Initiating payments and payment dates
Initiating the Collection Request
Every day uCollect will log into your Xero ledger to see if there are any payments to collect for your connected contacts. We do this at the time specified in your Organisation Settings (“uCollect Processing Time”). We look for payments that are overdue or due within the number of days you have specified in your Gateway Settings (“Number of days in advance to initiate”).
For example, Heavenly Pizza is set to initiate at 2pm UTC, and select invoices 2 days in advance. The contact “Hungry Office” is connected to the gateway in uCollect and has the following approved invoices in Xero:
• INV-0010 for $100.00 due on 15/3
• INV-0011 for $565.00 due on 16/3
• INV-0016 for $51.65 due on 17/3
• INV-0017 for $199.00 due on 20/3
At 2pm on March 16 uCollect logs into Xero and check’s Heavenly Pizza’s invoices for Hungry Office. It will select all invoices that are due on or before March 18 (being March 16 plus two days). A collection request for $716.65 will be initiated for March 18 for Invoices INV-0010, INV-0011 and INV-0016. Invoice INV-0017 will not be initiated until March 18.
For Direct gateways there is nothing that you need to do – we will send the request directly to the gateway. If the gateway accepts the request we will mark it as paid in Xero in anticipation of receiving the payment. If the gateway returns an error as we request the transaction then we will not mark the invoice as paid and will send you an email. We will automatically re-try the collection tomorrow.
For Upload gateways we can’t send the request directly. Here’s what will happen when we detect that a payment is required for an Upload-type gateway:
- We will send you an email alerting you. We will email you every day until you have completed the suggested action. If you do not respond the payment will not be initiated. For this reason we strongly suggest that you set the number of days in advance that we should initiate to 2 or 3. This allows plenty of margin for delay over weekends etc.
- You will log into uCollect. On the Search Contacts and the Collection History screens you will see the following message reminding you that there are transactions that need your intervention.
- When you click “Generate Now” you will be shown a list of the various gateways that have pending transactions. If you do not want to generate one gateway right away you can de-select it.
- Click “Process all Selected Batches Now”.
- uCollect will generate the transaction files and process the impending payments against the invoices in Xero.
- uCollect will send the text files to upload to your browser (as a downloaded file). If you can’t see them then you can download them from the “Collection Result” screen (which will display automatically) or from the Collection History screen any time in the next day.
It is important that you upload these files to your financial institution right away as uCollect has now told Xero to expect the payment and will not remind you again if you forget to upload the file to your bank.
If your gateway notifies you that a payment has failed then you will need to reverse the payment in Xero. More information on this is in our “Special Cases” page.
Determining the Payment Date
- Due Date is the invoice due date from Xero or the scheduled installment date if an installment plan has been set up for this invoice
- today is the date that batch is created
- buffer is the value set in the gateway settings for “Minimum number of days first and one-off collection requests must be loaded before they can be collected” and “Minimum number of days recurring and final collection requests must be loaded before they can be collected” – these only apply to a handful of gateways and if you don’t see these settings in your gateways then your buffer will be 0 days