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ACH Step By Step - Part 3 - Recurring Payment Schedule

This "Step-by-Step" series is intended to provide you with an orderly progression of procedures and procedural considerations.

The actual details and expansive explanations are contained elsewhere in the Help pages and will be referred to by link to follow at the end of each page, where applicable.

This Step-by-Step page is dedicated to all aspects concerning Recurring ACH Payments.

When you have completed a full review of all the steps, you should be:

Posting A Recurring ACH Payments Schedule

You can post an ACH payments schedule for a series of withdrawals from a payer's bank account to be made at regular intervals.

tip.gif Recurring ACH payments are stored in Collect! immediately, but they are NOT uploaded to Billing Tree until a transaction in the series has become current-dated AND your site has run its batch Reconcile ACH History process. This is opposite of how the module manages recurring Credit Card arrangements. With recurring credit card plans, the schedule is held exclusively on the Billing Tree Gateway for PCI compliance and is uploaded to them once you click Submit.

To access the menu to reach the debtor banking intake screen, click the ACH button in the lower right corner of the main Debtor screen. This will open the ACH Payment Tasks menu.


Select the ACH button

tip.gif If this is the first time you are accessing this screen, after signing into Collect!, you will be prompted to enter your ACH UserId and Password.


Billing Tree ACH Password

Once you enter your UserID and Password, they stay in effect until you log out of your current session of Collect!.

tip.gif If you have entered global login credentials into the ACH Payments Setup screen, it will be stored and used each time you login Collect!. You will not be prompted to enter a Password unless you are any of User Levels 1, 10 or 99. These levels will always be prompted and need to simply click OK to advance to the next screen if there are no changes.

When the ACH Payment Tasks menu is displayed, click the Recurring Payments button.


Select the RECURRING PAYMENTS button

This will open the Recurring ACH Payments screen. For a detailed description of each Field on this screen please see Recurring ACH Payments.


Recurring ACH Payments

tip.gif Press F1 from the Recurring ACH Payments screen to see details for each field in this window.

When you are ready to submit the payment schedule, click the SUBMIT button.


Ready to Submit a Recurring ACH Schedule

The module will give you a popup confirming it has completed all the internal steps to apply your recurring arrangement and that the steps were completed successfully.


ACH Schedule Configured Successfully

You will see in the Transaction Tab for the debtor that all of the line items covering your entire arrangement period are now appearing with Payment Dates entered according to the schedule you set up.

Click to view details.
ACH Transaction Schedule Posted

These post-dated transactions do not affect your current balance on account because the due dates are in the future and the software doesn't consider them as finalized transactions until they have been finalized by the module via Reconcile ACH History as they come due.

Depending on your site's preference settings in ACH Setup, the Posted Date will either be blank or contain the date that the arrangement was created. In both cases, as the payments come due and are submitted to Billing Tree for processing, the Posted Dates will become populated with the date they finalized.

The module will not post the convenience fees until each payment is processed successfully by Billing Tree, as will be triggered by the return of a confirmation number through the Reconcile ACH History batch processes.

Recurring ACH payments are not completed until you run Reconcile ACH History.

tip.gif Users of CV11.6.2.7 and higher who are also licensed for the Scheduler Module now have an enhanced automation with the addition of the Reconcile process being added to the Scheduler Task list of options. You may run this process offline and unattended. Contact us at sales@collect.org for module pricing.

The module creates a Promise Contact that will stay in the Collector's WIP to assist in keeping track of the the payment schedule.


Promise Contact for Recurring ACH Payments

The module creates a Review Contact that is future dated to remind you of the end of the payment schedule.


Review Contact for Recurring ACH Payments

EFT notices will be automatically scheduled according to the options you chose when you set up your EFT Notices Setup.


EFT Notices Setup

Click to view details.
EFT Notices and Reviews

The following information centers on other knowledge needed about fields, functions and internal automations pertaining to creating Recurring ACH Payment arrangements:

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Save Bank Information

The switch to "Save bank information" invokes a writeback of information as you entered it into the Payment intake window and stores it in the Debtor Detail Tab OR in the Cosigner's information, with the Class ACH Payer. Older versions of Collect! use "Other" as the Class.

This is the example of saved to the Debtor:

Click to view details.
Bank Information Saved to Debtor Detail

Bank is the payer's Bank.

Account is the payer's Bank Account Number.

Transit Number is the Bank ABA routing number.

Detail 1 is the Bank Account type.

tip.gif The module will overwrite any information that is currently stored in the Debtor Detail Bank, Account, ABA and Debtor Detail 1 fields.

