Barnardos Early Learning came to Ezypay to solve a complex systems issue. They needed efficient, seamless solutions for both collecting payments, then distributing those payments directly to third parties for their Early Learning educators. They found the right partner in Ezypay.
Ezypay are experienced in setting up automated, recurring billing systems, and a solution was developed that would exceed Barnardos Early Learning’s expectations. We automated both the payment collection and the direct distribution of funds to third parties. This resulted in a substantial reduction in administration time and a decrease in overheads, allowing Barnardos Early Learning to maintain their position in a competitive market. Here’s how the story unfolded.
About Barnardos Early Learning
Barnardos Early Learning is one of Barnardos NZ’s largest services. Barnardos NZ’s vision is ‘an Aotearoa New Zealand where every child shines bright’.
Barnardos Early Learning nurtures the uniqueness of every child, by providing both centre and home based options. Some children thrive in early learning centres and can’t wait to return for another day of fun and exploration. Other children feel more comfortable in smaller settings, in a place that’s like their own home.
At the heart of Barnardos Early Learning is the philosophy ‘creating strong foundations for the future’. Barnardos Early Learning supports children, whānau and communities so that all children can flourish. Learning starts from the moment children are born, and the first five years of development creates a strong foundation for the rest of their lives. Because when tamariki shine bright, Aotearoa shines bright.
Before the Ezypay solution, Barnardos Early Learning had no effective way of tracking payments, as Jan Morgan, Manager Administration says, “We weren’t being paid. As you can imagine, that created problems at our end, as we were already paying our contractors.”
To reclaim past-due payments, administrators at Barnardos Early Learning spent several hours every week collecting overdue payments from parents.
In addition, competition in early learning was tight. “In the Home Based market, there are lots of different business models, some without the same overheads as Barnardos Early Learning”, says Jan. “When you’re dealing with a little money, it’s easy to keep a track of, but for us, we are working with large sums of money across more than 300 educators. We needed a system that was highly efficient.”
Barnardos Early Learning needed help to optimise the collection of recurring payments, but as a not-for-profit, they needed a partner with an understanding of the tight marketplace; one without steep processing fees.
“We managed to get the very best value for parents, at the best value for us as well.”
Searching for the Right Partner
To solve their complex payment collection and distribution concerns, Barnardos Early Learning needed a partner to help transform their payment operations and innovate a solution that would satisfy several different stakeholders.
Barnardos Early Learning reached out to several payment providers to help solve this problem. Ezypay was the only provider who was up to the task.
“Ezypay was prepared to work with us to roll out recurring billing. Their experience and hands-on approach made it a no-brainer", says Morgan.
Barnardos Early Learning needed a two-fold solution to streamline their payment structure. First, they needed to ensure that they received prompt payments for nearly 1,500 children with significantly less manual intervention. Once received, those payments needed to be distributed to a network of more than 300 independent educators. All this needed to be done seamlessly and without costly, time-consuming hiccups.
Designing the Right Solution
Ezypay helped Barnardos Early Learning implement a whole new payment model that facilitated direct payment from parents to educators. This innovation helped Barnardos Early Learning ensure consistent payment from parents and streamline in-house operations in the process.
“We managed to get the very best value for parents, at the best value for us as well”, says Jan.
Ezypay set up an automatic recurring payments system, billing parents on a weekly cycle. A direct debit would be withdrawn from parents’ accounts on Monday, and those funds would be paid out to educators on Friday.
Instead of documenting successful and unsuccessful payments manually, Ezypay’s seamless integration with Infocare, Barnardos Early Learning’s existing childcare management system (CCMS), allowed Barnardos Early Learning administrators to easily view and follow up with any parents they needed to.
In addition, Ezypay made onboarding new children easy for parents and educators alike. With the new solution, parents simply need to fill out and return a debit form to enrol in the programme. Once received, educators simply assign each family with a login and password to the CCMS, where payments are managed via Ezypay’s APIs.
Each stakeholder in the process saw considerable benefits from Ezypay’s recurring payment technology. Here’s what they found.
Automatic, recurring payments make keeping accounts up to date virtually hands-free. For busy parents, having one less thing to worry about is invaluable. When payments are unsuccessful, recovering failed payments is an effortless process – parents just log in and update their information.
Plus, switching to Ezypay helped Barnardos Early Learning keep low admin fees for parents. By cutting overhead costs, Ezypay has helped Barnardos Early Learning maintain their affordable prices for families.
As independent workers operating their own independent businesses, on-time payment is essential for Barnardos Early Learning educators. With Ezypay’s solution, the reliability of parent payments meant that the direct distribution of funds to educators was faster and more consistent.
“Our educators really like it because they’re getting paid, so the success rate is really high”, says Jan Morgan. "The switch to direct payment was made hassle-free for the educators.”
By paying educators directly, Ezypay also helped Barnardos Early Learning cut down on their administrative burden. Saving around a week of traditional debt collection per month and improving payment times to educators has enabled the team to focus on more important administrative duties.
“We used to spend an awful lot of time completing difficult debt collection”, says Morgan. “We do very little now.”
Removing manual work from the process has cut overhead costs associated with payments and freed up administrators to do valuable work elsewhere in the organisation. It has allowed Barnardos Early Learning to keep costs down and even grow without the fear of incurring higher overhead costs from manual invoicing and debt collection. It’s a win-win!
With over 1,500 children across their Home Based networks and over 300 educators to manage, without Ezypay it was a nightmare managing the many billing and payment distribution processes.
Barnardos Early Learning needed a partner to help them avoid the costly and time-consuming work of chasing down late payments, and make it easier to pay independent, contracted educators on time. They found that partner in Ezypay.
Ezypay took over payment processing for Barnardos Early Learning, allowing the organisation to offload the administrative burden of securing payments and distributing funds. Ezypay used their years of experience setting up an automatic recurring payments system to make it quick and easy for everyone involved. A solution that the Barnardos Early Learning team estimates have saved them up to a week each month.
"It's really hassle-free for the educators”, says Jan. “Once it’s set up, it’s hassle-free for the parents. They don’t have to worry about it. The same for us, because it’s just automatic from our childcare management system. All payments go straight to Ezypay on a Monday morning, and the educators get paid on a Friday. No problem.”
Ezypay is a multi-award winning fintech company and one of Australia’s leading direct debit and subscription payment providers. They are committed to making it easy for Australian, New Zealand and international businesses to settle complex financial scenarios and generate revenue with a single solution.
Ezypay’s cloud-based payment platform offers a suite of easy-to-use subscription management services that can be accessed and managed from anywhere with an internet connection. The solution includes the generation and automation of flexible subscription plans, customer sign-ups, invoicing, reporting and global capabilities.
This makes Ezypay a best in class solution for businesses in the childcare industry looking for direct debit collection with any level of complexity - be it for an international education operation, such as Barnardos Early Learning, requiring advanced distribution facilities and integration with a CCMS, or for a small operation seeking a streamlined stand-alone billing solution.