Once you have completed the setup, you will be able to make and receive card payments in Arbor.
How long will it take?
- Add school details and documents - 5 minutes
- Add controller/owner’s details - 5 minutes
- Add school representative’s details and documents - 3 minutes
- Add a bank account - 5 minutes
- Add a bank account for receiving payouts - 5 minutes
- Add your customer account types - 15 minutes (dependant on the number of accounts to set up)
- To complete any of the setup required to use card payments, you must have the Finance: Administer permission.
- To be able to top up accounts other than your own, you must have the Finance: Administer permission.
- To be able to see all the information about card payments in Arbor, you must have the Finance: View permission.
Check you have these permissions by going to your profile and clicking Roles and Permissions > Permissions. For how to assign permissions, click here.
What you'll need before getting started
Please note: If you used to use methods outside of your MIS to make and manage payments (such as Stripe or ParentPay), your old data will not be migrated into Arbor.
Please note that payments are included in any of our Perform packages or our newest Comms package. All other Arbor packages won’t have this feature by default. Want to upgrade or find out what package you’re on? Just get in contact with your Account Manager.
To set up card payments on your site you will need certain pieces of information. Use our checklist to help gather these details: Arbor Card Payments Setup Checklist
You must add a bank account in order to receive payouts via card transactions.
In order to enable card payments and to be able to pay out money to different bank accounts, you must define this for each Customer Account Type. These actions are only available if you have had your account verified.
Submitting information for identity verification
The Information we ask you to provide in these instructions is necessary for performing 'Know Your Customer' identity verification which is legally required.
Go to School > Payments > Setup > Card Payments > Accounts for Card Payments.
Click the +Add button to start the identity verification process. Note that most of the fields will be pre-filled with data that is already saved in Arbor for your school. Please check this information is correct.
Enter your school details including your school name, URN (find this in School > School Details), school telephone number and address, then click Next.
Upload a document that shows your school name and address. Please note, the details on the verification document must match the school name and address specified during the card payment setup or the new details you've added on this page.
We recommend using one of these documents:
- Recommended - Your school's Ofsted inspection report (you can get this from here). Just type in your school's name or URN (find this in School > School Details) and click on your school to download the Full inspection report (a shorter report won't be sufficient).
- Utility bill in the name of your school
- Bank-issued document in the name of your school
- Companies House Document
- Charity Commission Document
Enter the details of your school controllers/owners by clicking +Add.
The school controller/owner is a person who has significant management control over your school, e.g. school headteacher, governor or trustee. These people have the ultimate responsibility regarding how money is managed at the school, essentially 'the buck stops with them'. The controller is just a named person(s) and doesn't need to verify any changes or actions. You can specify multiple controllers/owners.
Include their job title, their legal first and last names, their date of birth, their email address and their home postal address. You must include the details of at least one controller.
The address included must be the controller’s/owner’s home address, not the school’s address and must match the address on the identification document provided.
Enter the school representative’s details. The school representative can be any member of staff who has the Finance: Administer permission. We recommend you to use your own details for simplicity.
The representative is the person in charge of managing money at the school on a daily basis. Although this person may manage the money on a daily basis, they may not be ultimately responsible for the whole school's budget and finances. Our payment provider uses this person's details to verify that the school's account is legitimate and run by a real business. You can only specify one representative.
Include their job title (This will by default show the title on your contract. If you have more than one, make sure you change it to show the right title), their legal first and last names (these must be the same as on the photo ID), their date of birth, their email address and telephone number (these will automatically show the defaults of the user), their home postal address and a photo ID.
In the next step, add bank accounts that you would like to use for making payments. At least one bank account must be added. You must add a bank account in order to receive payouts via card transactions. We recommend adding your school bank account at this step.
You’ll need to use a bank account that accepts BACS and direct debits payments to usePayments in Arbor.
Click Next to continue. You will be able to add any other bank accounts later on.
Finally, make sure that all the information is correct, read and accept the Terms and Conditions and click Submit to complete the process.
When you submit your information, Arbor will create a Stripe Connected Account for your school. Once the information is verified by Stripe, you will be able to continue with the setup process.
Photo ID requirements
Make sure that the legal name provided is the same as on the photo ID, and that the address included on the ID matches the user’s address recorded.
- Passport (preferred)
- Driver’s license or other government-issued ID such as a resident permit ID card or UK permanent residence document, citizen card, etc. Include both the front and back otherwise the verification process may be unsuccessful.
- A colour image (files in grayscale cannot be verified), rotated with the image right-side-up
- Clear picture with no light bouncing off the ID
- JPG or PNG format
- Less than 5MB in size
- Image smaller than 8000px*8000px
Do not resubmit files that previously failed - duplicate uploads trigger an error and are not rechecked.
What if identity verification fails?
Here are the most common reasons identity verification may fail, and the solution:
- Problems with the photo ID file, such as it being corrupted, in grayscale, not readable or the ID was not UK government-issued - Submit a new photo ID that meets the requirements. Do not resubmit a file that previously failed, as duplicate uploads immediately trigger an error and are not rechecked.
- The name on the submitted photo ID does not match the name provided - Verify and correct the name of the person in question.
- The name of the school’s representative could not be verified - Correct the school’s representative name to their full legal name and submit a photo ID with a matching name.
- The address for the controller/representative has been set as the school's rather than their personal address.
You can follow the instructions here to see how to check and update details: Change the controllers/owners and representative for card payments
If your identity verification still fails and you are sure it has not worked as it should, contact our Support Team.
Identity verification FAQ
Identity verification is important and is legally required as part of Know Your Customer (KYC) regulations. You can read more about the laws governing our identity verification process here.
They require us and our payment provider to collect and verify information of all our payment account holders - click here for more details on how our payment provider complies with KYC regulations.
