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Pure Gym’s brief for telephone payment system to bridge the gap between automated and live services
Pure Gym, the Uk’s number 1 leader in gym and fitness, boasts 180+ gyms nationwide. Its one million members enjoy state of the art facilities and unrivalled non-contractual flexibility. In short, Pure Gym states its aim is to provide “membership as flexible as our members”. But the payment methods open to members were falling short of this aim. Pure Gym was simply not offering the payment flexibility expected. Members were soon looking to expand their payment options beyond their sole option of paying online.

With Pure Gym keen to secure its impressive growth in membership, it needed an effective solution to improve its members’ payment experience and to reflect their flexible, ‘on-the-go’ lifestyles. The company needed to quickly secure a ‘member-friendly’ telephone payment service.

Empty Gym

"Whilst BCH has provided us with an extra task in the process, it is a task that has allowed us to take payments over the phone, which before we have never been able to do. At the same time, the process provides a better and more customer friendly experience."

By Michelle Kaye. Membership Services Manager at Pure Gym

The Problem: shortcomings with existing collection methods and the need for PCI DSS compliance

Pure Gym were experiencing high call volumes – 1400 plus calls each day. Of these, a relatively small percentage, 10%, were from payment-only callers. Their enquiries related mainly to membership renewal, payment for day passes or renewal of direct debits. The only payment option available was to pay online. If, for example, members were unable or simply chose not to pay online, they could not access the gym until their direct debits were submitted. This could take as long a week. Limited payment options were clearly jeopardising Pure Gym’s otherwise
excellent customer service.

With members actively expressing the desire to make payments by telephone, but with payment enquiries comprising just 10% of all calls, Pure Gym faced a dilemma: would facilitating telephone payments be financially viable? To accept such payments, it would have to ensure full compliance with PCI DSS regulations, but since all calls were automatically recorded, every single call would have to be de-scoped from PCI DSS regulations. Compliance promised to be a time consuming and costly process, but Pure Gym did not want to compromise its excellent customer service by restricting its members’ payment options: it needed help.

Pure Gym’s investment in state of the art technology meant it was well versed in sourcing trusted providers, providers renowned for the rigour and quality of their products. It needed a telephony-based payment solution with security and ease of use at the forefront of its design. After diligent research, Pure Gym was quick to recognise BCH digital's success in delivering bespoke telephone payment products for many leading organisations.

Fitness Equipment
Gym Equipment
The Challenge: to implement a telephone payment option with full de-scope from PCI DSS and minimum disruption to existing processes

In considering whether to achieve compliance by de-scoping its entire call recording system, Pure Gym faced the prospect of routing all inbound and outbound calls through a 3 rd party hosted service. Clearly, this would prove cost prohibitive and result in further call charges. It was also critical that any payment solution would integrate easily with Pure Gym’s existing CRM processes and PSP. Given its unique set of circumstances – high call volumes versus low card payment transactions – Pure Gym faced the dilemma of how this problem could be addressed in the most cost effective and efficient way.

Matching the brief: a customised and fully de-scoped payment process, bridging the gap between live and automated services The BCH Solution fully integrated with Pure Gym’s Payment Service

BCH successfully matched the brief. Employing BCH, would facilitate a full descope from PCI DSS without having to re-route every in-bound and out-bound call. Unite would simply remain in the background, ready to re-route only payment calls through to its secure platform, significantly reducing the cost of PCI DSS approval. As BCH was already integrated with all major PSPs, the system was quickly implemented with minimal agent training and no down-time. And, because Unite is a cloud-based system, Pure Gym incurred no additional hardware costs.

Pure Gym’s members now enjoy the flexibility and ease of paying by phone. The whole payment process is straightforward and the same for both inbound and outbound calls. At the point during a call when the agent needs to take a payment, he or she simply logs into the secure BCH portal and gathers all relevant payment details except the PAN and CV2. Details might include, name, membership number, postcode, last 4 digits of the card etc. The call between the agent and member is then momentarily terminated before BCH uses a secure automated line to call back the member. The automated call, completely branded for Pure Gym, prompts the member to enter his or her sensitive PAN and CV2 number. A payment reference is then sent by SMS or, if the call is via a landline, the automated attendant will speak the same. Finally, if for some reason the payment is declined, BCH intelligently transfers a member back to a Pure Gym agent so any payment issues can be resolved.


The whole payment process takes less than a minute from start to finish.

The Benefits: extending secure and easy payment options to every caller

By offering simple and secure telephone payments to its members, Pure Gym continues to meet its goal of “designing things around the things that matter most to our members.”

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