Membership Extra's Configuration Guide

Tips for readers

Offline auto-renew memberships means memberships which are linked to a recurring contribution using an offline payment processors. The recurring contribution should have auto-renew flag on.

Membership Extras

Membership Extras is a plug and play extension. Most of the generic functionality works out of the box.

There are a few exceptions where we chose to not presumptively configure for you during the extension installation mainly due to those configurations vary largely from organisation to organisation.

1. Membership auto-renewal

If you would like to allow those offline memberships which opted into auto-renew to be renewed by the system automatically, you need to follow the following steps:

1.1 Decide whether "Use latest price when auto renew membership?" should be enabled / disabled

You can find the “Use latest price when auto renew membership?” setting in Administer -> Payment Plan Settings. By enabling this setting, the system will reflect the latest membership price for all memberships in the renewed contributions unless a membership is opted out.

1.2 Decide whether to renew the memberships in advance of their end dates

You can also tell the system to renew memberships a number of days in advance of membership end dates if you want to have the payment schedule for the next period ready in advance.

This can be configured by going to Administer -> Payment Plan Settings and specify the number of days you want the renewal to happen in advance in the “Days to renew in advance” setting.

1.3 Enable offline auto-renew scheduled job

Now you have told the system how to renew the memberships, in order for the system to start auto-renewing the opted in memberships, you will need to enable the “Renew offline auto-renewal memberships” scheduled job.

With admin permissions, go to Administer -> System Settings -> Scheduled Jobs. Simply enabled the “Renew offline auto-renewal memberships” scheduled job. You also have a chance to configure the job to have a custom frequency.

2. Configure membership status rules for payment in arrears

The system can help you deal with memberships that have missed payments. You can configure such a status rule in Administer -> CiviMember -> Membership Status Rules.

Two new membership status triggers are provided by the extension in order to handle the status of memberships depending on the fulfilment of their instalments:

  • Membership is in arrears (Payment Plan) - any instalment contribution is not completed and the contribution received date is in the past
  • Membership is no longer in arrears (Payment Plan) - all instalment contributions whose contribution received date are in the past are completed

In a typical example where a membership should be set to inactive after a payment is late for 30 days, the new status rule should have the following configurations:

  1. Label: In Arrears
  2. Start Event: Membership is in arrears (Payment Plan)
  3. Start Event Adjustment: 30 days
  4. End Event: Membership is no longer in arrears (Payment Plan)
  5. Current Membership?: No

Please note that once you saved the new status rule, it will need to be moved to the top of the list in order to take effect (because payment check should have priority over date check).

3. (Optional) Decide whether any custom field groups from the contribution should not be copied to automatically generated contributions 

When new contributions are being generated by the auto-renewal scheduled job, the custom fields information from the previous contributions will also be copied over by default. This is to allow any additional information that forms a part of your organisation’s payment process being preserved during automated process.

A good example is, if one contribution has a link to a Direct Debit Mandate, the newly generated contributions under the same recurring contribution will likely need the same link. This is all taken care of by default.

However, if there are custom information on the contributions that should not be carried over to any new generated contributions. You are able to exclude them by going to Administer -> Payment Plan Settings and selecting them in “Custom groups to be excluded when auto-renew” setting.

4. (Optional) Using a different payment processor

Membership Extras uses a built-in "offline payment plan" payment processor to support the offline handling of recurring payment plans. If you happen to have another offline payment processor (payment processor that uses Payment_Manual class) and you would like all payment plan created in the back office to use that payment processor instead, you will be able to make that change in the “Offline payment processor for back office” setting by going to Administer -> Payment Plan Settings.

This is particularly useful if you are going to use our Manual Direct Debit extension.

Direct Debit for Membership Extras

  1. Setup you Direct Debit Originator number
  2. Configure how CiviCRM generates your Direct Debit mandate references:
    1. Default reference prefix
    2. Minimum mandate reference length
  3. Configure your new instruction dates
  4. Configure your payment run dates (including minimum days until first payment)
  5. Configure who can use the extension by setting Drupal level permissions
  6. Configure your Direct Debit reminder emails
    1. Enable the Direct Debit reminder Scheduled Job
    2. Configure how many days before the expected receive date that these should be sent
    3. Review the Direct Debit reminder emails to ensure that they are tailored to contain organisation specific information. 
  7. Configure the correct accounting codes for the new payment processor (receivables and bank)

Every organisation have their own Direct Debit related information and different Direct Debit process. Manual Direct Debit have some basic settings that can be adjusted to largely improve your process efficiency and profitability.

1. Setup you Direct Debit Originator number

A few configurations need to be set In order for the system to correctly generate mandate information.

Firstly you should specify your organisation’s Direct Debit originator number. You can do that by going to Administer -> Direct Debit -> Direct Debit Originator Number and adding a new originator number. If you are operation multiple business entities that have different Direct Debit originator numbers, you can create all of them on this screen.

2. Configure how CiviCRM generates your Direct Debit mandate references

The system also needs to know the format of your organisation’s Direct Debit mandate reference so it can generate the these references correctly every time a new mandate is created. Go to Administer -> Direct Debit -> Direct Debit Configuration mandate configuration section. Here you can find two settings: “Default reference prefix” and “Minimum mandate reference length”.

