Understanding and Managing Your Clients Billing

Updated on 20-October-2016 at 10:16 AM

Business Catalyst End of life announcement - find out more details.

Business Catalyst offers a number of options when it comes to managing the billing for your customer sites.  The billing relationship that you select is chosen at the time a trial site is upgraded to live.  To learn more about these options please refer to below:

  • Invoice My Customer Directly (pay either monthly or annually):  Some Partners do not want the hassle of billing. In those cases, when you upgrade the site you can choose for Business Catalyst to have the billing relationship with your customer. In this scenario your customer will be aware of Business Catalyst since they will receive invoices from us with our branding on it, charged at the scheduled rate.
  • Invoice Me Directly (pay either monthly or annually): This is where Partners have the billing relationship with their customer directly. When you choose this option we will bill you at the scheduled rate for each site and you are solely responsible for any billing and collection of payments between you and your customer.
  • Invoice Me Year 1 (must pay annually) and My Customer Year 2 Onwards (pay either monthly or annually):  This billing option is a combination of the two above.  The Partner is responsible for the billing in year one and Business Catalyst will automatically take over the billing and bill your customer year two onwards at our scheduled rates.   This option may be used by those Partners that bundle up the hosting fee and design services for that first year of the site.

Important:  In all three scenarios, commission (if applicable to you), calculated on the scheduled rate, will accrue in your Partner Portal .> Dashboard page.

Marking up Business Catalyst Wholesale Hosting Pricing 

You can markup any of the wholesale hosting list prices as you see fit. For example if you markup the $39/month plan to $59 then you will only receive 20% commission on the $39 and you will receive a further $20 ($59-$39).  

It's highly recommended that if you markup Business Catalyst wholesale hosting list prices that you provide value-added services. We have found that prices can and will differ from Partner to Partner, depending on the support and other services they supply to their clients on top of managing the Business Catalyst site.  

For example when the 1-User Full solution is sold at $59/mo instead of $39/mo, we advise you include one or more other services to justify the markup. 

Important:  If you do intend to markup prices then you will be responsible for billing your customer directly.  Business Catalyst will not be able to invoice your customers at your scheduled rate. 

Forms of Payment accepted by Business Catalyst 

Business Catalyst only accepts payment using credit card.  We accept Visa, MasterCard and American Express cards.  We are not able to process any other forms of payment.  

Updating Credit Card details for a customer site 

PARTNER:  To update your credit card details simply go to Partner Portal > My Sites, select the site name and then click Update Credit Card Details.  

The form will prompt you to select the site or multiple sites to change the credit card details for.  You can change the credit card details for sites that Business Catalyst invoice direct to the customer, or for sites that you the Partner pay us directly for. 

Important: if there are outstanding invoices for a site, updating the credit card details via your Partner Portal will not process these outstanding invoice payments.  These would still be required to be paid via the site admin login when prompted after the invoice is overdue by 7 days or more. 

CUSTOMER: If the billing relationship is between Business Catalyst and your customer direct, the customer will be able to update their own credit card details.  To update these simply have them log in to their site > Site Settings > Site Billing, and then click Update Credit Card .

Important:  If there are any outstanding invoices, your customer will be prompted to pay these when they login to the Administration Area of the site once an invoice is overdue by 7 days or more.  Updating credit card details via the My Accounts page within the site admin will not automatically process any outstanding invoices. 

Changing Billing Relationship from Partner to Customer and vice versa 

At any time the billing relationship can be changed from Business Catalyst invoicing you, the Partner, to Business Catalyst invoicing your customer (the person who owns the site) direct or vice versa.  The billing relationship can be changed independently for both website hosting subscription and excess invoices.  You may elect to be invoiced for the hosting charges but have Business Catalyst invoice your customer direct for the excess charges.  The billing relationship you select as a partner will very much depend on how you are running your design business. 

It is important to know that the site you are requesting the billing change for must not have any outstanding invoices, if there are, these must be paid before the change can be processed.  When the billing change is requested it will be effective from the next recurring invoice. 

To change the billing relationship simply go to Partner Portal > My Sites> Select and view relevant site. From here, click Change next to the Billing (hosting) option.

Changing Billing Frequency

To change the billing frequency for one or more of your sites, follow the below steps:

1.Login to your Partner Portal and then navigate to the My Sites tab.

2.From the list of paid sites, select the site you would like to change the billing frequency for. This will take you to the site details page.

3.In the upper section of the screen, select Manage Subscription.

4.You will now be taken to a page that outlines your current plan and available plans. On the top right hand side of the page, you will see the Monthly and Yearly 10% off  tabs, click on the billing frequency you would like to use.


5. You will now see the updated plan pricing, click the Change button.

Monthly to Yearly 

If the current month's invoice has already been generated (but is not due yet), it will be automatically amended to the new billing frequency. Alternatively, if the current month's invoice has not been generated yet, the system will issue a new annual invoice.

IMPORTANT: If the invoice is outstanding, you should first pay for it and then change the billing frequency (the change will apply to the next invoice).

Biyearly to yearly / biyearly to monthly / yearly to monthly*

 (*the biyearly plans are no longer part of our standard offering for new sites)

Where billing is setup annual / biannual, the new monthly invoicing would only take place from the date the last annual / biannual invoice payment takes the site through to. We are not able to provide credits or refunds for hosting payments and this includes annual / biannual payments. Accordingly all billing changes take effect from the next billing period onwards.

e.g. If you have paid for your annual invoice in February 2016 and in September 2016 you decide to change the billing to monthly, the system will issue the next monthly invoice dated February 2017 and from that date onwards, you will be charged on a monthly basis.

