Maxwell Swim Club Ltd, in conjunction with TeamUnify, is very excited to be introducing secure online Payment Card Processing.
We have tried to answer your questions here, but if you have any further questions, then please do not hesitate to contact firstname.lastname@example.org
1) Why have we changed the way we ask you to pay?
Because the new system will provide an easy, secure & fast way to settle amounts owing, saving us all a huge amount of work, whilst at the same time helping to "future proof" our club by reducing reliance on a small number of volunteers and freeing them up to do other important jobs around the club.
2) How will the new system work?
We have explored a number of ways by which this new system can help us. This is the way we are going to use it initially:
a) Please continue to pay Squad Fees by Bank Standing Order on the first of each month, as this is the most cost effective way to collect the bulk of the club's revenue.
b) Standing Orders will continue to be processed to your TeamUnify account by our Admin Team, usually by the 5th of each month as currently.
c) For all other items, we are asking you to place a Debit or a Credit Card on file - so that when we raise an invoice, e.g. for Meet Fees, we can simultaneously make a charge to your card to settle the invoice, and this will immediately be shown on your TeamUnify account. (NB AMEX is not accepted but VISA/Mastercard is fine).
d) If there are any other outstanding items on your account, e.g. for a hat, SPLASH gala, or where your child's squad fees have changed but you haven't had time to update your Standing Order, we will charge your card so that the balance is cleared. (We expect to do this once or twice a month - after the standing orders have been processed to pick up missed squad fees and/or at the end of each month.)
e) We will tell you when we are going to charge your card, and you will be emailed when a charge has been made. We hope this will make it easier for those of you who find it difficult to check your balances, as your invoices and payments will happen at the same time. You can however, always log into your TeamUnify account to see what has been invoiced and what has been charged. And if you are unsure then you can of course contact us for help.
An example notification email is as follows:
Hi Pete Lashua,
The Maxwell Swim Club Ltd has just processed your credit card for the amount of £201 on February 25, 2018. You may login and see the billing activity on your account by clicking here.
Thank you for your payment.
Maxwell Swim Club Ltd
3) Is the system secure?
The system is provided by TeamUnify and SportsEngine (SportEngine is the company that owns TeamUnify, and is in turn part of a much larger organisation, NBC Sports).
Nobody at Maxwell Swim Club will see or have access to your credit card details. We have been advised that:
"TeamUnify and SportsEngine meets or exceeds the standards set forth by the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). They have strict policies and procedures in place to secure cardholder data, and continuously review and improve these policies and procedures to ensure adherence to the latest PCI DSS recommendations, as security is a number one priority for them.
Points of reference:
The website is HTTPS secured and has 256-bit Thawte SSL Certification encryption when someone is logged in. Click the Secured by thawte logo at the bottom to verify.
Once a credit card is placed securely into your account you can no longer see the card information and neither can the Maxwell Swim Club administrators or the TeamUnify/SportsEngine staff."
The system is used successfully by over 2,000 swim clubs and over 14,000 other youth sports organisations in the US. We are one of the first swim clubs to use this system in the UK, but we have thoroughly tested how it works for Maxwell Swim Club, and we do not anticipate any problems.
4) So I no longer have to settle my bills myself?
If you place a card on file then we are asking you not to initiate any other payments other than your monthly Squad Fee Standing Order i.e. if you have placed a card on file we will no longer chase you to make payments throughout the month and we will do the hard work for you by charging your card at the appropriate time.
5) So is it compulsory to put a card on file?
No.....at least not yet......but we are part of a club and we share the workload as well as the costs. All new members will be asked to add a card as they register, and we are requesting therefore that all our members place a card on file, as that will:-
a) enable our club to achieve the maximum benefits from the new system, and
b) provide you with the flexibility to spread your payments on a credit card, should you so wish.
6) But I really don't want to put a card on file.....
Well that's a pity. Those of us who have been around for a while remember a very large bad debt write off being necessary a few years ago, and we know how much work goes into processing payments and chasing up debts currently - far too much for our hard working volunteers. If our volunteers were not around we would once again run the risk of losing a lot of money that the club cannot afford. PLUS....this system will allow us to provide a better service to you.
