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Recurring payments

You can set up recurring payments – aka preauthorized payments or subscriptions – so that membership dues can be automatically charged on a regular schedule. This saves your members the trouble of having to manually renew their membership. 

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Recurring payments are available only for membership fees (not for events or donations), and only for Community plans and higher (see Functionality by billing plan).

After you've configured your payment settings, you can enable recurring payments for individual membership levels.

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If recurring payments are enabled for a particular membership level, then members paying online for that membership level will not have any option other than agreeing to recurring payments. You can, however, set up another similar membership level without recurring payments enabled to accommodate members who do not want to consent to recurring payments.

Recurring payments are currently supported for the following payment systems:

Setting up recurring payments

To set up recurring payments with one of the supported payment systems, follow these steps:

1. Set up an account

Set up an account with one of the supported payment systems.

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If you choose...

Then...

Authorize.Net

Subscribe to their Customer Information Manager (CIM) service.

MonerisEnable the Vault feature for your store.

PayPal Payflow Pro

Subscribe to the Recurring Billing service.

PayPal Payments ProSubscribe to the Recurring Payments service. If you do not subscribe to this service, members can only pay for recurring memberships using the PayPal Express Checkout button. Any attempts to pay using the Pay with credit card option will fail. 

PayPal Payments Standard
or Express Checkout

Membership applicants for levels with recurring payments must have a PayPal account – they can't pay with a credit card without creating a PayPal account first (a limitation of the PayPal Payments Standard system).

any PayPal payment system

You must have a PayPal Business account, and must enable instant payment notification (IPN) in your PayPal account. To enable IPN:

  1. Click the Profile tab under My Account.
  2. Click My selling tools
  3. Click Update beside Instant payment notifications under Getting paid and managing my risks.
  4. Click the Choose IPN settings button.
  5. Enter the following in the Notification URL field: 

  6. Click Receive IPN messages (Enabled).

  7. Click Save.
StripeProceed with configuring your payment settings on Wild Apricot

2. Configure your payment settings

Once you have an account set up, follow the appropriate set of instructions below to configure your payment settings for your payment system.

3. Enable recurring payments for membership level(s)

After you have configured your payment settings, go to the Renewal policy page for the appropriate membership level (by clicking Levels under the Members menu) and select a Renewal period (if one is not already selected), then enable the Automatic recurring payments option.

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Repeat for each appropriate membership level then Click Save.

If you choose a specific date rather than the join date for a renewal period, new members will be billed the full membership fee for the period between the join date and the first renewal date. (You cannot enable prorating of membership fees for levels with automatic recurring payments.)

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Recurring payments are not supported for renewal periods greater than 1 year.

PayPal and trial periods

If your site is using PayPal Payments Standard, the membership fee for the period between the join date and the first renewal date may be split into multiple charges billed as trial periods by PayPal.

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For example, if somebody applies for a $10 membership on February 18th and renewal settings of membership level are set to Monthly > Specific date > 15th (of every month), PayPal will create a subscription with the following parameters:

  • "trial period" from February 18th to March 15th at a cost of $10
  • monthly regular payments of $10 starting on March 15th

PayPal's trial period has two limitations:

  • if you are using days as the basis for your trial period, they cannot exceed 90. After that you will have to use months.
  • if there are two trial periods where the first period is not free, then the second trial period must also not be free.

If the recurring start date is a long time off, PayPal will create two trial periods. For example, if the membership costs $100 and is renewed annually on the 1st of January, then member who subscribed on February 15th will have the following subscription records:

  • first "trial period" for 10 months until December 15th for $99.99
  • second "trial period" from December 16th to December 31 for $0.01
  • annual regular subscription payments of $100 starting on January 1st
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You might consider switching to PayPal Express Checkout, PayPal Payflow Pro, or Authorize.Net to avoid these issues.

Changing recurring payments

After you've set up recurring payments for membership levels, a member may want to cancel recurring payments or change membership levels. You, as a site administrator, might want change a level's membership fee or renewal policy.

The sections below describe how these changes are handled.

Cancelling recurring payments

Depending on how the member pays for their membership, the member can cancel recurring payments either from their member profile or from their PayPal profile. A Wild Apricot site administrator can also cancel a recurring payment, either from Wild Apricot or from their payment system account.

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By members who pay with a credit card

Members who pay for their membership by credit card can stop recurring payments from their Wild Apricot member profile page. To do so, they would click the Invoices and payments tab in their profile then click Stop recurring payments button beside the membership renewal transaction.

The member will be asked to confirm their request.

Applies to: PayPal Express Checkout, PayPal Payflow Pro, Authorize.Net, Moneris, Stripe

By members who pay via PayPal

Members who pay for their membership using a PayPal account can stop recurring payments from their PayPal account by cancelling the subscription. To cancel the subscription, they:

  1. Log in to their PayPal account.
  2. Click Profile near the top of the page.
  3. Click My money.
  4. Click Update in the My preapproved payments section.
  5. Click Cancel or Cancel automatic billing and follow the instructions.

If the member paid using their PayPal account via PayPal Express Checkout, they can also cancel the recurring payment from their Wild Apricot member profile.

Applies to:  PayPal Standard, PayPal Express Checkout, PayPal Payflow Pro

By Wild Apricot administrators

If your site uses PayPal Express Checkout, Authorize.Net, Moneris, or Stripe, you can stop recurring payments from the member's membership details. On the Membership tab, click the Stop button. You will be asked to confirm your request.

You can also stop the recurring payment from your organization's PayPal, Authorize.Net, Moneris, or Stripe account.

If your site uses PayPal Standard, you can only stop the recurring payment from your organization's PayPal account.

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Cancelling a recurring payment does not affect the member's membership status.

