Music Teacher's Helper Blog

Automatic Data Entry Not Working with “Pay Now” Link on Invoices

Music Teacher’s Helper has a feature that allows your students to pay you with their credit card. In addition to this, you can setup automatic data entry through Paypal’s IPN (Instant Payment Notification) settings in your Paypal account, which will automatically enter any payments your students make, directly into your Music Teacher’s Helper account so you don’t have to do any data entry when you receive an online payment. Learn more about receiving payments from your students.

Students have always been able to login to Music Teacher’s Helper and pay you. But recently, we added a “Pay Now” link on the invoices you send to your students, to save them an extra step and make it even easier for them to pay you. But we recently realized that when students pay through the “Pay Now” link, Paypal hasn’t been sending back all the data to us as expected, so the automatic data entry wasn’t taking place. You were still receiving the payment, but it wasn’t being entered in your Music Teacher’s Helper Transaction Log automatically. We have been in contact with Paypal Support to determine a solution and will keep you posted here on the blog. In the mean time, please check your transaction log against your Paypal account and manually add any payments that weren’t added automatically. If your students are logging into Music Teacher’s Helper to pay you (rather than using the “Pay Now” link on the invoice), the payment gets added automatically as expected.
Thank you for your patience.

Update: After further testing (and talking with Paypal Support), we’ve been able to track down that the problem is not with the “Pay Now” link, nor with the form. It seems to be a more sporadic issue, and has been happening less frequently the past few couple days. Paypal mentioned they were having a few problems lately unrelated to this, but they are still doing some research on their end. We’ll keep you posted. In the mean time, your students are welcome to use the “Pay Now” link, since it seems to be recording most transactions without a problem.

Update2: It looks like this may be as simple as students paying the teacher without using Music Teacher’s Helper. For example, if the student goes directly to Paypal’s website on their own, or if the teacher sends them an invoice through Paypal, Paypal won’t have the information to send to Music Teacher’s Helper to add the payment to the teacher’s account. As long as student pay through the “Pay Now” link on invoices sent by the teacher, or pay by logging into Music Teacher’s Helper’s website, the payment should be recorded without a problem.

About the Author

Brandon Pearce
Brandon Pearce is the founder and CEO of Music Teacher's Helper, a web-based software program to help music teachers manage the business aspects of teaching music lessons.

A piano teacher and computer programmer himself, he created Music Teacher's Helper as a side project to manage his own students, and in 2004, made it available for music teachers worldwide.

Since then, it has grown to supp... [Read more]

1 Comment

  1. Brandon Pearce (Support)

    We have now also added notifications so that when a student makes a payment, we will notify you (the teacher) and let you know whether or not the payment was recorded in Music Teacher’s Helper. We also send a note to your students confirming their payment. Note: You will only get these notifications if you have enabled Instant Payment Notification in your Paypal account. See under “Automatic Data Entry” at the bottom, for more details.

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