How to set up Direct Debit

What is Direct Debit?

Direct Debit lets you collect money directly from your customers' nominated bank accounts. It's usually used for regular ongoing expenses such as subscriptions or utility payments. Or to complete a payment plan for a large expense.

You'll need to set up a Direct Debit facility with your bank before you can process Direct Debit payments. 

You'll also need to have the right authority from your customers — this is called a Direct Debit Request (DDR) — for each bank account you want to be able to debit.

Note: This feature doesn't let you debit credit cards or international accounts. You'll only be able to debit Australian bank accounts with a BSB and account number.

Which banks can use Direct Debit?

Direct Debit should be supported by any bank that can process an ABA (Australian banking association) direct debit file.

Note that CommBiz can process these files for Commonwealth Bank Customers.

Overview of the Direct Debit setup process

Here are the steps you'll need to follow to set up Direct Debit in Wiise. 

  1. First, make sure your bank can process ABA Direct Debit files.
  2. Then contact your bank to set up a Direct Debit facility.
  3. Now set up your Bank Account in Wiise where the money will be credited.
  4. Collect Direct Debit Request Authorities (DDRs) from your customers and enter each Debit Bank Account against the customer.
  5. Go ahead and create Sales Invoices in Wiise as usual.
  6. When you want to create a journal of direct debits to process, open the new Cash Receipt Journal called Direct-Debit and use Suggest Customer Payments.
  7. The export a Direct Debit ABA File and upload this file to your online bank to process the direct debit transfers (details below).
  8. If any Debits are rejected, you can mark those in the journal before you post it.
  9. When you're happy with the entries, post the Journal.
  10. You can then open the Direct Debit Register to review the journal or to create emails to your customers notifying them of a successful debit, or letting them know about a failed debit
How to set up the right users for Direct Debit

Not all users have access to the Direct Debit (DD) cash receipt journal, so you can give the right people access.

Users will need to have Generate DD File in their User Setup to create DD payment files. Here's how to set this up:

  1. Start by searching for User Setup and then select the first link. 
  2. Next, select the user you want to change from the list, then set the Generate DD File to the right setting for that user. If it's ticked,  the user can generate the files, if it's blank they can't.
  3. If you can’t see the user in the list, you can: 
    1. Select New in the ribbon.
    2. Then select the ellipses […] next to the User ID box and find the user. Select them to add them to the list.
    3. To finish, tick the Generate DD File for this user (or leave it blank).
How to set up credit bank account for Direct Debits

A credit bank account is an account that will receive the money debited from your customers' accounts.

Make sure this bank account is set up in Wiise. Then go the Process Menu and select Direct Debit Setup. Then you can complete the following fields:

  • Transaction Account Description: Take care when you configure this description of your bank account, as it may appear as part of the transaction description seen by your customers. For example, Commonwealth Bank will use the first 10 characters of this description in the customers transaction description followed by the Direct Debit Reference. 
  • Direct Debit Reference: this appears on the debtor's bank statement. You can override this using the Direct Debit Reference field on the customer card
  • Bank Abbreviation: this is pre-filled with the approved financial institution abbreviation. For example, the Commonwealth Bank of Australia's abbreviation is CBA
  • APCA ID: the six-digit APCA ID or Direct Entry User ID. If in doubt, you can ask your bank for advice. Your organisation will usually have its own APCA ID for Direct Debits
  • Include Balance Line: does your bank need a Balancing line in the ABA file? Check with your bank if you're not sure
  • Export Format: the only format currently supported is Direct Debit ABA files and this should be already selected
  • Direct Debit No. Series: this is the sequential number series used for Direct Debit documents

You can also set up email notifications on this page. You can create an email subject and message for successful debit notifications and rejected debit notifications.

  • Advice emails can be sent to customers to let them know about the debits and whether they were successful
    • CC: enter an email address here to receive a copy of all advice emails you send. This can be helpful for troubleshooting or checking the email format when you set them up
    • Success Subject: this is the subject template for a successful direct debit advice email
    • Success Message: this is the message body for a successful direct debit advice email
    • Rejected Subject: this is the subject template for a failed direct debit advice email 
    • Rejected Message: this is the message body for a failed direct debit advice email 

You can use the variables from the list below to complete each email. For example, Debit #CustomerName by #CompanyName reference #DDNo. 

    • #CustomerName company name of the customer you're sending the advice to 
    • #CustomerContact contact name of the customer you're sending the advice to 
    • #DDNo the Direct Debit Document Number of the batch this email relates to 
    • #CompanyName your company's name 
    • #CompanyEmail your company's email 
    • #CompanyPhone your company's phone number 
    • #Username the user creating the advice emails
    • #DDAmount the amount of the direct debit transaction
  • Report: advice emails include an attachment that summarises the transactions. Wiise creates this as a PDF using this report as a template. The customer's email address will be used to send the notice, so make sure these are correct on the customer card.
  • Report ID: the Report Template ID for direct debits
  • Report Name: the name of the selected direct debit report

You can send emails from the Direct Debit Document page opened through the Direct Debit List. The section below will show you how to send emails.

Direct Debit Request (DDRs) authority forms

 You'll need to make sure you have a current and valid authority for each account you debit before processing the direct debit file. Check with your bank to find out how to collect these forms.

The details of these forms aren't recorded in Wiise so you'll need to make sure these are valid before you export transactions for processing.

