Family Direct Debit Agreements (self-setup through portal)

Modified on Mon, 17 Jun 2024 at 11:51 AM

Once you have configured your site for Direct Debit (refer to: Direct Debit (Payrix) - Getting Started and Configuring your System if you have not done this), there are two ways that families can be set up with Direct Debit Agreements:

1. They can sign themselves up through the customer portal (SimplyPortal app) or

2. You can send them an agreement to complete (refer to: How to set a Family up on Direct Debit (Payrix eDDR form)).

Empowering your customers to be able to update or create their own direct debit agreements without any input or action from you or your staff frees up your admin time. This article takes you through the steps to configure your settings for this option.


What can families do?

When configured, families will be able to:

- create a new direct debit agreement

- view their existing direct debit details

- update their account / card details on their existing direct debit agreement.

What can't families do?

Families cannot:

- end or cancel a direct debit agreement

- add more than one direct debit agreement

- set a pre-set amount on their direct debit

- change to a different direct debit type (e.g. they cannot change from fortnightly to monthly).

We believe that any of the above actions require a conversation with staff, therefore this ability has been limited to staff only and families will need to contact the centre to action these requests.


Supported Providers

Provider NameCreate AgreementUpdate AgreementView Agreement
Payrix (Integrapay)YesYesYes
Payway Bank & CCYesYesYes



Configuration Settings

Direct Debit Types

To enable your site's Direct Debit Types to be visible to families in the Customer Portal, you need to go to Configuration -> Direct Debit Types (under the 'Financial' heading).

For each Direct Debit Type that you want to have available to your families in the portal, you will need to:

1. Click on the yellow edit folder next to the direct debit type 'Internal Description' to bring up the settings.

2. There are two tick boxes available here.

'Allow New Agreements to be created in the Family Portal': 

When ticked, this will give families the option to create (add) a new direct debit agreement. 

When disabled (not ticked), the option to add a new agreement will not be available.

'Allow Existing Agreements to be Updated in the Family Portal': 

When ticked, families will be able to update their bank account or card details on an existing agreement. 

When disabled (not ticked), the option to update an agreement will not be available, however they will be able to view their agreement.

You can have one option ticked and not the other if you wish, for example you may wish to allow families to update an agreement but not add an agreement.

Our recommendation would be to have both options enabled by ticking the boxes.

'Public Display Name': This is the name that will be displayed in the portal for families to select from. The frequency of the direct debit is a good option to place here, e.g. 'Weekly', 'Fortnightly', etc.

'Public Display Description': This allows you to add a little more detail on the direct debit type. For example 'Debits are processed each week on a Tuesday', 'Debits are processed on the 15th of each month for the month ahead', 'Debits are run every second Wednesday', etc.

3. Click 'Save Direct Debit Type' when you have completed your settings.

You will need to repeat this process for each Direct Debit type that you wish to have available in the Customer Portal.


Customer Portal Settings

In order for the 'View & Manage Direct Debits' option to be visible in the Customer Portal, go to Configuration -> System Setup -> Customer Portal and ensure that the box 'Disable Direct Debit Management' is not ticked. The setting should look as below.


Customer Portal View

Creating a new agreement

A customer adding a new agreement for the first time would click on 'View & Manage Direct Debits'.

If they have no current Direct Debit Agreement, they will see the following screen and will need to click 'Add Direct Debit'.

A list of available Direct Debit Types are displayed for the family to select from. These are displayed using the 'Public Name' / 'Public Description' fields configured on the Direct Debit Type. They would need to click on the type they wish to choose and then click 'Next'.

They would then enter either their Credit Card or Bank Account details and click 'Next'.

An eDDR (electronic Direct Debit Request) is displayed on screen for the family to review and to agree to. Note the warning at the top of the agreement screen - the family must click the 'I Agree' button at the bottom of the screen for the agreement to be saved and to become active. If they navigate away from the page or do not click the 'I Agree' button, the agreement will not be created.

The agreement is only created when the 'I Agree' button is clicked.

Once created, three things happen:

1. A PDF copy of the family's eDDR is sent by email to the family.

2. A copy of the PDF eDDR is stored on the family's Direct Debit Agreement in SimplySwim.

3. The family will be able to view their agreement and details in the portal.

The content of the PDF agreement itself cannot be altered in any way. There is an email template that the PDF is attached to that can be edited if desired. You can find the email template at Configuration -> E-Mail / SMS Templates -> 'Direct Debit - eDDR Completed (PDF)'.

Your view on the family's agreement in SimplySwim would look as below. Clicking the link in the 'Document' column will show the PDF eDDR that was sent to the family when the agreement was created.


Updating an existing agreement

The customer would need to click on 'View & Manage Direct Debits'.

This will display the Direct Debit Agreement/s associated with their family.

They would click on 'View / Update' to see the details on that particular agreement. To make any changes, they would click on 'Update Details'.

When a Direct Debit Agreement is updated, a new eDDR PDF is created, stored and emailed to the family as well as being stored on the family's Direct Debit Agreement in SimplySwim.


How can I see which families are on a direct debit agreement?

At a glance, this is visible on your Attendance screen with the credit card symbol next to the family balance.

To obtain a full list of clients on a Direct Debit Agreement, you can check your Provider Specific Functions list. Instructions in this article:

Provider Specific Functions - how to check direct debit agreements


Important notes

- eDDR documents are only displayed in SimplySwim if the bank / card details are captured through the customer portal as outlined above. If the family is manually sent an eDDR form to create / update details, this is not stored or captured in SimplySwim. You would receive a separate email from Payrix.

- families cannot change the Direct Debit Type they are on once an agreement is created (e.g. they cannot move from fortnightly to monthly, the centre would need to make this change for them).

- families cannot end or cancel a Direct Debit Agreement through the portal. This is something that would need to be actioned by the centre.

- families cannot set a specific payment amount (pre-set amount) on their direct debit. Centre staff would need to edit the family's agreement if a pre-set payment amount is required.

- where a provider offers multiple payment options (e.g. bank account or credit card) then all payment options are available, they cannot be limited to one or the other.

Last updated 31 January 2024

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