Selecting the Right Processor for Recurring Billers
You'd obviously want to select a processor that is cost effective and has good customer support, but based on our experience, it's the low level details that tend to make the difference when it comes to recurring billing. Here is our list of features to look for in a payment processor/gateway.
- Account updater capability– the ability to automatically get replacement credit cards is critical for any recurring billing model. Causes for re-issued cards include fraud, expiry, and portfolio changes amongst card issuers. Since Account Updater functionality is only available from processors, this is a must have feature to look for
- Comprehensive decline status codes– being able to distinguish between "hard declines" (e.g.,account closed), vs. "soft declines" (e.g. insufficient credit balance) vs. input errors (e.g., invalid expiry date) can make a big difference in the success of your payment recycling. Of course, your billing platform needs to have the functional capability to leverage these recycling strategies.
- Recurring transaction flag– being able to flag the transaction as one where the consumer has opted in for recurring payment leads to more favorable approvals, and this translates directly to less headaches with declines.
- Blank Expiration Date policy– in conjunction with the recurring indicator, having the ability to make this optional on subsequent transactions is a big win in our market.
- Soft descriptors– The ability to have control over the description that shows on the consumer's credit card statement can make the difference between excessive chargebacks ("I don't recognize this XYZ charge!")
- Alternate Payment Methods– ACH as an alternate payment method
At BluSynergy we work with a number of payment gateways and processors and have the experience to understand the difference between processors who are adept at recurring transactions and those that are mainly catered towards the retail trade.