Bank Transfer and Auto Top-up

Bank Transfer and Auto Top-up

You can pay for items directly from your bank without having to use a debit or credit card and when your dinner money balance is running low you can also opt to have it topped up automatically from your bank – so your child never misses out.



What is Bank Transfer?

Bank Transfer enables you to pay for any school item directly from your bank account and is guaranteed by the Direct Debit service. There is no need to add or store debit or credit card details in ParentPay but it does require a Direct Debit mandate to be authorised by your bank before payments can be collected (up to 3 working days normally or 6 working days for initial setup).



Auto Top-up is not available for all payers.



How does it work?

When a payment is made using Bank Transfer, the payment is added to a batching process. This means that any subsequent payments can be aggregated and will show on your bank statement as a single entry for the combined amount. The batched payments are presented for processing each evening.  Payments made after the cut-off will be processed the following day.

Please note: The clearing process carried out by the banks can take up to 3 working days to complete.  Payments will be processed instantly in ParentPay and unless they fail, will act the same as any other payment method.


How do I set up Bank Transfer?

Once logged into ParentPay as a payer, the following three locations provide access to the setup process:

  • The Bank Transfer option on the Parent Account tab
  • The Payment Item Overview page
  • The Basket (when making a payment)

The website will guide you through each step after that to get your Bank Transfer set up.


Bank Transfer payment failed. What do I do?

Should a payment attempt fail, for instance; due to lack of funds in the bank account, you will be notified via email and will receive an alert message the next time you attempt to log in to the ParentPay. Your school will additionally receive notification of the failure and may contact you to arrange alternate payment.

It is not possible for ParentPay or your school to tell you why the payment has failed, therefore; you will need to contact your bank to establish the cause of the failure.

Please note:  After one failed payment using this facility it will be deactivated for your account and you will no longer be able to use the Bank Transfer service. For all future payments you will need to use another payment method.


Bank Transfer funds have not been taken. What do I do?

Funds cannot be taken from your bank account until your Bank Transfer Direct Debit mandate has been successfully set up and authorised by your bank.  If you believe there is an issue with this or if you believe you may have set the mandate  up incorrectly or in error, you must contact your bank in order to resolve.  Please note that it can take up to 3 working days to set the mandate up and a further 3 working days for the payment to complete (up to 6 working days total).


Can I delete or disable my Bank Transfer facility after setting it up?

Bank transfer can be disabled at any time (except during the period that your Bank Transfer Direct Debit mandate is being processed by your bank and you have already made a payment against it).


Can I still pay using other means such as Parent Account, VISA Checkout or PayPoint?

All other payment options remain available.


Can I change the bank account used by Bank Transfer?

If you change your bank account using the switching service (provided by most banks and building societies), your Bank Transfer Direct Debit mandate will be altered automatically as part of that service.

If you wish to manually change the bank account being used by Bank Transfer, the existing Bank Transfer Direct Debit mandate will need to be removed and then a new one added using the details of the new account.  You can do this by logging in to your Payer Account in ParentPay and using the options in Parent Account > Bank Transfer


Can I set up more than one Bank Transfer?

Only one Bank Transfer can be set up per account.  If a child has two payers associated with their account, both payers can configure their own Bank Transfer Direct Debit mandates.


Auto top-up

What is Auto top-up?

As part of the Bank Transfer facility, Auto top-up assists parents and carers in ensuring their child’s school meal balance is always in credit. It does so by allowing you to set a minimum balance threshold which, when breached, automatically credits your child’s meal balance by a fixed amount (configurable by you) using a Balance Transfer payment.

In order to use Auto top-up, you are required to set up the Bank Transfer facility on your account. As soon as this is authorised and completed by your bank, you will be able to use the Auto top-up facility.



Please note: Auto Top-up is not available for all payers.


How often is Auto top-up checked/updated?

Balances are checked once per day (currently between 1800 – 1900 GMT though times may vary).  If the associated balances have fallen below your configured threshold payment of the amount you have chosen will be taken to top up the balance.


What can it be used for?

Auto top-up is currently only available for non-bookable school meal services.

Please note: Auto top-up does not operate during holiday periods (as determined by your school’s or organisation’s term dates).

Please note: Low balance alerts are no longer needed for balances that are automatically topped up and are therefore disabled for that payment item.


Can I pause or disable Auto top-up?

You can pause or cancel your Auto top-up schedule at any time.


Can other payers be configured for Auto top-up for the same pupil?

Only one Auto top-up facility can be configured per pupil.  Once the first has been configured other related accounts will have the feature disabled against associated payment items.



Not found what you need?

For faster support, it is always best to contact your school first. They’ll be able to help with most issues. If you need to report an issue to us, we require that you log in to your account first. This allows us to securely identify you and your school right away. If you can’t log in, you can still log an issue with us though it will take longer to process. 

Click here to contact support

Was this article helpful?
35 out of 164 found this helpful



Article is closed for comments.