If you are already collecting payments via BACS Direct Debit (UK), ACH (USA), or BECS Direct Debit (Australia), Practice Ignition can assist you in transferring your existing payment records into your account.
The following article outlines the steps you and the Practice Ignition team will take to ensure that your clients’ payment methods are in place quickly, accurately, and securely.
Prior to getting started on the steps below, the very first thing you should do is inform your PI Customer Success Manager/Account Manager that you will be transferring Direct Debit/ACH payments. They will be there at every step to ensure that this process runs smoothly, and to answer any questions. Please contact support if you don’t know who your CSM/AM is.
Step 1. Add your clients to Practice Ignition.
Adding your clients in Practice Ignition generates a unique Practice Ignition client ID. We will use the client ID to correctly match your clients to their banking details in a future step (more on that below). To add your clients to PI, you have multiple options:
- You can add your clients one at a time directly in the app or via the one way client sync with Xero or Quickbooks
- You can import your entire client list at once via a CSV import,
- Or automatically import all clients via the 2-way client sync with Xero Practice Manager.
Step 2. Export your client list back out of Practice Ignition
Once you are satisfied you have all your clients created in PI, you will need to export the data out of the app, to ensure you have the full list of your PI client IDs. Navigate to Clients and click on export in the top right corner.
A CSV file is emailed to you directly. The Client ID is in Column A
Step 3. Use the same spreadsheet to match your clients’ Direct Debit information
Keep Column A and B (client ID and Client Name) and remove the data from the other columns in the CSV file. In Column C, Add column headers for the Direct Debit details (or download the template from the buttons below, and copy your client data from the export).
For Australia: Account Name, Account Number, BSB
For the USA: Bank Account Name, Account Number, Transit Number
For the UK: Bank Account Name, Account Number, Sort Code
Step 4. Create proposals in Bulk (PI will assist you with this)
Creating proposals for all of your clients is a critical step in the process, as your clients' proposal is also the payment schedule that drives all of your payments. You can recreate your existing client proposals one-by-one, or you can follow the “Bulk Kick Off Process” (click to read the full instructions) where the PI team will assist you through the creation process.
If you choose to create the proposals in bulk, following the instructions in the link above, be sure to use the same CSV you’ve used to add your client’s Direct Debit details. Simply add another column for “proposal ID”. If you are simply creating proposals one at a time, you can skip adding the proposal ID column.
For proposals with recurring payments, we highly encourage you enable Pro-rata (see step 7 for why). If you aren’t sure about Pro-rata, contact us and we will be glad to help you decide.
Step 5. Send the CSV to us.
Your Customer Success Manager or Account Manager will take care of the next step. You just need to send the completed CSV to them so that they can complete Step 6 on your behalf.
IMPORTANT: Double check your data before you send it. Practice Ignition will not be responsible for missing or incorrectly matched data.
Step 6. PI adds your clients' data to your account.
Provided your data CSV satisfies the requirements, the PI team will take care of the following actions:
- Add each bank account to their appropriate client record in your PI account.
- Create your proposals in Bulk (if requested)
- Apply the bank account details to the clients’ proposal (so that payments can begin collecting against the set schedule as soon as the proposal is accepted).
Once complete, your CSM/AM will inform you.
Step 7. Choose a hard “changeover date” (to avoid double charging your clients).
If you are collecting recurring payments from your clients, it’s strongly encouraged that you choose a hard changeover date. We recommend that you give yourself 3-4 weeks minimum to complete steps 8 and 9. Use this date to ensure that you avoid double charging your clients AND you don’t delay your cashflow. To avoid this scenario, by your changeover date, you should:
- Disable all payment schedules in your previous processor’s account.
- Have all payment schedules (proposals) set up in PI, sent, and accepted (see steps 8 and 9 below). You should also ensure that Pro-rata is enabled, in case any clients delay signing your proposal.
Your changeover date should be dictated by your current payment schedules:
“All of my recurring payments are processed on the 1st of each month”: if you are going through this process at the end of the month, your best option is to allow your current processor to collect the next recurring payment, and then turn your payment schedules off in your current processor, before sending your PI proposals.
“My recurring payments are processed throughout the month”: In this example, you may want to migrate your payment schedules in batches throughout the month. This will minimise any possibility of double-charing your clients. Reach out to your CSM/AM for advice on how best to approach this process.
Step 8. Notify your clients to inform them that you have changed payment processors.
Depending on your country, the organisations governing Direct Debit/ACH will have certain requirements for informing your customers that you are changing payment processors.
We highly recommend you send an email to your customers to inform them of the change in payment processors at least 14 days prior to your first charge. You can also use this opportunity to set up expectations about next steps, how to accept their proposal, and other important details. To help you with this, we’ve provided email templates that you can edit and use in an email tool such as MailChimp.
Step 9. Send your proposals to your client (and ensure they are accepted by your changeover date).
Once you are satisfied that you’ve adhered to your countries’ requirements, you will then send your proposals via PI. You can send them one by one, or send them in bulk.
Ensure you enable proposal reminders in your account, to help you get your proposals accepted by your set changeover date.
If your clients still have not accepted their proposals, at this point it's best to contact them directly.
And that’s it! Please note your Customer Success Manager, Account Manager, or our dedicated support team will be here to help you throughout the entire process.
how do I get my current details from my provider?
Most Direct Debit payment processors should have the ability to provide you with your clients’ bank account data. You may need to contact them directly to request the data, and in some circumstances, you may be asked to pay a fee. Unfortunately, Practice Ignition cannot assist you with this step.
Can I transfer credit card details using this method?
no - You cannot transfer credit card details between providers, otherwise, you will not be compliant with PCI standards. PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE CREDIT CARD DATA ON YOUR IMPORT FILE: PRACTICE IGNITION WILL NOT ACCEPT IT, AND YOU’LL BE PUTTING YOUR CLIENTS INFORMATION AT RISK.
I already created a payment schedule in my previous payment processor. Do I need to set up my payment schedule again?
Yes. This will be the same for any payment processor that you would transfer information to. The good news is that your payment schedules are built out as you create your proposals in PI, eliminating the typical two-step process of creating a separate proposal and payment schedule.
I don’t want to send proposals to my clients, can I skip this step?
Given that your proposals contain the payment schedule, you will need to create a proposal for each client regardless. If you want to avoid sending the proposals to your client, you can choose to accept the proposal on behalf of your client and then enable payments.
Please note: Practice Ignition does not recommend this process and does recommend that your client signs your proposal and payment schedule.
If you would like to proceed with accepting on behalf of your client regardless, please contact your CSM/AM, who will provide recommendations regarding best practice. Additional bulk services beyond the scope of the services outlined in this article are available for a fee.