Failed Payments

[For Admins] Learn how to handle failed payments and other unexpected payment scenarios, like negative deposits and disputed charges.

Sabrina avatar
Written by Sabrina
Updated over a week ago

Sometimes a payer's payment does not go as expected. Being aware of these occurrences and following up in a timely manner is vital to ensure that programs are paid for services rendered and that payers are aware of what is happening on their student’s billing accounts.


Failed Payments

If a payment made against a balance fails, brightwheel will immediately alert both the program administrator and the payer via email or SMS. If the payers financial institution has shared a failure reason, that reason will be included in the email. Failure reasons are provided by the payer's financial institution, not brightwheel. If there is not a stated reason or if the payer disagrees with the reason; the payer should reach out to their financial institution for more information.

A notification of the failed payment will also be provided to administrators via the At a Glance tab in the Activity last 35 days and Payments sections. Failed payments will also be visible within the student's billing account, under the All Transactions tab.

If a payment fails, we recommend contacting the payer directly to discuss resubmitting that payment. Once they're ready, the payer can submit a new payment against the balance due. If they provide the payment via cash, check, or a third-party system such as Venmo and CashApp, you can log this as an offline payment and apply it to any open invoices.

🚩 If the failed payment was made via Autopay, it will not be automatically attempted again until the next invoice on the account becomes due. The payer must log a payment manually through their brightwheel account to have payment initiated prior to the next invoice due date.


Negative Deposits

It's very rare, but occasionally payments fail after brightwheel has already fronted the funds in a deposit for that payment into the program’s account. When this happens, brightwheel will need to deduct that payment back from the program's deposit account to reconcile those fronted funds.

If funds are being deposited for other payments when this payment fails, then the negative amount will be grouped in with that deposit, lessening the amount that is delivered to the deposit. Details about this deduction can be found in the Deposit Details Report.

If there are no funds being transferred to the deposit account at the time the payment fails, a withdrawal will be made for the amount of the payment that was fronted in a deposit by brightwheel.


Disputed Charges

Payment disputes (also known as Chargebacks) can be filed by a payer with their credit card company or financial institution anytime, anywhere, and for any type of transaction. Once filed, the payer's credit card company or financial institution will begin an investigation to ultimately determine if the payer wins (receives their money back) or loses (does not receive their money back) the dispute.

To learn more about disputed charges and how they may affect your program, please see our Disputed Charges resource.


Who should payers contact with billing questions?

Payers who would like to discuss charges, payments, credits, refunds, or payment plans should reach out to their provider directly. Each program is responsible for managing charges and refunds, and providers will be the most knowledgeable about charges added to a student's account. For more info, see Who should payers contact with billing questions?

ACH and card payment methods may become blocked for various reasons. If your payment method is blocked from use, please check that the payment method details are up-to-date or contact the brightwheel Support Team for assistance.

Payers who have questions about managing payment methods, submitting payments via brightwheel, or navigating their student's billing account are encouraged to contact brightwheel's Support team at help@mybrightwheel.com - we'd love to assist!

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