(AF-3) Allowing Payment By Instalments

The biggest single feature of Workshop Angel that sets it apart from other event management systems is the ability to manage all the finances around clients paying a deposit at the time of booking, followed by subsequent payments.
The default way this works is for there to be a single final payment. However you can also set up your activity for your clients to make any number of monthly payments, and these can vary depending on how many months before the activity they make their booking.
Let's look into the fine details of how all this works!

Price or Activity Based Method

The first concept to understand is that you can set payment by instalments up to be something only available when a client chooses a specific attendance price, or available for them to select no matter what price they chose. These are known as Price or Activity payment by instalments methods respectively.
Here is how you may choose which of these methods to use...
Maybe you like to offer a range of different price options to your clients. These may be for different levels of affordability, or depending on how early the client makes their booking. If you would like to offer the possibility for payment by instalments for each of these booking prices, then you will be better to work with the Activity based method. By using this method, you also have the ability to add a surcharge for using the monthly payment option.
If you have a more simple pricing structure with just one or two normal payment options and one instalment based option, then you will probably find it simpler to use the Price based method.

Fixed or Variable Instalment Dates

There are two ways the instalment dates can be defined:

Fixed Dates

This is where you define the number of instalments, percentage amounts, and the specific dates that payments need to be made, so for example on 1st January, 1st February, 1st March.
In this case, you are responsible for making sure that:
  • The deposit amount plus each instalment amount adds up to the full amount due
  • If you have chosen to implement a price based approach, then you set the price to no longer be available once the first instalment date is approached.

Variable Dates

This is where the app decides the number of instalments and the dates they should be made, based on how long before the "final payment date" the booking is made. The payment amount is equal for each instalment.
When this type is set, then the instalments will fall due on the first day of each month, and the first one will become due at least one month after the date of booking.
The final payment date is determined by the start date of the activity, minus the number of days before the activity that the final payment is due. So for example, if the start date is 28th January and the number of days before the activity that the final payment is due is set to 28, then the "final payment date" will be 1st January.
If you are holding an activity that runs over many months, you can define the number of days before the activity that the final payment is due to be a negative number so that the payments schedule continues into the time the activity is running. So for example, if the start date is 28th January and the number of days before the activity that the final payment is due is set to -31, then the "final payment date" will be 28th February.
That's a lot of detail... we hope it makes sense!

Setting up the Activity Method

To set up the Activity method:
  • Go inside your activity
  • Click on the Payments tab
  • Make sure you have set the "Payment when client books is" option to one of the deposit payment types
  • Set the "Payment by monthly instalments... " option to be "... is allowed".

Setting Up the Price Method

To set up Price Instalment types:
  • In your activity on the Payment tab, make sure you have set the "Payment when client books is" option to one of the deposit payment types.
  • On this same Payments tab, make sure the "Payment by monthly instalments... " option is set as "... is not allowed".
  • Create a new Price and go to the Basics tab.
  • Make the Price Type "Instalments"
  • Set the Description and Explanation fields so that they accurately describe the payment option you are offering with this price.
  • Go to the Flexibility tab of the Price
  • Set the "Payment by monthly instalments... " option to be "... is allowed".
We also recommend that you allow just one attendee per booking if using the Price method as the booking form may give unpredictable results if one attendee chooses an instalments price and another one does not...

Working with Fixed or Variable Dates

The options in the app use this terminology:
  • Fixed Dates: "Monthly instalments are defined here in the price/activity"
  • Variable Dates: "Monthly instalments are defined at the time of booking"
Whether you use the Activity or Price based method, the way to choose this is the same.

To select Variable Dates

  • Set the "Monthly instalments are defined..." option to be "... at the time of booking".

To select Fixed Dates:

  • Set the "Monthly instalments are defined..." option to be "... here in the price/activity".
This will display an area below where the specific instalment dates can be defined:
To add your fixed payment instalments:
  • Click on [+ Add Instalment]
A new instalment will appear:
  • Edit the date and percentage or fixed amount value
  • Add and edit further instalments
  • Click on [Save]
When you click on [Save], the app will show you the last date that this payment by instalments options can be used, which is set to one calendar month before the first instalment is due:
If this is using the Price method:
  • Go to the Availability tab of the price and make sure the price will only be available up to this date one month before the first instalment.

Working with Fixed or Percentage Amounts

An activity can have the deposit amount set to be either a fixed amount (e.g. £100), or a percentage (e,g, 10%). This is set on the activity's Payment tab.
For defining Fixed instalments, if the deposit is set as percentage, then the amount of each instalment will be defined as a percentage. If the deposit is set as a fixed amount, then the amount of each instalment will be defined as a fixed amount.
We recommend in most cases working with percentages rather than fixed amounts, as this will most easily take into different prices and options chosen during the booking process.

Testing Your Options

When you have set up Payment By Instalments, you are best to test that it is working as expected by adding one or two test attendees.
If you have used the Activity method, the booking form will offer payment by instalments as an option.
If you have used the Price method, the booking form will offer payment by instalments automatically if the instalments type of price is selected.

Tracking the Payments

Setting up Payment By Instalments gives many more payments for you to keep track of. We recommend that you make use of the autosend feature for sending out payment reminders to make this task much easier... you can find the details of how to do this in lesson SM-3.

Summary

We have looked at the idea of payment by instalments, and how this can be set up within a single price, or for the whole activity. We've discussed fixed and variable instalment dates, how to set up the method that you have chosen, and how to test that it is working okay.
We recognise that this is quite a detailed topic, so if you have further questions, please feel free to ask us!
In the next lesson will will cover how to work with mulitple brands.