We are pleased to announce the release of Pet Sitter Plus Version 4.3. Here is a rundown of the new features;
This new release is all about the automatic processing of payments from your clients credit / debit cards. The headline new function in this release is
Ability for you (our client) to apply for a Stripe merchant account
Ability for your clients to store their debit / credit cards details in their own online account (which is the Pet Sitter Plus client portal).
Ability for you to take payments directly from your clients stored credit / debit cards either one payment at a time or in bulk.
Ability for your clients to make payments to you using their stored credit / debit card details from their online account.
This new functionality differs from the existing PayPal function (released in version 4.2) in that for the first time you now have the option to take payments from your clients credit / debit cards (either one at a time or “in bulk”) as and when you choose without having to rely on your clients to make a payment. This function will help anyone who handles a large volume of credit card transactions.
More convenient for clients.
Once a client has deposited their credit / debit card details in their online account, they no longer have to worry about paying your bills as you now have the ability to take their payment on their behalf on the date the payment becomes due.
No more waiting to get paid.
By providing the details of their credit / debit cards, your clients have authorized you to take payments from their card. This means you get paid on time because you now have control over when the payments are taken.
Using this system for processing payments means far less time spent on admin, for example;
a) When payments are taken from your clients’ credit / debit cards, Pet Sitter Plus will process the receipt automatically, marking any outstanding invoices as paid. This saves time as you no longer need to process receipts manually.
b) Payments can be processed “in bulk” from the unpaid invoices report. All unpaid accounts where a credit /debit card is held on file are identified in the unpaid invoices report. These can be selected and credit / debit card payments processed in a single batch.
This service utilizes a third party payment processor known as Stripe. In order to process payments through Stripe you will need a Stripe account and fees apply on a “per transaction” basis. Please refer to https://stripe.com for more information about fees that apply in your country.
So if you’re still reading this because you have a requirement for this type of functionality, how do you get started?
Step 1 – Apply for your Stripe account.
The first thing you need to do is to apply for your Stripe account. The process is pretty straightforward. Simply login to your Pet Sitter Plus account and go to ADMIN > SUPPORTING DATA > PAYMENT CREDENTIALS. Then click “Stripe” on the left hand side. If you have not yet connected your Stripe account you will see a large “Connect to Stripe” button. Click this button.
Figure 1 - Connect with Stripe.
If you do not yet have a Stripe account then you will need to complete the account application form shown in Figure 2 below.
Figure 2 – Stripe Account Application Form
If you already have a Stripe account and your PC is logged into this account, then Pet Sitter Plus will detect and connect to your account automatically in which case you will see the screen below.
Figure 3 – Stripe account detected and connected.
If this screen is not showing but you think you have created your account successfully, try refreshing your browser.
Step 2 – Setting your payment credentials.
Now that you have connected your stripe account you are ready to set your payment credentials which is a field located on the client record. The payment credentials field controls the method of payment that is available to each client within their online account.
The current options for setting payment credentials are;
If the payment credential is left "Default (none), the client will not be offered any options to pay you from their online account. Both the option to “pay now” with PayPal and the option to lodge a credit / debit card and pay with Stripe will not be available. Consequently you will not have the option to take payments from your clients as they become due. Use this option if you have not connected your PayPal account or your Stripe account to Pet Sitter Plus or if you don’t want a particular client to be able to pay you using either of these methods.
If the payment credential is set to PayPal, your client will be able to pay you with either their PayPal account or with their credit / debit card using PayPal. This option supports “Pay Now” functionality whereby the client can elect to pay you by clicking a “Pay with PayPal” link in their online account. The PayPal payment credential option does not support the function to lodge credit / debit cards in the client portal so your clients are unable to authorize you to take payments on their behalf using the PayPal payment credential.
If the payment credential is set to Stripe, your clients will see a “settings” tab in their online account. By selecting “Settings” they can elect to lodge the details of one or more credit / debit cards in their online account. Once their card details are stored they can click a “Pay with Stripe” link to settle outstanding invoices at a time that suits them using the details of their stored credit / debit cards.
Additionally this option supports general payment authorization in that your clients can authorize you to take payments from their stored cards on their behalf.
You can configure Pet Sitter Plus to assume or mandate authorization such that when your clients store their credit / debit card details in their online account, the default assumption of the system is that they have authorized you to take payments from their cards on their behalf. To do this you much check the box labeled “Require Automatic Charges Allowed” (see figure 3 above). When you do this, clients do not have the option to un-authorize you to take payments, other than by deleting their card details.
Default Payment Credentials
If you have many clients you might want all (or some) of them to have the option to use one particular payment credential such as Stripe or PayPal. You can therefore “auto set” all your clients payment credential to a particular value by setting the default payment credential.
Figure 4 – Setting the default payment credential.
Inviting clients to access their online account and lodge their credit / debit card details.
Now that your Stripe account has been created and you have set the client payment credentials, you are ready to invite your clients to lodge their credit / debit cards in the client portal and pay with stripe (authorizing you to take payments from their stored card details).To do this you will need to devise an email template that you can send out with your invoices. A typical example of such a template is shown below in figure 5
Figure 5 Email Template
New “Settings” Tab.
Once the client payment credentials have been set to Stripe for any given client, a new tab labeled “Settings” will appear in that clients online account. In “Settings” your clients can click “manage cards” where they can lodge the details of one or more credit / debit cards. Please note that this tab will not be displayed if the payment credentials option for any particular client is not set to Stripe.
Figure 6 – Click “settings” to add details of a credit / debit card.
Figure 7 – Adding a Credit / Debit Card.
Once your client has added at least one valid credit / debit card, they then have the option to pay you using Stripe.
Figure 8 – Account Summary with option to “pay with stripe”
Figure 9 – Stripe payment is auto posted to Pet Sitter Plus
Once a payment is received it is detected by Pet Sitter Plus and auto posted to the client account.
No more waiting to get paid.
Finally, now that your clients have lodged their credit / debit cards, you now have the option to take payments yourself on the due date. You can take as many payments as you like “in batch” using the unpaid invoices report. Simply select one or more outstanding invoices where the green icon indicates a valid credit / debit card. Then click “take payments with Stripe”. The system will attempt to take all the payments it can for the corresponding selected debts.
Figure 10 – Unpaid Invoices Report
Other New Enhancements in Release 4.3
Switch to schedule view.
The other main new feature in this release is closer integration between the diary and the schedule. Now you can switch between the diary view and the schedule view without the need to re-enter your particular selection / lookup criteria.