Gravity Active Entertainment operates an international chain of trampoline and leisure parks. It currently runs 17 sites in the UK with others in Germany and Saudi Arabia, and its offering has diversified to include a range of additional activities from eSports arenas to karting through to climbing walls.
Among Gravity’s key routes to market is the Very Important Bouncer (VIB) scheme. For a monthly subscription, customers can make unlimited use of their chosen facility for less than the cost of a single trampoline session and gain access to other discounts.
Gravity wanted to avoid the high cost of processing card payments, so it chose GoCardless, a direct bank payments company, to collect subscription payments using Direct Debit. “Collecting payments via GoCardless is 50% cheaper than credit cards,” said Shane Williams, Commercial Director, Gravity Active Entertainment. “That quickly adds up. 97% of subscription customers now pay via GoCardless and since its introduction in September 2021, we’ve saved over £3,600 a month in card fees.”
GoCardless has also helped Gravity protect its revenue. Williams explained, “When the VIB scheme first launched we unfortunately saw some customers taking advantage of the lag between signing up and the 14 days it takes to collect a direct debit, gaining free access by cancelling the mandate after their visit.”
Gravity saw a hit to its bottom line, with up to 33% of VIB customers failing to pay. By introducing open banking payments through GoCardless, Gravity completely eliminated this behaviour. With the savings accrued through switching from card to A2A payments and the revenue it has protected via open banking payments, Gravity has been able to invest in growth. Over the past 12 months it has secured further sites at Liverpool One and Westfield Stratford, and opened morevenues internationally.
And growth is not only good for Gravity. The presence of its leisure centres has been shown to boost footfall for entire retail areas, with an 21% increase in traffic at Wandsworth Southside after its site opened. This has generated more opportunities for other local businesses.
Pat Phelan, UK MD and Chief Customer Officer at GoCardless, said, “The Gravity story highlights what businesses can do if they shrug off the tax that cards levy on the economy.
“Not only have the savings generated by A2A payments powered its own growth; Gravity’s journey also accelerates shared success in the community, from creating more jobs to creating more opportunities as other businesses benefit from the ‘halo effect’ of its venues. It’s a powerful reminder that merchants can and should take advantage of new technologies, to great effect.”
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