brightwheel allows admins to easily track payments against specific invoices and student account balances. Payments can be made online (paid through brightwheel using a bank transfer or debit/credit card) or offline (entered by the admin for payments made outside brightwheel, such as checks or cash).

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Online Payments

Online Payments are automatically tracked when a parent uses the brightwheel billing platform to send funds directly to the provider to pay down an account balance. Depending on each program's payment settings, this can be done through a credit/debit card or a bank transfer (ACH). Both options carry a processing fee specific to each program's brightwheel account.

Debit and Credit Cards

Parents can add as many payment methods as they would like to their accounts. They can pay specific invoices, all open invoices, or any other dollar amount against the student account balance (not tied to an invoice).

  • If they pay an invoice, the payment will be tied to that invoice

  • If they pay the account balance without paying an invoice, it will show up as an available credit/payment in the Current Activity tab of the student billing profile

  • Within a few moments, card payments will process and the status will change to succeeded or failed

  • If the payment failed, then the failed payment will appear in the All Transactions tab and show as a failed payment for the amount of $0.

Bank Transfer (ACH)

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

  • If they pay an invoice, the payment will be tied to that invoice

  • If they pay the account balance without paying an invoice, it will show up as an available credit/payment in the Current Activity tab of the student billing profile

  • Within a few moments, the payment will begin processing

  • Funds will be fronted by brightwheel and deposited by the next business day if payment was submitted by 7 pm ET

  • While programs will receive the fronted funds as early as the next business day, it can take 5-7 business days for a bank payment to fully process depending on the parent's bank

  • If the payment later fails, that payment will show up as failed and the previously fronted funds will be removed from the program's deposit account to cover the amount of the failed payment. Details regarding these transactions, including the deposited and removed funds, are available in the Deposits Report.

Failed Online Payments

Sometimes payments made online fail. Online payments should show as Failed immediately. ACH payments, however, may show as failed later because it can take a few days for bank payments to process.

  • If an ACH payment fails, that payment will show up as failed and the previously fronted funds will be removed from the program's deposit account to cover the amount of the failed payment. Details regarding these transactions, including the deposited and removed funds, are available in the Deposits Report.


Offline Payments

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

Once an offline payment is logged, it 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. If needed, you can always choose to Void an Offline Payment as well.

Please be aware that logging an offline payment is strictly for tracking purposes. Any checks or cash payments will still need to be deposited at the program's financial institution. Because brightwheel does not deposit offline funds into the program's account, these payments will not be reflected in the Deposit Report.

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