[How-To] Automate Credit Card Payments For Recurring Invoices

recurring invoices auto charge
Receiving payments for recurring invoices [How-To]

If you’re charging your customers on a regular basis for the same set of products or services you offer, you can simplify the process by converting an order into a recurring order. This will allow you to automatically generate invoices at the periodic interval, also called recurring invoices. Once you’ve created a recurring order, you can then automate credit card payments for recurring invoices.

Contents:
1. The Pre-requisites
1.1. Convert Orders into Recurring Orders
1.2. Enable auto-charging on recurring invoices
1.3. Enable payments via credit card
1.4. Link Customer to credit cards
2. Receiving payments using the auto-charge feature
3. Enabling auto-charge at the end or start of recurrence
4. Troubleshooting
5. Email Alerts
6. Reports and History

1. The Prerequisites

In order to automate credit card payments on Recurring Orders in EZRentOut, you need to enable the relevant features in the software, and set up Recurring Orders.

1.1. Convert Orders into Recurring Orders

To convert an Order into a Recurring Order, first enable ‘Recurring Orders’ from Settings –> Add Ons.

  • From the Orders tab, click on the Order you wish to add recurrence to or create a new order.
  • Click ‘Add Recurrence’ button on the right to convert it into a Recurring Order. If the recurrence period is set to ‘Bill every 1 day’ for a week, a recurring invoice will be generated after every 1 day for a week – 7 occurrences in total.
  • Rent out the Order for the recurrence to start.

1.2. Enable auto-charging on recurring invoices

Automatically charge credit cards whenever a recurring invoice is generated on them.

To enable auto-charging, go to Settings –> Add Ons –> Recurring Orders and enable Automate Credit Card Payments for Recurring orders. 

Note that only an Admin or Account Owner can enable this setting and start automated payments on recurring invoices. Keep reading to learn how to use this feature. 

1.3. Enable payments via credit card

For auto-charge to work, you’ll also have to integrate with a payment gateway that supports this feature. Go to Settings –> Add Ons –> Enable Payments through Credit Card –> Select your preferred Payment Gateway(s).

Learn more about making payments through credit cards in EZRentOut.

Please note that we do not support ‘Square POS’ and pre-authorize payments for this feature yet.

To auto-charge a customer for recurring invoices, you need to associate a customer’s profile with his/her credit card information. To do that, go to Customers Page –> Click a customer’s profile or Add New Customer –> Add/Edit Credit Card Details. The customer’s credit card details will now be saved in your account and you can use it to auto-charge him/her.

You can also save and change the Credit Card details on file in the Order Details Page. An admin/owner has the access to delete these details, but not when an auto-charge payment is in place or is active.

Learn more about tracking customers in EZRentOut.

2. Receiving payments using the auto-charge feature

Now, that everything is in order, here’s how you can automate credit card payments for recurring invoices in EZRentOut:

As mentioned above, for the auto-charge feature to work, you need to have Recurring Orders in your EZRentOut database.

  1. Automate payments from either the Order Details Page or the Recurrence Details Page. Once recurrence starts and the Order has been rented out, the button to ‘Start Automated Payments’ will appear.Start automated paymentsPlease note, payments can be automated on new Recurring Orders and existing Recurring Orders (that are not completed, but rented out).
  2. Now let’s take the following as an example with:
    – Bill every set to ‘1 day’
    – 2 occurrences.
    Below is the glimpse of this Order:
    recurring order line itemsNote: Automated payments charged include the combined amount of ‘Payable Amount’ and ‘Default Invoice Line Items’.
  3. When you click ‘Start Automated Payments’, an overlay for customer’s credit card details (saved on file) pop up. You can see in the image below that the customer credit card will be auto-charged on the next payment date:automate recurring payments overlayNote: You cannot proceed to the next step if there are no CC details stored on file for that customer. Also, the automated payment includes the total payable amount of the previous rental period.
  4. Click ‘Start Automated Payments’ on this overlay. Now, an order in a recurrence will be automatically charged at the time of its return date. Customer will be automatically charged for each recurring order until the order is returned or completed. See the image below:successful automation on recurring paymentsIn case, you make any changes to an order’s ending date or amount, the change will take place in the next automated payment.
  5. Once a recurring order (Order #105) has been auto-charged on the next rent-out date, that order goes in a completed state.auto charge completed A new order (Order #107) is automatically created and rented out. This continues till the recurring order is stopped or the order is sent to an overdue state.next scheduled auto charge
  6. Charge manually for the last order. In the image above, you can see that there is no automated payment scheduled because the duration was of 2 days. For last order, the amount will have to be manually charged when the order is being returned.

You can stop automated payments on recurring invoices at any time. This action stops future automated payments for the recurring order. Consequently, you’ll have to manually charge payments using the ‘Charge Payment’ button on each Order.

3. Enabling auto-charge at the end or start of recurrence

For businesses that prefer to charge their customers at the start of a recurrence period, EZRentOut enables its users to auto-charge for payments at the beginning of each recurrence.

You can enable this by going to Settings –> Add Ons –> Recurring Orders –> Select ‘Automate credit card payments for Recurring Orders’.  This reveals an additional option shown below:

Auto-charge for recurring payments at the start of recurrence period

Select ‘At the start of a recurrence’ option and hit ‘Update’.

4. Troubleshooting

4.1. What happens when the payment on a recurring order is charged manually, with automated credit card payment enabled?

If the payment is made in full, the order is completed. But if the amount payable is greater than 0, the order goes in ‘Payment Pending’ state. The remaining amount is auto-charged as scheduled.

4.2. What if my Recurring Order has Inventory items?

Orders with inventory items are treated the same as recurring orders. Inventory items are only auto-charged for the first order. As the next recurring order won’t include the inventory item, so automated payment would be applied to the remaining order line items.

4.3. What if some Orders of a recurrence are already in payment pending, and the user starts automatic payments in the middle of recurrence?

In this case, an automated payment will only begin from the current order (the one in a rented out state). Same way, admins can start automated payments for a recurrence even after some orders have already been completed. In this case, automated payment will only begin from current order.

4.4. What happens when credit card payment fails?

The order is sent to ‘Payment Pending’ state.

4.5. What happens when the Order is not returned?

The order is sent to ‘Overdue’ or ‘Payment Pending’ state.

4.6. What happens to the last Order in a Recurring Order?

You’ll have to manually charge payment on its return.

5. Email Alerts

When you set up an automated credit card payment on a recurring order. Both the admin and customer receive email alerts pertaining to their actions.

  • Admin: An email alert is sent to inform him/her that Order #105 has expired and Order #106 has been issued. 
  • Customer: An email alert is sent to inform him/her that Order #105 has been completed and Order #106 has been issued. This email also entails that a certain amount would be charged for Order #106 on the next billing or return date.

Another email alert that both the admin and customer receives is when an attempt to auto-charge the customer’s credit card fails.

Related blogs: User Alerts | Customer Alerts

6. Reports and History

To show automated payment in reports, we have added a status column in the Payment Received Report, called ‘Automated Payment’.payment received report

You can also find the same column i.e. Automated Payment, in the Recurrence page. To view the payment record on a recurring order, click the ‘Payments History’ button. Here you can view Order Payments and Default Line Items Payments. Automated Payments can be seen as well.payment history details

Automate payments for recurring invoices in EZRentOut!

Try out our equipment rental software by signing up today for a free 15-day trial. For more assistance, drop us an email at support@ezrentout.com.

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