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Payment System updated –Recurring Billing Cycle introduced

We’d like to inform you about the integration of a recurring annual billing cycle method into our in-house built payment system. This essential upgrade will lead to automation of the payment cycle available on the reseller hosting stores using our billing system. We hope you’d appreciate the fact that this serious step is solely aimed at helping you offer your customers a fully automated billing service, saving them time and efforts in renewing the services they purchase from you. Here we’ll explain to you in details how the newly integrated recurring billing system works in order to help you get into the matter and be able to share your feedback with us. Your valuable cooperation will help us smooth out any eventual drawbacks. Here is a short movie of how the new recurring manager in your Reseller Control Panel works. It’s also available in a high quality version.
And to put you in the picture, we’ll follow the way of an incoming order into our system. As soon as a new PayPal payment (no matter whether it is for a hosting plan set-up, domain registration/transfer, upgrade service, renew/change plan service, etc.) has been submitted through your store, our system assigns a unique recurring Profile ID to the order along with the regular Transaction ID for the current payment. In contrast to the Transaction ID, which refers to a one-off payment for the submitted order, the Profile ID identifies the ordered service as recurring billing based and will serve for reference as far as the service renewal is concerned. Both the Transaction ID and Profile ID are specified in the PayPal Transaction Notification email sent to your customers upon completing a translation. According to the number of services ordered at a time a Transaction ID may contain more than one Profile IDs. For instance, if a customer of yours orders a hosting account with a domain name (not free) – he/she will receive a confirmation email with one Transaction ID and 2 different Profile IDs (one for the plan and one for the domain) included. If, however, the hosting plan goes with a free domain name – the payment confirmation email will contain only one Profile ID. As soon as the incoming order has been verified with your customer – the payment will be handled by our Sales Team in the standard way. In other words, there will be no major updates to the routine payment processing procedure. The only new specific thing about the recurring annual billing cycle introduction, will be the addition of a Profile ID to the standard PayPal Transaction Notification email where the Transaction ID is listed. With the assignment of this Profile ID to their transactions, your customers will have the opportunity to be billed automatically for another year should they wish to keep the recurring cycle active. The new recurring annual billing cycle will be activated by default for every newly ordered web hosting plan (with domain name registration/transfer) and all subsequent related upgrades (including domain registration/transfer and any other service upgrades). We are currently working over the option for your customers to disable it should they need to from their Web Hosting Control Panels and expect it to be completed very soon. It is important to know that services ordered for more than two years (for instance, a 2-year domain renewal service) are not assigned recurring Profile IDs due to payment processor’s restrictions. The recurring billing itself works in the following way – our system will try to bill your customer a week before the actual expiration of the service under the Profile ID created upon sign-up and send a notification if successful. In the event of a billing problem your customer will be sent an email asking him/her to check the PayPal account details and update them accordingly. You, as a reseller, will also have to option to track the Profile IDs assigned to each incoming payment from the new Recurring Contracts section in your Reseller Control Panel.
Originally published Friday, March 27th, 2009 at 3:02 pm, updated June 26, 2009 and is filed under The Free Reseller Program.

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2 Responses to “Payment System updated –Recurring Billing Cycle introduced”

  1. dyderik Says:

    Since its inception has been missing out on a huge number of sales. This is due to the lack of monthly payment options for customers (end users). Everybody knows that most webmasters (about 90%) prefer monthly payments. The reason for this is either a pure financial one or (experienced) webmasters want to try out a host first or it’s a combination of both. And it seems always easier/safer to try a small monthly payment first than just trusting a money back guarantee from a company you don’t know. Sounds logical, isn’t it? My conclusion: should implement monthly payments asap. It may DOUBLE sales ! So what takes “us” so long? I really don’t understand that others don’t understand the logic of this.

  2. admin Says:

    Hi dyderik,

    The monthly vs. annual billing is indeed a hot topic, with a lot of pro’s and con’s for either side. However, the biggest advantage of the annual billing cycle is that this type of billing is a lot cheaper in the long run. If you wonder how that is possible, let me explain.

    Every time an online transaction is made, the billing processor, which handles the monetary operation (taking the funds from your bank and transferring them to ours) deducts a fee for this service. If this amount is smaller, this will represent a significant percentage of the actual transaction. If there is one single payment per year, this fee is paid only once and with the current prices we offer, it does not affect the overall pricing much. However, if we were to switch to monthly billing, these fees would have to be paid each month, which would eventually lead to a prices increase that will in turn have a negative effect on the resellers’ profits.

    Besides, if you look at the matter from a client’s perspective, the annual billing cycle will prevent the customer’s account from being suspended if the customer has, for some reason, forgotten to pay the subscription fee.

    We do realize that a lot of our resellers do want to add the monthly billing option onto their reseller store and we do have plans for implementing it in system. I can’t give you an ETA on when this will happen, as there are a lot of projects our devs are working on right now, but the monthly billing option will definitely be integrated into our system.

    Until this happens, you can still use monthly billing if you work with the reseller API. This way, you will be in charge of all customer’s billing operations.


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