WooPayments: Subscriptions

WooPayments is compatible with the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension, which means that your customers can pay for their recurring charges using WooPayments.

Note that, although WooPayments can accept one-off orders via alternative payment methods, only card payments and express checkout methods can be used for automatic subscription renewals.

NOTE: Prior to version 6.6.0, WooPayments offered a built-in subscriptions feature that did not require WooCommerce Subscriptions.

As of version 6.6.0, the built-in subscriptions functionality is no longer available to merchants who were not already using it. The Stripe Billing feature explained below is similar, but you must now have the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension installed as well to use it.

Card account updater

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If you’ve ever wondered why a customer subscription is still working even though their card is expired, this may be due to our “card account updater” feature. In short, it allows saved cards to continue processing charges even when the customer’s bank has since replaced the card first used on the subscription.

To do this, our payments partner works directly with the banks to automatically update card details in their system whenever a customer receives a new card. (For example, if their existing card expired or they reported it as lost or stolen.)

This allows your customers to continue their subscription without interruption, and it reduces the need for you to collect new card details whenever one is replaced.

Card account updater is widely supported in the U.S. for most American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards. International support varies from country to country.

There is no fee for this feature, nor is there a way to disable it.

Billing engines and Stripe Billing

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Besides basic compatibility with WooCommerce Subscriptions, WooPayments also offers one additional feature to WooCommerce Subscriptions users: the ability to utilize an off-site billing engine powered by our payments partner, Stripe. This is called Stripe Billing.

With the WooCommerce Subscriptions extension, your WooCommerce site initiates automatic recurring payments, which are then processed by the payment gateway the customer chose during checkout. This is called an “on-site” billing engine.

An alternative approach is to have the payment gateway itself initiate the recurring payment. This is an “off-site” billing engine, and it’s how Stripe Billing works.

Please see our full guide to the Stripe Billing setting for more information.