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Recurring payments

Recurring payments, also known as subscription payments, are transactions that occur on a regular basis. These types of payments are common in industries such as streaming services, subscription boxes, and software as a service (SaaS) providers. With IXOPAY platform, you can easily set up recurring payments for your customers.

Reference

For more details on the scheduler, check out the in-depth article on the scheduler in the reference.

To use recurring payments, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Creating the initial transaction

To start a recurring payment, you'll need to create an initial Debit transaction with the withRegister flag set to true. This flag allows you to register the payment instrument for future charges. The transactionIndicator field should be set to INITIAL to indicate that this is the first transaction in the recurring payments series.

Transaction criteria

INITIAL and RECURRING indicators should only be used if the merchant intends to process payments at regular, consistent intervals, and always for the same amount.

Alternatively, a Register transaction can be used. The register transaction will not debit funds, the subsequent follow-up transactions will debit funds from the customer. You can use this to set start the payment schedule at a later time.

You can also include a schedule object in the initial transaction to schedule follow-up transactions. The scheduler object should include the amount, currency, periodLength, periodUnit, and optionally startDateTime fields.

The response to this transaction will contain a unique identifier called uuid, which you will need for subsequent transactions.

Here's an example of how to create an initial Debit transaction with the withRegister flag set to true:

curl --request POST -sL \
--url "https://gateway.ixopay.com/api/v3/transaction/${API_KEY}/debit" \
--header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
--header 'Accept: application/json' \
--header "Authorization: Basic $(echo -n "$USERNAME:$PASSWORD" | base64)" \
--data-raw '{
"merchantTransactionId": "your-unique-identifier",
"withRegister": true,
"transactionIndicator": "INITIAL",
"schedule": {
"amount": "9.99",
"currency": "EUR",
"periodLength": 1,
"periodUnit": "MONTH",
"callbackUrl": "https://api.example.org/callback"
},
"description": "My subscription.",
"amount": "9.99",
"currency": "EUR",
"successUrl": "https://shop.example.org/checkout/success",
"cancelUrl": "https://shop.example.org/checkout/cancelled",
"errorUrl": "https://shop.example.org/checkout/error",
"callbackUrl": "https://api.example.org/callback",
}'

In the above example, we set the amount and currency fields to the amount we want to charge the customer for each transaction. The periodLength and periodUnit fields are used to specify how often we want to charge the customer. In this case, we want to charge the customer every month, so we set the periodUnit to MONTH.

Step 2: Handle the initial transaction response

When the initial transaction is created, you'll receive a response that includes a unique uuid for the transaction and scheduleData.scheduleId for the transaction. You can use these fields to identify the transaction and schedule in future API calls.

Depending on your integration methods, handle the result of the initial transaction:

HTTP/1.1 200 OK
Content-Type: application/json

{
"success": true,
"uuid": "4d40738b1194869734f7",
"purchaseId": "20240408-4d40738b1194869734f7",
"returnType": "FINISHED",
"paymentMethod": "Creditcard"
}

Step 3: Follow-up transactions

IXOPAY platform will automatically schedule follow-up transactions according to the schedule specified in the schedule object. You will receive a notification via the callback URL specified in the initial transaction when a follow-up transaction is made, see Callbacks on how to handle these notifications.

Depending on the result of the notifications you can manage your customers access to the subscription.

Making follow-up transactions without the scheduler

If you do not want to use the IXOPAY platform scheduler, you can implement your own scheduler to make the follow-up transactions. You will need to remove the schedule and store the uuid of the initial transaction and schedule follow-up transactions using your own scheduler.

When the scheduled time for a follow-up transaction arrives, you will need to create a new Debit transaction with the uuid of the initial transaction specified in the referenceUuid field and the transactionIndicator field set to RECURRING. You can then process the transaction and repeat the process for subsequent follow-up transactions.

curl --request POST -sL \
--url "https://gateway.ixopay.com/api/v3/transaction/${API_KEY}/debit" \
--header 'Content-Type: application/json' \
--header 'Accept: application/json' \
--header "Authorization: Basic $(echo -n "$USERNAME:$PASSWORD" | base64)" \
--data-raw '{
"merchantTransactionId": "your-unique-identifier",
"referenceUuid": "4d40738b1194869734f7",
"transactionIndicator": "RECURRING",
"description": "My subscription.",
"amount": "9.99",
"currency": "EUR",
"successUrl": "https://shop.example.org/checkout/success",
"cancelUrl": "https://shop.example.org/checkout/cancelled",
"errorUrl": "https://shop.example.org/checkout/error",
"callbackUrl": "https://api.example.org/callback",
}'

By using your own scheduling logic, you have the most control over when and how often your customers are invoiced. You can implement your own Dunning process and handle failures gracefully.

Conclusion

Recurring payments can be a powerful tool for merchants to increase customer retention and drive revenue. By using the withRegister flag on a Debit transaction or by using the Register transaction, you can easily create recurring payments. Either use IXOPAY platform's scheduler or bring your own.

Next steps

Now that you've integrated IXOPAY platform's recurring payments, you can look into …

  • … handling changes to the payments status with callbacks.
  • testing your setup to make sure you've set up everything correctly.
  • … checking out the scheduler reference to understand the intricacies of scheduling recurring payments.