Preparing for Strong Customer Authentication

We’ve been putting a lot of time into some updates that will be largely invisible to many of our customers. My very least favorite kind of feature! ;)

You can read all about Strong Customer Authentication on this excellent writeup on Stripe’s website.

In short, it’s a requirement for our European customers, that a secondary authentication is in place for credit card purchases. In the same way you can have two factor authentication for a website with both a login and and a text message code, once SCA is fully implemented/enforced when consumers in the European Union use their credit cards, they’ll have to enter in a secondary form of authentication, except where exemptions apply.

We’ve been working on updating our integration with Stripe, so that our European customer are compliant with the Payment Service Directive (PSD2). Customers that fall within the scope of this directive, and who use our payment forms, will automatically have secondary authentication in place, while transactions that take place within the admin side of the Tula system will be marked appropriately as an exemption.

It’s worth reading the Stripe write-up about all this as there are a variety of payment types that take place on the Tula system that are exempt, such as small payments (~$30), membership payments, and payment from saved cards.

The SCA requirements officially take place on September 14th, 2019 however per Stripe, “the European Banking Authority published new guidance on 21 June 2019, which allows national regulators to postpone the SCA enforcement date for select banks and payment providers.”

While Stripe is expecting a phased in approach to the enforcement of the new requirements, we’re still proceeding with our plan to be ready in the middle of September. We’ll continue to post updates as we make our final updates.

One important note: our iOS app will continue to operate with the current stripe API and therefore won’t have the secondary authentication according to these new directives. Payments within the Admin app are considered exempt, however we won’t be marking them as such against Stripe’s new API. Customers in the European Union may see elevated levels of declined transactions in the iOS app depending on the enforcement rollout.

For your students, we recommend that our European customers begin distributing the student mobile web apps that come with every studio. (yoursubdomain.tulasoftware.com/student) and cease distributing the native iOS app.

While I joked at the beginning of this post about it being largely invisible, the truth is we have a new foundation upon which many more visible features will soon appear.

As always, if you’re a Tula customer and have any questions, get in touch with us through our support channel!

Virtual Audio Attendances: Full Production Release!

I’m thrilled to announce that our latest big new feature is now available to all customers of Tula Software, on all plans! We think this is one of the most important features we’ve ever released, and we wanted to make it equally available to our entire customer base.

If you haven’t had a chance to read our initial announcements about Virtual Audio Attendances, you might want to take a minute to read some of our earlier posts from the Alpha and Beta releases. In short though, you can now upload an audio file to any of your events, and your students can listen to those events from your calendar, and this capability is fully integrated to our login/calendar and member management system.

This feature os intended primarily to help our customers retain existing members, expand their member base, and provide them with vital tools to compete with growing industry trends.

New features for production launch!

There are a couple new features we’re making available with the production launch of Virtual Audio Attendances, mainly a new settings page that allows you to control whether ANY logged in student can listen to the audio files, or whether only students with unlimited passes can listen to the audio, and a new customized widget.

Unlimited Only vs. Everyone Setting

Our primary intention with this feature is to give our customers a way to provide more value to their members with unlimited passes. As Maile used the feature at Tula Yoga Studio though, she realized it would be nice to be able to occasionally open up the feature to everyone, allowing them to experience the virtual classes and have an opportunity to experience this member benefit. So now, while we default to the audio only being available to people with unlimited passes, but now you can change this if you want to for a period of time, and then change it back when you’re ready.

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Audio Library Widget

As well, we made a new widget available, to make listening as easy as possible for your students. In addition to the usual widgets, you’ll notice that you now have access to a new tab called “Audio Listing”.

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This is essentially a pre-built, custom version of the calendar widget. This widget automatically loads the most recent class that has an audio file attached to it, and defaults to that view in the calendar. And of course, like all our other widgets you can customize the colors to match your studio site. Here’s an example of how Maile’s using at the studio. What I like about this is that it prioritizes recency, allowing students to access the most recent classes as quickly as possible.

Even more releases coming!

Like all the features we built, we’ll be iterating, enhancing and updating this feature based on what we hear from our customers, what our customers hear from their students, and how we see people using this new functionality.

We’re thrilled with how version 1.0 of Virtual Audio Attendances has come together and we hope all our customers find as much benefit from it as maile has at her studio.

Very lastly, if you plan to deploy Virtual Audio Attendances at your studio, you might want to check out some of our earlier posts about it as well:




LeoRising at the 2019 Tula Software Minneapolis Yoga Conference

This post is a part of a series introducing the presenters of our 2019 yoga conference, (March 22-24, 2019) sharing more about them, our own perspective and intentions for their involvement, and how their unique offerings contribute to the larger conference experience.