The verification process has two steps. Arbor collects the required information from your school and provides it to our payment provider. Then our payment provider then verifies the information. If verification fails, the submission is manually reviewed. Then the account is manually verified, or rejected if the information cannot be verified.
The regulations in Great Britain require us to collect and maintain this information. This is then submitted to our payment provider to verify its authenticity.
The information you provide will not be used for any other purposes than identity verification.
Our payment provider advises that Connected Accounts should not have the same controller/owner. If you try to use the same controller/owner details for different schools’ card payment accounts, this could cause problems with the account later.
This means that if one person sets up card payments for several schools (e.g. a trust staff member), we advise that they provide different information for the School controller/owner for each school. This is why we recommended using the Head Teacher’s details.
As the controller/owner and the representative have different roles, the people named need to be different. If you try to set them up with the same details you’ll get an error message. If you are the School Representative you will need to be removed from the School Controller section to proceed.
You must provide photographic identification so we can verify that you are who you say you are.
We are bound by Governmental guidelines to check who our customers are by asking them to provide their name, date of birth and photograph on an official document that confirms their identity.
Because of this, you must provide a photo ID during the card payments setup process to be able to complete the process and use card payments in Arbor.
Verification is performed by Stripe and typically takes a few minutes to verify a photo ID, provided that it meets the requirements. However, verification may take up to a couple of business days, depending on how readable the photo ID you provided is.
Legal information can take longer to verify, as Stripe needs to check the information provided against the information available from tax authorities. Usually, Stripe lets us know within a few minutes if there's been an issue.
Adding bank accounts for receiving payouts
To add a bank account for receiving payouts, go to School > Payments > Setup > Card Payments > Bank Accounts for Payouts.
Click +Add and fill in the form and click Add bank account for payouts. Be sure to add a bank account that accepts BACS or direct debit payments.
Check the account details before proceeding. It will not be possible to change or delete a bank account after it is created. Click Edit if you need to change anything.
Click Confirm and add bank account to add the bank account for payouts.
Enabling card payments for a Customer account type
Important note: Until the bank account for payouts is verified for a Customer Account Type, card payments will not be possible for Customer Accounts with this type (even if “Accept card payments” is selected).
Follow the instructions in our article here: Setting up another Customer Account Type
Go to School > Payments > Setup > Customer Account Types. To enable card payments for existing Customer Account Type, click on the chosen Customer Account Type in the list and click Edit.
Check Accept card payments. This will enable card payments for all Customer Accounts with this type.
Select a bank account for payouts. The details of the selected bank account will be used when performing payouts for all Customer Accounts of this type.
Changes to the bank account for payouts require verification from one of the other staff members that have the Finance: Administer permission.
Arbor does not send any kind of notifications to inform staff that they need to verify a Customer Account Type, so we recommend you contact them directly.
Other changes to Customer Account Types (description, name) do not require verification.
To make sure the correct bank account is selected for a Customer Account Type, changes to the Bank account for payouts field must be verified. This is done to prevent errors (e.g when a bank account is added with typos).
Verification can be done by another member of staff that has the Finance: Administer permission and did not perform the change. You can see the list of school staff who can verify this change when you click on the Customer Account Type in question.
To verify, go to School > Payments > Setup > Customer Account Types. Here you can see all Customer Account Types that have unverified bank accounts for payouts.
Click on the chosen customer account type that needs verification and check the bank account for payouts provided. It will not be possible to change or delete a bank account for payouts after it is verified, so check carefully that the information is correct.
You can click the Edit button if you need to change anything. Click Mark as verified to confirm the verification.
Once the bank account for payouts is verified, it is not possible for you to change it, so please make sure that the bank account for payouts is defined correctly.
You can disable card payments for a Customer Account Type at any moment of time.
Other changes to Customer Account Types (e.g. description, name) do not require verification.
No, this is not possible. You have to perform the setup within Arbor to be able to accept card payments.
That's fine, just don’t perform the setup. You can still log cash, cheque or bank transfer payments, but won't be able to make card payments.
This is only possible if your Card Payments account is verified. You can check this at School > Payments > Setup > Card Payments > Card Payments Setup.
A bank account for payouts is used for paying out money received from card payments. To make sure the correct bank account is selected for a Customer Account Type, changes to the Bank account for payouts field must be verified. This is done to prevent errors (e.g when a bank account is added with typos) and to reduce the risk of payouts failing.
No, Arbor does not send any notifications. You will have to ask someone in your school who has the Finance: Administer permission to verify the bank account for payouts for a Customer Account Type. You can see the list of staff that can do this when you open the slide over for the Customer Account Type in question.
If you have completed the setup process, but card payments are not enabled, please check the following:
- Check whether your Card Payments account is verified. For this go to School > Payments > Setup > Card Payments > Card Payments Setup.
- If the account is verified, check whether “Accept card payments” is ticked for the required Customer Account Type. For this go School > Payments > Setup > Customer Account Types.
- If card payments are enabled for the Customer Account Type, check whether the Bank account for payouts is verified. For this, click on the Customer Account Type. You might need to ask a colleague to perform the verification.
If your school has processed a large number of payments totalling a large sum of money, or you didn’t provide us with enough information during setup, you might be asked to provide additional details, such as Photographic ID or proof of address. Take a look at this article for what you might need to provide and why.
The first payout will be made 7–10 days after the first successful payment is received. The first payout usually takes longer for Stripe to process in order to establish the Stripe account.
This means if the first payout is scheduled on Monday, but the first payment was less than 7 business days ago, the payout will be cancelled and money will be paid out in the next payout, the following Monday.
Once you've set up Card Payments in Arbor, staff and guardians can make payments directly into Arbor: