Membership Cards To Digital Membership Cards - How To Transition Your Club From Plastic Cards To Digital Ones


When I go to my rock climbing club, I don’t need to sign in or bother the person working the front desk; I scan my membership card on their open POS scanner, and I’m good to go. Having that membership card is super helpful; it saves me a lot of time and effort every day as a member and the people working at the club. 

However, as helpful as membership cards are, they aren’t without their drawbacks. The rock climbing club has to regularly order new membership cards not just for new members but for all the current members who are constantly losing theirs. This can be a time-consuming and costly process for the club. Not to mention that the kind of plastic used in making the average membership card is just horrific for the environment and everything living in it, including us. 

Digital membership cards, on the other hand, have all the benefits of plastic cards; plus, they can’t get lost, and they don’t give off toxic byproducts when they are made. 

Today, we will discuss how you can slowly transition your membership from traditional plastic membership cards to digital membership cards. 

This article won’t go into the pros and cons of plastic versus digital membership cards if you want to hear more about them. Check out this article I wrote: Does My Club Need Digital Membership Cards?

Convincing Your members to change  

While this may not be the case for your club, many clubs we’ve talked to about digital membership cards have a very similar complaint. They want to switch to digital membership cards; they can see the clear benefits of modernising and appealing to younger members, but they don’t want to do it at the expense of their current, usually older members. This is an extremely understandable concern, but luckily, one that has some simple solutions. 

Soft Launch The Digital Membership Cards To Your Club 

If you are worried about alienating your older members who don’t want to give up their plastic cards and might not know how to use digital cards, then slowly introducing them to your club is a great idea. 

Year One - Introduce Digital Membership Cards

For this, let’s assume that you reissue new membership cards to all your members once a year. In the first year, you introduce digital membership cards and let your members choose which they prefer. If your membership cards are usually free for members, keep them free, but give them a choice of which they prefer. You will find that a decent number of members will choose digital cards, and more will join them once they see firsthand how easy they are to use. 

Depending on the age and attitudes of your members, chances are a slim majority will stay with the plastic cards, which is alright. 

I recommend that, at this stage, you make it mandatory for new members who join your club to use the digital cards. The last thing you need is new members joining up and clinging on to the old plastic cards. 

Year Two - Push Digital Membership Cards

When the second year comes around, still give your members the option to stay with plastic or go with digital, but this time, charge them for getting plastic membership cards. Nothing crazy; you’re not trying to make money from this; simply charge them however much it costs to get the cards printed out and posted. 

This will incentivise even more of your members to choose the free digital membership cards rather than the plastic ones they must pay for. At this stage, most of your members will likely use the digital cards, but chances are you will have a small percentage of holdouts. 

Year Three - Finally Switch Over To All Digital Membership Cards 

The final stage of slowly moving your members over to using only digital membership cards is no longer allowing them to choose plastic cards. Even though I put it here in the third year, you could do this whenever you want. You could enforce digital cards in year one or spend several years using both before you finally switch over to digital only. The choice is entirely yours. 

Printing Member Jungle’s Digital Membership Cards

If you are going for a joint strategy of using both plastic and digital cards at the same time, it may help you to know that it is possible to use third-party businesses to print out Member Jungle’s digital cards. 

Of course, you can keep using however you are currently using to make and print your plastic membership cards. However, if you’d rather just use Member Jungle’s cards for simplicity's sake, there are third-party companies like PPC ID Card Solutions that can turn your digital membership cards into plastic ones. 

How Your Club Can Use Both Digital And Plastic Membership Cards 

You may be wondering if you should go for a strategy of using both digital and plastic cards and how your club will use both at the same time. Especially when it comes to scanning the card at your POS system to apply member benefits and keep track of member discounts. 

The good news is that Member Jungle’s digital membership cards have a barcode and a QR code that can be integrated and scanned by the majority of POS systems. For obvious reasons, digital membership cards can not be scanned by POS systems that only scan strips.




As long as your POS system is able to read QR codes or barcodes, then it will be able to scan Member Jungle’s digital membership cards. Allowing you to grant discounts to members and track members' purchases and loyalty points. 

Please note that purchase data cannot be imported into the Member Jungle system. You can export member data and barcode data from the Member Jungle system into your POS system. Purchases and redeemed member points and rewards stay in your POS system; they cannot be exported into Member Jungle. 

What Else Do You Need To Know About Digital Membership Cards?

So now you know how to slowly transition your membership from plastic membership cards to digital membership cards. If you still want to find out more about digital membership cards, their benefits and if they’ll work for your club, read either of the following articles. 

For more on the pros and cons of digital and plastic cards, read Does My Club Need Digital Membership Cards? 

For more information on how digital membership cards can work with your POS system, please read Digital Membership Cards, POS Systems and Your Licensed Club


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