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Sometimes a parent’s payment does not go as expected. Being aware of these occurrences and following up in a timely manner is vital to ensure that your program is paid for services rendered and parents are aware of what is happening on their student’s billing account.

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Failed Payments

If a payment made against a balance fails, brightwheel will immediately alert both the program administrator and the parent via email. 

If the parent’s financial institution has shared a failure reason, that reason will be included in the email. If there is not a stated reason, the parent should reach out to their financial institution for further information.

The failed payment will be added as a line item to the student's billing account, and the amount will be added back to the student’s total balance due

If a payment fails to your school, we recommend you get in touch with the payer directly to resubmit that payment. Once they're ready, the parent can submit a new payment against the balance due.

Please Note: If the failed payment was made via Autopay, it will not be automatically attempted again until the next statement becomes due. The parent or payer must manually make the payment through their brightwheel account.

Negative Deposits

It's very rare, but occasionally a parent's payment fails after brightwheel has already made that deposit into the program’s account. When this happens, brightwheel will need to deduct that payment back from your deposit account to reconcile those funds.

If your program has funds being deposited for other payments when this payment fails, then the negative amount will be grouped in with that deposit, lessening the amount that posts to your bank account. Details about this deduction can be found in your Deposit Details Report.

If there are no funds being transferred to your bank account at the time the payment fails, then you will see a withdrawal from your account for the amount of the payment originally deposited.

Disputed Charges

Please Note: Brightwheel is not a payment processor and does not have control over a parent disputing a payment with their credit card company or financial institution.

Occasionally, parents may make an official dispute directly with their credit card company or bank. By disputing these charges, the parent completed what is called a 'chargeback.' In those situations, an investigation is conducted by the bank or credit card company itself. 

In the instance that a bank or credit card company rules in favor of a parent, that institution could withdraw the money from the service provider. Credit card companies have the power to pull back funds, which in turn will be pulled from future deposits to your account. This may result in a negative deposit.

If a dispute is lost by the school, brightwheel will charge $15 chargeback fee. The process is a bit different depending on how the disputed payment was received. 

ACH Disputes 

When a parent has disputed an ACH transfer, the parent's bank will automatically side with their customer (the parent) and closes the dispute in their favor. This is due to the difficulty of disputing an ACH charge.

As a next step, we suggest that you reach out to the person who submitted the original payment for additional context on the dispute and find a direct resolution. We know this is a serious issue that impacts your business and we are here to support you in any way possible. Unfortunately, because this person elected to go this route, there is little that we are able to do.

Credit Card Disputes

In instances of credit card disputes, brightwheel will make every effort to support you, the provider. Ideally, the school and parent can connect offline, and the parent will drop the dispute.

If a dispute is not dropped, brightwheel will send your billing administrator an email outlining the process and requesting any evidence you may have to prove a charge is valid.

Please Note: DO NOT issue the parent/guardian a credit on the disputed charges. Please reach out to before taking any action on the charges.

Please have the following information ready when submitting evidence here:

  • Information regarding the disputed charge

  • A copy of the parent's signature from the handbook/tuition agreement and any information you have outlining your tuition amounts. This may also be any detail you have on additional charges such as supplies, t-shirts, meals, etc.

  • Evidence of services rendered such as a copy of the student's Check-In/Out Report or a copy of the student's Activity Report for the disputed days in question.

  • Any communication you have with the parent regarding the disputed charges/original payments. This could be brightwheel messaging, text messages, or emails.

Please note: Parents may not submit forms for disputed charges. Please reach out to your childcare provider for more information regarding any and all charges to your account.

The billing administrator has 5 business days to respond to that email. 

Once brightwheel receives the requested evidence, we will submit it to our payment processor, who will, in turn, send that to the parent's credit card company. Because these disputes are handled by the credit card company, we are not privy to the details of such investigations. Please note that this is specific to credit card transactions; many providers elect not to accept credit cards. We give the choice to providers - it is up to them to choose whether to accept credit card payments; bank transfers are always an option.

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