One-click payments

One-click payments offer a quick and easy payment method for parents and guardians, drawing funds from a bank account rather than a credit card. It's safe, secure, and simple, making it easier than ever to purchase items and pay for services and events.

  This article will teach you...

What One-click payments is and how parents and guardians can use it.

What is One-click payments?

One-click payments enable parents and guardians to pay for any school item directly from their bank account, without the need to enter credit card details on every payment or store their card details if the prefer not to. It makes use of the Direct Debit service which sets up an agreement, or mandate, between ParentPay and the bank, enabling parents to make payments as and when they require.  It is therefore also covered by the Direct Debit guaranteed, providing additional payment security.

Isn't Direct Debit for repeat payments like monthly bills?

No. While it requires a Direct Debit Mandate to setup it is used here to make individual payments as and when required by the parent.  It is not used to make repeat payments as is typically the case with Direct Debit.  The mandate is simply a relationship between ParentPay and their bank that authorises the payments to be taken from their bank, when they request them, such as paying for a new event, a new school uniform item, or a meal.


It is possible for parents to make regular payments to their child's meal balance using the Auto op Up feature (where available) in conjunction with One-click payments.

Who is it for?

All parents and guardians that have a bank account can take advantage of the One-click payments facility. It is especially useful for people that are unable to or choose not to use credit cards as it operates through their bank account.

It also enables the Auto top-up facility that ensures a child's meal balance has credit available for any meals taken, significantly reducing the potential for meal debt. For more information go to Auto top-up.

How is it set up?

There are several ways for a parent to set up One-click payments but one of the easiest methods is shown in the video in this Parent article.

How to setup One-click payments.

You can also set it up as part of a purchase by opening the basket and proceeding to set up On-click payments from there.  Once setup is complete the purchase will then be completed using the newly configured service.

How is it used?

Individual payments

Once the service has been set up by a customer, they can simply view a payment item and if they wish to make the purchase, simply hit the Pay by One-click payments option. They can do this for any payment item they wish to make a purchase for with each request showing separately on their statement.

You can see this in action in the following Parent video.

How to purchase using One-click payments.

Grouped purchases

After adding items to a basket and navigating to payment, parents will have the option to use One-click payments to complete their purchase(s). This will pay for all items in a single transaction.

One-click payments FAQ

Are payments immediate?

Once selected, a payment is submitted to the bank to be processed.  It typically takes 3-6 days to complete the transaction with the funds being transferred to the school account at the end of this period.

When does the transfer occur after a purchase is made using OCP?

During setup, funds cannot be taken from a payer’s bank account until their Direct Debit Mandate has been completed and authorised by the bank. This can result in a payment taking approximately six working days.

Once set up and working, OCPs typically take 1-3 days to process.

Can a parent change the bank account being used by OCP?

If the Switching Service is used (provided by most UK banks and building societies), no further action is required as the service will migrate the Direct Debit mandate as part of the process.

If the parent wishes to manually change the bank account used, they will need to remove the existing setup and then add a new one using the details of the new account.  They can remove the details from their Parent Account > One-click payments menu in the Payer Application before following the process to set up a new OCP service.

Can more than one parent be set up with OCP for a pupil's payments?

Each parent account can be configured with a single OCP service so that a child with more than one parent account associated with it can have more than one OCP service configured

Can OCP be removed from a parent's account?

The ability to remove OCP and the associated Direct Debit mandate is available to parents as long as there are no outstanding payments being processed and the account is not in debt.  This is to prevent schools from being put into debt through non-payment.

It is not possible for schools to disable OCP for individual parents, though a failed payment will automatically disable the service for them.

Can the OCP service be removed from all parents at our school?

No. It is not possible to disable this payment option at a school level.

Can a payment fail?

In the same way that a credit card payment can fail if there is not sufficient credit available, One-click payments can fail if there is not enough money in their bank account when the transfer is processed. Should this happen the parent is notified via email requesting that they resolve the issue. They will get a similar message the next time they log in.

Parents should speak with their bank to resolve the issue in the first instance or failing that, arrange to make payment through other means to the school.

How can I see any failed One-click payments?

Failed payments are visible from the home page as you log in in the notifications section. By clicking on it you will be taken directly to the Failed payment report.

You can also see failed payments in the following locations:

  • Pupil statements
  • Payment reports
  • Failed payment report
Can I see a reason why a OCP has failed?

No. It is not possible for managers to see information regarding a parent's payment status, just that the payment has failed.

Parents must be encouraged to speak directly to their bank to resolve any issues. It is likely they will need to arrange alternate means of payment while resolving the issue using another payment service (e.g. credit/debit card, PayPoint, etc).

Can I stop parents from repeatedly failing to pay using OCP?

The system is configured to automatically disable a parent's OCP service if they fail to complete the payment. This is designed to protect schools from potential debt.

Can I re-enable a parent's One-click payments service after a failure?

No. It is not possible to re-enable One-click payments once a failure has been processed. This is to protect schools from potential debt. It may be possible for ParentPay support to arrange re-activation in some circumstances.

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