[We've] created a cushion of recurring revenue which is increasing the lifetime value of clients without raising the price of their subscription. Plus the fact that we get revenue share on our transactions is [a] huge pitch to our investors.
We sat down with Nick Dennis, Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of fitDEGREE to chat about how mastering payments has been key in unlocking their potential.
Fulfilling a Vision
Two years ago, fitDEGREE Co-Founder and CEO Nick Dennis sat at a precipice: his startup software, a new twist on a management platform for class-based fitness studios, had received accolades and backing, but he knew he had a short runway to tackle a few key challenges and achieve his ambitious growth plans. A key to unlocking that growth: understanding payments. To broaden his customer base and supercharge the company, Dennis and team needed to find an embedded payment processing solution with the ability to provide reporting of those transactions on his platform.
With little payments expertise, and a goal to launch a powerful and simple payments function in less than 6 months - fitDEGREE dove head first into countless demos with processors and providers, in the process discovering far too many undesirable, additional layers of communication required of their clients. Wanting to eliminate unnecessary friction, and to keep as much of the process in house as possible, Nick Dennis told us how “the product demo sold us on Payrix.” Signing up as a Launch client, Dennis added “the developer documentation was easy to follow and recurring billing was set up in house, so we were really tapped in to what was going on through implementation.”
Leveling Up the Business
In a year’s time fitDEGREE had seen remarkable growth and the company had matured in its payments acumen, leading to the decision to move to the Payrix Pro solution with an eye toward eventual payment facilitation. In discussing the move from Launch to Pro, Dennis shared, “ [We liked] how it is white-labeled and looks like it is coming from us. Our clients know we have a 3rd party integration that helps us with the process, but they don’t interact with Payrix - they see and work with fitDEGREE. It makes it all feel very in house according to our clients.” Features like the iFrame and PayFrames inside the app also helped create a more trusting and seamless experience, where Dennis added that “our clients don’t have to leave our platform to make a payment - it’s made us feel like we’re in the big leagues. And we’re ensuring PCI compliance without users interacting with someone other than us.”
On top of elevating their customer experience, fitDEGREE has increased productivity and most significantly, Dennis shared how they’ve “created a cushion of recurring revenue which is increasing the lifetime value of clients without raising the price of their subscription. Plus the fact that we get revenue share on our transactions is [a] huge pitch to our investors.” It also adds to credibility, fitDEGREE is able to reassure clients and leverage Payrix’s industry knowledge. As Dennis described it “we lean on the fact that we are being supported by industry stars and tell our clients, ‘Payments may be new to fitDEGREE, but it’s not to our partners who have decades of experience in payments.”
The fitDEGREE team plans to hit the ground running in 2020 and focus on their competitive advantage, bringing the concept of a social network to their management platform. The software encourages referrals for the fitness studio by allowing members to create friend connections and invite those friends to class. This helps studio owners increase attendance and sign up more monthly memberships. And this will propel fitDEGREE to achieving their goals for growth - 5x their client base and 5x their monthly transactions.