Changing credit card information

If you need to change a member's credit card information, you must update their profile from your payment system account.  

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You cannot change credit card information from Wild Apricot, but you can cancel the recurring payments in Wild Apricot, then use the new card information to manually renew the membership, thereby setting up recurring payments with the new card.

For members to change their credit card information, they need to stop their recurring payment, then renew their membership with the new credit card details.

Changing a member's membership level

If a member upgrades to a membership level with recurring payments enabled, they will follow the recurring payment process as a new member would. If a member who is currently set up to make recurring payments changes membership levels, the effect of the change depends on which payment system your site is using.

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Using Authorize.Net, Moneris, or Stripe

Any changes to membership level will be automatically reflected in the membership fee charged to the member. 

Using PayPal

A change to membership level will not have any effect on the member's recurring subscription. To change the level, you must first cancel the member's recurring subscription on PayPal then change the membership level as required.

Changing membership fees

The effect of changing the membership fees for a level with recurring payments depends on which payment system you are using.

 Using Authorize.Net, Moneris, or Stripe

If you change the membership fee for a level with recurring payments enabled, the change will affect existing members who will be charged the new fee on their next schedule payment date.

 Using PayPal

If you change the membership fee for a level with recurring payments enabled, members will continue to be charged the old rates according to the existing PayPal payment profile, but will be invoiced the new amount within Wild Apricot, leading to future renewal invoices being under or overpaid. You'll have to manually update each member's recurring payments profile, either through Wild Apricot or your organization's PayPal account. A message will be displayed when a change like this takes place.

(For instructions on updating recurring payment subscriptions for your customers from your organization's PayPal account, click here.)

Changing the renewal period

The effect of changing the renewal period for a level with recurring payments also depends on which payment system you are using.

 Using Authorize.Net, Moneris, or Stripe

If you change the renewal period for a level with recurring payments enabled, the change will be applied to existing members. The renewal date will be shifted according to the current renewal settings.

 Using PayPal

If you change the renewal period for a level with recurring payments enabled, the change will not affect existing members. Unless you make the change manually to each member record, either through Wild Apricot or the organization's PayPal account, the recurring payments will continue to take place as originally scheduled. A message will be displayed when a change like this takes place.

Enabling/disabling recurring payments for existing level

Any existing membership level can be changed to enable recurring payments. The next time a member renews their membership, they will follow the recurring payment process as a new member would. 

 Click/tap to expand/collapse

If you change a membership level to disable recurring payments, the effect will depend on the payment system your site uses. If you are using Authorize.Net, Moneris, PayPal Payflow Pro, PayPal Payments Pro, PayPal Express Checkout, or Stripe, the payments will be automatically cancelled for existing members. If you are using PayPal Payments Standard, you must cancel the recurring subscription for each member on PayPal.

Payment failures

If a recurring payment is not successfully processed, it will be retried, up to a specific number of attempts. The number of attempts depends on the payment system your site uses.

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Payment system

Total # of attempts

Configurable?

Authorize.Net

10 (1 attempt every 6 hours)

No

Moneris10 (1 attempt every 6 hours)No

PayPal Payments Standard, PayPal Express Checkout

3 (2nd after 3 days, 3rd after another 5 days)

Yes, for each recurring profile from PayPal Manager

PayPal Payflow Pro

3 over 3 consecutive days

Yes, for each recurring profile from PayPal Manager

Stripe4 (3, 5, and 7 days after 1st attempt)Yes, from the Subscriptions tab of your account settings

If the recurring payment is still unsuccessful after the total number of attempts, the member's recurring payment profile (or subscription, in the case of Stripe) will be deleted, except for PayPal Payments Standard. For PayPal Payments Standard, an administrator can manually change or delete the recurring payment profile. (The recurring payment profile contains information about the recurring payments, including the regular payment period. Deleting the profile cancels the recurring payment.)

Each unsuccessful payment attempt will be logged in the audit log.

An Recurring renewal failed email will be automatically sent to the member and the organization contact, unless you have disabled these emails from the Renewal policy tab.

Paying for a membership with recurring payments enabled

When a membership applicant selects a membership level with recurring payments enabled then clicks Confirm, a Pay recurring invoice button will appear instead of a Pay online button.

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Recurring invoices have to be paid separately from other invoices.

When the applicant clicks the Pay recurring invoice button, a detailed invoice appears.

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Discount coupons cannot be used with recurring payments. 

To complete the payment, the applicant now clicks Pay online

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If you're using PayPal Payments Pro, the applicant will have the choice of clicking the Pay with credit card button or the PayPal Express Checkout button.

After completing the payment, the applicant will see a confirmation message. When subsequent payments are processed, the member will be emailed a payment receipt. For instructions on customizing payment receipts, see Customizing invoices and receipts.

Recurring payments can also be set up by an administrator. Doing so will update the member's payment system profile, and generate an entry in Wild Apricot's audit log. For example, setting up a recurring Authorize.Net payment would be recorded in the log as Authorize.net customer profile for recurring payment created. Profile ID= ******. For more information, see Processing credit card payments in admin view.

Extra charges

 If you're using Authorize.Net
If you're using Authorize.Net, Moneris, or Stripe to process payments, any extra charges will be included in subsequent payments only if you enabled the Include in renewals option for the extra charge field in your membership fields.  
 If you're using PayPal
If you're using PayPal, extra charges applied during the initial transaction will also be included in each subsequent payment even if you disable the Include in renewals option. If you do disable this option, the invoice amount for the recurring membership renewal will be different from the payment amount, resulting in an overpaid balance that will increase with each additional payment.
 
Wild Apricot Inc. 144 Front Street West Suite 725, Toronto, Ontario, Canada M5J 2L7