Brightwheel has begun releasing our new billing platform for new users. If the content in this article does not match what you see in your account, please click here for related content in your account.

Feature Available on All Plans
Feature Available on Web App


In brightwheel’s billing platform, payments are funds that come from parents to pay off student’s total account balance. It’s important to understand that any particular payment is not applied to a specific statement. Payments simply reduce the balance owed by the parent to the school. Payments can be made online (paid through brightwheel using a bank transfer or credit card) or offline (entered by the admin for payments made outside brightwheel like checks or cash). Payments are shown in teal throughout the billing product to help them stand out.

Table of Contents

Online Payments

Online Payments are automatically tracked when a parent uses the brightwheel billing platform to send funds to your program to reduce their balance. Depending on your payment settings, this can be done through a credit/debit card or a bank transfer (ACH) each carry a processing fee specific to your account. 

Credit Cards

Parents are able to add as many payment methods as they would like to their account. When parents use a card to pay down their invoice, the following events occur

  • The transaction posts to the Activity Since Last Statement section of student’s billing account as a negative amount immediately and the payment will be queued up for processing
  • Within a few moments, the payment will process and the status will change to succeeded or failed
  • If the payment failed, then a second transaction posts to the Activity Since Last Statement section of student’s billing account as a positive amount to offset the payment record

Bank Transfer (ACH)

Just like with credit cards, parents can add checking or savings accounts to their profile to make payments. When parents use a bank account to pay down their invoice, the following events occur:

  • The transaction posts to the Activity Since Last Statement section of student’s billing account as a negative amount immediately and the payment will be queued up for processing
  • Within a few moments, the payment will process and the status will change to pending
  • After a 5-7 business days, the payment status will change to succeeded or failed (funds will be fronted by brightwheel and deposited in 2-3 business days, but the status will not change until the funds have cleared the bank)
  • If the payment failed, then a second transaction posts to the Activity Since Last Statement section of student’s billing account as a positive amount to offset the payment record

Manual/Offline Payments

Many programs offer more flexibility around accepting payments and may choose to let parents pay in cash, check, or potentially through a 3rd party credit card processing system. Any of these external payments can be logged in brightwheel to keep an up-to-date record of a student’s account balance. 

Once you have received a payment from a parent, administrators can log this transaction in the student’s billing account page by following the steps below:

  1. Navigate to the student’s Billing Account page
  2. Choose Record an Offline Payment from the Select an Action drop-down
  3. Enter the amount paid, the payer, payment type and any additional information you would like recorded
  4. Click Add Payment

This payment will immediately post to the student’s account and will display as a negative amount in the transaction history indicating that it has reduced the total amount owed. 

Void Offline Payments

Brightwheel allows administrators the option to Void offline payments. This is particularly useful is situations where a check fails to clear or a payment was logged incorrectly. To void an offline payment:

  1. Navigate to Posted transactions section of the student's billing profile
  2. Locate the payment and click Void
  3. Confirm your action in the pop-up

A new line will appear in the Posted transactions section showing the payment and the void to help maintain data integrity.

Subsidies

Subsidy management in brightwheel is always improving. There are currently 4 main options when tracking subsidy payments: 

Option 1

Only charge the parent's co-pay as a recurring charge and track state payments using another system.

Option 2

Charge  the parent's co-pay as a recurring charge and add a discount for the amount the state pays and track state payments using another system.

Option 3

Add a recurring charge for state and a recurring charge for the parent's co-pay. 

Once the state payment has been received, record an offline payment.* 

*Please Note: The state agency will need to be added as a parent on the student account (do not add contact information). 

Option 4

Charge the parent's co-pay as a recurring charge.

Once the state payment has been received, record a one-time charge and immediately record an offline payment for the same amount.

Did this answer your question?