How do Card Payments work in Arbor?

Set up, make and manage payments within the Arbor MIS, saving time otherwise used on maintaining and using more than one system. 

Top features:

  • A reduced transaction fee of 1.275% + VAT (cheaper than most providers)
  • Save time by managing payments, reports and invoices in Arbor with no need for other systems
  • Pay out to multiple bank accounts and see a detailed breakdown of each payout

Arbor’s card payments functionality is available only for schools located in the UK, excluding the Isle of Man.

If you do not wish to use our MIS for payment-related data management, nothing will change. But because Arbor's card payments functionality is the cheapest and easiest option, we recommend schools explore this as an option.

How can payments be made?

Parents and guardians can pay by card for Trips, Clubs, Meals and other Customer Accounts within the Parent Portal and Arbor App. Take a look at our parent portal articles about how parents can make a payment for Meals, make a payment for clubs or make a payment for trips for more information.

Within your MIS, you can log cash or cheque payments for Clubs, Trips and Meals. You can also log payments for Customer Accounts of individual students or staff members by going to the Payments section on their profile.

You can also take card payments for Meals and other Customer Accounts (that have card payments enabled) wherever you can see a Pay by card/Top up by card button. It is not possible to make card payments for Clubs and Trips through the MIS as an admin - you would need to Log in as a guardian.

You can add additional options for payments (for example, if you wanted to set up an account for snacks) by setting up additional Customer Account Types. This is a prepayment account, meaning you can top-up a balance on this account for students and/or staff - similar to Meals.

Card payment authentication

Arbor is compliant with requirements for authenticating online payments called Strong Customer Authentication (SCA), introduced to improve security. When you make an online payment, SCA requires you to verify that you are who you say you are. In Arbor, this means users or parents will need to complete an extra step to verify the transaction when making a payment through the Arbor MIS, Parent Portal or Arbor App.

To make a payment, just go to the area of Arbor you would like to make the payment in, and click through until you are presented with the option to input your card details. Note that Arbor only accepts payments by Visa and MasterCard cards. You then may need to perform Card Payment Authentication.



How does refunding work?

Every refund impacts the sum which will be paid out to the bank accounts in the next scheduled payout. The payout amount is calculated as the sum of all received card transactions minus the sum of all refunds issued during the payout coverage interval.

When a card refund transaction is issued, Arbor automatically creates a refund on the corresponding Customer Account for the student or staff member.

  • For a student, go to Student Profile > Payments > selected Customer Account > Refunds.
  • You can also see the list of all card refunds in School > Payments > Reconciliations > Card Payments > Card Refunds.

Payouts to bank accounts

Arbor pays out funds received from card payments to bank accounts on a weekly basis on Monday. This means that all card payments received from Sunday on the previous week to Saturday inclusive will be paid out to the defined bank accounts on the following Monday.

For example, four payments were received on Sunday 1st March, Wednesday 4th of March, Saturday 7th March and Sunday 8th March. The first three payments will be paid out to bank accounts on Monday 9th March, but the last payment will not be paid out until the following Monday.

In rare cases, it might happen that money received from some card transactions are not available for the scheduled payout. If this happens, these card transactions will be rescheduled for paying out the following Monday. We also cannot guarantee money arrival to the bank accounts on the same day. This can take up to three business days. This is because the system relies on Stripe to process card payments.

Our payment provider

We use Stripe for performing card payments, but from within Arbor. Setting up card payments in Arbor creates a Stripe Connected Account for your school.

Stripe takes privacy and security very seriously. Read Stripe’s Privacy Policy on their website for an explanation of how and for what purposes they collect, use, retain, disclose, and safeguard any personal data provided by Arbor.

Stripe’s safety features include:

  • PCI Service Provider Level 1 - the highest grade of payment processing security.
  • All transactions made via Stripe are SSL (Secure Socket Layer) protected. All information is securely transmitted during processing of payments.
  • All credit card numbers are encrypted which ensures security.
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