Electronic Payments (ACH and Wire Transfer Process)
ACH (Automated Clearing House) is an electronic network that is used for financial transactions. The electronic transaction is created when Follett gains authorization to directly debit the Customer’s checking/saving account for the purpose of transferring the funds. ACHs are processed in larger volumes of transactions in batches, are not real time, are more frequently used for repetitive payments and have lower banking fees (compared to wire payments).
Wire Transfer is a network through which the electronic funds transfer (EFT) or exchange of money is transferred immediately from one bank account to the other account and is solely operated by the banks. Wire transfers are processed individually, are real time and thus result in higher banking fees.
Follett’s ACH and Wire payments are processed through Bank of America.
ACH/Wire Transfer Process Flow
Step 1: Store Sets Up Customer for ACH/Wire Payment
To set-up ACH/wire payments with the account contact/customer's entity, Follett is required to provide banking information (account #, routing #), tax ID and other applicable documentation. This can be accomplished in two ways:
Store initiates: Verification Letter
- Store accesses the appropriate verification letter and submits it to the account contact/customer.
Canadian Stores: Electronic Payment Wells Fargo Verification Letter - Canada)*
The letter includes the banking information and the required references as follows:
- Required reference to the Store # and Major Account # on the banking description field.
- Required reference to the Store Name, Store # and Major Account # on each notification of payment that is processed. The remittance advice notification should be sent directly to the Store.
Customer initiates: Application
- Store fills out the application, with the exception of the banking information and tax related information, and then forwards the account contact/customer’s entity ACH/wire vendor application or website information to the home office A/R department via e-mail ARDept@Follett.com or fax 630-850-1960.
- Home office emails the completed application along with the verification letter to the store. The store should then forward this information back to the account contact/customer's entity.
Step 2: Store Bills Customer Monthly
- Store generates the account contact/customer’s invoice/statement in CARRR.
- Store submits the invoice and supporting details directly to the account contact/customer's entity.
- Store fills out and attaches the Remittance Advice Request Letter, along with the invoice that instructs the account contact/customer's entity to include the required remittance advice information to be accompanied with all payments, including the wire/ACH.
Note: Stores are responsible for ensuring the updated billing information (Store #, Major Account #, etc.) is maintained in CARRR as this information is displayed on the monthly invoices/statements issued to the account contact/customers.
Step 3: Account Contact/Customer's Entity Processes Payment and Sends Notification to Store
The account contact/customer's entity processes payment and sends a remittance advice of the payment directly to the store.
Illustration: Account contact/customer's entity notification of payment example (This will vary by customer.)
Step 4: Store Emails/Faxes Notification of Payment to the A/R Department
Store can forward a copy of the payment notification to the home office via fax 630-850-1960 or email ARDept@follett.com.
Step 5: Store Initiates Payment in CARRR
The store is required to initiate all payments in CARRR once notification of a wire payment is received:
Note: Enter as much information as possible. In addition, if a payment needs to be split into different major accounts, this is done in the Apply Payment screen.
Step 6: Home Office Receives Payment from Bank
Payment is received at the Bank of America.
Note: The screenshot shown below reflects the only information home office receives related to ACH/Wires sent to Bank of America by the account contact/customer's entity. This information is used to allocate the funds to the stores. Therefore, it is critical that you ensure the account contact/customer's entity are inserting the required information within the reference description field (Store#, Major Account#).
Illustration: Bank of America’s ACH/Wire Information example
Step 7: Home Office Approves Initiated Payment in CARRR
The home office completes the steps to approve all the initiated payments in CARRR.
Step 8: Store Applies Payment in CARRR
The store applies the payment to the respective transactions in CARRR.
Note: Some government agencies have websites that are accessible for payment inquiries such as payment detail, current, pending and previous payments made to Follett. See the Government Agency Website Remittance Advice Information. Stores can use this information to initiate payments and notify home office about received payments.
Step 9: Home Office Monthly Exceptions
On a daily basic, the home office initiates and approves any ACH/wire payments that have been allocated to the store, but not initiated by the store in CARRR. The home office will email the store the payment breakout.
Note: Payment can be a combined total of multiple payments.