Setting up ACH in Billsby is currently only available to those who joined our private beta.
Automatic Clearing House (ACH) is a computer-based network for transferring money between bank accounts in the United States operated by Nacha. Also known as 'Direct debits' or Direct payments', ACH payments are another way to move money from one bank account to another, without paying offline with cash or cheques, or using a credit card payment.
At the moment Billsby will only be supporting direct debit payments for ACH through Stripe. We intend to add support for more direct debit schemes in the near future.
ACH is only available to customers as a payment method once your Billsby account is Live. ACH test transactions cannot be simulated using our pre-live sandbox payment gateway.
To set up ACH in your Billsby account, you'll need to add Stripe payment gateway, navigate to the Settings > Configuration > Payment gateways menu. Then, click the '+' button next to the Stripe gateway on the right-hand side of the screen, and select the Connect with Stripe button.
This will redirect you to Stripe and commence the OAuth process. Now you'll need to connect your Billsby account with Stripe.
ACH transfers are only supported between US bank accounts, so you'll need a US-based Stripe account to issue an ACH direct debit payment in Billsby.
If you don't have an account with Stripe already, then you will need to create one. You can create a new account or log in to an existing one during this process. After that, you will need to authorize Billsby access to your account.
Once you've completed those steps you will be redirected back to Billsby where you can give your new gateway a display name, and add it to your list of payment gateways by clicking the Save gateway changes button.
After you've saved your gateway, you'll need to link it to a currency before you can start using it for payments. Navigate to the Configuration > Currencies menu. For the USD currency you will have the option to assign a payment gateway for Credit Card payments, and for ACH payments.
To start charging customers using ACH payments, click the ACH field and select your US based Stripe payment gateway. Once you've linked your gateway, click the Save gateway link button.
Once you've mapped ACH to a gateway you will not be able to change this. We will be releasing a solution to this in the coming months.
Unlike a credit card payment, an ACH direct debit payment requires you to first get permission from the customer to take payments before charging a debit to their bank account. Getting permission is done using a mandate, so this can't be done on a customer's behalf. They must agree to the payment terms specified in the mandate before any money can be collected from their bank account. A mandate form is automatically presented to your customers for your company during the checkout process.
When a customer checks out a subscription to your product using the self-service checkout modal, they'll have the option to pay by setting up an ACH mandate, or if you add a new customer in the Billsby control panel, you can send them an ACH mandate request.
Customers can update their existing ACH payment details by sending them a mandate request in the Billsby control panel.
You'll even be able to find customers using specific payment methods like ACH direct debit quickly and easily by filtering your customers table by 'payment method.'
When an invoice charge has recently been issued and is still pending on the customer's account, we will show it's status as 'pending'. We batch our invoices so that they are run every five minutes at 00:00, 00:05, 00:10, and so on. You may find that an invoice has the 'pending' status for up to five minutes. After that, the status of an invoice being paid by ACH direct debit will change to 'clearing'.
An ACH direct debit payment it can take up to four business days from the time the invoice was created (Cut-off time 24:00 UTC) to be settled by the customer's bank. After the invoice has been settled, we'll update the status to either 'Paid' or 'Unpaid' depending on the response from the customer's bank.
Since an ACH direct debit payment can take several days to clear, the customer and their subscription will be created as soon as they check out. A subscription will remain active unless an 'unpaid' invoice initiates the dunning flow, causing a subscription suspension or cancellation. Invoices being in a ‘clearing’ state will never affect the subscription status.
Before a customer can accept an ACH direct debit payment or transfer, their bank account must be verified. Stripe does this using Financial Connections, allowing customers to authenticate their account directly from our self-service modals.
Micro-deposit verification can be used as an optional fallback method for verifying a customer's bank account, if it couldn't be verified initially. This method involves depositing a small amount into the customer's bank account with a unique 6-digit descriptor code. These micro-deposit transfers can take 1-2 business days to appear in a customer's bank account. They would then provide the code so that their account details can be verified.
You can read more about ACH micro-deposits in Stripe's support documentation.
If a customer's bank account cannot be verified and micro deposit verification is used as a fallback method, we will notify the customer with the following message, and send them an email notification where they'll be able to provide the reference number to verify their bank account and complete their subscription checkout from where they last left off.
You can configure your micro deposit notification preferences by navigating to the Settings > Configuration > Payments > ACH micro deposit verification menu.
Here you'll be able to turn micro deposit notifications on/off, as well as input your chosen email address into the 'BCC email address' so that you can receive copies of the email notification. Make sure to use an active email address as this is where we will send important updates and alerts to. Remember, you can update this email at any time.
Once ACH has been enabled on your account and you decide you'd like to disable it, you can do so by navigating to the Settings > Configuration > ACH Settings menu and toggling the ACH Payment Method setting off. Then update your ACH preferences.
Since disabling ACH could cause some billing issues for any existing customers who pay via ACH Direct Debit, you'll need to make sure you have no customers with ACH as a payment method before you can disable it.
Disabling ACH will stop any customers being able to select ACH as a payment method when purchasing a new subscription, and adding or updating an ACH Direct Debit as a customer's payment method in the Billsby control panel.
There are a few limitations to note with the ACH beta which are as follows:
Unlike credit card payment disputes, all ACH direct debit disputes are final and there is no process to appeal. If a customer successfully disputes a payment, you must work with them directly to resolve the situation. Currently, you can't handle ACH disputes through Billsby.
The ACH network allows 60 days for consumers to contest a debit. Business accounts only have 2 business days, however there is no way to be sure if the account is a business or personal account.
Any ACH direct debit disputes should be resolved between you and the customer directly through your Stripe payment gateway. You can find more information on Stripe ACH disputes in their documentation here
Swapping payment method
Once a payment method has been added for a customer, they won't be able to swap. For example, if your customer's payment method is ACH direct debit, they won't be able to change to paying by credit card and vis versa. We'll be adding support for this in a coming update, however to swap a customer's payment method in the meantime, you'll have to create a new customer profile and add their desired payment method.
Got any feedback?
If you're taking part in the beta and think you've found any bugs or got any feedback for us, get in touch!
How are ACH direct debit payment failures handled?
When an ACH payment is requested, we wait for the transaction to be processed by the customer's bank. Once we get a response that the bank has declined the payment, your customer will enter the regular declined payments dunning flow. If your company is planning to accept ACH direct debit payments, remember that they can take up to four business days from the time the transaction was created to be processed with the customer's bank. When configuring your dunning settings, make sure you leave the bank adequate time to process each one.
We'll replace the current dunning flow emails with a set of bespoke ones, informing your customer of the failure and letting them re-request the payment, or update their mandate details.
Can I configure my account so that customers can only pay by ACH direct debit?
At this time we only support adding the option to pay by ACH direct in addition to paying by credit card. You won't be able to configure your account so that a customer can only pay by setting up an ACH mandate, or only pay by providing regular credit card details.
Can I change a customer's payment method to ACH direct debit ?
When a customer has set up an ACH mandate, they will not be able to switch over to using credit card payments as their new payment method. Similarly, a customer who pays via credit card payment will not be able to switch and set up an ACH mandate. To do this, a new customer profile must be created.
Updated 10 months ago