Payment processing and reporting
Both the direct debit and credit card systems use a page that is securely hosted on the gateway providers' websites and integrated into the Gym site so the user considers the purchasing process to be seamless. The SSL certificate on the web hosting means the back-end systems at the payment processing company can encrypt all communications and their own security system keeps the credit card or bank account details safe - our systems never need to store any sensitive financial data.
The direct debit system also offers consolidation reports and cancellation processes - if the user later cancels their direct debit, our system is silently notified and the membership can be suspended, automatically preventing access to the gyms. We wrote script that would fetch the consolidation reports using FTP and process them nightly to make sure there were never any discrepancies
Integrating with a real-time mechanical system
The web site interacts with an online system provided by a third-party company - 'Nomical'. They have a system that has real-time communication with the computers operating at each gym which, in turn, have interfaces to control the action of all the various doors within the gym. So, we can access the gym doors via these interfaces and unlock them for a new member the moment their payment is accepted. As gym day passes can be purchased, this has proven a popular facility.
The gyms also have an ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) system on the car park entrances, and our system allows users to add their car registrations to their membership details - this automatically allows access to the car parks.
Website marketing and vouchers
The reporting systems we have designed can show a great deal of information that is useful to our client to understand how their business is operating. We are regularly asked to add a new report that allows them to see the data in a new format or compiled with other data. One example of how this is used is to see if membership rates start to fall or rise, perhaps as the result of their advertising efforts or because of a competing gym opening nearby. Our back-end programming allows them to react to this by creating new pricing profiles and offering vouchers for limited periods, for example a new member may receive a discount if they get friends to sign up using their voucher code.
We have included a system to automatically control and send marketing emails using Benchmarkemail's third-party system. This creates professional-formed marketing emails to selected groups of members at the click of a mouse, saving the management team hours of work. We have also created scripts to warn of abuse of the gym's usage policy, to welcome first-time members when they enter the gym, and to present real-time graphs of gym usage.