Best Practices

How to Simplify Transactions and Accounting with Payments Technology

A great day at the golf course isn’t always about how well you play. Today’s golfers expect a great overall experience to go with those 18 holes … and at every point along their journey. And if you can’t deliver, they’ll be happy to take their business to someone who can.

A round of golf really isn’t over until the customer drives off, and if you’re a savvy golf course manager you understand the many marketing touch points that can make a good experience great, including when it’s time to pay.

Advanced economies have been favoring digital systems over cash and check-writing for a long time in the name of security, ease and data analysis. Customers also prefer it because it’s easy, especially the younger set who’d rather carry a slim debit card than bulky cash. Who pays with cash anymore, anyway?

Every operator wants to make things easier for their golfers – booking a round online, checking in, buying a sleeve of balls, ordering a snack or beverage on the course and hopefully, enjoying post-round F&B in the grill room. Having management software with fully integrated functionality goes a long way toward helping you achieve that goal.

Payments by GolfNow is like a space-age lubricant engineered to make your operation’s machinery run smoothly when the golfer makes a purchase and when it’s time for you to review transactions, check inventories and keep an eye on cash flow. While every course has some form of credit card processing, the upgrade that Payments represents is formidable, indeed.

“Payments allows you to seamlessly integrate online, phone and in-person payments with your point-of-sale system,” explains Charles Kingsbaker, National Sales Manager for the golf businesses within NBC Sports Next. “With that full integration, the processing of payments requires just one vendor, accepting every payment any customer makes, no matter when or where.”

His colleague Kelvin Wierks is part of the team working to build and refine the functionality of Payments. Regulatory compliance, security issues and the ability to interface with the vast banking and payments ecosystem has dictated a diligent, unhurried pace.

“The payments space is convoluted and complex,” says Wierks, Vice President of Golf Business Platforms for NBC Sports Next. “Golf courses have been hit with higher costs for payment processing than they rightly should, and the reports they see are too complicated to make sense of. Our mission has been to simplify the contractual process, simplify rates dramatically and offer the seamlessness of working with a single vendor.”

The list of benefits designed into Payments starts with transparent and easily understood rates, plus a guarantee of no hidden fees. At a glance, you can see exactly what you’re paying on every transaction and those transactions can happen via tablet, desktop, online or in-person. Full integration with NBC Sports Next means that wherever and whenever a payment happens, funds will be automatically deposited to your account. All Payment transactions also are PCI-compliant (Payment Card Industry), with end-to-end encryption for security.

NBC Sports Next golf course partners using the technology have been quick to appreciate having all revenue inflows come from one source on a set daily schedule. “You don’t have to try and remember when (mobile-device payments middleman) Square is going to pay you,” says Wierks, who notes that the GolfNow-provided hardware a course receives when it switches to Payments is another facet of the program that gets high marks.

“We provide a wireless pin pad and an EMV-compliant terminal,” he said. “There’s no more swiping cards – everything has the security of a chip. The recently available tap-to-pay functionality ensures that customers have options for how they pay that are contactless and safe.”

“Businesses of all kinds, including golf courses, are moving to a ‘pay-anywhere’ approach,” says Kingsbaker, “which makes the relationship with your payments processor all the more important to the entire operation.”

The advantages courses gain from adopting Payments continue to increase because of all the new products and services that are in the works. And golfers will notice more and more perks, along with the sheer ease of the experience.

A favorite golf course already is a place where golfers are most interested in spending their money—adding Payments technology is a way to simply enhance that preference.