Old thread I know…, but now that is active again I though to add my two cents. We’ve worked hard on this for the last months so maybe someone can get some ideas for their own solution. I cofounded (no hyphen) Nexudus and we offer a software to help coworking spaces to automate many of their day-to-day tasks and processes and help their communities know more about each other
We took an approach similar to what Paul mentioned about membership tracking and regular payments. Many payment gateways have the concept of recurring payments but these are implemented differently and have different limitations. For example, some providers will let you change the amount of the transaction every month, whilst other won’t, forcing you to create a new subscription in their systems. We wanted to have a unified way of solving this problem, regardless of which payment provider you use. In addition to this, we find that many coworking spaces not only charge members at the end of the month (or whatever renewal period each member has) but also they may need to do ad-hoc charges in the middle of a subscription which they may want to invoice and charge before the subscription is due. This means we needed a way of being in control of how often and how much each member is charged, ignoring all the idiosyncrasies of each payment gateway.
To do this we use a bit of a man-in-the-middle approach. When you add a payment provider to Nexudus Spaces we are effectively creating an intermediate store for the payment details of that member. This store is controlled by us so we can instruct it to make a charge at any point and for any amount, but also is able to pass that instruction to any of the 40+ payment providers we integrate with. So effectively once you have the card details of a member, you can issue a charge for that member and process it with any of the available payment providers. This can be handy in several scenarios. For example, if you wanted to change payment provider at some point, you won’t have to ask members for their card details again, or you could process payments through different providers for different members if that saves you some fees. For spaces with multiple physical locations, you may want to settle into different bank accounts depending on where the expense was made but you don’t want to have to store (and update) the card details for each member in each of your payment gateway accounts. This store acts as the unified payment details vault, able to use those details with many payment providers. This store of course is regulated and certified by a PCI authority (level 1).
This puts us in the decoupled position that Paul was referring to, we are in control and able to automate many of the payments members need to make. Once someone has entered they card details, Nexudus Spaces can raise invoices automatically every time a membership is due for renewal and process/pay them using the stored card details. Members get notified by email with the invoice attached as a PDF. Only if there is an issue with a payment (declined, expired, …), you’ll get notified, and the invoice will be clearly flagged in your dashboard as not paid. It also puts you in control of how you want your payments processed, you can choose to put long term members in a cheaper payment processor, which will take a bit longer to transfer the money into your account but they will charge less transaction fees and put drop-in members in faster payment gateways, which will send you the money quicker, but charge you a bit more for it. They always win
In terms of knowing who has paid and who hasn’t, this is something that is present in many places in the software. The dashboard will give you a total amount of due invoices updated in real-time, you have reports about due invoices which will detail who and what is due to pay and members can be automatically be reminded every so many days with a message which you can customize, pointing them straight to where they update their payment details.
On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 3:21:09 PM UTC, Paul Reynolds wrote:
I’m a software developer that happens to own a small coworking space called Cowork MYR. For the past 18 months, we’ve been running on an app I developed to manage our members and billing. In my spare coding time I’ve packaged up this code into what we call Lemyr (http://lemyr.co/). We have intentions of open sourcing the main core and offer hosted versions and customization services. I’m just so busy with contract work that it’s been difficult to get to that point!
Anyway, we use Stripe’s subscription plan service which has been great to get up and running quickly. But it has been on the feature map to remove the hard dependency on Stripe and decouple the pro-rating and invoicing from the payment gateway so we can be multi-gateway friendly (which sounds exactly what Chargebee is doing!). The only real problems we’ve run into with Stripe’s stuff is the inability to specify and arbitrary billing date (eg; all members get invoiced on the 3rd of every month) and their pro-rating is a little hard to follow when members change from one plan to another. We trap all of Stripe’s webhook events so we can generate whatever reports someone might need from the Lemyr dashboard. So far the only report request we’ve had has been for monthly credits and refunds. The key seems to be making sure the transaction can be resolved to an actual member quickly and easily.
That’s my experience so far, at least.
On Monday, February 10, 2014 8:07:49 PM UTC-5, Gabriel Cuevas wrote:
A couple of our customers have told us to check out these forums so forgive me for bringing up this outdated topic once again.
Based on recent conversations with customers, there still appears to be issues with the systems mentioned below, so I’d like to reach out and see if these are still happening.
Can you all share what types of reporting you need/don’t have and what other features (or lack there of) you wish were available to your existing Coworking space management system?
I’d love to learn more about this industry. Please contact me directly on my cell at (415) 847-8011.
Subscription Mangement, Billing & Invoicing
On Friday, January 27, 2012 6:00:44 PM UTC-8, Andy Didorosi wrote:
I would like to know what member management and payment systems everyone is using.
I know it’s been debated to death; but there’s some new solutions out there and organizations evolve.
What do you use to track your active members? What tools does your front desk have to figure who’s paid up and who’s gone bust? Do you do it paper and pencil or high tech?
How does your space get paid? Recurring PayPal or amazon payments? Quickbooks? Cash and check? Do you do anything to streamline the process?
Let this thread stand for the current state of membership and payment system uses in early 2012.
Paper Street Detroit