Your membership will be processed faster if:
- You fill in the form and email it to us; or
- You fill in the form and post it to us.
You membership will be processed slower if:
- You set up your own standing order rather than using the form or emailing us first.
Specifically, creating a standing order with a reference, such as, “BA Membership”, or, “BA FEE”, is actually useless to us for identifying your payment out of the several thousand that we receive every year. It will actually slow us down, and therefore slow down the processing of your membership.
The paper membership form includes a section for a standing order mandate. This is a piece of paper that we will present to a member’s bank to set up a standing order to pay us. The standing orders are visible to us as lines on our statement saying who’s paid us and how much. However, much of this information is carefully mangled by the bank so that the specifics of who’s paid us are often not readily apparent. Sometimes it is as helpful as say, “SMITH J”, which is to say, not particularly helpful. Often though it will be something more like, “SMI J”, or “SM+HA J” for a joint account. Which means that it is completely useless.
Fortunately, banks also allow a reference to be used which can contain arbitrary text. We take advantage of this by having a blank reference field on the paper standing order, which we then fill in with the membership number of the new account. So, the aforementioned joint account becomes “SM+HA J BA000731”. Suddenly, the information becomes readily available, and easily discerned. In fact, with the magic of some Excel handiness, I can extract and match the statement lines to the members account automatically.