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 education. Ensuring proper setup 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 red 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 why 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
How long does it take for my funds to be deposited?
Our goal is to make your life easier - so we work incredibly hard to get your money into your account as quickly as possible!
When parent contacts pay the funds are deposited into your account as early as the next business day. Payments that are made by 7:00 pm EST will be deposited directly into your program's deposit account by the next business day. Please note that while brightwheel fronts these funds to make them available to you as soon as possible, payments can take several days to completely process. Keep in mind that many banks don't process transactions over weekends or bank holidays, which may impact deposit timing.
Changes to Billing Plans
Brightwheel's billing platform is 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 avoid 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 billed in accordance with 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 checkmark 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 submitting 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 day 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. What happened, and what should I do?
Occasionally payments fail. When this happens brightwheel immediately alerts 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 detailed failure reasons 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.
In the event of a failed payment, administrators don't need to add a new charge or send a new statement - the amount will be added back to the due balance. Parents will be able to submit a new payment as soon as they're ready!
Where can I see which parents have paid?
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 you 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 in to 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 email@example.com.
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 status. On the Pending Charges, administrators can add additional charges and discounts. Parents will not be notified of any modifications made to charges while a statement is in a pending status. 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.
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 notifications:
Invitation to join billing - admin wants to invite the parent to add a payment method
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 can send reminders for parents to add a payment method
Invitation to turn on autopay - admin can send invitations for parents to turn on autopay
Reminder to turn on autopay - admin can send reminders for parents to turn on autopay
Can I turn off or adjust payment notification emails?
Billing-related notification emails are automatic and will be sent to all administrators associated with a school or program. There is not currently an option to customize which administrators are sent emails related to billing, or how those emails are displayed.