How can I configure the payment escalation?


To configure the payment escalation (dunning), click on your account icon in the top right and select "Settings". Then navigate to "Payment Escalation" in the top left. Here you first set the days on which an action is to be carried out after the payment is overdue. Then select the desired action. There you have the choice between:

  • Trigger Webhook
  • Create reminder
  • Pause contract
  • End contract


If you set the action "Trigger Webhook" in the payment escalation, the webhook "PaymentEscalated" will be triggered in this step. This is not a separate reminder step, but can be configured as an intermediate step or at the same time as the "Create Reminder" action. If you use it, make sure that the webhook is configured in the settings. 

With the action "Create reminder" you can select the desired reminder template for the respective escalation level. The reminder templates for the individual reminder levels should be configured in "Settings > Documents > Reminders" before configuring the escalation process, so that you can select them accordingly. In addition, you can select the dispatch method by which the dunning notice is to be sent. For example, you can configure that the last reminder is always sent by mail.

The following options are available here:

  • Default: The default sending option that is stored in the settings under Documents > General Settings is applied
  • E-mail: The reminder will be sent by e-mail
  • Snail Mail: The reminder will be sent by mail
  • Archive: The reminder is not sent, but is available to the customer via the self portal

With the action "End contract" you can have a contract cancelled automatically by the dunning run, should the dunning level be reached. Thus, the contract can be cancelled "Immediately" or "After current billing period". The current period covers the period up to the "Billed to" time of the contract.

With the action "Pause contract" you can automatically pause a contract by the dunning run without cancelling the contract. The contract can be resumed afterwards.

You can decide on the dispatch type for each individual dunning level and configure, for example, that the last reminder is always sent by mail. 


In the "End contract" action, you can have the system automatically cancel a contract in the dunning run if the dunning level is reached. Here you also have the option of cancelling the contract "Immediately" or "After current period". The current period includes the period up to the "Billed until" time of the contract.

Then click on the "+" symbol to add the step. Finally, save your settings with "Save".


  • billwerk uses contract-based receivables management, which always takes the contract as a whole into account and does not consider individual invoices and payments for the payment escalation.
    In contract-based receivables management, the oldest open receivable is dunned and a payment escalation is only reset when the complete contract balance has been cleared and not when a specific invoice has been paid. Subsequent invoices whose due date has not yet been reached must also be cleared so that the payment escalation that has already started is stopped and reset.

  • Please note, sending reminders manually delays subsequent escalation steps by the timespan between creation and dispatch.
  • Payment escalation in billwerk is carried out for all contracts with overdue receivables. If overdue receivables exist in ended contracts, these contracts are included in the payment escalation process.
  • When the dunning process begins in a contract, the contract remembers the payment escalation process currently in place. You can therefore change or extend the escalation process without affecting the current dunning procedure. 
    If the dunning process in the contract is then reset, the new escalation process is used in the next dunning run. 
  • Escalation steps of the type "End Contract" "Immediately" usually result in credit notes because the contracts have originally been billed for a period in the future and the service is now terminated prematurely. 
  • If you have been using billwerk for a long time without having configured payment escalation and there are open receivables, payment escalation is started for all contracts with open receivables after the payment escalation has been reconfigured. If, for example, a dunning letter is configured after 14 days, all contracts whose receivables are already 14 days overdue receive the dunning letter immediately.

  • If another receivable in the already escalated contract becomes overdue, the escalation does not go to the next stage for this reason. The escalation goes to the next stage when the first dunned payment is overdue a certain number of days. The number of these days must first be defined in the payment settings.
  • At the same time, only one escalation procedure can be in progress.
  • The items that became overdue after the escalation started will be included in the next dunning document. The next dunning document thus contains all overdue items.
  • In the email with which you send your reminder, you can instruct the customer that the entire account balance is to be paid, not just the overdue amounts. The "Balance" placeholder in the email template is helpful for this.
  • If you want to have the customer pay off only the overdue item and not the entire account balance, you can manually reset the escalation in the contract after paying the overdue receivable.


You can also set a threshold value from which the payment escalation should be started for each used currency. If you send your reminders by letter post, you can avoid sending reminders that have a lower value than the postage costs.


Simply select any amount per currency and click on "Save".


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