Hitachi Capital: Revolutionising the membership finance market

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 9, 2020 09:44

Hitachi has launched a revolutionary finance product for clubs that want to attract new members and retain existing ones. The flexible membership product is tailored specifically for the golf industry with no recall on defaults and immediate payment to boost cashflow.

Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC is on the course to speed up play and build on its share of the golf market. After developing a game-changing new proposition, golf membership finance has just been launched by its Consumer Finance Division.

“In early 2019 we started working to support golf retail outlets to fund golf equipment and we now work with over 140 pro shops and retail stores nationwide,” says Brian Lindley from Hitachi Capital UK’s Consumer Finance Division. “Supporting retailers with an interest free offering for golf equipment has been really successful, but we realised there’s a huge market we weren’t currently playing in – golf membership finance.”

Golf club memberships can be somewhat expensive especially when there are joining fees bolted on top, so, to make the sport more accessible, clubs will often offer a direct debit scheme to pay the membership cost over the year instead of in a lump sum. The golf membership finance market is worth around £50 million a year and Hitachi Capital is now keen to take big a slice. “Unlike the main competitors in this market, Hitachi won’t recall funds from the golf club should a member default on their loan, eliminating concerns around cash flow and the overall admin burden for clubs in chasing member debt,” says Brian. “We will also be able to pay the golf clubs within three working days for each fully completed application, whilst other providers typically pay out up to a month after the application has been processed.”

Hitachi offers a range of different payment terms, so customers can choose to pay the membership fee over six, ten or twelve months. When members can’t golf in the colder winter months, taking a ten-month payment plan means customers won’t be paying when they’re not playing.

Starting in March this year, Hitachi Captial UK’s Consumer Finance Division was trialling the new proposition with four golf clubs and after writing £100,000 worth of paid finance in four months, it’s now being rolled out nationwide in a bid to take the market by storm.

As well as the retail side of the market, Hitachi Capital UK’s Business Finance Division also offer asset funding for over 300 golf clubs, golf pros and driving ranges, providing funding for assets such as greenkeeping machinery for ongoing golf course maintenance and swing studios for the pros to use when teaching at their respective driving ranges. Now membership finance is being offered, Hitachi Capital UK is quickly becoming the one-stop-shop for the golf market.

Just recently, prestigious club The Wilmslow Golf Club contacted Hitachi Capital about its membership finance offering and was fully set up within seven days. “I am delighted with the professional and efficient service we have received in the setup of the new Hitachi Golf Membership Finance Facility,” says Gerard Heaslip, general manager at The Wilmslow Golf Club. “Hitachi have even accommodated a bespoke facility for us to assist in a change in our membership year which was above and beyond our expectations. We also had training delivered in person so I could not be happier with the service we have received so far, and I look forward to a long partnership with Hitachi Capital.”

Hitachi are clearly looking to establish themselves as the go-to finance provider for the golf market as Brian Lindley from Hitachi goes on to explain: “It’s going to be an exciting year as we aim to bring on-board 300 golf clubs, with a view to ramping this up to 1,000 clubs over the next three years. Watch this space – FORE!”

Hitachi Capital (UK) PLC is a leading financial services company with over 35 years’ experience in providing innovative finance solutions. Membership finance terms of six, ten & twelve months are offered to members and interest free finance is also available for clubs to utilise. Hitachi has a dedicated golf finance team with industry understanding and a direct telephone number.

To find out more about Hitachi’s Golf Membership options call them today on 0333 9960 288 or enquire online at HitachiCapital.co.uk/golfmemberships

 

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick October 9, 2020 09:44
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