ASAP's payment plan feature lets your students divide the balance due on an invoice into multiple monthly payments. Once you have configured the default terms of the plan (the number of payments, whether or not to charge a deposit or a fee, etc) you can make payment plans an option to your students when they pay their bills online, or you can reserve the ability to put an invoice on a payment plan for your staff only.
Configuring your default payment plan
The first step is to turn on the option to allow payment plans. To do that, go to Configure > Preferences and set "Allow payment plans" to Yes.
Now let's set up your default payment plan settings. When you or your students chose to put an invoice on a payment plan, these settings will determine what that plan looks like.
Go to Find > Time Periods and click the "Edit" link next to the time period you want to configure the payment plan for that time period (payment plans are tied to time periods; you need to create a default payment plan for every active time period).
There are six fields on the time period page that have to do with payment plans:
- Pay Plan Months: How many monthly payments do you want to allow in the plan? Four? Six? Enter that number here. Just a note, if you are having your students pay a deposit, the deposit itself is included as part of the total amount of months.
- Pay Plan Start Date: This will be the first date that the payment plan is charged. If you have a deposit also configured, the deposit is counted as the first payment date. If you want the next payment date to be in the future, you MUST set the start date into the future.
- Pay Plan Deposit Fixed: If you want to require a fixed-rate deposit ($100 for example) enter it here.
- Pay Plan Deposit Percentage: If you want to require a percentage-based deposit (5% of the total amount due for example) enter it here.
- Pay Plan Fee: If you want to charge a fee whenever anyone creates a payment plan, enter it here. You can choose to either have this set up as a Fixed or Percentage based amount.
- G/L Account Plan Fee: Select this drop down if you want a G/L code associate to the payment plan fee.
Once you've entered your settings, click the green Save button at the bottom of the page and you're done.
Putting an invoice on a payment plan
Now that you have your payment plan configured you can put any unpaid or partial invoice in your account on a payment plan just by clicking the "Put on Payment Plan" link in the Actions section of the invoice:
You can also give your students the ability to put an invoice on a payment plan themselves if you like. Instructions for that are down below.
Once you click the payment plan link on the invoice you'll see a preview of the plan, plus a number of editable fields that allow you to make changes to the default plan if you wish.
In this example there will be three scheduled payments, plus a deposit of $5 which is due now. You can edit any part of the plan at this time, including the number of payments, the start date, the deposit amount, as well as the amounts and due dates of each payment.
You can also determine how you want the student to be charged by selecting an option from the Payment Type menu. The two options are:
- "Add a new card" - Choose this if you want to charge the student's credit card automatically every month. This option will save you and your students the most time. If you choose this option you'll need to enter the student's credit card information before you can save the plan.
- "Invoice" - Choose this if you want ASAP to email the student a bill for their payment every month.
Once you've selected a Payment Type option, click "Save Payment Plan" and you're done. The page will refresh and the system will display the invoice with the payment plan terms at the bottom of the page.
You can edit or cancel the plan at any time by clicking the "Edit" or "Cancel this payment plan" links.
"Invoice" and "Saved Card" processing
If the plan is set towards "Invoice", an email is generated and sent to the Primary Customer's account with a payment due notice. It will send over night and in batches, so if your payment plan due month is for example, set to today, it would send out an email in the morning once the payment due date is reached. It won't however, send out a payment due email for the deposit. You'll need to send those out manually once the payment plan is set on the invoice.
If the plan is set towards a "Saved Card", these are processed overnight on the day that they are due. So if you have a payment date due today, ASAP will attempt to charge the card around 12:00 AM. It generally does this in waves or small batches so you may see some processed at 12:00 AM while others go out at 12:30 AM or even 1:00 AM. Just remember, these are only for payment plan months. Deposits are not automatically charged and would need to be done so manually by an admin.
Allowing students to create their own payment plans
Even after you've configured your account to allow payment plans, students will not be able to put an invoice on a payment plan themselves unless you go to Configure > Preferences and set "Allow students to choose payment plans online" to Yes.
Once you do this, a student will have the option to put an invoice on a payment plan at the bottom of your online registration site's payment page. However, a student cannot edit the terms of the plan; they must either accept or decline the plan as is.