Booking charges

In this article

Overview of intended functionality
Module configuration
Adding charges
Handling refunds
Sending the customer booking page

Overview of intended functionality

You can easily raise Charges against bookings and then notify customers of their charges due. Intuitive charge suggestions are provided based on prices matching each booking's date, booking type, assigned resources and resource quantity, making raising charges even easier.

Customers can even pay their booking charges online, giving your organisation and your customers a simple, secure and efficient method of managing their bookings and the related charges. The charges functionality also supports payment by other payment methods, like bank transfer, cash and cheque, with comprehensive reporting for module Users to help you keep track of paid and unpaid charges and those due and overdue for payment.

Charges are raised against a booking, but for multi-date bookings, charges are added against the sequence. This gives you lots of flexibility with the frequency of raising charges within a sequence, perhaps raising charges booking-by-booking or on a weekly or monthly, or even for the entire sequence in one charge if you wish. You can raise multiple charges for any booking or sequence, perhaps for deposits, instalments and extras. For each charge, you can optionally set a due date so that you and your customer know when payment is due - ideal for projecting booking revenue! While partial payments are not supported, you can raise separate charges for each payment you expect a customer to make.

Charges raised are shown on the Charges tab of a booking. From here you can Add charges individually, bulk-add one or more Suggested charges, Add credit (for a charge that has already been paid that you are refunding manually to the customer), Duplicate, Edit, Delete (if Unpaid) or View changes.

Customers can view all their booking details and charges on their customer-facing booking page which can be sent by email, perhaps as their booking confirmation. Module users can also preview the page by selecting Go to booking page.

Where online payment is enabled for a booking, customers will have the option their charges online via their booking page.

While the Charges functionality is not intended to be a replacement for your organisation's accounting/invoicing system, Invoice details can be optionally maintained against charges to cross-reference to a customer invoice.

Finally, the Bookings module's Reports section includes several customer-related and charge-related reports to help you further manage customers, their bookings and charges. The Stripe Transfers report, for example, shows a summarised and detailed breakdown of online card payments received in respect of booking charges, and the Charges can be filtered to give pertinent charge insights, perhaps to view charges that are Due or Overdue.

Module configuration

Minimal configuration is needed to begin raising charges and processing customer payments. You'll get the most from the functionality by first reviewing the following configuration steps.

1. Review your module settings

Navigate into the module's settings via the cogwheel icon in the top-right corner of the module. From the Module Options tab click Edit to Enable Charges for the module - the Prices and Charges functionality is only shown when Charges are enabled.

Still working within the module's setting, switch to the Booking Page tab to Edit and optionally add a custom Message that is displayed at the bottom of all customer-facing Booking Pages. For example, you might add messaging to link to your Terms of Service or Cancellation Policy, set out your standard payment terms, or add your organisation's correspondence address and booking contact details.

2. Stripe card payment integration

To offer customers an online card payment option you will first need to complete the Stripe integration (in Administrator > Integrations). You may already have a completed Stripe integration for event ticket sales and online donations, in which case no further action is required. See our related support article on Integrating Stripe for Card Payments for further information about completing the integration and details of the transaction fees associated with accepting card payments. Stripe pays out collected booking charges net of transaction fees and a Stripe Transfers report is provided in the module's Reports section to help you reconcile the gross charges and refunds, the transaction fees deducted, and the net-of-fees amount paid out to your organisation's bank account.

3. Review your booking Type settings

Working within the Types section of the module, and for each booking Type listed, you can further customise how the Charges functionality works for each booking Type. From a Type's "View" page click Edit.

On the Edit type pop-up, you can optionally assign a custom Brand which applies to the customer-facing booking page for bookings of this Type - ideal for churches wishing to distinguish their commercial bookings from their other church ministries. See the related support article for further information about Custom Brands. You can also select whether Online Payment is enabled by default when adding bookings of this Type, although users can override this default on a booking-by-booking basis if they wish. Save any changes made.

Back on the booking Type's "View" page, optionally add Payment Instructions - ideal for letting customers know how they can pay your booking charges. Added instructions surface at the bottom of the list of charges shown on the customer-facing booking page. The Confirmation email is sent to a customer when they make an online payment through the booking page. In addition to the system-added payment-related content, you can add a further custom message to the email if you wish. You can also customise the confirmation email "Sender" details.

Having reviewed the above settings you're now ready to begin adding charges to bookings.

Adding charges

Working from a booking's "View" page (for any date in a booking sequence), click on the Charges tab. From here you can add individual charges or bulk-add one or more suggested charges.

Let's look at both methods:

Bulk-adding one or more suggested charges

The use of this feature requires you to first add your organisation's commonly-used booking prices - see our related support article for further information about adding and managing Booking prices. Click Suggest charges.

The Suggest charges pop-up lists suggested charges based on the booking's details - the booking type, date, and the booked resources. In the example below, three suggested charges are shown for the "Upstaits snug" resource because there are three different resource prices. Choose one or more suggested charges as appropriate and click Save to bulk-add them to the booking.

The suggested charge(s) are added. Note the actions available to further Edit the charge details if necessary.

Adding individual charges

Click Add charge.

On the Add charge pop-up, enter a charge Name. Matching Prices based on the booking's details - the booking type, date, and the booked resources - are suggested as you type. You can further customise the calculated charge for a selected price, perhaps to apply a discount, or add an ad hoc change pertinent to the booking, or continue typing a new charge name.