CivCRM generates mandate references based on a simple sequence starting from “1” and increases by one with each new mandate. These two settings work together to dictate the format of any mandate reference generated from CiviCRM. “Default Reference Prefix” indicates the prefix that should be added to the front of any of your mandate references. The number in “Minimum mandate reference length” setting will ensure your mandate reference is at least that number of characters long . It achieves that by filling any gaps with “0”.

In a typical example where your organisation’s mandate always starts with “M” and it’s at least 6 characters long. You should set “Default Reference Prefix” to “M” and “Minimum mandate reference length” to 6. In this case, the mandate references will generated as following:

  • First mandate: “M” + “0000” (4 characters short hence filled with 4 “0”s) + “1” = M00001

  • Eleventh mandate: “M” + “000” (3 characters short hence filled with 4 “0”s) + “11” = M00011

  • 100,000th mandate: “M” + “100000” = M100000 (minimum length met by concatenating prefix and sequence hence no filling “0”s)

Please note that you might want to change to use a different prefix if you have been taking Direct Debit payments before installing Manual Direct Debit to avoid a reference clash.

3. Configure your batch run dates

Whenever a collection day is not specified during the creation of a Direct Debit payment plan, Manual Direct Debit will calculate the optimal cycle day (collection day) of a month for you based on your current batching process.

There are three pieces of information of your batching process that the extension needs to collect in order to perform the best calculation. Go to Administer -> Direct Debit -> Direct Debit Configuration payment configuration section and you will find the following three settings:

  • New instruction run dates: let the extension know which days of the month your organisation normally submit a new instruction batch
  • Payment collection run dates: let the extension know which days of the month your organisation normally submit a payment collection batch
  • Minimum days from new instruction to first payment: most of the banks will take a number of working days to process and approve new Direct Debit mandates. The is typically 3 working days. This means that you should not expect to collect payments from a newly submitted mandate until at least 3 working days after the mandate is submitted to the bank. In the example of 3 working days, we recommend you to set this setting to “5” days to offset the potential weekend days in between.

If you are interested in knowing how the calculation works, you can read this sample timeline.

4. Configure who can use the extension by setting Drupal level permissions

For non-super-admin users, two permissions are required to fully manage Direct Debit batches:

  • CiviCRM: view all manual batches
  • CiviCRM : Can manage Direct Debit Batches

Make sure these permissions are granted to trusted personnels.

5. Configure your Direct Debit communications

5.1 Review the Direct Debit reminder emails to ensure that they are tailored to contain organisation specific information

Direct Debit for Membership Extras contains 5 message templates dedicated for Direct Debit communications:

  • Direct Debit Payment Sign Up Notification
  • Direct Debit Payment Update Notification
  • Direct Debit Payment Collection Reminder
  • Direct Debit Auto-renew Notification
  • Direct Debit Mandate Update Notification

Initially these templates all contain same amount of information. They contain a number of Direct Debit specific smarty code in order to fetch the related order details and mandate information. Before you use them to either manually or automatically send out communications to the customers, you will probably want to:

  1. Remove unnecessary Direct Debit information from each template based on the information needed in each type of communication
  2. Add organisation specific information into the message templates
  3. Format the message templates

Please see the Direct Debit extension spec for the template content breakdown.

5.2 Set up Direct Debit activity-based scheduled reminders

Direct Debit for Membership Extras records activities for nearly all Direct Debit operations you perform in CiviCRM. Using these activities, you can set up a variety of Direct Debit scheduled reminders. 

The following four types of activities can usually be used as a base of automated Direct Debit communications:

  1. New Direct Debit Recurring Payment - used in association with Direct Debit Payment Sign Up Notification
  2. Update Direct Debit Recurring Payment - used in association with Direct Debit Payment Update Notification
  3. Offline Direct Debit Auto-renewal - used in association with Direct Debit Auto-renew Notification
  4. Direct Debit Mandate Update - used in association with Direct Debit Mandate Update Notification

To create a new scheduled reminder, go to Administer -> Communications -> Scheduled Reminders and click on Add Reminder button.

5.3 Set up Direct Debit payment collection reminder

If you would like the system to send out Direct Debit payment collection reminder to users automatically in advance of the payment date, you will need to enable the “Send Direct Debit Payment Collection Reminders” scheduled job.

With admin permissions, go to Administer -> System Settings -> Scheduled Jobs. Simply enabled the “Send Direct Debit Payment Collection Reminders” scheduled job. You also have a chance to configure the job to have a custom frequency.

You can also tell the system, to send out the notification a number of days in advance of the expected payment receive date by going to Administer -> Direct Debit -> Direct Debit Configurations and specify the number of days you want the automated notification to be sent out in advance in the “Days in advance for Collection Reminder” setting.

6. Direct Debit accounting code

Manual Direct Debit provides a Direct Debit payment method which is then used for all Direct Debit payment processor. Contact your accountant to find out which Financial Account should Direct Debit payment method use in order to ensure the income via this payment method is allocated to the correct accounting code.

To create the code, go to Administer -> CiviContribute -> Financial Accounts and add a new financial account with “Asset” type and the accounting code your accountant suggested.

Once the account is created, you can link the account to the Direct Debit payment method by going to Administer -> CiviContribute -> Payment Methods and edit the “Direct Debit” item. Simply select the new account in the “Financial Account” setting and save.