FAQs

General

1. What is Parakeet

Parakeet makes it simple to collect your invoices, broker returns and automate your bill payments.

 

We are integrated with Xero and Esker, so getting started is easy.  

 

For invoices, you can:

  1. Automate the reduction of invoice amount in exchange for earlier payment from your customers. 

  2. Customise the returns (incremental and static) you are willing to offer your customers.

  3. Automate the collection of invoices using your own merchant facility and Parakeet’s direct debit facility.

  4. Have paid invoices reconciled back to your existing accounting software.

For outstanding bills, you can:

  1. Offer early payment discounts via our returns service.

  2. Centralise your business spending in one place with Mastercard, Visa, Amex and any Australian denominated bank accounts.

  3. Automate your payment based on rules that fits your business.

  4. Control your budget with limit tracking and breach notification.

  5. Reconcile bills back to your existing accounting software.

2. Who can use Parakeet?

Any new or existing Xero and Esker users. 

 

Parakeet is pre-integrated with:

  1. Xero’s bills and invoices modules

  2. Esker’s accounts payable module  

 

New accounting packages and invoice automation platforms are being implemented. Contact us for suggestions.

3. Where is Parakeet available?

Parakeet is available for any businesses in Australia using Xero bills and Invoices or Esker’s payables module.

 

We are integrating other accounting packages and invoice automation platforms. Contact us to find out more or discuss your situation.

4. What are your support hours and contact details?

Monday to Friday, from 8am to 6:30pm AEST. 

 

 

Urgent queries are addressed within the hour. All others are addressed within 24 hours. 

 
 
 
 

Getting started

1. How long will it take to get an account?

It takes about 20 minutes to configure and set up your account. Once your account is set up, it will take 1-2 business days to verify bank and merchant details.

2. Why did I receive an invitation from my customer?

Your customer has enrolled into our automated bills payments program. This means you now may engage as a guest or register as an ongoing user. 

Guest users

  • Accept one-time early invoice payment  in exchange for a reduction in invoice value offered by your customer, via direct entry payment. 

  • Configure your own Returns program.

  • Configure your merchant facility so you can get paid quicker and at a returns acceptable to you.  

  • Do nothing and be updated once invoice payment is made to your nominated bank account.

Registered Parakeet users (in addition to Guest users)

 

  • Integrate your Xero account for easy reconciliation.

  • Upload your invoices from Xero.

3. Why did I receive a payment request from my vendor?

Your vendor has enrolled into our early payments program, which means you now have the option to either be a guest or register as a Parakeet user.

Guest users

  • Receive bills from vendors.

  • Pay early in exchange for a return via cards or direct debit, or; 

  • Pay on the due date via cards or direct debit

  • Configure your own returns offer.

  • Automate your bill payments with or without returns.

Registered Parakeet users  (in addition to Guest users)

 

  • Integrate your Xero account for easy reconciliation and centralise management of all bill payments.

  • Upload your bills from Xero.

4. What information do I need to provide when I sign up?

Our on-boarding steps will guide you through. Please have the following handy;  

  1. Your business details (e.g. ABN, trading address, etc) 

  2. Details of your merchant facilities

  3. Details of your bank accounts for invoice payments

  4. Xero login details

  5. Details of your credit card or bank accounts for your bill payments

5. How do I get my invoice and bill information into Parakeet?

For Xero users, your invoice and bill information will flow directly to Parakeet upon completion of the following steps:

  1. Register your Parakeet account

  2. Configure your Parakeet account

  3. Authenticate your Xero credentials  

 

Parakeet will only receive invoices and bills once it has been approved in Xero.  

 

For Esker users, your bill information will flow directly to Parakeet upon completion of the following steps:

  1. Switch on your payments module within Esker payables

  2. Configure your Parakeet settings in Esker

 

Parakeet will only receive bills once it has been approved in the Esker platform.  

 
 
 
 
 

For invoices

1. What do I need to do to start receiving payments via Parakeet?

Once you have completed the on-boarding steps and completed the verification requirements below, you are ready to receive payments.  

 

Verification requirements:

  1. Bank account ownership - we will either request an account statement from you or make small electronic deposits which will allow you to verify account ownership.

  2. Merchant account ID - we will run a ‘test’ transaction to make sure it is correctly set up.

2. Why should I sign up to receive payment via Parakeet?

Here are some of the benefits of using Parakeet to collect invoice payments:

  1. Minimal change to your operation (e.g.continue to use your invoicing App). As long as your invoices are centralised into Xero, Parakeet can create the payment request. 

  2. You have the ability to offer returns in exchange for early payment at a cost and parameters that are acceptable to you. 

  3. You can use your existing merchant and bank accounts which means less paperwork and change in your processes.

  4. You can also manage Payables. So it’s the one place to manage both your receivables and payables. 

  5. Simple reconciliation - All your payments (both receivables and payables) are automatically posted back to your source platform, making bank statement reconciliation simple.

3. Do I need my own merchant facility to accept credit card payments?

Yes you do. Parakeet can accept merchant facilities (“BYO Merchant”) listed with any of the banks or payment providers listed here.

 

If you need to set up a new merchant facility, you can contact any of the banks or payment providers listed. 

