[Advisors] How Subscription (Recurring) Payments Work
AdvicePay's subscription feature is convenient for you and your client, as once a client originally enters payment information and confirms a subscription, no further action is needed!
Auto payments will be made every month/quarter/etc. through your client's bank account or credit card until you or your client cancels the subscription, OR it reaches the end date you have set.
We also help your clients keep track of their payments by sending them an email notification 7 days before they're billed, and then sending them a confirmation email once the billing occurs.
Example of the Subscription Process
On September 8, you create a monthly subscription invoice with October 1 as the bill date. Your client then signs in to their AdvicePay account and authorizes the payment on September 15. Both you and the client will receive an email confirmation of the payment.
AdvicePay will automatically deduct the payment from your client's account on October 1 ( not September 15).
The subscription will then continue billing on November 1, December 1, and so on!
Emails that your subscription clients receive
Your client receives several types of emails when they are on a subscription. You are BCC'd (blind carbon copied) on these emails as well:
- An email confirmation when they originally authorize a subscription and "pay" it
- An email 7 days before they get billed
- A debit confirmation email letting them know the payment was billed*
Your client will also be notified via email if their payment fails or if you cancel an active subscription.
* Note: If your client is paying via ACH, it takes about 5 business days for their payment to process and ultimately pass or fail at their bank. In this instance, the client's debit confirmation email will come through when the payment finalizes at their bank. This is typically about a week after the initial bill date.
To remain a compliant payment platform, these payment notification emails cannot be turned off by advisors. Clients can manage their notifications via their own account!
Frequently Asked Questions
"What does it mean when I send a subscription invoice to a client and it is marked as Inactive?"
An inactive status on a subscription invoice simply means that the client hasn't approved the payment yet! Once they set up their account, they will see the invoice in their AdvicePay dashboard. The client will then have the ability to click on "Make Payment," enter their payment information, and authorize the subscription.
Once they do that, their subscription status will change from "Inactive" to "Active."
"What if my client doesn't authorize their subscription by the due date? (Let's say they're 1 week past due.) Do I need to start over and create a whole new invoice for them?"
Not to worry -- your client can still make their payment and you don't have to set up anything new! Their payment will be processed immediately once they authorize the subscription, and then it will begin billing as normal the next month on the day you selected.
So, if your client with an October 1 due date goes in and makes a late payment on October 8, it will bill the full amount immediately, and then bill the full amount again on November 1, December 1, and so on. (There will not be a prorated billing calculation made.)
"But what if it's been OVER 30 days since the due date and they still haven't paid it?"
If you set a monthly subscription to bill on, say, October 1, but your client doesn't activate the subscription and make the payment until November 2, the following will happen:
- The initial October invoice will bill immediately, and reflect those initial October date ranges on the PDF invoice
- November's invoice will be skipped
- The subscription will bill again as normal on December 1, January 1, etc.
To make up for missed payments in a scenario like this where one or more months are skipped, sending additional one-time invoices to your client is recommended!
"What if I need to adjust the bill date or the payment amount on a subscription?"
If any changes are required on an active subscription, a new one would need to be created to stay compliant. You can cancel a client's subscription anytime by clicking the red "Cancel" button found underneath Actions when viewing their subscription(s), then you can go back and set up a new subscription under Request Payment.
If the subscription is still inactive (which means the client hasn't authorized it to begin billing), you can edit the invoice!
"Can my client change the payment account they use for my subscription?"
Yes! If your subscription client wishes to start paying with a different credit card or bank account, they can do so through their Account Settings when logged into AdvicePay.
We will bill the account they have on file in their Wallet, so by adding a new payment method and deleting the old one, their subscription would bill the new account on the next due date.
"Can a client make a partial payment of a subscription invoice?"
At the current time a client cannot make partial payments on invoices. If your client prefers smaller payments, you could set up multiple subscriptions for that client with smaller bill amounts and different billing dates.
"Can I put a temporary hold on a subscription payment?"
Afraid not. :) To delay or suspend a payment, you would want to cancel the subscription before it bills and then set up a new one in its place.
"What does the Completed status on a subscription mean?"
When you select a billing end-date on a subscription, the subscription will update with the status "Completed" after the last charge to the client!
"Will I get notified if a client cancels their subscription?"
Yes, advisors are automatically BCC'd on the client's cancelation confirmation email (and you'll also see a notification under your account's Recent Activity on the dashboard).