Electronic payments may be accepted in the form of a credit card (Visa, MasterCard and Discover) or as an ACH payment. An ACH payment is one done electronically using a checking or savings account payment. A user enters the bank routing and account numbers to be used.
Unlike credit card payments which are immediately authorized or declined, ACH payment confirmations must go through the individual user bank in order to confirm availability of funds. The United States Federal Reserve rule is that a bank has up to seven (7) days to return an error, such as insufficient funds.
Because the possibility of insufficient funds or entry error, an ACH payment may display a pending status in the system indicating payment has not actually been received. When an ACH payment is not able to be settled, if an email address is associated with the payer, an email is automatically sent indicated there was a problem collecting payment from their account. The email includes a link for the payer to try the payment again or use another payment method (partial screenshot below).
On the Community Ed Administrative Dashboard, a link to a list of Chargebacks/ Returns This Month is displayed in the Operations section.
When you view the show page for individual payment that was due to a returned ACH, you will see the reason listed on the Staff Notes. If a staff person is making the payment from the Admin side of the system, you would use the Collect button on the returned payment show page to process the payment so it is no longer displaying as being owed.
ACH vs Paper Check
When staff are provided a paper check, they should not process it as an electronic ACH. It should only be entered as a paper check then handled using processes outlined by the district/program finance team/business office. If a consumer does want to pay electronically using ACH, they should store theat payment method online first. Staff can then use that saved payment method to charge them. Staff should always confirm what saved payment method should be used before making any payments to try to avoid disputed charges or chargebacks.