If adding a new charge, optionally add a Description and Invoice No, and enter the Amount and optional Due date. A negative amount (a 'credit') is permitted, but note this option is reserved for recording previously paid amounts that are being manually refunded to the customer - perhaps by cheque or bank transfer (see the section on Refunds later in this article). Negative charges are not suitable for giving discounts - discounts should be factored into the charge amount, perhaps showing the full charge and discount in the Description, with the Amount being the net of the discount amount.

Charges are typically added with an "Unpaid" Status, however, when adding or editing a charge, you can mark the payment status as "Paid" and record details of the payment received. While online charge payments automatically update an "Unpaid" charge to "Paid", you can use these fields to manage payments received by other methods, noting the Payment Method and Date of payment. Note that partial payments are not supported - instead, create separate charges for the partially paid and unpaid elements.

Finally, your booking customers will see all their charges listed on their customer-facing booking page, however, you can optionally set charges Hidden, perhaps hiding certain charges until the customer has approved them; at which point you can Edit the charge and set it Visible.

Click Save to add the charge. Continue adding further charges as appropriate. You have lots of flexibility when raising charges. For example, you might add charges for deposits and balances or monthly instalments, raise charges based on a booking's times, resource usage times, and resource usage quantity (e.g. tables, chairs), or add fixed charge amounts for life events like a marriage or funeral service. The Charges tab lists all the charges raised for a booking/sequence with the payment Status of each charge shown. The column headings are click-sortable.

As mentioned previously, customers can view all their booking details and the list of charges on their customer-facing booking page, which is sent using the Send booking action. Module users can preview the booking page using the Go to booking page action shown below.

Handling refunds


In this section, we explain two methods of processing charge refunds to return a previously paid amount to a customer:

  • to refund a previously-paid card payment back to the customer's original payment card
  • to raise a credit for a previously paid charge amount that is now being manually refunded to the customer, perhaps by cheque or bank payment
Refunding payments previously paid through the booking page

For charges paid by card through the customer-facing booking page you can easily process a full or partial refund for that payment; saving the additional administration of issuing a manual refund payment while still maintaining an up-to-date payment and refund history for the original charge.

From the Charges tab of a booking, select Refund from the charge Actions - this action is only shown for charges previously paid online through the customer-facing booking page.

On the Refund payment pop-up, select whether a Full or Partial refund is to be processed. Confirm the refund amount and click Refund Payment to complete the process. The payment is refunded back to the card initially used to pay (even if that card has subsequently expired or been cancelled) - it's not possible to refund to a different card.

Once processed, the charge Status and Amount are updated accordingly on the Charges tab. The charge is locked to prevent further changes to the Amount but the charge Name, Description and Invoice Number can still be further edited, if necessary.

The charge Changes log provides a helpful history - click View changes from the Charge Actions menu on the Charges tab.

Refunding charges paid by other payment methods

You can also process refunds for charges previously paid by other payment methods by adding a charge Credit. For example, if a charge has been previously recorded as Paid by bank transfer, you can add a credit for any full or partial refund amount that is being returned to the customer. In this next example, the charge of £55 has been previously "Paid" (by bank transfer in this example). From the charge Actions, select Add credit.

On the Add credit pop-up, enter the details of the amount being refunded back to the customer - enter a negative value Amount, select the Method by which the refund is being returned to the customer and the refund Date. Click Save to add the credit.

The Credit is added to the Charges list and the charge summary totals are updated accordingly, providing a clear audit trail of charges Paid by the customer and Credits refunded back to the customer. The customer-facing booking page will show this same information.

Deleting booking charges

Finally in this section, note that it is only possible to delete Unpaid charges and Credits. Charges paid online through the booking page can be refunded, but not deleted. To delete, select Delete from the charge Actions - the action is not shown for Paid charges.

Sending the customer booking page

For each standalone booking and sequence, you can send the customer a Booking Page that shows all their booking details (for each date in a sequence) and their booking charges. If online payments are enabled for the booking, customers can pay their charges online, with payment changes reflected on the booking page and in the Bookings module accordingly. See our related support article for further information about the customer-facing booking page, which explains the customer user experience in more detail. For this article on booking charges, we'll focus on how to send the booking page to the customer.

You can preview the customer booking page at any time using the Go to booking page option, shown below. To send the booking page to the customer, select Send booking from the Communicate button menu. Note that email actions are only available if the customer has an email address.

From the Send booking pop-up, optionally customise which elements of the booking's details to include in the email body content, which you'll be able to preview before sending. Note that these options only affect what shows in the customer email - as long as the Include booking page link option is ticked the customer will see all the booking details and charges on their booking page, which they'll access using the booking page link. Select as appropriate and click Proceed to preview the draft booking email.

The draft email is previewed and can be further personalised, perhaps adding a personal greeting or additional message. The email Template is pre-selected based on the booking type Brand. You can optionally attach files, such as a PDF of your Terms and Conditions, and the email can be optionally scheduled, rather than sent immediately. Click Preview Email to see the final email before sending it.

The booking customer is pre-selected as the Recipient but recipients can be added or removed as required. Recipients are always blind-copied. When you are happy click Send Email and the booking email is sent/scheduled.

Typically you will only need to send a customer booking page once. The booking page always remains up-to-date as changes are made to the booking details in ChurchSuite and when charges are added or paid.

A record of the sent booking is maintained in the booking's Communication log of the booking from which the email was sent, even if the booking relates to a sequence; however, an identical log is added to the customer Communication log and all sent communications from the module can be viewed in the module's Communication report.

Finally, the View history option provides a helpful detailed history of all charge-related changes relating to the booking, including an entry each time a Send booking email is sent - clicking +More to view the sent booking email.

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