Frequently Asked Questions
Why am I issued a Membership number?
Each member is allocated a membership number, sometimes known as a membership ‘id’. When you pay your subscription you should receive an email from us confirming your details and including this number.
When you attend a group for the first time, the leader may ask you for this number. Leaders have access to a system where they can keep track of the members attending their group and the member number is a simple way of identifying you. During the Spring of 2023 the system was updated to allow the leaders to recognize you simply by your name. Some leaders will now do this, others may still ask for your number.
During the subscription process you will be shown a screen that looks something like the following – the prices may vary over time but the choices will not. If you are just taking out a standard annual membership then you can ignore the choices and continue to the ‘checkout’ screen to pay. The other options are described briefly below.
TAM – or Third Age Matters – is a magazine published five times a year by the national u3a. More information is available on their website TAM Magazine. The magazine is supported by advertising and is free to all members to read online. The national u3a are willing to print and post to members but require those postal charges to be covered. At time of writing this is £3.60 – or 72p for each magazine. To receive the magazine in the post please tick the box during your subscription. If you have already subscribed for the year without this choice, but would like to start receiving the magazine please contact the membership secretary who can take the payment and update your records.
Other u3a member reduced fee
Malvern u3a are affiliated to the uk national u3a organisation. As part of our membership we are charged a set amount per member, sometimes known as a capitation fee – currently £4. However if an individual is already a paid up member of another u3a they will already have paid this £4 and so do not need to pay this again. As such we can deduct this amount from your membership. Please tick the box if this applies to you.
The gift aid declaration is show on the main subscriptions choices page. If in previous years you have declared to us that your subscription qualifies for gift aid, this box will be pre-ticked for you. If your circumstances have changed such that you no longer qualify – or vice-versa – please tick or not to change the way we treat your future donations.
How do I use my Credit Card or Paypal to pay for my membership?
When paying online you have a choice of using either Paypal or directly using your debit/credit card. When directly using your card the actual payments are processed either by a 3rd party company called ‘Stripe’. After a successful payment they send us a receipt which contains nothing more than your name, your email, your member number and the amount paid. We use this to confirm your subscription and to generate an email to send your receipt.
When you give your credit card information this is a one off payment for a single years subscription. Nothing is created that would allow us to ‘auto’ renew you in future years through your credit card. Malvern u3a does not see or store your credit card details at any time. The only reference we have is that each payment record we receive does include the last 4 digits of your card to help with any queries.
Why am I asked if am human when I am paying by Credit Card Security?
The company we use to accept credit card payments strongly encourage us to include what is known as a ‘Captcha’ test. Many systems on the web use it as an extra piece of security when people register on systems and/or make payments. The idea is to present the user with some simple (!) questions that a human will be able to answer but a machine could not. This helps stop automated, malicious programs from breaking systems by flooding them with lots of false requests.
Each time you are asked to make a payment you are required to tick a box typically saying ‘I am human’. When you tick the box you will normally be presented with a set of pictures where you have to identify something. The set of pictures you see is random each time. On some occasions you may not even be asked to identify yourself. This is not something that Malvern u3a can influence – it is some combination of your bank and the 3rd party company who administer the tests. If you find a particular challenge difficult then you can get a different one by clicking the ‘refresh’ option. This usually looks something like part of a circle with an arrow near the bottom of the set of pictures. You can read more about these tests and even try out some examples here: Hcaptcha.
Why am I asked for a confirmation code when paying by Credit Card?
To protect you from fraud when you are shopping online, new regulations are being introduced and new fraud prevention schemes regularly being developed. This will mean that you may sometimes have to confirm your identity when using your card online. A common method is to sent a short code when you are making a payment, by text or email, which you will need to enter to complete the purchase. It is important that you keep your mobile phone number and contact details up to date with your bank or card provider. This will ensure that you will be able to make that online purchase if your bank or card provider wants to check that it is you using the card to make the payment.
Some credit card companies are now as insisting on you proving who you are by using an app on a smart phone. If this applies to you your credit card company should have informed you about this.
How do I renew my membership in person?
We appreciate that some people will choose not to renew online. The alternative is to renew in person by coming to the group fairs day or one of the other ‘in-person’ events we outline periodically. At these events we will have a card reader that can be used for contactless payments. This will work in a similar way to using your card in person in shops. When renewing in person at one of these events we will make a note of your details, and create your subscription on the system at a later date.
If your concern or difficulty is with using your credit card then it can help us if you still register your details and make the choices as described above. This will show on our records such that when we see you in person all we need to complete your subscription is the payment itself – we won’t need to go through the whole registration process with you again.