If this content does not match what you see in your account, you may be on our legacy billing platform.

If your program is choosing to use brightwheel Billing, this resource is a one-stop-shop for all common questions. Questions that range from just getting started to maintaining your account to one-off unique scenarios you may encounter.

These FAQs and their answers are specific to the program using our newest billing version, Version 3 (v3). If you are a parent/payer and unsure what version the program is using, refer to our Which Billing Version am I on? resource for insight before continuing.

Continue reading below to learn more about using brightwheel Billing as a parent and/or payer!

Table of Contents


How do I set up online payments?

It's quick and easy to get set up to make online payments to your program. Add a bank account or credit card, and you're ready to make payments!


How do I set up and manage autopay?

Enabling autopay is a great solution to ensure tuition is paid on time, every time.

Billing autopay functions much like other automated payment systems and will charge the default payment method for the full balance due on the due date of each invoice or statement. It’s important to note that there can be multiple payment methods on file, but autopay will always trigger using the default payment method.

Some programs choose to enable Mandatory Autopay, and some do not. If autopay is not mandatory, parents and payers can manage these settings easily from the web or app. Learn more by viewing our Manage Autopay resource.


When/where are receipts sent?

Receipts are sent to the email on file once payment is successfully processed. For payments made using a credit card, this should occur pretty quickly. For payments made using an ACH method, this could be up to 5-7 business days after making the payment.

If you need to see a full history of all payments made in a given timeframe, you can pull a payment summary report for the desired date range. You can also view and print any desired invoices as needed.


How do I access the info I need for tax/reimbursement purposes?

Payers can access financial reports for tax or reimbursement from within their brightwheel account by printing individual invoices or statements or exporting the payment summary.

  • Invoices or states will include: EIN, charge details, and dates of service

  • Exporting the payment history will include: payment method, amount, date, status, payer name, the amount applied to invoice(s), invoice numbers, charges, and any dates of service added by the provider.


Can I stop a payment?

Unfortunately, no. If you have made a payment that is currently in a 'Pending/Processing' status, neither brightwheel nor the program you've paid can cancel/stop the pending charge. For your program to take any action on the payment, it must reflect a status of 'Paid.'

We recommend working directly with your program to obtain any refunds when able. It's important to note that brightwheel is not responsible for any overdraft or processing fees due to processed payments.

Learn more by reviewing our Avoiding Payment Disagreements resource and Tuition Program Payment Terms that reference our tuition and fee collection policies.


What are my processing fees?

Our payment processor, Stripe, charges processing fees for each individual online payment. Programs do have the option to pass on any processing fees associated with online payments to the parent. If your program has enabled this setting, you will see the processing fees added to your total payment when clicking the Make a payment button in your brightwheel account. The processing rates for submitting online payments through brightwheel for Credit/Debit cards are a percentage of the total transaction, and ACH (bank to bank) is a flat fee per transaction. The ACH processing fees are lower than the card processing fees.

Pre-paying on a student’s account will not change or prevent processing fees from being charged, as the fees are in regards to the actual transaction, not a brightwheel student’s balance.

We recommend contacting your provider directly for more information about their processing fee policies and specific rates! I'd like to emphasize that brightwheel has no control over this; it is a determination made independently by your provider. Brightwheel offers a wide variety of features and options, and ultimately it is up to each provider to determine their own policies and procedures.


How do I get a refund?

We recommend that you reach out to your program directly regarding this. Brightwheel is not authorized to make any changes to any account. Your program is responsible for creating and managing all transactions (including charges, refunds, late fees, credits, and offline payments) and will be able to assist you!


How long will a refund take to return to my account?

Online refunds may take 5-10 business days to be processed back to your online payment method (online credit/debit card or bank account).

We understand how important it is to receive your refund as soon as possible. Within the financial services industry, 5-10 business days is the standard amount of time for a refund to be fully processed. Different banks and merchants have differing policies and processing times around refunds. This is something that is happening in the background between our payment processor and the payor’s bank account and/or credit card.


If you do not see the refund after 10 business days, please let us know, and we will be happy to investigate further.


Do refunds include processing fees?

Programs have the choice of whether or not to pass processing fees to payers. brightwheel ultimately has no control over this because it is a determination made independently by providers. Brightwheel offers a wide variety of features and options, and ultimately it is up to each provider to determine their own policies and procedures.

Unfortunately, we cannot return processing fees associated with successful payments as these fees go directly to our payment processor.

We would suggest reaching out to your program directly to see if they would be willing to refund or credit you the amount of the processing fee for a payment.


Can an account credit be returned to my bank account?

Although administrators do have the option to refund the credit amount, a credit on the account does not automatically issue a refund. To receive a refund, this will have to be initiated by an administrator at your program. Please note that your program is responsible for creating and managing all transactions (including charges, credits, and refunds) and will be able to further assist you!

We recommend that you reach out to your program directly regarding this. Brightwheel is not authorized to make any changes to any account. Your program is responsible for creating and managing all transactions (including charges, refunds, late fees, credits, and offline payments) and will be able to assist you!


Why am I getting errors when trying to add my FSA/HSA payment method?

FSA/HSA/Dependent Care accounts are potential options that can be added to a parent's brightwheel account to make payments to a program. It's important to note that each program can choose what type of payments they'd like to accept (ACH and Credit/Debit cards or ACH only), and these settings may limit how certain FSA/HSA/Dependent Care accounts can be utilized.

Due to the nature of FSA providers and their specific regulations or requirements, there may be some others factors limiting your ability to use this payment method. If you have the option to add your FSA/HSA account but are experiencing trouble doing so, please follow our Troubleshooting steps so we can try and assist you further.


Why am I still being charged by a program my child no longer attends?

We understand how frustrating this scenario might be and highly recommend contacting your old program directly regarding any unexpected charges. Since your old program is responsible for creating and managing all transactions, they will be the best resource to assist you in how to resolve this matter.

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