Under Settings > Processing > Recurring Billing > Options, you can determine whether you would like to automatically retry failed transactions and whether proration will apply to subscription price changes.
If a customer’s payment method fails or is declined, their subscription status will change to Past Due. Automatic retries are your recurring billing backup plan—you can set up logic in the Control Panel to automatically retry a declined or failed charge at specific intervals.
To find the options for automatic retries, head to Settings > Processing > Recurring Billing and click Options. Once you check the box next to Automatically Retry Failed Transactions, several different options will appear.
After a subscription is past due, retry the subscription after…
Here’s where you can specify how long you want to wait to retry the charge after it initially fails or is declined. You must choose a value between 1 and 10 days.
If above retry fails, try again after…
Same idea as above. Again, you must choose a value between 1 and 10 days.
If above retries have failed…
This is where you have the most flexibility. You can choose to:
- Cancel the subscription
- Continue retrying the subscription
- Leave the subscription past due
The first and second retries above will only apply during the billing cycle in which the subscription becomes Past Due. If you choose to continue retrying the subscription, we will only retry it once per billing cycle, on the subscription’s usual billing date.
The balance on Past Due subscriptions will continue to increase every billing cycle—either indefinitely or until the number of cycles in the subscription is reached. If a subscription remains Past Due for multiple cycles and you don’t want to bill the customer for the full amount owed, you can manually retry the subscription for any amount. If the retry is successful, regardless of the amount of the transaction, it will reduce that subscription’s balance to $0.
Retry logic example
Your customer has a $50 monthly subscription that bills on the first of each month, and you’ve set up your retry logic with the following parameters:
After a subscription is past due, retry the subscription after: 10 days
If above retry fails, try again after: 10 days
If above retries have failed: Continue retrying the subscription
Prior to August 1, the customer had an Active subscription with a balance of $0. On August 1, the transaction for $50 fails, the customer’s subscription becomes Past Due, and its balance increases to $50. Based on your retry logic, here’s how it might turn out:
We retry the transaction for $50, but it fails again. The customer’s balance remains $50 and the status remains Past Due.
We retry the transaction for $50 a second time, but again, it fails. The customer’s balance remains $50 and the status remains Past Due.
It’s the beginning of a new billing cycle, so in addition to the $50 Past Due balance, the customer has a new $50 monthly charge. We attempt a transaction for $100, but this also fails, increasing the subscription balance to $100. We won’t try to charge the customer again until the beginning of the next billing cycle.
It’s another new billing cycle, so on top of the $100 Past Due balance, the customer has a new $50 monthly charge. We attempt a transaction for $150, which is successful this time. Now the subscription’s status returns to Active, and the subscription balance returns to $0.
Now that the subscription is Active, if it goes back to Past Due on a future billing date, the retry logic will be applied again and the subscription will be retried in 10 days.
It is important to note that our retry logic will not automatically retry every transaction that is declined by the processor. Some decline codes are not retried because they suggest that it's unlikely the transaction will ever be successful.
Decline codes that are not retried
|2005||Invalid Credit Card Number||Hard|
|2006||Invalid Expiration Date||Hard|
|2008||Card Account Length Error||Hard|
|2009||No Such Issuer||Soft|
|2010||Card Issuer Declined CVV||Hard|
|2011||Voice Authorization Required||Hard|
|2012||Processor Declined – Possible Lost Card||Hard|
|2013||Processor Declined – Possible Stolen Card||Hard|
|2014||Processor Declined – Fraud Suspected||Hard|
|2015||Transaction Not Allowed||Hard|
|2017||Cardholder Stopped Billing||Hard|
|2018||Cardholder Stopped All Billing||Hard|
|2022||Declined – Updated Cardholder Available||Hard|
|2023||Processor Does Not Support This Feature||Hard|
|2024||Card Type Not Enabled||Hard|
|2027||Set Up Error – Amount||Hard|
|2028||Set Up Error – Hierarchy||Hard|
|2029||Set Up Error – Card||Hard|
|2030||Set Up Error – Terminal||Hard|
|2032||Surcharge Not Permitted||Hard|
|2034||No Action Taken||Soft|
|2036||Authorization could not be found||Hard|
|2039||Invalid Authorization Code||Hard|
|2041||Declined – Call For Approval||Hard|
|2043||Error – Do Not Retry, Call Issuer||Hard|
