Traditionally, gyms and fitness centers use barcoded membership cards to manage identity and keep track of their members. A member has to present his or her ID at the entrance, where an employee can track check-in and check-out timings. Keeping track of member timings becomes an engaging process and requires a dedicated employee to bear the responsibility. Member time tracking could be manageable if that was it, things further complicate with different members having different membership types, membership fees getting due on different dates, membership renewal and expiry and access control only to entitled facilities. It is almost every day that membership transactions are performed and records needs to be created and updated. It requires a lot of manual work and one or more dedicated employees are required just to handle membership data and transactions. It badly impacts payroll efficiency.
Tracking time and managing member data can further be cumbersome if it is a large facility with multiple locations and a number of members. Reporting can further add up to the task-list if network gyms have to send data to a central location or the head office. While membership data can be very useful in making management decision and understanding trends, making sense out of manually logged data becomes a difficult process. Manual system buries the precious member data in charts, registers and notebooks, which could be used for business growth.
As Steve Jobs famously said “A lot of times, people don’t know what they want until you show it to them”. Card based membership management looks good until we opt to go for a card-less system. Fingerprint based membership management system can not only keep track of member check-in and check-out timings, it can automate several other process and functions, streamlining daily operations and making them smoother. Let’s have a look what else it can help with:
Why should you choose fingerprint powered membership management for gyms and fitness centers?
A business thrives on the fact that how happy customers are with its products or services, and gyms or fitness centers are no exception. Happy members further spread the word and help with bringing in more members. For today’s customers, every title details matter. Time wasted in struggle to find the membership card and showing it at the front desk, can be too much for some members. This process being repeated daily can make them look for alternatives. Fingerprint based gym membership management system can easily address this challenge and please the members. Touch and go, it gets that easy with fingerprint entry, no need to carry and show ID card. For genuine members, fingerprint entry plays as good as unrestricted entry. This feeling of unrestricted entry makes members feel happy and privileged.
Gym is a business of fitness, members who are happy with services offered at their gym of fitness center; do not hesitate to flaunt their fitness by sharing photos on social networks and other places over the internet. This heats up curiosity and feeling of competitiveness among others and they do come up with the questions like, “What are you doing for it?” or “Which gym are you going to?”. This results in creating awareness and free publicity, which ultimately results in more business.
Cards have been and are still used for identification and authentication. A card’s bearer claims the information printed/digitized on it. This possession based methods of identification suffer from many flaws, for example: A twin can carry his/her sibling’s card and claim to be the owner of it. This is a very superficial example, that doesn’t pose much risk; however, cards can be lost, stolen, forged, manipulated, or duplicated. Lost card can be used in committing a crime and owner of the card may have to face an investigation. Time wasted in confirming identity is another flaw that a card based identification bears. Card-less check-in in gyms is a real time saver. It saves precious time of members and employees can also be assured that identity verification is in safe hands.
Gym members are often denied entry because they left card at home or lost it on the way. With fingerprint check-in, members don’t have to face these circumstances. There may also be scenarios hard to manage, for example: a member forgotten his or her card at home can insist on entering, resulting unnecessary arguments and spoiled environment. Fingerprint membership management system with integrated access control can resolve issues associated with card based check-in and deliver a pleasant experience both for members as well as gym employees.
Security is a primary requirement for any business, specially when business deals with movement of a large number of people, who cater at a venue and avail services offered by the business. It becomes crucially important in case of gyms and fitness centers as people spend a lot of time there. Card based access control poses a huge security risk as an unauthorized person, who carries a forged or stolen membership ID, can enter the member-only area. With crime and violence on the rise, it has become imperative to implement a robust access control. Fortunately, fingerprint access control in gyms and fitness centers implemented for security can multi-task, it can safeguard the premises and track member timings as well. Fingerprint based access control makes sure that only members are using the gym and the facility they are entitled for. Implementation of fingerprint powered membership management solution can be the best return on investment for the purpose of security as well as membership management.
Human civilization has made significant progress over time; however, this progress came at a cost. Industrialization and urbanization has hit the environment as bad as it could. Exploitation of natural resources to fulfill needs of human population has made climate shift its course. Climate change and global warming are the results of blind exploitation of natural resources out of human greed. It has come to an alarming stage and it is high time to take actions. Every little step taken to save environment will help save mankind from a possible extinction. Saving water and reducing use of plastic and paper are the steps we can take at personal level to save the environment. Biometric technology helps reduce usage of paper and plastic by eliminating manual processes and card based systems. Fingerprint based membership management system in gyms and fitness centers can help environment stay fit.
