nicolaBy Guest Blogger:

Nicola Anderson

VP Marketing at GoCardless


Professional membership organisations have gone from strength to strength in the UK over recent years. Covering industry areas from charities to accountancy networks and everything in between, professional membership organisations help their members to network, expand their horizons and discover new opportunities in their relevant industries.

Being part of a membership organisation provides an important boost for charities, businesses and other groups. To cover running costs and make sure they provide an efficient service, membership organisations usually charge ongoing fees to their members. We wanted to find out how members in the UK prefer to pay these fees, so we conducted a research study to see which of four popular recurring payment methods they felt most comfortable in using.

We commissioned YouGov to conduct a survey exploring the UK’s favourite subscription payment methods. We wanted to know how comfortable people were with using different methods to pay their membership fees. This could be any product or service for which they pay a regular monthly fee, including as part of a professional membership body.

Here’s what YouGov found out….

Out of the sample of 2,044 UK respondents surveyed, people felt the most comfortable using Direct Debit for their recurring payments. Direct Debit has been around for a long time and is widely considered trusted and reliable. In fact, it’s the UK’s favourite payment method and its usage continues to grow.

Direct Debit enjoys a good reputation largely because customers are protected by the reliable Direct Debit Guarantee. It’s also very simple to get started with and involves no effort after the initial set-up – money is just taken automatically from the member’s account on a specified day. And what’s more, unlike credit and debit cards, there’s no need to update member details, meaning less chance of churn.

To put the results in context, here’s a breakdown of how credit cards, debit cards, and PayPal fared against Direct Debit.

According to the data, credit cards were the method that members were least comfortable with using to pay their subscription fees. Responses were measured on a scale of 0–10, with 0 being ‘not at all comfortable and 10 being ‘extremely comfortable’. A quarter of the sample said they were ‘not at all comfortable’ paying by credit card. At the opposite extreme, 20% of respondents said they were extremely comfortable paying by credit card.

Next was PayPal. 19% of respondents said it was the method they were least comfortable with, but 25% said they were ‘extremely comfortable’ with it.

Debit cards scraped in close to PayPal, with 18% finding them the least comfortable method, and 25% the most comfortable.

But Direct Debit came out as the overall winner in this survey. People are clearly very happy using Direct Debit to pay their membership fees. Only 14% said it was the least comfortable method for them, while a whopping 32% said they were extremely comfortable using it.

For professional membership organisations, there’s a clear takeaway here. Direct Debit remains extremely popular, so you really can’t afford not to include it among your payment choices for new members.

As an added benefit, if you’re using cloud accounting software such as Sage, QB and Xero, you can integrate your Direct Debit solution with your invoicing platform allowing automatic invoice payments and reconciliation. You can streamline your business processes by managing everything from one platform.


GoCardless offers a simple, low-cost Direct Debit solution that’s quick for you and your members to start using. GoCardless also allows you to choose the date, frequency and amount of your payments, based on your exact customer and business requirements.

2017-10-17T13:56:17+00:00 Wednesday, 9 November, 2016|Categories: Advice & Tips, Member Engagement, Memberwise, MemberWise Recognised Supplier, Research|0 Comments

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