Offline Payments 

Offline payments allow merchants to track payments made via cash, checks, bank transfers, at the desk, ACH, postal orders or any other means besides online payment methods such as cards, PayPal etc. Once you have received the payment, you will have to manually record it in ChargeBee.

Offline payments can be used even if you have an existing payment method configured. In such cases, you can record the offline payment after collecting them. You can also configure subscriptions in such a way that they make use of Offline payments as the only method of payment.

Using Offline Payments for a Susbcription 

If you plan on accepting only offline payments for a subscription, the process involves the following configurations,

Turning Off the Auto Collection option.

Auto Collection : Auto Collection option configured for a customer, decides whether the payments for the invoices generated for a customer should be charged automatically.

When the Auto Collection option is On : ChargeBee tries to charge the customer based on the payment method they have configured.

When the Auto Collection option is Off : ChargeBee will not attempt to collect payments for the invoice and hence you will have to manually collect it and record it.


When the Auto Collection option is Off

Note

Auto Collection status is linked to a customer and not a subscription. Hence, if a customer has multiple subscriptions, and you turn "Auto Collection" Off for one of the subscriptions, all the other subscriptions will become offline subscriptions as well.

When you make use of only offline payments for a subscription, all the payments for the invoices generated for that subscription/customer will not be collected by ChargeBee. Instead, the status of the generated invoice will be marked as "Payment Due". Subscriptions with offline payments will always continue to renew, regardless of the status of the previous invoices. It is your(merchant's) responsibility to make sure you reconcile and collect payments for these invoices.

  1. Recording the collected Payments (manually)

Turning Off the Auto Collection option 

The following sections discuss about the different ways in which Auto Collection option can be turned off.

a. While creating a Subscription

While creating a subscription via the admin console, under the "Billing" section of the "Create a New Subscription" UI, turn the "Auto Collection" - Off.

Note

By default auto collection will be "On" for all new subscriptions.

b. Existing Subscriptions

Configuring Auto Collection option for existing subscriptions can be done in the following ways,

Open an existing subscription and under the "Payment Details" section click on "Change" next to "Auto Collection". This will give you an option to turn off Auto Collection

c. While creating a new customer

While creating a customer via the admin console, when on the "Create a New Customer" UI, set the "Auto Collection" - Off.

If you make use of ChargeBee's API, the auto collection option can be configured in the following ways,

  1. While creating a Subscription : While creating a subscription using the Create a Subscription API , pass the parameter customer[auto_collection] as "off".
  2. While creating a Customer : While creating a customer using the Create a Customer API , pass the auto_collection parameter as "off".
  3. Updating a Customer : While using the Update a Customer API , pass the auto_collection parameter as "off".

Recording the collected Payments 

Once you have collected the payments, you can record it in the following ways.

i. Via the Admin Console

Click on the invoice which was generated with the "Payment Due" Status. Select the "Record Payment" option from the right side panel. Enter the particulars corresponding to the payment made such as the "Payment Method", "Payment Date" etc.

After the payment for the invoice is recorded, the status of the invoice changes to "Paid".

ii. Using the API

Payment for a "Payment Due" invoice can be recorded using the Record Payment for an Invoice  API. Pass the required parameters such as payment_method, paid_at etc., to record the payment.

Points to be noted 

  1. "Auto Collection" can be turned Off even if a payment method is configured.
  2. If auto collection is "On" but you receive a payment offline, you can still record the payment for the invoice that is marked as "Payment Due". The invoice will be automatically updated to "Paid" and the auto-renewal attempt for that particular invoice will be skipped.
  3. Similarly, when auto collection is "Off" and if there is a payment method configured, you can still attempt to charge the customer using the payment method for an invoice that is marked as "Payment Due".
  4. If there is a payment method configured but auto collection is "Off" and you attempt to make an immediate charge, the invoice generated would still be marked as "Payment Due". No automatic charge attempts will be made even though there is a payment method configured.
  5. Auto collection will be automatically turned on if you add payment method details to a subscription. Updating existing payment method details in a subscription that has Auto collection turned off will NOT turn it on.
  6. If a subscription is going through dunning due to a failed charge attempt and if a payment is manually recorded during that time, the dunning process will automatically stop.
  7. For a subscription that has a payment method configured and Auto Collection turned off, if an invoice is generated and then Auto Collection is turned on manually, ChargeBee will not automatically attempt to charge that invoice. An attempt to charge automatically is made only for the subsequent invoices.
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