Please read on to see if we have addressed any other concerns you may have, and don't hesitate to contact us if you need more information.
If you still feel unable to place your card on file then please make a bank transfer to pay meet fees as soon as they are invoiced, and clear your remaining outstanding balance by the last day of each month. If this is not possible then please let us know in good time so the appropriate plans can be put in place.
We hope, having seen the benefits of the system, you will soon change your minds.
7) What about large amounts like Swim Camps?
When inviting swimmers to Swim Camp we will outline the installments you need to pay and the date your payments are expected. Payments should ideally be made by Bank Standing Order over a period of months in the same way as your Squad Fees are paid. If you wish to pay using the Credit/Debit Card you have placed on file, then please let us know so that we can agree the date the invoice will be raised and charged to your card.
We will contact all those currently paying their swim camp fees to agree a plan of action - your card will not be charged for Swim Camp fees without your prior agreement.
8) Can I make overpayments to help budget for expensive months?
It would be better for us if you could save up separately, but you can overpay your standing order each month if you feel it would help you. Your card will still be charged, however, if there is a balance to pay on your account.
Please remember that we do have a bursary scheme to help those in genuine need, please contact email@example.com in confidence should you wish to discuss this.
9) All our swimming commitments are getting very expensive, will adding a card make it harder for me?
It shouldn’t make any difference at all. You are under no obligation to enter all of the competitions, or to buy all of the kit, etc. If you are having to prioritise and make those decisions, please talk through with your coach which events your swimmer(s) really do need to enter, and which they can miss. You might also like to check out grant funding for talented athletes, and/or do some fundraising (the club will support this). As mentioned above, we also have a bursary scheme for those in genuine need.
10) What if I sign up for a meet but then am scratched, or can't attend?
When you sign up to enter a meet, Maxwell needs to pay over your entry fee to the organising club immediately, but we will only bill your account when we get the list of accepted meet entries. This will avoid you being charged but then needing to be refunded because your swimmer is scratched from certain events or the whole meet.
Any refunds that do need to be made e.g. if a swimmer is ill and cannot compete, will be credited to your account in the normal way as soon as approval is received from the club running the meet.
Please note that you are committed to pay for all accepted meet entries before the meet takes place.
11) Will the new system cost the club more money?
The new system will cost the club more than our previous card provider in terms of processing fees, but it does so much more by automatically updating your TeamUnify account - and will also reduce the risk of bad debts, improve our cashflow, and protect our club by reducing our dependence on such a small number of volunteers.
12) Is this additional cost going to be passed on to members?
We hope not.
We will monitor the cost of providing the system against the expected benefits, and we hope that there will not be a need to increase the amount we ask you to pay to cover the costs of credit/debit card processing, but please remember this depends on keeping our lanes full, and successfully running our meets and fundraising programmes.
Please continue to support the club, and our volunteers, and please sign up to this new system to make it work for all of us.
This is because the new system's success depends on as many people as possible keeping their standing orders for squad fees upto date, and placing their card details on file. We may consider introducing a small charge in the future for those who have not placed their card details on file to reflect the extra admin involved in chasing up debts and processing their payments manually. If necessary, we may also need to consider adding a small amount to everyone's next Maxwell membership fee to cover the cost of providing the system - but we hope that when you have seen how much easier it makes your lives as well as ours, then you will think this is a price worth paying.
13) What happens if something goes wrong?
If you payment has not gone through for any reason we will contact you. The most common reasons a credit card fails are as follows; expiry date has passed, a single or daily transaction limit has been exceeded, a monthly credit limit has been exceeded, or your card issuing company has denied the transaction for a reason to be determined by you and them.
If your card is no longer valid we will invite you to place a new card on file for future payments.
If an incorrect charge has been made to your account by one our Administrators, or if any other problem occurs, then it will be immediately investigated and if necessary a credit will be made to your account or a refund paid, in exactly the same way as happens currently.
14) Who can answer my questions?
Please contact us via the website,
or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org +/or email@example.com
15) What now?