Today, most subscribers pay their yearly subscriptions with a credit card, making automatic renewals and recurring billing simple. However, when credit cards are declined, managing the changing details can be difficult. We’ve designed Multipub to help publishers collect transactions through the life of each subscription.
Our platform supports your efforts to track the intricate details of each account and minimize credit card declines through our automatic renewals and installment billing functionality. To help manage declined credit cards, Multipub has developed a new approach for retrying credit cards, as well as for receiving updates to credit card information for subscribers.
How Automatic Renewals are Processed in Multipub
When an order is entered and paid with a credit card, a credit card profile is created in Multipub. This profile does not contain the full credit card number, just the last 4 digits of the card, as well as the token information from the processor. If the order is marked for automatic renewal, this signals Multipub to automatically create the renewal order and charge the credit card on file.
For automatic renewals, the credit card charges are automatically generated either through posting labels or by running revenue recognition. If there are multiple credit card profiles on file, the system will select the active profile. If there are multiple active profiles, the system uses the most recent profile. Then, the credit cards are authorized using Batch Authorize. But if the credit card is declined, the order is marked as a status 18, failed Automatic Renewal Charge.
Retrying Automatic Renewals After a Credit Card is Declined
Multipub users can specify the number of times a charge is re-tried in the system settings. The methodology is as follows:
- Declined credit cards will be moved to a single batch designated to hold declined credit cards. This batch is named REVRETRY
- This batch will be processed daily, selecting the cards that are to be retried that day
a. Credit cards that are authorized will be moved to an automatic renewal LB batch to be posted.
b. Credit cards that are declined will remain on the REVRETRY batch.
- The maximum number of times a credit card will be re-tried before becoming status 18 and the interval between tries will be determined by a system policy.
- Once the card has been run through the maximum number of times it will become a status 18.
How Installment Billing is Managed in Multipub
Installment Billing credit card charges work like Automatic Renewals. When an order is entered and paid with a credit card, a credit card profile is created in Multipub. This profile does not contain the full credit card number, just the last 4 digits of the card as well as the token information from the processor. If the order is marked for installment billing, the credit card is charged with the initial charge, and then, the credit card profile is saved and available for future installment charges.
For Installment Billing, the subsequent charges are generated by running the Installment Bills program. If there are multiple profiles on file, the system will select the active profile. If there are multiple active profiles, the system uses the most recent profile. Then, the credit cards are authorized using Batch Authorize. But, if the credit card is declined, it moves to the retry batch and will retry until the maximum number of retries has occurred. Then, the transaction is moved to the Declined Card (DC) batch.
Installment Billing Retries After a Credit Card is Declined
After a credit card is declined, the number of times a charge is re-tried can be specified in the system settings. The methodology is as follows:
- Declined credit cards will be moved to a single batch designated to hold declined credit cards. This batch is named REVRETRY.
- This batch will be processed daily.
a. Credit cards that are authorized will be moved to batch to be posted.
b. Credit cards that are declined will move to the DC batch when the system has stopped the re-try attempts.
c. The user should review the transactions on the DC Batch and determine how to manage them, such as calling the customer to get an updated credit card or removing the credit card information altogether, so it becomes a bill-me order.
- The maximum number of times a credit card will be re-tried will be determined by a system policy.
- Once the card has been run through the maximum number of times, it will move to the DC batch.
How Multipub Works with Credit Card Update Services
In cases where the subscriber has been issued a new card from the same provider, but has a different card number or expiration date than what is on file in Multipub, many credit card processors offer an Account Updater Service to update the credit card information that a business has on file for a subscriber. Each processor works differently. Some will run the credit card through their updater service when a charge is submitted, while others will allow you to run all your credit cards through the updater service as a separate process. (When this approach is used, it is typically done monthly prior to processing any recurring credit card charges.) Check with your processor to see the options that are available to you.
Using Mult-e-commerce & File Imports for Automatic Renewals and Installment Billing
Automatic Renewals and Installment Billing are both available for transactions that come from the Mult-e-commerce API’s and file imports – if the credit card is authorized prior to creating the order in Multipub.
If web transactions are authorized at the website, the type check, last four digits of the credit card number, expiration date, approval code, and Unique Identifier are sent from the web. This Unique Identifier can be used for future refunds, automatic renewals, and installment bills.
The real-time authorization option is not available with the web import program. Although batch authorization is available for these transaction types, it is discouraged as the credit card numbers may not be encrypted. Multipub recommends that the cards be pre-authorized on the website. Then, the authorization information can be sent to Multipub as part of the import file.
SEE FOR YOURSELF
At the end of the month, we’re offering two webinars on credit card declines. The January edition of Focus shares a high-level view of how it works, perfect for prospective users. Our MultiView session offers current users an in-depth look at how credit card declines work for automatic renewals and installment billing. Can’t make it? Schedule a personalized or group demo here.