Subscription Payments / Repeating Orders


There are a few options, depending on how often you want to account for payments, how long the contract term is, and how likely it is a customer might modify their standing order. 

1. "Repeat Order Service" aka Standing Orders

Subscription / Repeat orders are available as a plugin via the E-COMMERCE area.

2. Membership subscriptions 

Consider using our membership widget. Our membership widget will allow new members to signup and pay for immediate access. Thereafter, it will send them a reminder near to their expiry date asking them to renew their membership. This sort of approach works best with 3 month, 6 month or 12 month terms, where renewal is not automatic.  If you are using the automatic payment options from limited providers, then you could consider using a shorter term for renewals... Please note that invoices / receipts are emailed on each renewal.

3. Set and forget payment plans, aka Payment Provider Subscription Services.

Subscriptions such as gym membership, then you are best not to use our shopping cart for this process. The best way to setup a recurring payment plan, is to find a payment provider such as stripe or paypal who have special features for managing all of your subscription payments. Each of them will allow you to add some "widget code" anywhere in your website. Inside our website builder CMS, you can paste this code as HTML. This is a very simple interface, with all management of subscriptions taken care of by the payment provider.  Such services are designed for minimal customer interaction in the process, minimal email notifications, and minimal technical support on our part, as the process is managed by the payment provider. 

4. Single Payment Setup - Ordinary Shopping Cart 

You may also consider using our shopping cart to offer new customers their "first subscription". Thereafter, you can set up a recurring payment plan in an accounting system like Xero, and use their methods of payment, or reconciliation system to manage that. 

5. Direct Debit Authority

If you have a direct debit authority you can also initate the subscription with a "one time purchase" and the customer provides their bank details and authorisation during checkout, along with completing a T&C checkbox. This approach is sufficient to initate direct debit authorities, but it is up to you to manage the direct debit authority yourself, with whatever process is available to you. Our system does not manage the direct debit authority.

You can create subscription/recuring billing in some payment gateways like Paypal

  1. Signup to paypal, login etc
  2. Click on merchant services
  3. Click on "Subscriptions and Recurring Payments"
  4. Customise your button and consider your own business logic calculations.
  5. Enter any amount if you want this to be dynamic later
  6. Generate the code
  7. Login to our CMS
  8. Shopping - Setup - Credit Cards - Custom HTML
  9. Paste your code snipped
  10. Replace the fixed amount with [AMOUNT] to ensure that the field is dynamic. However, if you only have 1 product for sale, which represents the full value of your contract term, then you might consider just assigning a fixed monthly value here.

If you want to have anything more complicated, then you will need to get a programmer to do this for you.

If you want to have automatically redirecting form, then you can select the alternative Custom Form, but you need to separate the FORM descriptor into the individual components

Or do away with the shopping cart, and just make heaps of these buttons from Paypal and insert onto your website in appropriate places using the Insert... HTML options

Trouble Shooting Automated Repeat Order Payments (WindCave , PayMark)

Repeat order automated payments are strictly limited to specific payment gateways that are configured for that purpose, eg WindCave and Paymark... You must ensure you have informed your account manager that you want to used tokenised payments, for repeat billing/subscription purposes... So that they will disable some other card security features like 3d secure.  Otherwise, we cannot initate payment attempts without the card holder being involved in the process.

If a subcription/repeat order repeats, but remains unpaid, there are many reasons why this might be. It could be insufficient funds, expired card, revoked authority, or many other errors that may originate by the payment gateway. Or those issues as above.

Our system will attempt to initiate the payment for an order every hour, for about 24 hours after an order is renewed. This allows for temporary glitches. You will receive a notification of failed transaction attempts. You would alternativelly receive a reciept once complated ok. 

It's important to note, that our ecommerce platform cannot see inside your payment providers control panel. Only the merchant has the access to confirm if a payment has been successful. Our ecommerce platform is dependent on a payment provider notifying us that a payment was successful. There may be occassions when our system has the wrong unpaid status. You can easily mark any order as paid in our system, if you believe that the payment was indeed paid. Merchant takes responsibility for confirming the paid status via the payment providers control panel. Our support team cannot provide you support about a payment status, as that is the responsibility of your payment provider support team. 

If an order remains unpaid, there are some options to take. 

  • Confirm if the transaction was actually paid in your payment providers control panel, and then update the status to paid manually in our CMS/Control panel. 
  • In our control panel, in the payment tab when viewing the order, you can initate the payment attempt as if the customer was doing it themselves, or as if the system was attempting an automated payment. This way you can see for yourself what the error message or other consideration is... Followup with your payment provider if they are the one that appears to be preventing a payment continuting to a successful result.
  • You can followup with the customer, sending them additional copies of the unpaid invoice/order, and requesting the continue with the payment process to enter a new expiry date or whatever.  
  • In our control panel, in the orders area, you can cancel an order that remains unpaid. In this case, you are making the decision that payment is unlikely, and therefore you want to not continue with the subscription. If you cancel a membership subscription, you need to manually revoke a members special privilidges. If you cancel the last subscription order, you usually need to cancel the next/draft subscription order also... If that is your intention.  

Editing/Changing Orders

The ideal situation is that a customer logs in to your website, and edits their draft order. There is a link on the bottom of each of their invoices instructing them to do that. 

If you find your customer has created a brand new subscription, you may need to cancel the old subscription. To do that, you must cancel their next draft order in the old sequence. If the wrong sequence has already renewed, you may need to manually cancel and refund the customer.

Use the status filter on the orders page to view "Susbcriptions". This will display recently completed subscriptions, as well as display Draft/Open/Unpaid subscriptions that have a due date approaching... 

You can edit or cancel open orders. Cancelling an open order permanently ends the subscription. If you want to pause or skip the subscription, please just extend the due date.

  • A customer can start a subscription, and load a card for repeating payments. 
  • As each order is submitted, it creates the next draft order in the sequence. 
  • If the card has expired, the order will still submit, but will remain unpaid. 
  • If the card is near expiry, they will need to login and select their open/draft order, and submit that to pay with a new credit card. 
  • When the new payment method is processed, it is saved as a new saved card, and the order is updated 
Upon successful callback from an order where a card is saved, it will now link that card to the next order in the sequence. 
It still remains possible that customers have more than 1 subscription sequence, or that they will start a whole new subscription in error, when they should have just paid the most recent iteration of their subscription.  If a customer does not login, we cannot prompt them not to start a new subscription... 
On the basis that some customers may have more than 1 card saved, and more than 1 order, it's not automatic that old subscriptions will be closed when a new one begins, and not automatic that a saved card will update against all orders... 
Merchants will still need to do the following: 
- look out for non paid subscription orders. If that happens, go to the payment page for the order in the CMS, scroll down, and assign another saved card to this order, and attempt to pay via that other card. 
- look out for customers starting new subscriptions...  if so, they need to cancel the old subscription.

Support Note:

Subscription and automated payments are an advanced feature, requiring having just the right configuration across multiple providers.

Human users and third party payment systems, can introduce all sorts of real world considerations. If you are unable to navigate these considerations, then you will need paid consultancy to help. 

Please do not expect free support for this area. If you want help, this time will be chargeable, and a consultant will be happy to provide you with the support/training you need. 

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