolving membership organization landscape.

2. Choose a member-facing platform.

If you’re an administrator, you want to have the most oversight possible to ensure your system is operating efficiently. That said, the best platform will allow administrators and members to:

  • View all legal protections and authorizations within the software during onboarding
  • Choose a custom dues deduction date (either on the 1st or 15th of the month)
  • Set up notification emails and pushes to never miss a payment and to get a payment receipt when money is withdrawn
  • Leverage autopay for peace of mind
  • View scheduled payments, transaction fees, payment date, time, and method, who the payment was created by, and payment reference numbers
  • Cancel, pause, and reschedule payments

These tools empower your team to stay organized in the long term and promote transparency between your administrative team and your members. With all of these features, you’ll never get stuck chasing your member’s data and dues payments again.

3. Look for industry-specific features and integrations.

While both are considered membership organizations, a fraternity will likely have different software needs from an association. Thus, you should seek capabilities and integrations that are specific to your membership organization’s industry or niche.

For instance, let’s say you represent a union and are looking for payment management software. You might look for software with these specific capabilities:

  • Automated dues collection
  • Payroll deduction integration
  • Integration with member profiles that show their occupation and membership history
  • Integration with collective bargaining management software
  • Member communication tools
  • Financial reporting for union-specific metrics

By seeking out a union-specific platform with capabilities that align with your niche, your organization can easily transfer information between systems and complete specific tasks for your members.

Next Steps: Launching your Software

Now that you’ve seen how much value you can provide members with payment collection software, you might be wondering how to add it to your strategic plan. Though introducing new software to your management team might seem daunting, here is how you can complete your research and launch your software

  • Assess your current payment processing workflow. Nail down any unresolved issues and make note of workflows that must be improved.
  • Research and select a software solution that meets your unique needs. Watch demos and compare products to find a scalable solution that will offer you more financial flexibility.
  • Provide the relevant training and staff support. Invest in training documents, host Q and A meetings, and provide best practices for both administrators and members.
  • Create and execute an implementation timeline. Note when you plan to have the new software up and running and keep all relevant parties updated.

While it might take some time to integrate the software into your workflow, you’ll likely find that a user-friendly, industry-specific payment management system can help you achieve your goals and boost efficiency.

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