Customer setup and initial billing

Nico Baumgarten's Avatar

Nico Baumgarten

16 Oct, 2015 01:05 AM

We have finally reached the stage in our development where the customer registers in our portal and we would hand over the payment stuff to CG. There are some issues that have come up, where we weren't able to find information in the docs or in the discussions but it has probably been asked before:

First, at this stage we concentrate only on paypal and add credit card option later. Our customers are supposed to pay a monthly fee for our product and since the product includes some hardware they need to pay the minimum term immediately (I asked this before, and we'll handle this based on tracked items). However, when we first setup the customer, I added additional 'charges' in the amount that equals the minimum term (6month x number of subscriptions x monthly fee) plus any extra options. Now what is unclear is that when I get the Paypal pre-authentication return, are those charges already paid by the customer, or do I need to check again at some point? We have also tried to set the initialBillDate value to UTC/Now which doesn't work (but adding 1 minute does), which adds to the confusion: do we then need to wait until that minute has passed till the invoice is charged?! Our aim would be to make sure payment via paypal works and the first bill has been paid. We could also discard the charges in the setup and create an independent invoice, but we are not sure which is the better/preferred method to handle this. Advise would be appreciated.

Secondly, a general question regarding VAT. If we setup VAT, will CG automatically add this to the bills or are the prices we submit already considered inclusive of VAT. Since we plan to create our own pdf invoices from the data (and add some more info & descriptions, that we do not plan to push to the CG system), the question is even if it is relevant at all, or if it might be sufficient to just hand over the final values to CG and take care of the proper invoice handling on our end.

Finally, one issue for the handling of future invoices: Our billing cycle should be monthly since there are a number of optional features or consumables (e.g. text messages) that we want to bill to the customer. However, the monthly basic fee will only apply after the initial period (since the minimum term gets paid at setup). The thing that now may happen is, that a customer is in the initial period, has opted for no extra features and has used zero consumables, which would amount to an invoice totaling a value of 0. Will CG recognize this, issue the invoice but not charge paypal/credit card, or will this potentially create severe problems?

Thanks for your help

Kind regards

  1. 1 Posted by Drew Songer on 16 Oct, 2015 02:37 PM

    Drew Songer's Avatar

    Hi Nico,

    Once a customer is approved via PayPal any subscriptions/charges that are billable(have reached the billing date) will be run. Are you saying that the charges are never marked as paid if the billing date is on signup? If this is the case it is not normal. If there is a 1 min delay, that could possibly be our system waiting to receive the IPN from PayPal confirming a successful pre-approval, but this 1 min delay should not be cause by the configured billing date. If you haven't done so already, you could run a test, for which the initialBillDate value to UTC/Now then check back after a minute or so to see if the invoice status changes to paid.

    VAT

    A line item will be added to the invoice before the bill is processed, if you are using our native tax settings. Even if you use the subscription billable hook to charge for variable tax rates, you will still be adding a line item to the invoice in the form of a custom charge.

    Will CG recognize this, issue the invoice but not charge paypal/credit card, or will this potentially create severe problems?

    Yes, if the total charges on an invoice are 0, your customer will not be charged.

    I think I answered all of your questions. Let me know if anything is unclear.

    Best,
    Drew

  2. 2 Posted by Nico Baumgarten on 16 Oct, 2015 02:48 PM

    Nico Baumgarten's Avatar

    Thanks for the answers, just some clarifications:

    Setup: I don't think that there is a problem. Just a lack of understanding on our side. Just to make sure we got it now, the process in our case is, 1. create the customer with paypal, wait for paypal approval, then check whether the first bill is marked paid, and then our system can activate the account etc.

    VAT:
    The thing is that in Germany, when dealing with end consumers all prices ever presented to the customer must already include VAT. Nevertheless, the invoice should state how much VAT is included in the invoice (so you have a price of say 15EUR. Then your invoice says,

    item xyz price 15EUR
    includes VAT (19%) 2.39EUR
    Total amount 15 EUR.
    But if I am understanding correctly, if we do not setup VAT in your system, nothing will be changed in the prices of the charges/tracked items we submit to CG will be changed and we can create the pdf invoices conforming to whatever the local requirements dictate.

  3. 3 Posted by Nico Baumgarten on 16 Oct, 2015 04:11 PM

    Nico Baumgarten's Avatar

    Two more short question:
    To check if an invoice was successfully paid, I’ll check if it has a transaction ID and then check the corresponding transaction whether its response element says ‘approved’, correct?

    What happens if a paypal transaction fails (after the preapproval completed successfully), i.e. the customer does not have sufficient funds in paypal. I tried setting the ccZip field to 96000 for the error simulation, but it does not seem to have any effect.

    From: Nico Baumgarten
    Sent: Friday, October 16, 2015 10:48 PM

    Thanks for the answers, just some clarifications:

    Setup: I don't think that there is a problem. Just a lack of understanding on our side. Just to make sure we got it now, the process in our case is, 1. create the customer with paypal, wait for paypal approval, then check whether the first bill is marked paid, and then our system can activate the account etc.

    VAT:
    The thing is that in Germany, when dealing with end consumers all prices ever presented to the customer must already include VAT. Nevertheless, the invoice should state how much VAT is included in the invoice (so you have a price of say 15EUR. Then your invoice says,

    item xyz price 15EUR
    includes VAT (19%) 2.39EUR
    Total amount 15 EUR.
    But if I am understanding correctly, if we do not setup VAT in your system, nothing will be changed in the prices of the charges/tracked items we submit to CG will be changed and we can create the pdf invoices conforming to whatever the local requirements dictate.

  4. Drew Songer closed this discussion on 21 Jan, 2016 06:34 PM.

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