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11/02/2023 00:57 AM

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Authorize.net's Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) is a feature that allows businesses to schedule recurring billing for their customers. This is particularly useful for transactions such as subscriptions or installment payments. By automating these processes, ARB removes the need for manual payment submission and reduces the risk of missed or late payments.

Signing up for ARB

To sign up for ARB, follow these steps:
  1. Log into the Merchant Interface
  2. Click Recurring Billing in the main left side menu.
  3. Click Sign Up. The Automated Recurring Billing Service Addendum page appears.
  4. Click the checkbox labeled I have read and understand the Terms of Service.
  5. Click I Agree.
In some cases, ARB is automatically enabled during Authorize.net account activation. If this is the case, you will not need to agree to the Terms of Service again.

Creating a New ARB Subscription

There are four methods to create a new ARB subscription:

  1. Using ARB in the Authorize.net Merchant Interface
    1. Log into the Merchant Interface.
    2. Select Recurring Billing from the main left side menu.
    3. Click Create a New ARB Subscription.
    4. Fill in the payment and subscription information.
    5. Click Submit to create the subscription.

    Note: Subscriptions with a Start Date of either the 30th or 31st, and have a monthly subscription interval, will be processed on the last day of the month for those months with less than 30 or 31 days.

  2. Creating a subscription from a previous successful transaction
    1. Log into the Merchant Interface.
    2. Select Search for a Transaction from the main left side menu.
    3. Choose the desired dates to view from the drop-down menu and/or search by credit card type or credit card number, customer first or last name, or Transaction ID number.
    4. Click Search.
    5. In the window that opens, click the Transaction ID number of the transaction that you want to create a subscription from.
    6. Click Create ARB Subscription from Transaction.

    Note: The Create ARB Subscription from Transaction link appears only for transactions that were successfully authorized, and when the original transaction and payment data are still available in the gateway's database. (Sensitive cardholder data is only stored for 180 days.) If this link does not appear, the subscription will need to be entered manually.

  3. Uploading a batch file for creating a new subscription
    1. Log into the Merchant Interface.
    2. Select Recurring Billing from the main left side menu.
    3. Click Upload ARB Subscription File. The Upload ARB Subscription File window appears.
    4. Click Browse. The Choose File window appears prompting you to browse to the subscription file you would like to upload. (You may also enter the location and name of the subscription file to be uploaded, click Upload File, and skip to Step 7).
    5. Browse to the location of the subscription file you would like to upload and click the file name.
    6. Click Open (or double-click the file name). The file name appears in the Upload New Transaction File window.
    7. Click Upload File to upload the subscription file. The processing status of the upload appears.

    Caution: Do not close the window until either a File ID or error list is returned by the payment gateway. Closing the window while the file is uploading may cancel the upload.

  4. Integrating and using the Recurring Billing API

    For details on how to send a subscription through the Automated Recurring Billing API, please see the Recurring Billing API guide.

Note: Creating an Automated Recurring Billing subscription automatically creates a profile in Customer Information Manager as long as the feature is active.

What is the schedule for ARB Transactions?

Unlike standard transactions, Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) transactions are not authorized immediately. Once each scheduled transaction in a subscription has been submitted, which is usually at 08:30 GMT/12:30 AM PST for ARB transactions, the merchant will receive an email from the payment gateway indicating the transaction status. They will settle on the following transaction cut-off time set in the Merchant Interface. If the subscription start date is set to the current day, the first transaction in that subscription is processed the following day.

Understanding Trial Periods

A trial period is a specified time at the start of a subscription during which a customer is billed a special trial amount. After the trial period, the regular amount is billed for the remaining subscription occurrences. This amount is indicated in the Payment/Authorization Information section.

Setting Up Subscriptions with Trial Periods

For subscriptions that include trial periods, input the following:

  • Trial Period Amount: The special billing amount for the trial period.
  • Trial Period Cycles: The number of billing occurrences for which the trial amount should be billed. For instance, for a three-month trial period on a 12-month subscription billed monthly, enter "3". Include the number of trial period billing occurrences in the "Ends After" field.

Note: You can only edit trial period information if the subscription hasn't started or is still within the trial period.

Editing ARB Subscriptions

After creating an ARB subscription, you can edit the subscription properties. This includes renewing a subscription by changing the end date or number of occurrences, and editing customer billing information, such as the billing address or payment information. To edit an active subscription, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Merchant Interface.
  2. Click Recurring Billing in the main left side menu.
  3. Click Search ARB Subscriptions
  4. Enter applicable transaction data.
  5. Click Search.
  6. Click the Subscription ID in the far left column.
  7. From the ARB Subscription Detail page, click Edit Subscription in the top right corner of the page. The ARB Subscription Detail page will reappear with editable fields.
  8. Modify the appropriate fields. The Credit Card Number, Expiration Date, or ABA Routing Number, and Bank Account Number fields will be populated with masked numbers. When modifying these fields, enter the new number in full.
  9. Click Update. The Subscription Confirmation page appears.

When you choose to edit an Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) subscription, not all fields can be modified.

The following fields (by status) cannot be modified. However, all other fields can be modified in a Active subscription:

  • Active
    • Payment Method (for example, Credit Card OR eCheck)*
    • Subscription Interval
    • Start Date
    • Trial Period (If the trial period has completed)
  • Suspended
    • Payment Method (for example, Credit Card OR eCheck)*
    • Subscription Interval
    • Trial Period (If the trial period has completed)
  • Cancelled
    • Nothing in this status can be modified
  • Expired
    • Nothing in this status can be modified
  • Terminated
    • Nothing in this status can be modified

* You may update payment information (for example, Credit Card Number, Expiration Date, etc.) within a specified payment method. If you need to change the payment method, cancel the current subscription and create a new one with the updated payment method.