How to set up a customer for Direct Debit

Once you've the signed Direct Debit Request (DDR) from the customer, you can go ahead and set up their bank account details. Here are the steps.

  1. First, go to the customer’s card in Wiise
  2. Then go to the Navigate Menu and select Bank Accounts
  3. Create a new Bank Account for the customer or select the existing account if it's already there
  4. Next, enter a name or number for Code to identify this account
  5. Enter the BSB & Account Number from the DDR form
  6. Then enable the Direct Debit Authority Held checkbox to confirm this is the account to use for Direct Debiting this customer
  7. You can now close the Customer Bank Account card to return to the customer card
  8. You should see the Direct Debit Account field now shows the account created or selected above
  9. You can use the Direct Debit Reference field to add the reference that will show on the customer's statement (it will be for this customer only)
How to create a Direct Debit ABA file

The first step is to open the Cash Receipt Journal called Direct Debit. You should see your credit account listed (the balancing account).

There are two ways to add debit lines. You can get Wiise's help using the Suggest Customer Payments option — Wiise will suggest all the entries that match options you select. Or you can add lines manually. 

How to add payment lines with Wiise’s help 

  1. Select Process > Suggest Customer Payments from the cash receipt journal ribbon. 
  2. A popup will open — fill in the fields: 
    • Last Payment Date is the latest customer payment date that you want to include 
    • Summarise Per Customer to create one line for each customer, or deselect this for one line per invoice
    • Bal. Account Type and Bal. Account No. for the bank account to be credited, this must match the balancing account for the Journal.
  3. The customer payments that match your selected options will now show as journal lines. 

How to add payment lines manually 

In the cash receipt journal line, make sure the ACCOUNT TYPE is Customer.

Select the arrow in the ACCOUNT NO. field and select the customer number from the list. 

  1. The CUSTOMER BANK ACCOUNT should be pre-filled with the bank account marked with Authority Held for that customer.
  2. Now select Process > Apply Entries from the ribbon – this opens the Apply Customer Entries window.
  3. From there, select the entries you want to include in this debit. Then select Process > Set Applies-to ID in the ribbon. This will fill in the Applies-to ID field.
  4. Next, set the Applies-to ID on the entries you want to apply this payment to and when you’ve finished, select OK. 
  5. You’ll be able to see the applied entries total in the AMOUNT column on the journal line. 

How to export the Direct Debit ABA File

Once you are happy with the Direct Debit lines then you can create the ABA File. 

  1. Select Process then Generate Direct Debit File. 
  2. Wiise will generate an ABA File based on the line items in the journal and download it. Check where your browser usually saves downloads for the file. It should be named DD_xx.aba (xx is a sequence number that goes up with each export).
  3. When the file is created a Direct Debit Document is also created to record what's in the file. The Document number will be listed against each line of the journal and the journal is now locked.
  4. You can now upload the ABA file to your bank for processing.
How to cancel a Direct Debit batch

If there are any issues found after exporting an ABA file from Wiise, you can cancel the file in the Cash Receipt Journal and export a new file.

This might be because the file was lost or an amount was incorrect once you uploaded the file to your online banking.

  1. Open the Cash Receipt Journal and select Process, then Cancel Direct Debit Export
  2. This will unlock the journal so you can edit it and export a new file. Take care to upload the correct file to your bank for processing.
How to post a Direct Debit Cash Receipt Journal

Direct Debit transactions can take up to 48 hours to succeed or fail so you may need to wait this long before you know the outcome of each transaction. 

Many banks provide extra details about the entries in an ABA file in their reconciliation files. These will help you understand the outcome of each transaction.

If any transactions have been rejected by your bank (often due to incorrect bank details or if the customer had insufficient funds) then you can mark these transactions as rejected in the journal before you post it.

These transactions entries won't be posted, but they will still be saved in the Direct Debit Register so notices of rejected transactions can be sent to these customers.

  1. To mark an entry as rejected, open the Direct Debit Cash Receipt Journal. Then tick the box labelled Direct Debit Rejected for any entries that were rejected.
  2. You can then post the batch as normal.
How to review the Direct Debit journal

The Direct Debit List keeps a record of each time you create a Direct Debit file, along with the transactions included and their outcomes when the journal is posted.

Search for Direct Debit List to review any previous files and the debit lines included.

How to send a Direct Debit email to a customer

From the Direct Debit Document screen, you can send emails to customers to let them know about the transaction and if it was successful. You can use the Direct Debit List (search for Debit List) to find the right Direct Debit Document to open.

There are 2 different emails that you can send.

  • A Success Message is sent when the line is NOT marked as rejected in the journal before posting. It uses the Success Template from the Direct Debit setup screen (see section above for how to set this up)
  • A Rejected Message is sent when the line IS marked as rejected in the journal before posting. It uses the Rejected Template from the Direct Debit setup screen (see the section above for details)

You can send emails for

  • All Successful transactions
  • All Rejected transactions
  • Selected Transactions
  • All transactions

Here are the steps to follow to send an email:

  1. Search for Direct Debit List and open the list.
  2. Then find the Direct Debit file you want to send emails for and select it.
  3. The Direct Debit Document page will open with the Direct Debit lines listed at the bottom of the page.
  4. Select the Manage menu in the Direct Debit Lines table header.
  5. Click Send Email…
  6. Finally, choose which emails you want to send and select OK to send them.