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Subscriptions with WooCommerce Payments

Subscriptions with WooCommerce Payments is available for U.S. accounts and card payments only. Learn more.

When using WooCommerce Payments, you have two options to sell subscription products:

This document provides information on using the subscriptions built into WooCommerce Payments.

If you’re using the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension and WooCommerce Payments, everything will work as covered in the WooCommerce Subscriptions documentation. If you are already using the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension and want to move to the WooCommerce Payments built-in subscriptions, refer to this guide.

For help choosing the right solution for your business, refer to the guide comparing subscription options.

Eligibility requirements ↑ Back to top

To be eligible to use the subscriptions functionality built into WooCommerce Payments, you must:

  • Be based in the U.S.
  • Have the WooCommerce Payments plugin active.
  • Have a WooCommerce Payments account that is enabled for payments.
  • Offer credit and debit cards via WooCommerce Payments as a payment method on checkout.

Set up subscriptions ↑ Back to top

After setting up WooCommerce Payments version 3.2.0 or newer, subscription functionality will be available and ready to use. There is no special configuration required.

To create a subscription product:

  1. Go to WooCommerce > Products > Add new
  2. Select Simple Subscription as the product type.
  3. Set the terms for the subscription, including price, billing interval, billing period, length, sign-up fee and trial period (length, sign-up fee and trial period are all optional).
  4. Add any other product details you require, as instructed by Managing Products.
  5. Click Publish.

Your store now has a subscription product available that customers can subscribe to using WooCommerce Payments.

Once purchased, future recurring payments on the associated subscription will be processed automatically with renewal orders generated in your store for you to track and manage. You can also manage the subscriptions via the WooCommerce > Subscriptions administration dashboard.

Subscription fees ↑ Back to top

An additional fee is charged for any order containing a subscription product using the functionality built into WooCommerce Payments. This fee is charged on the order containing the initial sale of the subscription product as well as the future recurring payments associated with the subscription.

On the timeline of subscription-related transactions, visible under Payments > Transactions > Payment details screen, this fee will be displayed as a separate line item on the charge:

Example timeline of subscription-related payment

Disable built-in subscriptions ↑ Back to top

When the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension is activated, the WooCommerce Payments built-in subscriptions functionality will be disabled automatically and the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension will take over.

If you need to manually disable the subscriptions functionality built-in to WooCommerce Payments:

  1. Go to Payments > Settings
  2. Select Advanced settings at the bottom of the screen
  3. Uncheck the Enable Subscriptions with WooCommerce Payments box

Extension compatibility ↑ Back to top

The WooCommerce.com marketplace offers many extensions for the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension itself that expand its functionality. Because the WooCommerce Subscriptions code is used to power subscriptions with WooCommerce Payments, many of these extensions can work with both subscription options. However, the extension may require a small change to be compatible, as explained in the Developer updates section of the add-on compatibility FAQ.

Migrating subscriptions from other payment gateways ↑ Back to top

At the moment, there is no automated way in migrating subscriptions from other payment gateways to WooCommerce Payments.

Generally, you will need to set all subscriptions from the other payment gateways to Manual Renewal.

There are two options available:

  1. Ask the customer to change their payment method

    1. Disable the payment gateway you want to migrate away from (but keep the plugin active to make sure all renewals will continue to be processed).

    2. Prompt your customers (maybe via some mail-out) to go to their My Account > Subscriptions page and click on the “Change Payment” button and then swap to WooCommerce Payments.

  2. Set all subscriptions not on WooCommerce Payments to manual renewal

    1. Deactivate whichever payment method plugin you want to migrate away from (this will force all subscriptions with this payment method to switch to Manual Renewal).

    2. On the next schedule payment date, the subscription will be put on-hold and the customers will have a pending payment order which they can pay for with WooCommerce Payments.

    3. This will activate the subscription and continue to renew automatically with WooCommerce Payments.

Preview availability ↑ Back to top

The subscription functionality built into WooCommerce Payments is currently available in preview release. During this time, it is only available to US merchants for debit and credit card payments. Merchants in the US can sell subscriptions to customers in other countries in over 100 different currencies.

This functionality will be made available to other supported countries and for other payment methods available in WooCommerce Payments, like Sofort and iDeal, in the coming months.

If you want to see the built-in subscriptions functionality with WooCommerce Payments be made available in your country, or for WooCommerce Payments’ additional payment methods, please request or vote for that request on the Ideas board.

Alternatively, you can use the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension with WooCommerce Payments in any supported country.

Renewal failures for cards from India ↑ Back to top

Currently, customers who are paying for WooCommerce Payments Subscriptions products using a card originated in India will see that their automatic subscription renewals are failing. This is due to Reserve Bank of India regulations around how payment processors can charge Indian cards.

With our regular Subscriptions extension, the merchants can move subscriptions using Indian cards to manual renewals to get around this. This requires the customer to come back to the site to renew. It’s not ideal, but it does work.

However, the issue for WooCommerce Payments Subscriptions is that it does not allow manual renewals. As a result, if an Indian customer signs up for a subscription product sold using WooCommerce Payments Subscriptions, the initial purchase will work, but all renewals after that will fail with transaction_not_allowed.

At that point, the customer will get an email alerting them that their renewal has failed. They will need to log into the merchant’s website and pay for the order manually, at which point the subscription will resume (until the next renewal, when it will fail again).

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