This article gives you in-depth step by step instructions on how to run a Direct Debit Batch.
If you would like a simple, visual, step-by-step timeline to follow, see this article: Direct Debit Timeline - Step by Step Process example
If you have not yet set up your family's Direct Debit Agreements or your direct debit configuration, see this article first: Direct Debit - System Configuration and Family Set Up.
Go to Direct Debit on your Administration tab:
Your Direct Debit screen is split into three sub-headings:
1. "Direct Debit Processing" shows your two actions: "Create Direct Debit Batch" or "Provider Specific Functions".
2. "Current / In-progress Direct Debit Batches" lists your current batch/es and shows the status as either "Ready" or "Processing".
3. "Previous Direct Debit Batches" shows a list of your previous Direct Debit batches that have been closed.
Creating your Direct Debit batch
In Direct Debit, go to Create Direct Debit Batch.
From the drop down menu, select what type of Direct Debit you are creating and then hit next. (This is set up in "Direct Debit Types in your configuration you have previously set).
Note: If there is already a batch of this type open, you will get an error message asking you to close that batch first before you will be able to run another batch of the same type.
Select the date range of when you want families to be charged, then confirm to complete the Direct Debit Batch creation.
This will place the batch into the "Current / In-progress Direct Debit Batches". The batch will say "READY" in the status column. Creating the batch does not send the batch. (Note: It is best to prepare the batch as close to when you want to send it as possible). Click on the magnifying glass icon to open that batch.
This will give you the details of the batch and gives you two actions:
1. "Process NOT SENT Payments" - this will send the batch out for processing; or
2. "DELETE Batch" - this will delete the batch without any payment action.
To send out your batch and collect payments, click "Process NOT SENT Payments". DO NOT CLICK ON THE ACTION MORE THAN ONCE OR YOU WILL CREATE MULTIPLE BATCHES BEING SENT. Just click once and leave the computer to do its thing. Depending on the size of your batch, this may take some time (e.g. it could take 5 minutes or so).
When the batch has been sent, the status back on the Direct Debit home screen will change to "PROCESSING" (in the "Current / In-progress Direct Debit Batches" section).
NOTE ON PAYMENT PROCESSING TIMES
Payments by Credit Card are generally received the same day (even within the hour).
Payments by bank account will need to allow up to 4 banking days for processing and receipt of payments. (So for example, if you send the batch out on a Thursday, it may take until the following Tuesday afternoon for bank accounts to be debited).
Checking on the Payment Status
It is recommended to wait the 4 banking days before checking on the payment status. To do this, click on the magnifying glass action to open the Direct Debit Batch that you want to check. You will see the status of all payments in the batch is listed as "PENDING". Click on the "Check PENDING Payments" icon.
This will then update the list and show whether payments have been APPROVED or DECLINED. Declined payments will appear at the top of the list.
You can click on the "Family Name" to go to that Family's page, or you can click on the magnifying glass to see the reason behind the decline:
Once the status of all payments has been checked and has a status of either Approved or Declined (i.e. no payments still say "PENDING"), you have the option to "Retry DECLINED Payments" in the batch. This means that all the transactions listed as declined will be attempted for payment again. However, you will have already automatically had your "Direct Debit Failure" SMS and/or E-mail go out to these families, and they may pay by other means in the interim period. Another option is to retry each declined payment individually.
The recommended action once you have got a returned status for all payments is to close the batch - even with those declined payments. As mentioned above, you will have already automatically had your "Direct Debit Failure" SMS and/or E-mail go out to these families. In that template you can say something like "Payment will be attempted again on Friday" or "on the 15th of the month" - whatever the case may be. This will give them time to make sure that they have sufficient funds available. Then on that day/date, create a new Direct Debit Batch for the same date range of the batch you have closed. Not only will this new batch pick up those declined payments, but it will also pick up any new students in that window, along with any class changes in that window (e.g. if someone adds an extra class or has some other change), but it will omit anyone who has already paid in that window. Then just follow the steps again to process the batch, give it 4 banking days to "Check PENDING Payments" and once all completed, close the batch.
Note: Once a direct debit batch is closed it can not be opened or changed.
When you close a Direct Debit batch, it will appear in the "Previous DirectDebit Batches" section of the "Direct Debit home screen and the status will be "CLOSED". You can still view these batches by clicking on the magnifying glass on the left hand side.
The process is complete.
Last updated: 7 April 2021 by Jo Rogers