Australian Counselling Association

Professional Associations
Australian Counselling Association

Phil Armstrong, CEO of the Australian Counselling Association, decided to offer BPAY as a payment method when he was figuring out how to make the renewal process for his members simpler and easier to encourage them to continue their membership.

“We were aware the payment options we offered had resulted in some members letting their membership lapse, which is a key reason why we decided to offer BPAY,” says Armstrong, adding that “people generally don’t use cheques anymore and if they do use a cheque, they have to find a stamp and then mail it, which is time consuming.”

“The big issue with credit cards is that for many people there’s the concern of interest payments. Plus, people don’t trust giving their credit card information over the internet or filling their credit card details in on paper documents, so BPAY seemed the right choice,” he says.

Armstrong says his members are also lukewarm about using electronic funds transfer (EFT) to pay their membership fees. “Our members have an inherent lack of trust in EFT. Most are older and there’s a lot more scepticism around EFT among this generation. We looked at all the possible payment options and worked out the system people trust the most is BPAY. Everyone knows how to use it because they use it to pay their phone and electricity bills.”

Having made the decision to offer BPAY as a payment method, Armstrong’s finance manager investigated how to implement it into the business’s accounting system. “We discovered there was minimal paperwork involved and we were also able to use membership numbers as the BPAY reference number, with the addition of one numeral,” he explains.

Administration of payments as they come through is also simple, says Armstrong. “As soon as a payment is made we match it to the member number and the record of the payment goes straight into our database,” he says.

The overall result is fewer members declining to renew their membership. “Around 15 per cent to 20 per cent of the members now pay by BPAY, which has represented a corresponding drop in the attrition rate. And because it’s so quick and easy to make a payment with BPAY, we also receive membership fees much faster.”

“Our members have really embraced it – we’ve had no issues at all, just a positive experience. If you’re thinking about offering BPAY I say go for it.”

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