Once established, login to your Parakeet portal and configure your merchant settings. 

 

Whilst you are waiting for your merchant facility, you can still accept payments via direct entry. 

4. What will my customers see on their statement?

If you provided Parakeet with your own Merchant ID (BYO merchant ID) then your customer statement will display the identifier you configured with your acquiring bank.  

 

If your customers are paying you via direct entry, they will see ‘Parakeet payments’ on their statement.

5. When will the money be received into my account?

6. I don't have a merchant facility, can I still offer my customers card payments options?

No, you will need a merchant facility. Please refer to the article here for more details on how to get one. 

 

You can still receive payment via direct entry to your bank account.

7. What is an internet merchant facility / merchant facility?

Internet Merchant Facilities (IMF) are required to accept payments in an e-commerce environment. 

 

With Parakeet, we enable you to use your existing merchant account. This avoids changing the way you collect or reconcile your sales. 


Refer here for the list of accepted banks and payment providers that Parakeet can accept and facilitate.

8. I have my own merchant facility, which acquiring banks do you accept?

We can accept merchant facilities from the following acquiring banks. 

* refers to an internet / e-commerce merchant facility (IMF) held with your bankers (different from the EFTPOS merchant facility)

9. Which account does the money go into?

For BYO merchant ID - It will go into the account you set up with your acquiring bank.

 

For direct debit or Parakeet Network Merchant - it will be credited to the bank account you registered with us.


Refer here for when you can expect funds to be received into your account.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

For bills

1. What types of accounts and payments methods can your wallet accept?

The accounts and payment methods we accept include:

  • Major forms of credit card (Visa / Mastercard / Amex)*

  • All Australian denominated bank accounts 
     

* This is dependent on which card type your vendor accepts.

 

As a customer, you can load in your card, bank accounts and place them in priority order. Our system will auto match your preferences against your vendor’s available acceptance method.

2. How do I prioritise the order of my preferred payment methods?

To prioritise the order, drag and drop your cards or bank accounts into your order of payment preference.

3. Do I get my usual 55 days interest free and points program if I pay all my invoices with my card?

Yes. As long as your card issuer provides these benefits to you, you can maximise use through Parakeet.

4. Are all my bills scheduled to pay automatically on the due date?

Yes. You no longer need to make manual payments or run the risk of duplicated payments. You also have the ability to 'approve or decline' a particular bill for whatever reason (e.g. dispute with your vendors).

 

When you login to your Parakeet portal, you will see all scheduled bill payments to make forecasting and planning easy. Once it is paid, it will be uploaded back to your source platform (e.g. Xero or Esker) for easy reconciliation.

5. Can I control my spending budget?

Yes. Our wallet includes the ability to set limits to assist with budgeting.  

 

You are able to:

  1. Assign a limit per payment method.

  2. Assign a limit on how much you like to allocate for your returns program.

  3. Allocate a frequency these limits will replenish (e.g. 6th of every month). 

 

To stay in control, you are able to approve temporary limit breach without permanently increasing your limits.

 
 
 
 

For Xero Users

1. What accounts do I need to establish in Xero to use Parakeet?

As Parakeet handles both bills and invoices, at a minimum, 4 accounts will be established by Parakeet within your configuration steps. The accounts are the recommended default established by Parakeet, however you may change this any time. 

 

For bills, the recommended accounts are:

  • Parakeet AP Clearing - bill payments are initially settled against this

  • Parakeet Return Revenue - to record the savings you generate for returns received

 

For invoices, the recommended accounts are:

  • Parakeet AR Clearing - invoice receipts are initially settled against this

  • Parakeet Return Expense - to record the returns you have accepted

2. How to account for returns out (Invoices) and returns in (Bills)?

For invoices:

Where a returns out is accepted and paid, the entries into your accounts for a $1000 invoice as follows: 

 

$100 Returns Out acceptance = $900 payment.

 

Upon invoice being paid: (Part 1- 3 are automated by Parakeet)

 

  • Part 1:

    • $1,000 is posted against your invoice and mark it as paid. 

    • $1,000 is posted against your Parakeet AR Clearing account

  • Part 2:

    • $100 is recorded as a Spend Transaction in Xero against AR Clearing account

    • $100 is posted to your Parakeet Return Expense account

  • Part 3:

    • $900 now sits in your Parakeet AR Clearing account

  • Once funds are received into your bank account, you will match the $900 received against your Parakeet AR Clearing account

 

For bills:

Where a Returns In is accepted and paid, the entries into your accounts are as follows.  Using an example of a $2,000 bill, with $200 Returns Out acceptance = $1,800 payment.

 

Upon bill payment: (Part 1- 3 are automated by Parakeet)

 

  • Part 1: 

    • $2,000 is posted against your bill and mark it as paid. 

    • $2,000 is posted against your Parakeet AP Clearing account

  • Part 2:

    • $200 is recorded as a Receive Transaction in Xero against AP Clearing account

    • $200 is posted to your Parakeet Return Revenue account

  • Part 3:

    • $1,800 now sits in your Parakeet AP Clearing account

  • You will match the $1,800 against the entry in your bank statements to reconcile the payment.