Personal Training Payment Processing: The Basics

The health and fitness industry is changing, as many large gyms have recently been required to temporarily close due to pandemic safety restrictions. This has resulted in fitness aficionados seeking out alternative forms of exercise, such as virtual sessions with a personal training business.

Fitness Mentors estimates there will be approximately 330,000 personal training jobs in the U.S. by 2026. With such a rapidly-growing field, there is a huge opportunity for software developers to tap into this market. Personal trainers need easy-to-use software that helps them run their business, including client communication tools, bookkeeping and payment processing features.

What are some must-have features for ISVs to include when offering personal training payment processing software?

Integrated Payment Processing

Rather than using a standalone cash app that isn’t designed with personal training in mind, the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) suggests that personal trainers "opt for payment processors that integrate with your platforms."

One benefit of using integrated payment processing is that it makes for an easier and more seamless onboarding process for the customer. If a personal trainer is using a standalone cash app to process payments, their customer will likely have to download the app if they don’t already have it, create an account, and more - thus adding extra steps and burden on the customer before they even get to the actual payment part of the process.

A Variety of Payment Methods

Personal training payment processing software should include the functionality needed to accept a wide variety of payment options. This provides more client convenience (leading to more client satisfaction) and can also help a personal trainer to avoid cash flow problems.

In addition, with more training sessions moving from in-person sessions at the gym to virtual sessions online, personal trainers may no longer be seeing every client in person in order to collect a check or process a credit card for payment.

Collecting payment for online personal training sessions can be difficult without having the proper payment functionality in place. Having a customer mail a check can result in delayed payments, potentially causing cash flow issues for the trainer. Including functionality for processing card not present or mobile payments within your software solution is one solution.

Recurring Payments Functionality

Recurring payments functionality is an absolute must for personal trainers. Many fitness professionals use a weekly or monthly membership model where the client pays up front for a certain number of sessions per week or per month. The recurring payments model allows the trainer to charge a customer’s card on file at the start of each new “cycle” of sessions, which means the customer doesn’t have to remember to pay each time.

However, one drawback of the recurring payments model is that the cards on file will periodically expire and stop working. When this occurs, rather than manually contacting each cardholder to ask for an updated card expiration date, personal trainers can use payment processing software that includes an automated card updating service. This service will update the card information automatically, resulting in fewer card declines.

Additional Tools

When discussing the business side of personal training, many trainers note that they want to be able to focus on training and not have to spend so much time on administrative tasks like bookkeeping and collecting payments.

The solution is for ISVs to provide them with a "one-stop shop" software solution that does it all. With tools like Global Payments Integrated’s Customer Engagement Suite, trainers can communicate with their clients more efficiently, offer online appointment booking, electronically send forms to customers for signature, provide contactless self-check-in with QR codes, and more.

Personal training businesses often have to cobble together tools for payment processing, customer engagement, and analytics from multiple vendors. By including payment processing functionality and Customer Engagement Suite in your software solution, you become a one-stop shop for your customers. This increases adoption of your solution while also providing you with additional revenue streams to grow your business.

Global Payments Integrated can help ISVs provide your personal training clients with all the tools they need in order to make running their business a smooth and convenient process. Contact us today to learn more.