How do I cancel an individual Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) subscription?

To cancel an active subscription, follow these steps:

WARNING: Once a subscription is canceled, it cannot be reactivated. Use this function only if you need to permanently cancel a subscription from processing on the gateway.

  1. Log into your Merchant Interface.
  2. Click Recurring Billing in the main left side menu.
  3. Click Search ARB Subscriptions
  4. Enter applicable subscription/transaction data.
  5. Click Search.
  6. Click the Subscription ID in the far left column.
  7. In the Transaction Details page, click the Edit Subscription link. The ARB Subscription Detail page reappears with editable fields.
  8. From the Edit Subscription page, click the Cancel Subscription link in the top right corner of the page. A confirmation dialogue box appears.
  9. Click Yes to continue the cancellation of the subscription, or click Cancel if you want to cancel the action.

Note: ARB Subscriptions are archived after 2 years once cancelled.

Reactivate a Suspended Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) Subscription

To reactivate a suspended subscription, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your Merchant Interface.
  2. Click Recurring Billing in the main left side menu.
  3. Click Search ARB Subscriptions.
  4. Enter details to help you find the subscription.
  5. Click Search.
  6. Click the Subscription ID in the far left column.
  7. On the Subscription Detail page, click the Edit Subscription link.
  8. Enter any necessary modifications.
  9. Click Reactivate Subscription at the bottom of the page.

Note: Subscriptions with a status of Canceled, Terminated or Expired cannot be reactivated.

Credit card subscriptions may be suspended due to authorization or processing errors, as well as rejections from the Address Verification Service (AVS) or Card Code Verification (CCV). If a subscription encounters internal errors, the recurring transactions will be retried until they are successfully processed.

Transactions through eCheck are processed on a separate network from credit cards and are not authorized or declined in real time. Therefore, eCheck subscriptions are not typically suspended or terminated by the payment gateway. It is strongly recommended that you regularly monitor your eCheck subscriptions for returns or change notices to resolve any processing issues and maintain your eCheck subscriptions successfully.

Suspended subscriptions must be reactivated before the next scheduled transaction. If not, the subscription will be terminated unless you have the Automatic Retry feature enabled in your account. In this case, the subscription will stay suspended until it is reactivated. For more information, please see the Automatic Retry Recurring Billing Feature FAQ.

What are the possible subscription statuses?

A subscription status reveals the processing state of an ARB subscription. The possible statuses include:

  • Active: The subscription is being processed successfully according to schedule.
  • Suspended: An active subscription is often suspended if the first payment in the subscription is declined, rejected or receives an error. If a subscription is edited, for example, payment shipping information is changed, it will be suspended when the first transaction after the edit is declined, rejected, or receives an error response. Suspended subscriptions must be reactivated before the next scheduled payment, otherwise, the subscription will be terminated. If Automatic Retry is enabled, the subscription will be suspended for every decline or error received and is not terminated after a period of time. It will remain indefinitely suspended until the merchant manually reactivates or cancels the subscription.
  • Terminated: Suspended subscriptions are terminated when no action is taken to reactivate the subscription. Terminated subscriptions cannot be reactivated.
  • Canceled: Subscriptions that have been canceled through the Merchant Interface. Canceled subscriptions cannot be reactivated.
  • Expired: The subscription was successfully completed according to schedule. Expired subscriptions cannot be reactivated.

Credit card subscriptions can be suspended due to authorization or processing errors, as well as rejections from the Address Verification Service (AVS) or Card Code Verification (CCV). If a subscription encounters internal errors, the recurring transactions will be retried until they are successfully processed.

Transactions through eCheck are processed on a separate network from credit cards and are not authorized or declined in real time. Therefore, eCheck subscriptions are not typically suspended or terminated. It is strongly recommended that you regularly monitor your eCheck subscriptions for returns or change notices to resolve any processing issues and maintain your eCheck subscriptions successfully.

Email Notifications

You can choose to receive Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) e-mail notifications in the Merchant Interface:

  1. Log into the Merchant Interface.
  2. Click Recurring Billing in the main left side menu.
  3. Click Configure ARB Email Notifications.
  4. Check the boxes for the e-mail notifications you wish to receive.
  5. Click Submit to create the subscription.

The emails available include:

  • Daily Transaction Summary - A daily summary of transactions associated with your ARB subscriptions. This e-mail type includes a CSV file each for successful and failed transactions.
  • Failed Transaction Notice - Notification of failed transactions for your ARB subscriptions.
  • Subscription Due for Expiration - Notification of upcoming subscription expirations.
  • Credit Card Expiration - Notification of upcoming credit card expirations for ARB subscriptions.
  • Subscription Suspension - Notification of suspended subscriptions for reasons of transaction decline, rejection, or error.
  • Subscription Expiration - Notification of subscriptions that have expired.
  • Subscription Termination - Notification of subscriptions terminated by the payment gateway.

Discontinue Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) Service

Only an Account Owner can disable this feature. Once you discontinue the ARB service, the payment gateway will cease generating new transactions for all existing subscriptions and mark them as inactive. If you decide to re-enable the service in the future, you will have to create new subscriptions as the previous ones will be in a Canceled status.

To discontinue ARB:

  1. Log into the Merchant Interface.
  2. Click Recurring Billing in the main left side menu.
  3. Click the Discontinue the ARB Service link at the bottom of the page.
  4. Click Yes to discontinue your service.

To re-enable ARB:

  1. Log into the Merchant Interface.
  2. Click Recurring Billing in the main left side menu.
  3. Click the Sign Up for the ARB Service link in the Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) Service section. The Automated Recurring Billing Service Addendum page will appear.
  4. Click the checkbox labeled I have read and understand the Terms of Service.
  5. Click I Agree. The service will be enabled again.

 



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