When biometric fingerprint system is integrated with membership management system, it completely eliminates the need of traditional barcode membership cards or RFID tags/keyfobs. It results in significant cost saving over time as members, who lose their RFID tags or cards, need not to be reissued with new cards, tags or keyfobs. Reissuance of membership cards and tags becomes an additional task in already hectic environment of gyms and fitness centers. Every new task comes with the possibilities of potential errors, and reissuance of barcodes cards or RFID tags is no exception. Use of RFID cards also puts an additional burden of following and tracking vendors for additional stock of cards. Fingerprint powered membership management system makes these tasks non-existent. With member fingerprints, there is no possibility to lose identity cards as fingerprints are all you need for quick and easy entry. Members don’t have to struggle to pull out any card or RFID tag. This cumulatively saves a lot of time, for both gyms and its members. Easy entry keeps members happy and staff occupied with other more important tasks.
Integrated payment processing
Different members at a fitness club may be on different membership plans and payment cycles as per their date of joining. Keeping track of membership types, plans, payments, due payments, expiry of membership, refunds, etc. can be a cumbersome task if done manually. Fingerprint powered membership management system can integrate payment data with the member record and can put the whole payment data management on auto-pilot. At the time of payment, a member scans his/her fingerprint and it updates record with payment data. Manual processes are prone to errors and when it comes to payment information, errors can result it potential losses. Biometrically updated payment records leave no chance for errors and fitness center administration can be assured that fingerprint biometric system are doing their job of keeping payment data secure.
Computer in charge
Computers still have long way to match human intelligent but they have certainly outperformed human efficiency. Data intensive tasks that follow certain rules and a defined path, computers can do them repetitively, flawlessly and without getting tired. If a new condition or scenario occurs in the process, it can be defined in the program and computer will change its course accordingly. When computers are in charge, possibility of errors reduces dramatically. Let it be a school lab or the Large Hadron Collier, which generates about one petabyte of data every day, all non-critical to super-critical processes are successfully handled by computers and IT systems. A Gym’s operations may not come under the super-critical category, but the amount of daily operations can be super-stressful. Tasks related with membership management claims a huge portion of daily operations in gyms and fitness centers. Fingerprint membership management system with integrated access control can help automate fitness center operations. Tasks that need constant attention like tracking check-in and check-out timings, access control, member data processing, payment processing, etc., can be automated with fingerprint powered membership management system. Members can simply touch the fingerprint sensor to record exercise progress instead of using written charts.
Data is a precious resource, capturing it manually cannot make best use of it. Member data captured by fingerprinting can be useful in generating different charts, reports and making sense out of them. It can help analyse trends, which can be useful in making business estimation and taking actions. Fingerprint scanners are not exclusive to members; employees can also be registered with their fingerprints to keep track of their attendance and in/out timings, it results in payroll efficiency. With these many advantages, fingerprints ensure business fitness too, don’t they?
Cards have had enough, now is the time when people should be identified with what they are, and it is very much possible with biometrics. People, who lose their cards, have to bear misfortune of denied access, payments, boarding flights, etc., just because they lost a piece of paper/plastic. Information is an intangible property, and it should stay like that. Implementation of fingerprint powered membership management system with integrated access control has ability to address not only inadequacies of card based system but also automate several other processes. Fingerprint based entry adds an extra layer of security in fitness centers and deter potential intruders. Fingerprint access control also gives gyms and fitness centers a chance to pose as “high-end” facility, which helps with business growth.
Cards have a long history of serving mankind. From ID cards and business cards to payment cards, they seem to leave no opportunity to flaunt their importance. Cards serving different purposes have become so crucial that losing them can result in identity theft, fraud and even loss of money. Getting the lost card reissued becomes next task in to-do list, which again, is a time taking process and you have to go without card (read: without getting purpose served) until lost card is reissued. If a piece of information on a card is so important, then it should not be on a card at all. We never realize the fact that these cards are just a piece of paper or plastic to carry information either in printed or digital form and that is their whole purpose: carrying information. Hackers being able to duplicate magnetic tape or chip based payment cards means that card are not doing heroic job anymore, their safety standards are obsolete.
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