When you are setting up your event and working with a timer, do you give any consideration to the registration fees that your participants are paying? If not, then you should. Those registration fees can have an impact on your participation as it raises the cost of the overall registration cost. When participants are looking at registering for your event, if the additional fees that they pay are too high, then many will simply back out and either decide to wait or not attend at all.
There is a valid reason that registration companies have the service fees that they do. First is that the credit card companies charge a percentage plus an interchange fee to handle credit cards. That fee is added to the registration and goes directly to the card company. The card companies actually offer incentives to the card holder in the form of cash back, airline miles, etc. Many people are not aware that when you make a purchase in a retail store, that the store owner has to pay those fees out of the money received. That reduces the amount of money that they actually receive when processing a card charge. In the event business though, processors are allowed to add a service fee to cover the cost of the processing as well as the internal cost of handling the charge. Running websites, data centers, billing, etc. is expensive for the registration processor and the additional service fee is how they recover those costs and hopefully make a profit. The registration processors pay the card companies and then keep any additional fee to cover their operating costs.
We will let you in on a dirtly little secret of the timing and event industry. Your timer is adding fees onto the registration platform and keeping an additional commission. The question you have to ask yourself is why they get to do that when they are already making money on timing, management and participation. What is the additional fee for? Do they really need it or is it just a bonus? In most cases, it is an additional commission fee that you aren't even aware of.
The question you have to ask though is that if your time is offering registration services and using a third party solution, then why are the fees paid higher than the third party solution. For example, most third party processors charge around 5% plus $1 per transaction to cover the overhead. The timer then adds an additional fee on top of that. We sometimes see as much as 8% or more. That means your participants are getting gouged by your timer.
At Athlete Guild, we have our own registration services with nothing extra added. Our processing fees are in line with all other processors which means your participants are getting a fair charge. We do charge a little extra over the card processor, but as mentioned earlier, it is quite expensive to maintain our data center and payments to you. We've been in this business a long time and have realized the issues with processing as we have to deal with them in our own events. Having our own processing services allows us to better serve you and your participants.
We would love to talk to you more about our services.