Set up recurring payments

Any currency form (that is, any form that processes monetary transactions) can include a recurring payment component. Recurring payment options are configured in the "Payment" tab of Forms Manager.

Forms Manager supports payments recurring on the following schedules: monthly, quarterly, biannually, and annually.

To set up a recurring payment capability for end users on the Payment tab:

  1. Use the Recurring Payment Option dropdown menu to select either "Optional" or "Required." This will present users with the recurring payment fields during the payment process at the end of the form.

    Recurring payment dropdown

  2. Enter the Recurring Admin contact information for a site admin, school office, or school staff member who will manage recurring payments for this particular form.

    Best practice: It may be a good idea to fill these fields with information that refers to an office or other general point of contact rather than a specific person. Some recurring payments, such as alumni donations, may span a long enough time frame that a specific person may no longer be filling the same role at the school if and when a user needs to update their payment plan.
  3. Use the Recurrence Frequency and Recurrence Duration controls to set how long the end users' payment plans will run.

    Recurrence frequency and duration options

    In this section, "cycle" refers to the number of times the payment will be processed. Selecting "Indefinite" means that payment plans created with this form will run continuously until cancelled by the user or by a school staff member. If you do not want the payment plans to run perpetually, instead assign a minimum and maximum number of cycles. These represent only the limits that users can sign up to pay during the checkout process; the actual number of cycles is selected by the end user when the form is submitted.

  4. (Optional) Select the Recurrence Instruction checkbox to pop up a field to provide additional information or instructions to end users.

  5. (Optional) Select “Send a Notification Email one week prior to initiating recurring transactions.” The Recurring Notification Email instructions allow form admins to set up reminder emails to end users, informing them in advance when a recurring transaction is coming up. The additional checkboxes that appear determine whether to include a custom message and/or a link to automatically end the recurring plan.

When users fill out a recurring payment form, they will be able to review their payment options before submitting. Form elements allow users to select the recurrence, frequency, and payment date options they want.

Example

Using the dropdown menus in the first line, the user has the option of establishing a recurring payment or selecting a "One-time" payment (because this form has the Recurring Payment Option field set to "Optional"). They can also set the frequency of the recurring payment ("Monthly" vs. "Annually"), as well as the duration (in this case, four months). The initial charge ($20 in this example) is set according to the options selected on the form itself.

Recurring payment options example

The system automatically tallies the total payment on the next line. The dollar amounts outlined in blue are calculated by Forms Manager. If the user were to alter the frequency or duration of the recurring payment, these tallies would update to display the new total.

Note: These fields cannot be edited directly; they change based on the currency fields set in the form.

The user can then choose when the payment will be applied. By default, payments are applied based on the date the form is submitted; if a monthly payment is first made on the 19th of the month, then the next payment will be applied on the 19th of the next month, and for all subsequent months for the duration of the payment plan. The user can override this default and have payments applied on either the 1st or the 15th of the month instead. Again, the projected dates of the user's transactions will update based on their selections.

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