What does the digital membership card platform need to do?

A digital membership card platform is ultimately a tool for associations to manage their member’s data. To be managed effectively, this tool needs to provide robust automation, secure fraud protection, and excellent customer support. Issuers want to ensure the professionalism and safety of their members, and a quality digital membership card software is essential for that achievement. 

What budget are you working to?

As with any big purchase, the first step is to assess your budget and what you can afford. Take a look at the prospective platform’s offerings based on package level or customization needs, and reach out to customer support for a quote so you can get a customized quote based on your organization's specific needs.

You also want to consider labor costs. How many employees will you need to have admin status with the platform, and how many does the platform allow? The goal of going digital is to reduce labor costs by automating tasks, but you will still need to estimate the cost related to the size of your reduced team. Make sure to also account for costs related to additional features, training resources, and exit fees for breaking a contract. 

Managing hundreds or even thousands of members is a big undertaking, and you want to ensure you invest in a reliable platform that will take excellent care of your association. 

What are the must-haves vs. nice-to-have features of digital membership card software?

Now it’s time to get clear about your priorities. Before you cloud your brain pouring over countless feature packages, write down a list of your non-negotiable features. Then write a second list of features that would be helpful but not vital. After you have a good idea of what you are looking for, dive into those feature pages. 

Are you set on a platform that provides the option to store cards in a digital wallet card? Check out their features page to see if that is a feature they can offer or implement on request.

You might require a white labeling– this means that your association’s brand is the only visible branding throughout the user interface. Know all of your options so that you can make an informed decision. 

Scalability for the future is also essential to consider. Are you in the process of growing your membership base and anticipate an increase in your numbers? Ask your prospective digital membership card platform about its capacity, scalability, and security provisions for accommodating a growing membership. 

When looking at the feature pages, note what stands out even after making your initial list. Did you see a valuable customization feature with one platform you can’t live without? Maybe it’s time to reevaluate your must-have list. The digital world innovates quickly every day, and it’s only when we see what is out there that we can know what is truly possible! 

Will the digital membership card platform integrate with existing systems?

Every association has a foundation of workflows and processes. Investing in a membership card software means issuers must consider how these current systems will integrate. A quality platform provides automation through native integration, connective apps like Zapier, or an API (application programming interface). In examining this feature, it is helpful to ask about how other associations have used integration in the past and how the user experience was. 

Evaluate security, privacy, and accessibility

All digital platforms should be highly proactive and diligent regarding security and accessibility. Your association’s vulnerability to bad actors greatly increases if their tool isn’t safeguarded. But you can limit your chance for increasing awareness if accessibility is too limited. 

For data security and privacy, ensure that the platform has an emergency plan for every scenario and that they perform frequent testing audits. It is also helpful to ask if they meet the requirements for data protection legislation such as GDPR and EU Model Clauses. Asking these questions reduces the risk of fraud and helps everyone sleep better at night. 

An accessible platform makes itself accommodating to people of all abilities. This includes assistive technologies such as screen readers and speech recognition tools. Quality digital accessibility includes regular updates to the platform to ensure compliance with Section 508 and Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.1.

What can you do with data?

A digital membership card platform can contain key data points that help you determine the future of your association. This can be as simple as basic headcount numbers or nuanced as quarterly member churn rate. A robust platform will have a feature that lays this information out for you in a clear, customizable way.

Over time, pulling data reports from your platform will inform the decisions you make as an association. You might discover correlations between metrics that were previously unclear and significantly alter your core strategies. This can be achieved with clear, easy-to-understand analytics. 

What level of support is provided?

Every company is only as good as its customer support team. Without excellent customer care, there is no growth. This applies to the digital membership card platform you choose. 

Onboarding to a new user interface can be daunting for the savviest tech person. Attentive and available customer support is crucial in the implementation and daily use of your association’s plan. Ensure that there is a dedicated account manager for high-level planning as well as general support for those specific and obscure questions that may pop up. 

What success have others achieved with their digital membership card platform?

No one knows a platform’s user experience better than the customers who have gone before you. Do your research to acquire case studies and customer testimonials to get a sense of other people’s experiences with the platform. It is also helpful to check out the platform’s social media presence to see whether or not customers are raving about their experience or actively engaging in a meaningful way. When reviewing case studies, make sure that the metrics achieved by previous customers are clear and meaningful. 

Request a demo or free trial

It is crucial to take the platform for a test drive before you commit to a purchase. A free trial or demo is one of the most effective ways for issuers try a platform for themselves before making a commitment.  When you get a firsthand view of what it feels like to navigate their platform, you know exactly what you are signing up for and can feel confident in that. 

In Summary 

With a little time and effort, you can carry out effective research to find the best digital membership card platform for your association. When you pursue quality and innovation in a platform, you increase the value of membership within your association’s community.  

Book a platform demo here for more information on digital membership cards or how Accredible's digital badging platform can help you implement digital association membership cards for your candidates.