skip to Main Content

What You Need To Know About Payments in the Leisure Industry in 2023

Leisure operators are always looking for ways to provide their members with a better experience when visiting their facilities. The way people interact has changed since the pandemic, and they now need more freedom and control.

Not only that, but there have been significant financial constraints for countless businesses and organisations, so staying up to date with payment processes and solutions can help soften the blow by saving money.

Xn Leisure has spent the last 44 years building a unique software solution in partnership with other health and leisure operators to provide unrivalled experiences for health and fitness goers. One of the key parts of that has been through payment solutions that are quicker and easier for members so they can focus on their health and fitness regimes.

How Are Payments Used In The UK?

Leisure operators are always looking for ways to provide their members with a better experience when visiting their facilities. The way people interact has changed since the pandemic, and they now need more freedom and control. Not only that, but there have been significant financial constraints for countless businesses and organisations, so staying up to date with payment processes and solutions can help soften the blow by saving money.

Did you know – In 2021 debit cards accounted for 48% of all transactions in the UK with over 19.5 billion payments in total.

Over the next eight years, debit card payments are forecast to be used in over 50% of all transactions due to the increase in online purchasing and the growing use of contactless payment. When we look at the percentage of payments made via contactless cards we can see the steady increase:

  • 3% in 2015
  • 19% in 2019
  • 32% in 2021

The need to take card payments both at front of house and online is imperative to meeting the needs of customers and, with increased usage, the advantages of integrated payment devices for reporting and administration purposes is key to business efficiencies and costs.

What Are The Key Areas Of Payments In Leisure?

So how do these figures apply the leisure industry?

Direct Debit Payments

Direct Debits are common practice across the leisure market for customers to purchase your services and spread payments over a period of time. As a business, direct debits provide you with a number of advantages including the following;

  • Predictable and reliable cash flow due to regular and timely payments.
  • Reduced administrative costs and errors associated with manual payment processing.
  • Improved customer retention. Reduced risk of payment fraud.
  • Higher levels of payment security through bank-to-bank transfers.
  • Reduces the need for follow-up communication and reminders for payments Enables more efficient and accurate forecasting and budgeting due to the predictability of payment receipts.

When outsourcing your direct debit collections through a BACS approved bureau you are responsible for a number of charges per month, mainly for the collection of the direct debits and processing with BACS, this can be thousands of pounds per month.

At Xn Leisure we can assist you with finding the best possible direct debit solution and price on the market through our associated partners, so please do not hesitate to contact us about making savings both financially and through administrative processes that our solution can resolve.

Online Payments

As customers move towards web and mobile based solutions, it is imperative that a leisure facility can allow for online payments. Utilising an online bookings portal such as Xn’s Leisure Hub with an integrated payment platform for online payments offers a number of advantages to the business;

  • Enhanced customer satisfaction through a convenient and fast way to pay for services.
  • Increased sales by reaching a wider audience through an online presence.
  • Improved cash flow with online payments received faster than traditional methods.
  • Reduced administration cost by introducing automated payment processing and reconciliation.
  • High levels of security and encryption including 3DS verification.
  • Reduced costs where online payment can be cheaper than traditional payment methods such as cash.

Integrations with payment platforms are key to your leisure management software for online purchasing and it is key to identify the correct platform both functionally and financially. Our very own Xn Pay platform can be utilised by any company in the UK, so you don’t have to be an Xn customer to benefit from our impressive payments platform, with amazingly low costs to reduce your outgoings without reducing functionality, making online purchases all the more worthwhile.

Digital Payment Predictions for 2023

The digital payments industry is forever growing due to the constant consumer demand and rapid technological developments, especially in the B2B industry.

In 2023, we can potentially expect:

  • More payment choices and “buy now pay later” schemes.
  • Greater privacy and security.
  • Mobile payment transactions are predicted to grow by 92% (from £26 billion to £49 billion).
  • The use of biometric authentication (e.g., Touch and Face ID).
  • More real-time payments.
  • Greater opportunities for fraudsters to target small businesses with weak security tools and safeguards.
  • Demand for sustainable payments from consumers.
  • Greater reliance on digital wallets.
  • Businesses moving their payment data to the cloud.
  • And more!

The digital landscape is always changing, therefore online payments will continue to evolve. Digital payments are all we know now; consumers are going to be expecting their payment processes to get even easier and safer, so it’s important to stay up to date with modern processes and solutions to keep your staff and members happy.

What Are The Next Steps In Leisure Payments?

RCP – Recurring Card Payments

Recurring card payments, also known as automatic or recurring billing, are a type of payment system that allows businesses to charge their customers’ credit or debit cards on a regular basis for goods or services. Further information on these services are highlighted below;

  • RCPs are commonly used for subscriptions and memberships that require regular payments.
  • Customers typically provide their payment details such as credit or debit card and authorise a business to charge their card on a specific schedule.
  • The business can charge the customer’s card automatically with the need for additional authorisation or intervention, including the automatic update of card details.
  • Reduced risk of late or missed payments Businesses must ensure they have proper authorisation from their customer and clearly communicate Ts & Cs of the recurring payments, including the amount, frequency and duration of charges.

Recurring card payment solutions can be provided by a number of online payment platforms including our Xn Pay platform. We provide a solution which meets the needs of a secure PCI DSS compliant service, ensuring your customer card details are safe and your subscriptions roll on through.

Acquiring Rates

Acquiring rates refer to the fees charged by acquiring banks or payment processors to merchants for processing electronic card transactions, these will affect all of your payment portals both online or through PEDS, so it is essential you have the best possible costs to maximise your profitability. A little more information on acquiring rates;

  • Acquiring rates are typically made up of two components, interchange fees which are set by card networks like Visa and Mastercard, and acquirer fees, which are set by acquiring banks or payment processors.
  • Acquirer fees cover the costs of processing the transaction, such as transaction authorisation, settlement and other services.
  • Acquiring rates can vary depending on a number of factors, including the type of card used, the transaction volume, and the merchants’ business type.
  • It is important to understand the costs of acquiring rates as they can significantly impact on the profitability of your business.

At Xn Leisure we can review your acquirer rates in a very simple, free of charge process to make sure your business is getting the absolute best rates available and being as profitable as possible.

How Xn Leisure Can Help You

Xn Leisure has created our very own modern system that’s been acquired by many clubs, centres, and organisations. Our solutions and modules help with customer relationship management, quick and easy payments (self-service, online, payment terminals, and more), data integrations with Technogym, OpenActive, and 4Global, as well as high-end security hosting services.

We’ll also be launching recurring card payments in February 2023, so regular payments can be taken from a member’s account to minimise payment efforts for operators and improve member experiences.

“The XN system allowed us to introduce new membership schemes and leisure cards, which have encouraged increased sales, more memberships and Direct Debit payments, increasing our income by £100,000.” – Alastair McNab, Business Performance Manager for Leisure, Libraries and Community Development at Denbighshire County Council.

To find out how Xn Leisure could help you improve your gym business, please contact us via

Back To Top