Menu Path: Utilities > AutoPay
The Autopay feature allows the customer to automatically pay bills by having the open balance amount deducted from the customerís checking or banking account. This process is based upon the system creating files that meet the standard National Automated Clearing House Association (NACHA or ACH) format for electronic submission. To activate the process, the following must be performed.
- The user makes arrangements to submit ACH batch files to their bank. The bank will determine the procedure for submission. Some banks have bulletin boards that require dial-in capability. Others may accept files being sent by e-mail. There may be processing fees involved, but those will be specific to each financial institution.
- Request is submitted by the customer to activate the Autopay service. Typically, this request is a form provided by the user that includes a description of the service and how it functions. The customer should sign the form and provide a voided check for the checking or savings account that will be used.
- The user enters the requested information on the Autopay tab of the customer input form. Initially, the appropriate Pre-Notification (checking or savings) should be selected as the Autopay Status.
- Periodically, the user will request the creation of an ACH file for Pre-notifications. This file will include customer information for those customers that have not yet been processed. The system will create a record that is has a zero amount and is designed to verify the accuracy of the customer information entered. This file is created as a file on the userís system and is assigned the file name as selected by the user.
When the file is created, the system automatically marks the customer as approved for autopay. The approval date is set to ten days from the time the file is created. By doing this, the user only has to revoke customers that were not approved.
- The user then submits this file to their bank. Submssion procedures are defined by the bank.
- When the customerís bill is prepared, it will show a credit adjustment equal to the amount of the outstanding balance. When the bill is posted to the customerís account, the system will create an adjustment to the customerís account equal to the payment required for the bill. It will also update the ACH export file with a transaction to be submitted to the bank. The effective date on the transaction will be the due date of the bill.
- The user can submit ACH batches to the bank at any interval. Typically, transactions should not be submitted with an effective date of more than two weeks in advance.
The advantage of this process is the reduction of time required to process cash receipts.