Payment Methods and Settings
Add payment method(s), set defaults, and manage the autopay settings to pay student balances in accordance with the program’s policies.
Sabrina avatar
Written by Sabrina
Updated over a week ago

This content is for our legacy billing platform. Update to our newest experience!

To pay a childcare provider online through brightwheel, at least one student contact with parent-level permissions must be associated with a student’s account. This parent contact will need to add a payment method to their account before making a payment. Each parent contact can add as many payment methods as they would like and can only view, modify, or use the payment methods they have added to their account. Generally, a parent contact can choose to add either a bank account or a credit/debit card. In addition, parent contacts can choose to have their balance automatically charged to their default payment method through the autopay settings in their brightwheel account. Never miss a payment’s due date again!

Please Note: There may be processing fees associated with either payment method.

Table of Contents

FSA/HSA Accounts

FSA/HSA/Dependent Care accounts are potential options that can be added to a parent's brightwheel account to make payments to a program. It's important to note that each program can choose what type of payments they'd like to accept (ACH and Credit/Debit cards or ACH only), and these settings may limit how certain FSA/HSA/Dependent Care accounts can be utilized.

  • If a program accepts ACH payments and the FSA/HSA account has an associated routing and account number, follow the steps to link or manually add a bank account.

  • If a program accepts Credit/Debit Card payments and the FSA/HSA account has an associated card number, follow the steps here.

  • If you are a parent whose having trouble adding an accepted FSA/HSA payment method, follow the steps here.

Link a Bank Account

This is the most common payment method used by student contacts on brightwheel. Any program that accepts payments through brightwheel will allow for bank transfers (checking account only). This payment method is often referred to as ACH, which stands for Automated Clearing House.

There are two ways to add and save a bank account payment method in brightwheel.

  1. Link the account through a secure 3rd party partner directly in the brightwheel app; all you need to do is follow the prompts listed below to confirm your account.

  2. If the banking institution is not listed in the above option, please follow the steps located in the Verify a Bank Account section below to manually add and verify the bank account.

Link Bank With Login

This is the simplest & easiest way to add a bank account. This is available for most nationwide banking institutions in the United States and utilizes a secure 3rd party partner called Plaid to connect and verify the information provided instantly.

  1. Navigate to the Payments section online or in your mobile app

  2. Go to the Payment Settings tab and click Add Payment Method

  3. Choose the Bank Account option and then Add My Bank Account In One Step
    Please Note: only add checking accounts when adding a new bank account. Savings accounts are not compatible with brightwheel billing

  4. Search for the desired banking institution and click on the icon

  5. Sign in to the bank account as usual once you are routed to your bank's login

  6. Once logged in, the pop-up will verify the setup is complete

Please note: If you experience any errors and/or your banking provider is not listed in Plaid, please follow the instructions to Manually Add a Bank Account.

Manually Add a Bank Account

If the banking institution does not appear when using the above option, a bank account can be linked with brightwheel by entering the bank account’s routing and account numbers manually and completing a two-factor (2FA) authentication process. For this option, the bank account must be verified by confirming two micro-deposits. These are two small deposits, typically less than $1.00, that will be deposited into the checking account. These funds will remain in the account for 3-4 days, after which they will be withdrawn from the account. Within that time frame, be sure to log back into brightwheel and verify the account by confirming the exact amount of each deposit.

  1. Navigate to the Payments section online or in your mobile app

  2. Go to the Settings tab and click Add Payment Method

  3. Choose the Bank Account option and then Verify My Account using Micro-Deposits

  4. Select the Account Type, complete the requested fields, and click Add
    Please Note: only add checking accounts when adding a new bank account. Savings accounts are not compatible with brightwheel billing

  5. The pop-up will close, and the bank account will be added to the payment methods section with a gray button that reads Verify
    Please Note: Within 24-48 hours of adding the bank’s account and routing numbers, 2 small transactions will be deposited to the account.

Verify a Bank Account with Micro-deposits

After receiving the two deposits within 48 hours, log back into brightwheel and enter the exact amounts deposited to verify the account. Be sure to enter them in the exact order in which they were received.

  1. Check the bank account online within 2 business days to locate the deposits

  2. Navigate back to the Payment Settings page and click Verify on that payment method

  3. Enter the two deposits and click Verify

Please Note: If you cannot complete your verification in time or are having difficulty, please email to request that your account be removed to start over or get additional assistance.