IMPORTANT: If the invoice is outstanding, you should first pay for it and then change the billing frequency (the change will apply to the next invoice).

Outstanding Invoices 

Business Catalyst is automated when it comes to the collection of payment for overdue invoices.  Payment of overdue invoices can be easily processed at the time of logging in to the Administration area of a website.  Once an invoice is overdue by more than 7-days the Administration area for a given site is disabled and when logging into the site Administration area, a credit card payment screen will appear to whoever is responsible for the site's billing (Partner or Customer) with details of any overdue invoicing requiring payment.  During the initial 7 days after an invoice is overdue, you and your customer will see a countdown of the site expiry date noting the days remaining before you or your customer can pay the outstanding invoice/s. This can only happen once the Administration area for a given site is disabled (7 days after the overdue invoice date). 

Depending on the billing relationship for each site the following behavior will take place at the time of logging in to the Administration area of a site which has invoices overdue by 7 days or more: 

  • If the billing relationship is between BC and your customer - your customer will see a list of outstanding invoices and will need to pay these via the credit card payment page which will appear at site admin login, before gaining access to the Administration area
  • If the billing relationship is between BC and you (the Partner) - if your customer logs in, they will see a message that will advise them to contact you. They will not be able to access the Administration area. If you login, then you will see a list of outstanding invoices which you will need to pay by credit card via the payment page which will appear, to enable access to the Administration area. 

Please note that if an invoice is overdue by 4-weeks then the entire website will be disabled. This includes the Administration area, the public website and any POP/IMAP email accounts. We recommend you keep updated credit card details on file to avoid any disruptions to your website. As part of this feature, the system will notify you and/or your customers when an invoice becomes overdue.

Paying invoices which are overdue by 4 weeks or more is the same process as paying for an invoice overdue by 7 days. 

Paying for outstanding Invoices 

Once an invoice is overdue by more than 7-days the Administration area for a given site is disabled. You can now pay your outstanding invoice via the administration login to the site.   Here are the steps you should follow: 

  1. Login to the site administration, e.g: http:/yoursite.yourdomain.com/admin
  2. A payment screen will popup advising which invoice/s require payment
  3. Enter Credit Card details 
  4. Keep the field checked (if required), which asks: Use above credit card details for this site's future payments
  5. Once payment processes successfully, the site administration will re-enable immediately and access to the site will be available

Important: Please know that Business Catalyst will always charge your credit card on the due date of an invoice.  Often this payment will be declined for a number of reasons: Credit Card has insufficient funds, card could be expired or the charge could have been rejected by your bank at the time of processing.  Please ensure that at all times the credit card on file is current and that you monitor your credit card transactions to avoid any non-payment of Business Catalyst invoices.  

Business Catalyst Hosting Plan Refund Policy 

Business Catalyst does not refund payments for sites that have been cancelled.  Once yearly hosting has been paid upfront you are only permitted to upgrade, downgrade or cancel. However refunds or credits will not be granted should the billing period not be reached. 

When upgrading a site from Trial to Live via your Partner Portal, it is important to correctly choose the appropriate plan, billing option,  billing frequency & the correct site (eg ensure if you have more than 1 site with the same name, you upgrade the correct site) you or your customer requires.  As a Partner it is your responsibility to educate your customers and ensure they are aware that if they cancel their site (through the sites admin or directly through you) or downgrade, there is no refund or credit on the annual or monthly payment made. 

Transfer Hosting Fees from one Site to a different Site Policy 

If you have a site which has been upgraded from Trial to Live & is being billed, the invoicing from this site is not transferrable to another site if this initial site is no longer required. In this case you would need to cancel this site via your Partner Portal. We confirm that any paid invoices for this cancelled site are not available as a refund, credit or transfer to another site. 

This policy also applies to any new Trial site that has been built to replace an existing client site on the Business Catalyst platform. Once again the invoicing is not transferrable between sites whether it is the same site for the same client or a totally different site. In this case you would need to cancel this site via your Partner Portal and upgrade the new site to Live as required. This policy applies both for sites setup on monthly or annual billing.

Therefore, the procedure would be for you to backup your existing paid site & upload the new trial site, into the paid site that you currently have. If you require assistance with this process, please submit a case to our Support Technical Team via Support > Partner Portal. 

Accessing Customer Invoices 

PARTNERS:  Within your Partner Portal you can view a summary of all your client site invoices or your own Partner Program investment invoice.  Simply log into your Partner Portal > My Sites > Select and view site.  

In this area you will have access to all the site details and a summary of invoices for that site. The invoice for your Partner Program investment will be accessible under your free Partner site.  In addition by clicking on 'Email Invoice' the Partner or customer contact nominated at the time of upgrading the site will receive a copy of this invoice  via email. 

CUSTOMERS:  If the Billing relationship is between Business Catalyst and your customer direct they will have access to a summary of their invoices within their site. They can access these by logging in to their site. Select Site Settings  > Site Billing, from here, they can:-

  • See a list of all their invoices 
  • See date invoice was paid
  • Email themselves invoice copies
  • View billing credit card details
  • Update Credit Card details (this will not process payments for any outstanding invoices, which have to be paid via the site admin login 7 days after the invoice due date)
  • Cancel site (note, if there are outstanding invoices for the site, the customer should submit a ticket for the contact the Accounts Support Team in order to cancel the site) 

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