|2044||Declined – Call Issuer||Hard|
|2045||Invalid Merchant Number||Hard|
|2047||Call Issuer. Pick Up Card||Hard|
|2049||Invalid SKU Number||Hard|
|2050||Invalid Credit Plan||Soft|
|2051||Credit Card Number does not match method of payment||Hard|
|2053||Card reported as lost or stolen||Hard|
|2054||Reversal amount does not match authorization amount||Soft|
|2055||Invalid Transaction Division Number||Hard|
|2056||Transaction amount exceeds the transaction division limit||Hard|
|2058||Merchant not Mastercard SecureCode enabled||Hard|
|2059||Address Verification Failed||Hard|
|2060||Address Verification and Card Security Code Failed||Hard|
|2061||Invalid Transaction Data||Hard|
|2062||Invalid Tax Amount||Soft|
|2063||PayPal Business Account preference resulted in the transaction failing||Hard|
|2064||Invalid Currency Code||Hard|
|2065||Refund Time Limit Exceeded||Hard|
|2066||PayPal Business Account Restricted||Hard|
|2068||PayPal Business Account Locked or Closed||Hard|
|2069||PayPal Blocking Duplicate Order IDs||Hard|
|2070||PayPal Buyer Revoked Pre-Approved Payment Authorization||Hard|
|2071||PayPal Payee Account Invalid Or Does Not Have a Confirmed Email||Hard|
|2072||PayPal Payee Email Incorrectly Formatted||Hard|
|2073||PayPal Validation Error||Hard|
|2074||Funding Instrument In The PayPal Account Was Declined By The Processor Or Bank, Or It Can't Be Used For This Payment||Hard|
|2075||Payer Account Is Locked Or Closed||Hard|
|2076||Payer Cannot Pay For This Transaction With PayPal||Hard|
|2077||Transaction Refused Due To PayPal Risk Model||Hard|
|2079||PayPal Merchant Account Configuration Error||Hard|
|2081||PayPal pending payments are not supported||Hard|
|2082||PayPal Domestic Transaction Required||Hard|
|2083||PayPal Phone Number Required||Hard|
|2084||PayPal Tax Info Required||Hard|
|2085||PayPal Payee Blocked Transaction||Hard|
|2086||PayPal Transaction Limit Exceeded||Hard|
|2087||PayPal reference transactions not enabled for your account||Hard|
|2088||Currency not enabled for your PayPal seller account||Hard|
|2089||PayPal payee email permission denied for this request||Hard|
|2090||PayPal account not configured to refund more than settled amount||Hard|
|2091||Currency of this transaction must match currency of your PayPal account||Hard|
|2093||PayPal payment method is invalid||Hard|
|2094||PayPal payment has already been completed||Hard|
|2095||PayPal refund is not allowed after partial refund||Hard|
|2096||PayPal buyer account can't be the same as the seller account||Hard|
|2097||PayPal authorization amount limit exceeded||Hard|
You can use proration to charge or credit a customer if a change is made to the subscription price in the middle of a billing cycle. Enabling proration adjusts the price based on how many days are left in the billing cycle, and charges the customer the newly-calculated rate immediately. Without proration enabled, any changes made to a customer’s subscription mid-cycle will go into effect at the beginning of the next cycle.
When you make a change to a subscription’s price, it is either considered an upgrade or a downgrade. An upgrade includes editing the subscription price to a higher dollar amount or applying an add-on. A downgrade includes editing the subscription price to a lower dollar amount or applying a discount.
In order to adjust a subscription’s price, you can either use add-ons/discounts, or directly update the subscription and change the price. When you make an update to the subscription, the price change will be reflected for the remainder of its billing cycles or until another change is made. Alternatively, when you use add-ons/discounts, you must define how many billing cycles should be adjusted.
If you have proration enabled, use caution when applying add-ons or discounts mid-billing cycle to an existing subscription. Doing so will not only adjust the price for the specified number of subsequent billing cycles, but will also charge (or discount) your customer for the prorated amount left on the current billing cycle.
The best way to avoid this scenario is to do one of the following:
- disable proration on the specific subscription update
- create a separate transaction outside of the subscription
- disable proration for your entire gateway
- only apply add-ons/discounts on the first day of a new billing cycle
If you edit the subscription price to a higher dollar amount or apply an add-on, it is defined as an upgrade. To enable proration on upgrades:
- Log into the Control Panel
- Navigate to Settings > Processing > Recurring Billing
- Click Options
- Check the box next to Enable proration on upgrades
If the price of a subscription increases in the middle of the billing cycle and you have enabled proration on upgrades, then the gateway will immediately charge the customer a prorated amount to cover the remainder of the billing cycle. We’ll do this each time the subscription price increases.
