Your EZ-CARE2 system is up and running and your EZ Payment Services Gateway is connected. You are ready to start processing payments on a regular basis and give your business the boost of a healthy cash flow. So, what’s next?
It’s time for you to start processing electronic payments. Let’s follow these transactions on their journey from your EZ-CARE2 system to your bank account.
Now Boarding: Electronic Payments with EZ-CARE2’s Integrated Payment Solutions
Every journey has a beginning, and the payments you process begin theirs in your EZ-CARE2 system. EZ-CARE2 offers three integrated ways you can collect electronic payments from parents and families:
- Insta-Charge: Process credit card payments in real time, and give parents the convenient option of paying online. Perfect for one-time transactions, this feature automatically reflects payments in your EZ-CARE2 ledgers. Your staff will be able to process payments and provide receipts on the spot.
- EZ-EFT: Take the guesswork and hassle out of processing monthly payments by enrolling families in PCI-Compliant, pre-authorized payment processing that is fully integrated with EZ-CARE2. Having these batches ready to go helps you take control of your childcare business cash flow and keeps parents paying on time.
- Click-to-Pay through Online Forms: Use EZ-CARE2’s online form integration, powered by WebLink, to collect online registration and payments through easy-to-use forms. You can allow parents the convenience of paying online using Click-to-Pay links in your invoice emails. Because WebLink is integrated with EZ-CARE2, you will be able to download and reflect each transaction onto the Ledger.
EZ-CARE2 will make sure that all payments entered have contain information in all required fields and that it is in the correct format. Similar to getting through airport security, payments won’t be allowed through unless they have the right credentials – the correct amount of numbers, in the correct spots. No matter which payment solution you use, transactions entered correctly in EZ-CARE2 will be sent to your EZ Payment Services Processing Gateway, and they share the same Transaction Processing Fee Summary.
Traveling from EZ-CARE2 to the EZ Payment Services Gateway
Payment Processing in EZ-CARE2 is essentially in . All EZ-CARE2 transaction information is sent immediately to the Gateway, where it is vetted and either accepted or rejected.
The Gateway is sort of a waiting area, like when you have made it through airport security and are waiting to board. If you have the right information, like having a valid boarding pass, your payment can continue on. If you have errors in your information, like incorrect card numbers or expiration dates, your payment doesn’t even get out of the gate. Payments with approved credentials are accepted and immediately earn the status of “pending settlement” in the Gateway.
What Happens in the Gateway
You’ve entered the transaction information into EZCare. What happens to that payment behind the scenes in the Gateway? Learn more here!
The Trip from the Gateway to ACH
The Gateway sends the request for ACH payments directly to the Automated Clearing House. ACH payments are simply electronic payments made through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) network. The ACH network moves funds from your customers’ bank accounts to their final destination – your bank account.
The “approval” received from the Gateway when you process an ACH transaction simply indicates that the routing number sent from the Gateway to ACH was correct. When ACH presents the funds for collection to the payer’s bank, the bank checks to make sure the rest of the account information is correct and that there are funds available to cover the payment. If so, the bank will release the funds, which are sent through the Automated Clearing House to the Gateway.
If any of the account information is incorrect, there are insufficient funds in the payer’s account, or there is a debit block on the account, the transaction will not be processed and no funds will be released by the bank. This results in something called a “Late Check Return.”
Still unsure about ACH? If you have even been paid by an employer by Direct Deposit, or if you’ve ever paid a bill online directly from your checking account, it’s likely that the ACH network is responsible for the transfer of those funds.
What Happens With Late Check Returns
An ACH payment has failed, resulting in a Late Check Return. Here’s what that means and what you need to do about it.
When Do Processed Payments Reach Their Final Destination – My Bank Account?
Deposits are made daily into your bank account, but the trick is knowing what to look for on your bank statement and how long the funds take to get from the Gateway to the ACH to your account. The description on your bank statement will say “SafeSave Funds Disb” for all deposit activity.
Your bank account could have two deposits from the Gateway on any given day – one for Credit Card transactions and one for ACH – depending on the types of payments you processed for that day. The amounts of these deposits will be the Settlement batch totals for each type of transaction processed.
If you process electronic payments every day, deposits should appear daily in your account (with the exception of weekends). When there is payment activity over the weekend, it is always added to the settlement batch that closed on the Friday preceding it. Those weekend amounts are added to Friday’s total, and all of those funds are going to reach your bank account at the same time. Let’s break the funding itinerary down a little further.
Traveling Through the Funding Cycle
Understanding the funding cycle will help you understand how to match up the dates and settlement batches when reconciling your EZ Payment Services Gateway, your EZCare and EZ-CARE2 reports, and your bank statement.
Why Does My Account Show Two Deposits in my Account?
Depending on the types of payment method your organization accepts, you could actually have two SafeSave merchant accounts working for you. Even if Credit Card and ACH transactions are processed on the same day, there will be two separate deposits received for that day’s transactions. Learn why.
Voids and Refunds – the Return Trip
In EZ-CARE2, you can’t process a void or refund directly through the ledger. You will need to access the Gateway to reverse the transaction first, then manually adjust the family ledger to reflect the void or refund.
In order to void a transaction, it must still have a status of “pending.” This means that the settlement batch hasn’t been processed yet (remember, this happens at 7:30 p.m. EST). If the settlement batch has not been processed and closed, you can still void the transaction. If it has already been processed, you will need to follow the steps for a refund.
In EZCare, the rejected transaction would be handled automatically between EZCare and the Gateway; there is no need to make any adjustments to the ledger in EZCare. You would, however, want to contact the parent for updated payment information.
In EZ-CARE2, you need to adjust the ledger manually. It is usually safe to do this immediately after refunding a credit card transaction in the Gateway, but for ACH payments, we recommend you wait 5 – 7 business days to be sure the funds you want to refund actually hit your account. Checks can bounce, and you don’t want to refund money you never received!
As a best practice in EZ-CARE2, find the ledger line for the transaction you want to refund in EZ-CARE2. Then, enter a new line with the same information, but add a negative sign (-) to the amount, making sure that it’s the same number as the original transaction. This will return the ledger balance to what it should be and create an audit trail you can reference later. If you’ve been told in the past by a support representative that this is not recommended due to the way your system was set up, enter a new line in the ledger using a Revenue Category (such as Refund) with the same amount.
Here we are! Your electronic payments have reached their final destination, and unless a transaction failed and you needed to make a ledger adjustment, you didn’t have to do a thing except enjoy the ride.
Learn more about the benefits of processing electronic payments in this valuable ebook, “Six Secrets to No-Hassle Fee Collection.”
Many thanks to Merchant Account Specialist Becky Stokes for her expertise and many valuable contributions to this post!