Contact Technical Services if you need assistance migrating historical information that you may have stored in these fields BEFORE you go live with your ACH payments. A special Attachments Tab window can be created for you and data migrated so that you retain whatever other information you may have previously been storing in the Debtor Detail Tab.

Alternatively, you can save the banking information to a Cosigner window, with the Class designation ACH Payer. Older versions of Collect! use "Other" as the Class.:


Name, Address and Bank Information Saved to Cosigner

User 1 is the payer's Bank.

User 2 is the Bank ABA routing number.

User 3 is the payer's Bank Account Number.

User 4 is the Bank Account type.

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Debtor Detail

Like all the Tabs in the lower portion of Collect! main windows, the Debtor Detail Tab is a sub-window that is actually a separate entity from the main Debtor screen. The Detail Tab is pre-configured for use as a storage site for banking information, and can be utilized for any end-user defined purpose or preference.

This sub-window becomes a consideration because the module uses it to store information obtained during the ACH payment screen intake. Bank name, account and routing numbers are auto-written from the ACH Single or Recurring payment entry screen into the Detail Tab.

tip.gif If your company has any data storage convention that uses areas in the Detail Tab, you may wish to contact Technical Services to discuss your options to migrate this information into a special Attachment Tab window we can create for you BEFORE you rollout live with the module.

This will ensure your data isn't lost and the module's function is not being impeded by staff removing what it writes into this Tab.

Click to view details.
Bank Information Saved to Debtor Detail

Bank is the payer's Bank.

Account is the payer's Bank Account Number.

Transit Number is the Bank ABA routing number.

Detail 1 is the Bank Account type.

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Transaction Details

When ACH payments are reconciled, Billing Tree uploads confirmations to your system and stores the confirmation details to the Transaction Details Tab for the line item it matches for the debtor. This information will come as a result of Reconcile ACH History on either a per debtor or company-wide batch process.

Click to view details.
Transaction Details

Banking unique tracking and confirmation details are stored on each debtor record as follows:

User 2 is a unique Reference # {filenumber-date-time-fee}.

User 3 is the fee amount.

User 4 is the Bank Account type.

User 5 is the masked Bank Account Number.

User 6 is the Bank's ABA routing number.

User 7 is the Payer, either the Debtor or the Cosigner.

Confirmation # is a unique Transaction ID assigned to this ACH payment during the Billing Tree process.

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Reconcile ACH Payments

It is necessary to regularly synchronize your system with Billing Tree's records for ACH payments. This is your only way of finding out if any transaction has since been reversed from when your office posted the payment and also, if there are any unmatched payments your office needs to be aware of, and whether the Gateway has been in receipt of external payments directly at the Billing Tree webpage without having passed through your office or the module at all.

Specifically, the reconciliation process does the following logical steps:

It surveys your system to see if there are currently any ACH payments with payment dates which have become due but have not yet been uploaded to Billing Tree for processing.

It downloads any reversals of payments that Billing Tree has received since the last time your office has done a reconciliation and writes a Process Summary Report. See Reconcile ACH History, topic Processing Summary.

It downloads any external payments it has received which your site you may not be aware of because the debtor paid directly on the ACH Gateway using their Collect! file number as the account number.

tip.gif If collectors are experiencing difficulty with debtors not wanting to disclose their banking information to strangers over the phone, this objection can be countered by offering the debtor the opportunity to pay by themselves at the ACH Gateway. Just make sure they use their Collect! file number as their unique account number identifier. Your office will receive the payment on the next reconciliation after the amount has been processed.

To access the batch process to Reconcile your ACH Payments for the day is located via the menu path " Daily Administration\ Payments and Charges\Reconcile ACH History".


Reconcile ACH History

Select the Reconcile ACH History button to run your process.

The system maintains records of when it did its last reconcile and has fail-safes in place to prevent previously downloaded payments from being posted a second time. You are free to reconcile as many times as you need to throughout the course of the day.


Reconcile ACH History Results

If Billing Tree returns unmatched transactions that require manual review, they will be stored in an Unmatched Returns file that bears a current date and time stamp in the folder along this path "CV11\bin\BillingTree\ACH".

It also writes a detailed log into the path "CV11\bin\BillingTree\ACH\achnow.txt".

tip.gif Users of CV11.6.2.7 and higher who are also licensed for the Scheduler Module now have an enhanced automation with the addition of the Reconcile process being added to the Scheduler Task list of options. You may run this process offline and unattended. Contact us at sales@collect.org for module pricing.

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See Also

- Billing Tree Topics
- Reconcile ACH History

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