Proration on upgrades example
Your customer has a $30 monthly subscription that bills on the first of each month. He decides to upgrade to a $50 monthly subscription on September 3. Because he already paid his $30 monthly bill on September 1, he’ll be charged a prorated amount immediately to cover the charge for the rest of the month.
Based on this example, here’s how we’ll calculate the prorated charge:
Original monthly subscription price = $30
New monthly subscription price = $50
Number of days left in the billing cycle = 27
Total number of days in the billing cycle = 30
($50 – $30) x (27 / 30) = $18
Here are the charges your customer will see on his statement:
September 1: $30
September 3: $18
October 1: $50
Once you enable proration on upgrades, you can choose how to handle failed charges for prorated amounts by checking or unchecking this field in the Options under Settings > Processing > Recurring Billing:
If the transaction for a prorated amount fails, don't update the subscription or the balance.
If this is checked and the charge fails, we will not add the prorated amount to the subscription balance and the subscription itself will remain unchanged. Using the example above, if the $18 prorated charge were to fail, the subscription price wouldn’t change; the customer would be billed the usual $30 on October 1.
If this field is left unchecked, we’ll add the prorated amount to the customer’s subscription balance, and on the next billing date, we’ll charge them this amount plus the next cycle’s full price. In this case, if the $18 prorated charge were to fail, the subscription price would increase to $50, and we would bill the customer $68 on October 1.
If you edit the subscription price to a lower dollar amount or apply a discount, it is defined as a downgrade. To enable proration on downgrades:
- Log into the Control Panel
- Navigate to Settings > Processing > Recurring Billing
- Click Options
- Check the box next to Enable proration on downgrades
If the price of a subscription decreases in the middle of the billing cycle and you have enabled proration on downgrades, then we will subtract the prorated amount from the customer’s subscription balance. A customer’s balance should be $0 if they pay their bill on time, so you should see a negative balance for them in the gateway.
On the next billing date, the customer will be charged for any positive balance on their subscription. If the downgrade gave them a negative balance, their payment method won’t be charged until their balance exceeds $0.
Proration on downgrades example
Say your customer has a $75 monthly subscription that bills on the fifth of each month. She decides to downgrade to a $25 monthly subscription on September 6. She had already paid her $75 monthly bill on September 5, so we’ll subtract a prorated amount from her subscription balance to credit her for what she’s already paid. This credit will be applied to her balance in the gateway, so it will not affect her bank statement at all.
First, we need to calculate how much she overpaid. Here’s what we already know:
Original monthly subscription price = $75
New monthly subscription price = $25
Number of days left in the billing cycle = 28
Total number of days in the billing cycle = 30
To calculate the amount we’ll credit her, we find the difference between the new subscription price and the old subscription price, then multiply it by the portion of the billing cycle that remains (number of days left in the billing cycle divided by the total number of days in a billing cycle).
($25 – $75) x (28 / 30) = -$46.66
Based on this calculation, we’ll apply a credit of -$46.66 to her subscription balance.
How you see her balance in the gateway will differ from the charges she’ll see on her monthly bank statements. Here are the charges your customer will see on her bank statements:
September 5: $75
October 5: $0
November 5: $3.34
She’ll see the full $75 that she paid on September 5, because the transaction had already posted, and we do not issue refunds when downgrading subscriptions. On October 5, we apply the new monthly subscription amount ($25) to her balance in the gateway (-$46.66 + $25 = -$21.66)—because her balance is still negative, she is not charged anything for October. On November 5, we apply the monthly subscription amount to the remaining balance on her subscription and find that she only owes the remaining $3.34 (-$21.66 + $25 = $3.34)—which is automatically debited and then reflected on her November bank statement.
Here’s what her subscription balance will show for you in the gateway:
September 5: $0
September 6: -$46.66
October 5: -$21.66
November 5: $0
Because she paid her full $75 balance on September 5, her balance shows as $0 in the gateway. On September 6, we’ll apply the calculated credit, which results in a negative balance. On the next billing cycle (October 5), we add the new subscription price ($25) to her balance, leaving -$21.66 on her subscription. With the next billing cycle (November 5) we add the new subscription price ($25) to her balance, making her new balance $3.34. Because her balance is now positive, she will be automatically be charged the $3.34—if the charge is successful her balance will be shown as $0 in the gateway.
At this point, she is officially trued up on her subscription! From here forward, the customer will see a $25 charge on the fifth of each month.
Still have questions?
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