Facilitating Payments on the Golf Course

In golf, there is no better skill than efficiency. Can you complete a round of golf with the fewest strokes possible? With this in mind, it’s no wonder golf courses across the country are getting into the swing of things.

As a way to simplify golf course management and marketing, foreUP offers an all-in-one software management system to empower business owners to be more efficient with their processes and more profitable. Whether it’s billing, point of sale, marketing or ordering food and beverage items, foreUP is cutting strokes from club budgets with assistance from the ACH Network.

foreUP facilitates ACH payments through its platform for more than 900 golf courses across the United States. Using foreUP, golf courses provide their customers with an easier way to book a tee time, order food and drinks and choose ACH as a payment method. When paying by ACH, money is debited directly from the customers’ bank accounts and moved to the bank account associated with the course.

“Without foreUP, a golf course would handle these processes with paper and pencil or using some antiquated software that belongs on Windows 95,” says Christian Arntsen, Director of Product Management at foreUP. “We have taken Dwolla, white labeled it as foreUP ACH and now all of our customers reap the benefits of ACH, saving on payment processing and credit card fees.”

“Previously, it took weeks to onboard a new business in order for them to leverage the ACH Network. With Dwolla, we had one course set up their foreUP account in three minutes. Now we are helping these businesses save tens of thousands of dollars a year.”

Driving the Green

Based in Western Utah, foreUP launched in 2011 and worked with other ACH payment providers before switching to Dwolla’s ACH payment API. Whether it was operating costs, processing speeds or the need for additional features, Arntsen said their previous payment solutions were always a few clubs shy of a full bag.

“We looked at a bunch of different providers,” Arntsen says. “With Dwolla being tech-stack friendly, we felt that it would be more efficient to work with Dwolla. We didn’t want to take a year or six months with six full-time developers or even have one developer siloed off for an integration. Dwolla impressed us with their tech stack and that allowed us to get up and running as quickly as possible. Other ACH providers would have required a more intense and time-consuming integration.”

The additional features that appealed to foreUP included Next Day ACH to provide faster payments, Instant Account Verification for simple end-user onboarding and the facilitator fee. Dwolla’s predictable monthly pricing was another value-add, he says.

“Dwolla has opened up revenue channels for us that we were never able to explore,” Arntsen says. “We’ve been given a huge competitive advantage because of Next Day ACH processing. With our previous ACH provider, payments would take between 7-10 business days to hit the customer’s account. With Dwolla and Next Day ACH processing, we are able to see payments hit customer accounts the next day and help golf courses minimize the credit card processing rates.”

While foreUP does accept credit card payments, Dwolla’s technology does not touch any part of the credit card aspect of foreUP, something Arntsen says he appreciates.

“For us to say a golf course can stay with their current processor and then we offer this additional ACH solution, it makes us more ‘sticky’,” he says. “Dwolla allows us to offer something that can save these businesses thousands of dollars each month in fees.”

Courses that implemented foreUP have cut their payment processing fees by more than 5%.

“We have courses using ACH and are running with it, saving 6% of every dollar that was previously paid to a processor,” Arntsen says. “We’ve slashed that cost significantly and they are thriving.”

One course specifically processes nearly $400,000 a month and previously paid nearly 7% in credit card processing fees for every dollar paid.

“We’ve cut that down drastically,” Arntsen says. “And by offering Next Day ACH processing, they don’t have to wait 7 to 10 days to see the funds in their bank account.”

Avoiding the Hazards

Despite not being a developer, Arntsen was able to benefit from the Dwolla Sandbox, a testing environment for interacting with the Dwolla API.

“I utilized [the Dwolla Sandbox] very heavily to get ideas on how Dwolla would report, send emails, everything. We really tested a lot and it was a great experience,” Arntsen says. “That allowed us to get up and running as quickly as possible.”

Much like a good caddy, Dwolla’s Customer Support and Developer Advocate teams are responsive to any questions or issues that come up, another value-add, Arntsen says.

“Typically within the hour I get a response or a full resolution,” Arntsen says. “The support we’ve received has been awesome.”

With Dwolla powering payments on the back nine, courses are realizing that foreUP can help them avoid hazards like credit card fees and paper checks, saving green while their players shoot for it.