Add a Credit or Debit Card

Each childcare provider that uses brightwheel for their billing platform gets to determine which payment methods are accepted. In addition to ACH transactions, some providers choose to also accept credit or debit cards. If the childcare provider does not allow credit card payments when you attempt to add a payment method, you will only have the option to add a Bank Account.

If this option is enabled, any student contact with parent-level permissions can enter a credit and/or debit card as a payment method after completing a two-factor authentication (2FA) process as an extra security measure. This measure is also commonly referred to as two-step verification, 2-step verification, or dual-factor authentication

  1. Navigate to the Payments section online or in your mobile app

  2. Go to the Payment Settings tab and click Add Payment Method

  3. Choose the Credit Card option

  4. Enter the card information and click Add Payment Method

  5. Two-factor Authentication (2FA): for added security, you will be prompted to enter the verification code that will be sent to the email and/or phone number you use to log in to brightwheel. Please note that the code will expire after 10 minutes, and brightwheel will never ask you for this code outside of this process in our platform.

    1. If the verification code was sent to your email and doesn't arrive, make sure to check your Spam folder!

  6. Enter the verification code on the Payment Settings tab

  7. Click Add Payment Method again to successfully add the card

Accepted Card Brands: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, JCB, Diners Club, and China UnionPay.

Default Payment Method

The default payment method will typically be the payment method first added to the account. This will be the payment method that is automatically selected when making a new payment and the one that will be charged if autopay is enabled. If there is more than one payment method added to the account, any one of them can be set as the default at any time.

  1. Navigate to the Payments section online or in your mobile app

  2. Go to the Settings tab

  3. Click the text that reads Make Default in the bottom left-hand corner of the desired payment method

Remove a Payment Method

Parent contacts can remove payment methods as long as there is at least one other payment method attached to their account. If a payment method is both the default payment method and the only method attached to the account, it will not be removable by the parent contact. If this needs to be removed, or if all payment methods on the account need to be removed, please email with the request and the last four digits of the payment method, and our support team will be happy to remove it from the account.

If there is more than one payment method added to the account, any one of them can be removed as long as it is not set as the default.

  1. Navigate to the Payments section online or in your mobile app

  2. Go to the Settings

  3. Click the text that reads Delete in the bottom right-hand corner of the payment method to be removed

Manage Autopay

Autopay in brightwheel is a great way to save time and remove any worry about missing a tuition payment. Much like other automated payments that may be familiar, brightwheel’s autopay feature will charge the desired payment method for the full balance due on the due date of each statement. If multiple payment methods have been added to the account and/or if there are multiple students associated with the parent account, each student’s autopay settings can be individually managed, allowing for different payment methods for each.

Autopay always triggers a payment for the total balance due. If autopay is enabled at a moment when a balance has already accrued, the total balance will be paid off on the next statement’s due date.

Some childcare providers choose to enable Mandatory Autopay. This means that the parent contact will be required to accept and enable autopay the next time they add a payment method. If a payment method had already been saved to the account when the program enabled Mandatory Autopay, then brightwheel will display a prompt advising that autopay is enabled whenever the student’s billing account page is visited.

If the provider does not require autopay, the parent contacts can manage its settings anytime. To change the payment method used for autopay, turn off autopay, choose the desired payment method, and turn it back on:

  1. Navigate to the Payments section online or in your mobile app

  2. Go to the Settings tab

  3. Each student eligible for billing will be listed under Autopay Settings

  4. Simply choose the desired payment method from the dropdown and toggle the Autopay switch on (or off as needed)

You can contact support at and request that your default payment method be removed at any time. Please note that you may be responsible for making arrangements to pay any outstanding balances to your program. We'd recommend that you reach out to your program to find out what alternative payment options may be available to you.

Please allow a two-business-day processing time for a payment method to be removed manually by our support team.

Processing Fees

Anytime a transaction takes place online, or when a card is swiped with any vendor, a processing fee is attached to that transaction. This fee is generally dictated by the payment processor that the vendor chooses, not the vendor themselves. In many cases, the vendor pays this, and the customer is unaware that these fees are associated with their transaction. However, depending on the location and other factors, some vendors may choose to pass this fee on to the customer.

Any childcare provider that uses brightwheel as their billing platform has the choice to forward the processing fees for each transaction to the payer. These fees will be different for ACH transactions and credit/debit card transactions. If the provider chooses to forward these fees, brightwheel will notify the payer when the transaction occurs.

If autopay is enabled, these processing fees will still be applied, so be sure to understand what fees may be included before enabling autopay or completing a payment. Processing fees are not refundable, even if the payment has been refunded.

Any questions regarding processing fees should be directed to the childcare provider.

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