- Payments are revenues!
- What is pay assist?
- What is the different between add payment and add payments
- How do i review the payment history of a client?
- How do i register a stripe account?
- Where do i get my stripe keys?
- How do I setup payment processing through Stripe?
- How does stripe work with the program?
- What online payment options do you provide?
- What is allow client initiated payments for Stripe?
- What is instant payment notifications for PayPal
- What payment gateway do you recommend
- How to ensure clients pre-pay for services?
- Why don't you have a package manager?
Q. Payments are revenues!
Within the software, payments are sometimes referred to as revenues. If you see the term revenues used, these are payments made by your clients.
Q. What is pay assist?
Pay assist allows you to accept 1-time payments from your clients. When your client provides their credit card, you can use pay assist to perform the transaction.
Pay assist requires you have a Stripe account. Stripe is free to use and very easy to set up. If you need help with Stripe, please contact support.
Q. What is the different between add payment and add payments
When you track payments from your clients, you can do it using two methods:
- Add Payment: allows you to record one payment from a client
- Add Payments: allows you to record multiple payments from multiple clients
The two methods are the same. You can even use the Add Payments option to add 1 payment. You can use which ever method you like the most.
Q. How do i review the payment history of a client?
This is how you can review the service history of a specific client:
- go to ACCOUNTING > INVOICES
- click on the service payment icon (2nd icon listed) within the options column for the client
- this is the payment history table
Q. How do i register a stripe account?
To register a stripe account go to the following URL:
Setting Up A Stripe Account
- Do not worry about the developer part
- When you have created the account, you can get your Stripe keys by clicking on the API link from the main menu
Q. Where do i get my stripe keys?
If you want to use Stripe to accept online payments from your clients, here is a guide for finding your Stripe Keys.
When you login to Stripe, click on the API hyperlink within the main menu. This will take you to a page where the keys can be copied and pasted.
Make sure to get the following:
- Test Public Key
- Test Secret Key
- Live Public Key
- Live Secret Key
After you have configured your Stripe keys, make sure to send a test transaction to ensure it is working.
How To Use Stripe
Q. How do I setup payment processing through Stripe?
To set up payment processing, you need to do the following first:
- register a stripe account
- get your stripe test and live keys
If you do not know how to do the above, please search the help section by selecting payments.
Now that you have a stripe account and your stripe keys you are ready to configure payment processing, do the following:
- click on your name at the top right hand corner of the page
- click on ACCOUNT
- click on Online Payments
- copy and paste your test and live public and private keys
- make sure to place the correct key in the appropriate field!
- choose your currency
- click Submit
Now that you have added your stripe keys, you can make a test call to stripe to ensure everything is working.
To the right of the page you will have the opportunity to send a test transaction. Click on the Send Test button.
If everything is working, you will get a green success message. If you do not get a success message, please notify firstname.lastname@example.org right away and we will investigate.
Q. How does stripe work with the program?
When you have a Stripe account, you can use it to accept online payments from your clients.
- login to their accounts and make a payment
- when they login, they will see a payment processing section on their dashboard that reveals their current balance. All they need to do is enter their credit card information and make a payment. They are never redirected off site. They will be able to review and download a receipt right away
- initiate payments on their behalf by using "Pay Assist." You can find pay assist by going to ACCOUNTING > PAYMENTS and selecting the "Pay Assist" button
- when you initiate a payment using pay assist, the online payment transaction is sent, and the program will record the payment automatically for you
- you can review the receipt / pdf and print it or email it to the client if you wish
Q. What online payment options do you provide?
We provide online payment processing through:
Each of these payment gateways have their strength's and weaknesses.
With Stripe, you and your clients never leave the software when making payments. Furthermore, we have a 1-click payment processing option for administrators. If Stripe operates in your country we highly recommend it.
On the other hand, PayPal has a greater, global presence.
With PayPal, your clients are directed to PayPal to make payments to their account. We do use Instant Payment Notifications (IPN's) to update your data when a payment is made. If the administrator wants to initiate payments, you will have to have Virtual Terminal through PayPal. This is a feature that is available through the PayPal website.
Q. What is allow client initiated payments for Stripe?
If you allow your clients to log into the software, and you use Stripe as your payment gateway, selecting "Allow CllientInitiated Payments," allows your clients to make payments on their account. This is used for making payments to the account, or making payments to pending invoices.
If you do not select this option, the software will not allow payments to be made by clients.
Q. What is instant payment notifications for PayPal
Instant Payment Notifications or IPN's allows PayPal to contact the Bizstim software when a payment is received.
Payments that are initiated by your clients through the software will be processed by PayPal and the payment recorded by the software through an IPN. This also occurs when a client makes a payment to an invoice.
If you use Virtual Terminal, you can use the IPN to track a payment against a pending invoice by providing our invoice number within the "Invoice" field on the Virtual Terminal form.
For instructions on how to setup your IPN please go to: SETTINGS > SETTINGS > ONLINE PAYMENTS. We have detailed instructions for setting up your IPN and PayPal account with Bizstim.
Q. What payment gateway do you recommend
We recommend Stripe over PayPal because it currently provides a better user experience within the Bizstim software.
Q. How to ensure clients pre-pay for services?
If you want to have your clients pre-pay for services, you would collect the service cost ahead of time. The software will track their account balance. To help you manage this you have 2 options:
- set a minimum account balance to add a session to the calendar. You can set this in the system setting by navigating to: SETTINGS > SETTINGS > SYSTEM >SESSION CONTROL and enable Pre-Payment of Services then place a Threshold Amount equal to 1 session. For example, if your sessions are typically $30 you would place the number 30 for the threshold. If the client does not meet this minimum threshold, you will not be able to add a new session
- set an inactive future date to the client's account. This will automatically set the client to inactive status when the date is reached. To set the inactive date go to: CLIENTS > CLIENTS LIST > EDIT PAGE > AVAILABILITY TAB and provide an inactive date.
You can also use the balances tool to review client balances manually. You can find the balances tool at: ACCOUNTING > BALANCES.
From the balances pages you also have a tool called, Service Reports. The Service Reports tool will allow you to monitor client expenditures by a specific service for a given date range.
Q. Why don't you have a package manager?
If you require your clients to pay in advance, the system tracks their available balance.
Here is more information on using Balances: Balances Support Page
To simplify the software we do not have a sessions package manager. Before starting this business I ran a tutoring company and used a competitor's software. My experience with a package manager was not a good one. Package managers increases the complexity for the business as well as confuses clients.
If you go over an hour, the standard unit of time for a session, the package manager will show a fraction of time left. Some clients get confused by this.
For example, if they purchase 6 sessions and they have 6, 1 hour packages but the sessions run 1.5 hours, the client will get 4 sessions not 6. This will cause you lost time explaining what happened AND reduce your overall client satisfaction. Some clients won't question you on this instead conclude you are trying to cheat them. Therefore, when we designed this software we purposely omitted a package manager.
The issue of tracking available hours would be solved by using automated invoicing, and using our pre-payment option. This way when the client's available balance drops below a defined threshold, additional sessions cannot be added to the calendar thereby prompting you or your practitioner to follow up with the client.
As of February 2020, we are adding a feature to allow your clients to add pending sessions to the calendar based on permissions. If they do not meet a minimum account balance the software will prompt them to make an additional payment.
Thus, the software is very good at informing all users when an account balance is close to zero.