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How subscriptions are processed within ThriveCart

ThriveCart hands the ownership of your recurring revenue to you, where other platforms would typically ‘own’ your subscriptions and be responsible for charging your customers for each recurring payment, ThriveCart sets up your recurring revenue directly with your payment processor so that you directly own it.

This means that unlike other platforms that hold you hostage if you want to continue receiving your recurring revenue, should you ever stop using ThriveCart for any reason – you’ll still continue to receive recurring payments directly from your payment processor.

Below, we’re going to go over some of the most common questions we get asked in support.

How does this work?

When a customer completes their order from your ThriveCart checkout and they’re purchasing one or more subscriptions from your funnel, the initial payment is charged to them as a ‘payment’ within the processor and a subscription is then set up to start charging them when their first recurring payment is due.

With some platforms like Stripe – you may see your subscriptions as ‘trialling’ until that first recurring payment is processed, don’t worry this is perfectly normal and we have an FAQ on this here.

How are failed recurring payments handled?

As the subscription is created directly in your payment processor, it’ll be your payment processor that looks to rebill your customer when their payment is due and then notify us of the result.

We’ll track the successful or failed attempt in your dashboard and then trigger any related rules, webhooks, Zaps, etc as needed.

If the payment failed, then your payment processor will automatically* retry the failed payment and this varies based on the processor where the subscription is held.

For Stripe, they have a few settings and these can be customised. By default, they use a ‘smart retry’ system that looks to try 4 times over a period of time you’ve set and they use the data from across the platform that shows when a rebill is more likely going to be successful. Your settings about failed payments can be managed here in your Stripe dashboard https://dashboard.stripe.com/account/billing/automatic

Note that with Stripe you can also manually retry a failed payment ahead of Stripe automatically retrying. It requires you to go to the customer’s profile in Stripe, go to their ‘subscriptions’ section, look for the failed/retrying invoice and then click through to that where there should be a button near the top that says ‘retry failed payment’ (note that you do not want to manually create a charge – this will not get tracked to the subscription, you have to retry the existing payment attempt).

For PayPal, they will retry every 5 days, 3 times. Then try again at the next rebill period. If payments continue to fail for 5 times in a row, they will suspend/cancel the subscription. If the payment was part of a payment plan, if the payment is skipped after 3 failures, it’s added to the end of the plan so the correct amount of charges are processed.

For authorize.net, they will not automatically retry a failed subscription payment and you have to manually retry payments.

Customer updated card but failed payment not charged

When a customer updates their payment information, either before their next recurring payment is processed or due to a failed payment, this new card will be used by the processor when they’re due to charge again. So in the case of a failed rebill – when the processor is due to retry their charge, the new card will be used.

I changed my processor/account on my product but the recurring payments haven’t moved

Changing the payment processor account on your product within ThriveCart will change what account will be used moving forward for new orders. Any existing orders (and subscriptions) are tied to the original account that processed them.

Most payment processors don’t support moving subscriptions from one account to another, but you can always contact them directly for further guidance.

Updated on April 30, 2021

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