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Brightwheel has worked hard in developing a billing platform that is intuitive and easy to use. This article contains some of the most commonly asked questions and answers linked to additional resources to help every program get the most out of brightwheel and improve their workflows.
Deposits and Timing
Brightwheel has worked hard to provide the fastest deposit timing in early childhood eduction. Ensuring proper set up and completing any necessary verification steps is vital to get your funds to you as quickly as possible.
Why haven't I received deposits
The most common reason a deposit may be held up is that the deposit account added to brightwheel has not been verified. To find out if your account has been verified, log in to your brightwheel account and check for a blue banner regarding any verification issues.
In some cases, Stripe, the payment processor brightwheel utilizes to collect and distribute funds, may require that you confirm your Social Security Number or a copy of your photo ID. You can read more on these pieces of information are required here. If you have any questions or need more information about what is required to complete your verification, email our billing team at email@example.com.
How long does it take for my funds to be deposited?
Our goal is too make your life easier - so we work incredibly hard to get your money into your account fast!
When parents pay with a credit or debit card, the funds are deposited into your account as early as the next business day. If a parent pays via bank transfer (ACH), payments are deposited in 2-3 business days. For these ACH transactions, the parent's payment provider and the Federal Reserve need to first coordinate to approve the payment, then the Federal Reserve has to confirm with the school's bank as well.
We are very proud of how fast these times are! Many similar services offer a 3-5 business day window for payments to process, and only shorten that if you're willing to pay a large fee.
Changes to Billing Plans
Brightwheel's billing platform is incredibly flexible and can be configured to best fit the unique needs of your center. With that in mind, changing billing plans and modifying charges should be done in a way that is understandable to both the school and the parent making payments.
How do I change a student's billing cadence?
The statement interval of a plan cannot be edited once it has been created. If you need to edit the statement interval of a plan, the best course of action is to end the existing plan and create a new plan with the desired statement interval. This is to encourage communication with the parents making the payment and avoiding unnecessary confusion regarding payment due dates and amounts.
How do I adjust or modify a charge?
It's important to differentiate between Pending Charges, which are charges that have not yet been sent to the parent for payment, and Posted Charges, which are charges that have already been included in a statement sent to the parent.
Editing a pending charge can be done from the student's billing account. Click the Pencil icon next to the charge listed under Pending Charges, make the desired edits, and click Updated pending charge.
Posted Charges cannot be edited. If the parent was overcharged, issuing a credit for the amount the parent was overcharged can even this out. From the student's billing account, click Select an action and choose Adjust a charge, select your charge and enter the amount you would like to credit back to the parent. This credit will reduce the amount the parent owes for the next statement schedule.
If the parent was undercharged, simply create a new one-time charge to be included in the next statement for the difference.
How do I remove a credit on the student's account?
Once a credit has been added to a student's account, it cannot be removed. This is to avoid confusion that might occur if a parent sees a credit for a certain value and then the next day that value is different. If the amount of the credit was incorrect, create a new one-time charge to use the amount of the credit that should not have been provided and include a note to keep track of this adjusting charge.
How do I send a one-time statement?
Brightwheel does not currently support ad-hoc or one-time statements. In order to charge a parent, there must be a statement schedule associated with that student. If this student is not billing regularly, do not include a recurring payment, simply add one-time charges when needed and the parent will be billing in accordance to that statement schedule whenever charges have been added.
Payments and Parent Payment Methods
Each parent has complete control over their payment methods, payments, and whether or not to use brightwheel to submit payments. In many cases, it is best to contact the person submitting the payment to work out any issue.
How do I tell if parents have a payment method/autopay set up?
The Parents tab is the fastest way to see which parents have added a payment method and/or enrolled in autopay. From here you can filter by room and student’s status to quickly narrow down your search. If there is a check mark under the Bill Pay column, then the parent has added a payment method, if not, you have the option to invite or remind the parent to add one. This is the same process for autopay.
How does a parent split payments between two payment methods?
A parent can add as many payment methods as they would like. Each parent also has the ability to submit payments for any amount over $0.50. This means that they can split their payment between multiple accounts by submitted multiple payments and choosing the bank or credit card they would like to charge the payment to during the payment flow.
Can I send a reminder to parents of their current balance?
Brightwheel automatically notifies parents:
- When a new statement is posted
- When a payment is due
- And when a payment is 1 and 3 days past due
After that, the best way to remind the parent of a balance due is through the messaging feature.
A parent's payment method failed, why did it fail?
Occasionally payments fail. When this happens brightwheel immediately alert both the program administrator and the parent via email, if the reason why a payment failed is known, we include the reason in the email that you and your parent receive. However, given the sensitive nature of financial information, institutions sometimes don't pass on the detailed reason to us. This failed payment and the failure notice will be added to the Posted Transactions list. If there is not a stated reason, the parent should reach out to their financial institution for further information. 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.
Where can I see which parents have paid?
Yes, if you are looking for a list of payments that have been submitted, the Billing Transactions report is the best place to start. This report allows your to filter by room and transaction type, simply set the transaction type as Payment and click Create Report.
Can I remove a parent's payment method for them?
Administrators and staff cannot edit a parent’s payment method. We know how much is already on your plate, so to make your life easier and to remove your financial risk of having to handle parent payment information, we have given parents the power to do this themselves Any parent can log into their account and remove a payment method as needed. If the parent is replacing their payment method, they will want to add the new bank account or credit card before removing the old one. If the parent would like to remove their only payment method, please have them contact support at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reminders and Notifications
Communication is a core function of brightwheel and we have strived to improve and streamline communication around billing and payments as much as possible.
What do my parents see when I make changes to their student's account/balance?
Parents are not able to view any changes made to a charge or statement while the statement is in a pending/draft status. Each statement will remain in draft mode for the entirety of the billing period. On the draft statement, administrators can add additional charges and discounts. Parents will not be notified of any modifications made to charges while a statement is in draft mode. At the close of the billing period, the statement will be posted to the student’s account and can no longer be edited. Parents will be notified that the statement is posted at this time.
In addition, any activity, such as payments, credits, and refunds, will be listed in the Posted Transactions section of the draft statement, where you can see them but parents cannot yet see them. These cannot be directly edited, but they will appear on the statement that parents see once it posts to the student’s account.
Can I get notifications through the app?
All billing related notifications are sent by email only at this time.
What kind of reminders and/or notifications do parents receive?
Parents receive emails with important billing-related communication. The goal is to make sure that they’re aware of changes to their account and that they pay statements on-time for the services they receive. Parents will receive the following emails:
- Invitation to join billing - admin wants to invite the parent to add a payment method
- New statement
- Payment due (if not on autopay and payment not received by the due date)
- Payment past-due reminder
- Payment receipt (online or offline)
- Credit posted to account
- Refund posted to account
- Reminder to join billing - admin wants to remind the parent to add a payment method
- Invitation to turn on autopay - admin wants to invite the parent to turn on autopay
- Reminder to turn on autopay - admin wants to remind the parent to turn on autopay
Can I turn off payment notification emails?
Billing related notification emails are automatic and cannot be turned off at this time.
Can I pick which kinds of emails or notifications I receive?
All billing related emails are sent automatically to the account owner. These are not configurable at this time.
Why do these emails only go to the account owner?
Billing information and data is incredibly sensitive and we strive to make these communications as secure and private as possible. For this reason, brightwheel has chosen to only communicate with account owners regarding billing communication.
Can the emails go to someone other than the account owner?
All billing related emails only go to the account owner. If you would like to have another staff member receive these emails, the best option is to set up an email forwarding filter for billing notifications to automatically forward to that additional staff member.