Credit/Advance payments : how to enable it?

Use case:
A CSA type box scheme hub also offers bulk products for sale at the delivery place.
They are thinking about switching to OFN and use and build with us the Standing Orders features for the box scheme subscription, and for the additional “bulk part”, they would like their members to be able to put money on their wallet (fill in their hub wallet on the OFN) so when they buy bulk items, on the delivery place, they can capture what they bought on the OFN and pay with their wallet.
Technically it means that we need to allow a payment from a customer to a hub that is not connected to an order and for which they decide about the amount. I don’t know how that can happen…

Here are my thoughts for the first steps:

Questions before I can move forward:
1- @enricostn @sauloperez is there anything in Spree 2.0 that covers that ?
2- Else, is it technically possible to “link” this payment with the last order passed by the customer, so if it was a 20€ bill, they put 150€ on their wallet, the amount is added to the “payments” for that order and a positive balance appear on the account ?
3- How to do if there were no previous order ? Does spree accept a payment without order ? How will it be displayed ?

@lin_d_hop have you thought about that already from UK ?
@sstead that was part of the CSA features I think, no ? CSA software features

Also recalling the post on customer account : Customers can View their Payments and Balance

Will keep thinking on that, feel free to share how you see that.

Years ago OFN UK needed this feature and got around it by manually adding an empty sale then adding a larger payment to the sale. Spree accepts this and adds to the balance.
However upon doing this StroudCo found a huge amount of discrepancy with balances. They gave up on OFN to keep track of balances and instead started using external software.

From our perspective, this feature really needs a much larger piece of work around the user balance functionality, including some thorough testing to identify any discrepancies. It may be that work has fixed these features since, however I am not aware of it. @Oliver might be able to comment further?

OFN UK may well be interested in contributing to the final bucket, but it is unlikely we could support the phase one explorations.

@lin_d_hop when I got involved I never tried using OFN for this. I just use Quickbooks, though it has the side-effect that what OFN says isn’t correct in terms of member balances. But I don’t think too many of them ever look.

@lin_d_hop how do you add an empty sale? I got the snail at the end of the process when I try to do it from the “new order” button in the orders menu… Trying to find a workaround … thanks !

I just added an empty order by adding a variant to the order then setting the quantity to 0.
Then I added a payment of £900.
Everything worked and the payment shows I have a credit of £900.
Pretty hacky :-/

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Just adding some inputs for when we will specify what we implement:

  • hub manager needs to be able to see which customers are running out of money on their “credit”
  • hub manager needs to decide if he allows purchase with “credit” when there is no more credit, and until which negative amount
  • hub manager needs to be able to easily reimburse a credit if a customer quit the buying group
  • members/customers needs to be able to easily buy some new credits / put money on his “wallet”
  • hub manager should choose which payment method he offers the customer to refill his “wallet”/ buy credits and should be able to easily know which method were used to refil (report?)
  • hub manager should enable customer to pay with their wallet/credit (new payment method type?)
  • hub manager should easily know the total amounts in customers wallet/credits (accounting purpose = debt toward a customer)

@oliver do you use Quickbooks to track customer pre payments which they then draw down on (like a wallet)? I have a user in Australia who might do the same thing, could you please describe how you manage this? Especially since there’s no Quickbooks upload report atm, how do you get OFN data into Quickbooks? Thanks!

@sstead Yes I do, but I don’t keep OFN updated with any financial information, so anyone looking at their account on OFN will not see a credit balance even if they have one.

Although there are plugins which allow for importing any csv data into QB, I keep it simple and just add an invoice manually for each OFN order. This is more manageable than it may initially sound. Often they have just one line: “Produce ordered, see order confirmation for detail”. OFN has already emailed them the order so no point repeating it all on the invoice. Of course it makes sense for reporting purposes to record delivery charges and the like on a separate line.

If the customer has previously paid in money or has a credit note from last time for something which didn’t turn up, QB will simply take this off and the invoice will either show the remainder or will be marked as paid. Each invoice can include an account summary but they aren’t that great, at least in the UK version of Quickbooks. Customers can be sent a statement if they ask for it, showing all the invoices, credits and payments. I’ve not found a way of letting people check that information online though.

Thanks @Oliver that’s really helpful.

Iceboxed Enable advance/credit management and payments

Closing this as replaced by Enable advance/credit management and payments capturing the need explained here. Images could be reused as mockups in discovery and inception session.