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Professional Bio

Leo Rising is a 250hr Accredited Yoga Teacher based in Manhattan. As a yoga teacher, Leo found that the physically rehabilitating practices of asana (yoga poses) and pranyama (breath work) open aspects of existence that are connected, grounded, stable and promote clarity upon every action, and the space to exist fully present, while still.

Leo Rising accredits his honed abilities to the generous teachers of his life and personal Gurus, that have been with him for his whole journey.

My own self-study has revealed to me that I often times find myself afraid of losing the people that I’m drawn the most to. It’s meaningful to me then, that I for a time I visualized LeoRising as a shooting star, captivated by his presence, yet bracing myself for his disappearance.

Over the years, I’ve had the pleasure of working with him numerous times, and so now I simply seem him as a star.

LeoRising is presenting at the conference for the third time this year, and he’ll be leading two workshops - one on Saturday and one on Sunday. I’m thrilled he’s returning; his workshops provide the opportunity for a deep, meaningful experience and people at the conference always come out of his workshops excited about what they just took.

LeoRising has a fun, playful, deep, dynamic personality who unapologetically shines as bright as he can, and in the process, makes the people around him brighter as well.

I’m thrilled he’s returning to the conference and know people will once again love his workshops.


You can learn even more about the workshops LeoRising will be teaching at the 2019 Tula Software Minneapolis Yoga Conference, along with dozens of other presenters bringing hundreds of workshop hours, at https://tulasoftware.com/myc2019. Join us at The Most Comprehensive Yoga Conference in the Nation, March 22-24, 2019.

A More Handsome Tula Software

I’m really thrilled with a new update we just released, making changes to both our top and left navigations.

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With a more organized and intuitive structure, we’ve preserved the same feel we’ve always had, and most links are in generally the same place.

We have however moved a few things around though, most notably, we’ve moved “People” up to the top of the Navigation, bringing it up from the bottom where it used to be listed as a “student filter”.

This brings your students, and communicating with them, right up to the top of the page where it’s fast and easy to take action. We’ve also grouped things in a more coherent way with all the payment center items grouped together just above the retention center.

But my favorite part of this new design, is the “Reports” section at the bottom.

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Now, when you click on ‘view all reports’ we expose the full reports menu, replacing the main navigation. And, the reporting navigation remains in tact until you go back to the main menu, allowing you to quickly and easily jump around across different reports.

This update is probably one of my favorite’s that we’ve pushed out on the design front, and I hope you like it us much as we do!

How are you different than Mindbody? (Revised for 2019!)

So how are you different than Mindbody?

This is the most common question we get, to which our customers and prospective customers, now more than ever, deserve an answer to. 

As Vista Equity Partners, one of the world’s largest private equity firms, begins to take control of Mindbody following their $1.9 Billion acquisition of the company, it is worth revisiting the myriad of ways in which we differ from our primary competitor, and how Tula Software, this small family owned software company, can still be a better fit for so many independent studio owners.

First, the problem with this question, is that it’s a deep question to which people often expect a shallow answer. Yes, our systems are both ones that help you take payments, handle registrations, and help you run your class based business. 

Our differences go deeper to the core of how we view the internet. How it can empower individual people, entrepreneurs and small businesses. And we see the very real ways in which the combined forces of the finance and technology industries have influenced companies and the products they birth.

Sometimes for good. Sometimes not.

Tula helps your studio succeed by providing you with the most modern technical tools available, so you can maintain the most direct connection with your customers, in an ever increasing competitive industry landscape. This is decidedly different than what mindbody is doing, which is building a marketplace to which customers will (supposedly) come, and then find you, the commoditized business on the Mindbody platform. 

What we know, that you may not, or that you may not have processed the way we do, is that there are literal tens of billions of dollars competing for the brick and mortar space you have, and the information you have about who attended, when they attended, how much your classes cost, and how much “inventory” you have remaining. 

For companies that collect and sell data, you are a gold mine. 

Groupon, ClassPass, Google Reserve, Facebook, Instagram and on and on and on. Literal industry titans are clamoring over how to get in between you and your customer, so that your customer will interact with them.

NO! we proclaim. This is not how you build a long term healthy business. This is junk-food marketing. You want to bring your customers to your website. You want to foster your relationship with them, having them interacting with your brand, communicating with your business, and you communicating with them in a way that’s relevant to them

So we have widgets, and marketing tools, and all sorts of features to basically get out of your way! What we care about is that your business is well served. And that it’s healthy. That you have a solid base of members and that your community is strong.

We release features like our virtual audio attendances, not because we want to become an audio consumer yoga platform, but because we want your small business to be able to compete.

As Pelatons and Mirrors and numerous other content delivery apps compete for your customers, we wanted our customers to have an answer to this competitive threat.

And so the answer is the same as it’s been for some time.

The shortest answer we can provide to the question posed?

They’re building software for commodities, Tula is building software for communities. 

And to the communities we’ve been serving since 2011, we can’t wait to share with you what we have in store for 2019, and beyond.