In Chargebee we use customers to hold all the details of a subscriber. The customer acts as the main object to store and manage the subscribers' billing & contact information, card details, and payment mode.
Customers can be created in 3 ways:
When a new subscription is created
When a new subscription is created either through the hosted page, web interface or through the API, Chargebee automatically creates a new customer as well.
Through the web interface
You can create a new customer under Subscriptions › Customers › Create a New Customer.
Using the API
You can use the Create a Customer API to create a new customer.
Once a customer is created, it contains basic attributes including customer id, name, email, company name and phone number. These attributes are common to the customer object.
The additional entities linked to the customer object are:
Except for subscriptions, all the other entities are common to the customer object as well.
You can choose to exempt a customer from paying taxes by selecting the This customer is exempt from tax payment checkbox.
You can either create a subscription for an existing customer or a new customer. When a new subscription is created, a customer object is automatically created as well.
Creating subscriptions for an existing customer can be done through the web interface or using the API .
To create a new subscription through the web interface, go to the Customers tab under Subscriptions, select the customer and use the Create New Subscription option as shown here:
Click here to read more about subscriptions.
Apart from the default fields provided for the customer object, you can create custom fields to track additional customer information.
Chargebee supports a host of different payment methods and multiple payment methods per customer. Once a customer's payment method details are added, the payment method is tried every time a charge needs to be collected.
If you are adding multiple payment methods against a customer, Chargebee also allows you to mark one as primary and another as backup to ensure you don't lose revenue in case a payment method fails.
Payment method details can be added, updated or removed for a customer using the web interface, Chargebee's API, and Chargebee's hosted pages. Check out payment methods overview for more information.
If you have collected payment from a customer in advance, or if the customer has made a single payment for multiple invoices, use the Record Payment option to account for the same:
The recorded payment will be automatically applied to the future invoices. It can also be manually applied to the existing Not Paid or Payment Due invoices.
The Auto Collection status of a customer decides whether or not subscriptions linked to the customer should be charged automatically using the card on file. If Auto Collection is Off, the subscriptions will not be charged automatically even if the card is present. When Auto Collection is On, an attempt to charge the card will be made.
When a subscription moves from TRIAL to ACTIVE state with auto collection ON and no card on file, it will be cancelled. However, if the subscription's value is $0, it will not be cancelled even though the auto collection is ON and no card on file because there is no attempt to collect charges.
If you've enabled the Payment Terms option for your invoices, and you've turned Auto Collection off for a customer, the invoice will be marked as Posted. An email notification will be sent to them, and once the customer is close to the due date, the invoice status will change to Payment Due.
A customer's billing address can be captured during sign up for customers with and without a card. If you've enabled billing address validation, then the billing address information needs to be provided by the customer during sign up.
For merchants in the EU region who've enabled EU VAT, the taxes will be applied based on the billing country specified during sign up. So when creating subscriptions, you need to explicitly provide the billing country for the system to decide whether tax needs to be applied or not.
For subscriptions created without passing the billing country, EU VAT will not be applied.
Billing address for customers with card
The customer's billing information is linked to the customer's credit card for online subscriptions.
When a subscription is created with a card on file, the billing address captured along with the card details will be used as the customer's billing address as well. But you can edit the customer's billing info if needed, using the Update Billing Info option available in the Actions panel.
When only updating the billing information for a customer, the credit card billing info will not be updated. But, if you update the card's billing info while updating the card details, the customer's billing info will be automatically updated.
In a nutshell, for customers with a card, there is no need to worry about updating the customer's billing address separately.
Billing address for offline customers
Offline customers are subscribers who do not have a card on file and have an offline subscription.
For offline subscriptions, the billing information can also be collected during sign up. If you've selected the billing address fields for validation, these fields will be automatically displayed when creating the offline subscription through the web interface.
When creating offline subscriptions using the API, you can include the additional attributes for billing_address using the customer object.
For offline subscriptions, you can update the billing information within the subscription through the web interface or through the update billing info for customer API.
If your customer wants their team or an alternative point of contact to receive emails related to billing such as invoices, payment success notifications, etc., you can configure Chargebee to send them emails using the Add Contact option. For example, if your customer would like their accounts team to receive a copy of the invoice, you could add the accountant's email or the team's email as an additional contact and link it to the respective customer. You can add up to a maximum of six contacts.
To link an additional contact, go to Subscriptions › Customers › details page for the customer and click Add Contact:
The Add Contact form appears, as shown below:
Fill in the Id - this will be the reference ID used by Chargebee API to identify the contact.
Fill in the name, email address, and phone number. Use the Tag field to add a tag for your reference.
The emails that can be sent to this additional contact are categorized into two groups:
This option is enabled by default. Enable this option if you want your team to receive the following emails:
Enable this option if you want your team to receive the following emails:
Click Done to save.
The contacts added using this option will appear under a new section, Additional Contact Info, as shown below:
This section also provides the options to add, edit, remove contacts, or disable email notifications for them.
This option is available for users assigned the role of Customer Support (Settings > Team Members), or a role with more access than that of Customer Support.
If you have multiple live sites, you can search for a customer across all your sites using their Name, Email id, or Company name.
To do this, in your web interface, click All Sites from the top right corner and navigate to the Your Sites page as shown:
The search tab will be present in the Your Sites page, as shown below:
The top 50 search results will be displayed for the corresponding search term:
Upon clicking a particular result, you'll be taken to the respective Customer's Details page.
If you wish to delete a Customer in Chargebee, open the specific Customer's details page and click the Delete Customer option available on the Actions panel.
This operation is irreversible - all data related to the customer, such as Subscriptions and Invoices, will be deleted.
The numbers in the following reports will get modified when a Customer is deleted:
You can also delete a Customer using the Delete a Customer API .