Case Studies

How to generate a BPAY® CRN

March 24, 2023

A guide to using the BPAY CRN Generator

Are you and your company going through the process of setting up the infrastructure to collect payments from your customers with BPAY? Along your journey, you’ve probably heard of the term CRN. If you haven’t, you should take a moment to become acquainted as the CRN underpins the entire methodology of how you can issue and attribute payments to your client base. In this article, we’ll explore the meaning of all the relevant technical terms & explore how you can generate or create BPAY CRNs for your customers.

What is a BPAY CRN?

In order to receive payment from your customers on the BPAY platform – each customer needs to be issued a unique Customer Reference Number (CRN). This number serves as a unique record associated with the customer’s invoice identifying both the customer and the relevant bill to be paid. CRNs are typically located on the bottom left of a customer’s logo adjacent to the BPAY logo.

How does the CRN work?

In billing the client, the CRN appears on the customer bill. When the customer proceeds to pay the Bill in their online banking, they enter the CRN which is validated . If the customer enters a digit incorrectly – they are notified and are able to rectify the error by inputting the correct digits again. Once this step is successfully completed, the BPAY payment is processed.

For you or your accounts receivable team – this means very few payment errors and reconciliation headaches.

The advantage of using a standard CRN is that you can save time by utilising the same customer account number for all future bills; and you can simply add a check digit to prevent errors.

What is a Variable CRN?

A Variable CRN enables you & your organisation to track payment events relating to specific time intervals, bills, invoices or transactions. In this case, the CRN changes with every billing event.

The advantage of using a Variable CRN is that the customer needs to enter the CRN each time they make a BPAY payment via Internet Banking. This prevents needing to double back and match variables like payment amount & payment date to reconcile outstanding accounts.

What is an Intelligent CRN (iCRN)

An Intelligent CRN enables the addition of the amount, the payment expiry date or both of these elements as part of the CRN number. Billers using an iCRN enjoy more certainty of reconciliation.

How do I generate a CRN?

There are two primary methods to generate or create a CRN.

The first is to use the BPAY CRN Generator tool you can use on the BPAY website and follow these steps:

1. Enter your biller code – the BPAY system will retrieve your biller name and the appropriate check-digit code

2. Choose between receiving unique numbers or requesting random CRNs
a)    Select unique CRNs if you would like to upload a CSV of your own unique numbers
b)    Select random if you are happy to choose the amount of CRNs you require, the length and an optional prefix

3. Download or receive the CSV containing the CRNs via email

The second is to integrate your accounting system, or CRM, with the CRN API. This allows CRN numbers to be dynamically generated on demand based on a trigger event – typically when a bill needs to be generated. If you are interested in exploring this further look into the POST /bills endpoint in the BPAY developer documentation. You can even automatically generate a QR Code to include on your bill too!

If you’d like to explore a way to reduce the number of bills that go unpaid & predict which customers are likely to default ahead of time – speak to us here at Payble about our cutting edge payment technology.

Important: Payble Pty Ltd is not affiliated with BPAY Pty Ltd. Any information provided is general in nature and does not take into account your personal needs, financial circumstances or objectives and you should consider whether it is appropriate for you.

BPAY® is registered to BPAY Pty Ltd ABN 69 079 137 518.

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