Creating and Managing Recurring Payments
NOTE: This feature is bundled with the Repeat Customers upgrade option. All upgrade options can be purchased individually and are included with the Pro level account.
An optional upgrade to the base system is the support for recurring payments. That is to say a check from selected customers will be automatically processed at 12:01am on a specific schedule, and for the amount set in the Manage Recurring Payments section. This allows you to accept scheduled payments from your customers without them, or you, having to re-enter any check data.
When you have this option enabled, an additional field appears on your check form whereby the check submitter agrees to allow recurring payments to be created through the system. Obviously, this would be a separate, previous agreement you have come to with the customer prior to them submitting the initial payment. In essence, you can setup any check to be a recurring payment by clicking on that function under the Options button next to each new check.
When a customer checks the Make This a Recurring Payment box on the check form - the Waiting Checks table row for that check will be a pale orange. That indicates you need to complete the process of setting up the amount and frequency of the recurring payments by clicking on that function under the Options button. If the row color is not a pale orange color, it means the customer did not check the agreement box, or the check itself is a recurring payment and therefore, already setup.
To clarify, Recurring Payments are NOT automatically setup or scheduled just because a customer checks that box on the check form. That is something you or your staff have to do.
A screenshot of the Make Recurring agreement that appears on your Vcheck form by default (this section of the form can be hidden - see the bottom of this page for more details):
There are two ways to setup a recurring payment. The first is to wait until the customer has submitted their first or "down" payment. The amount of this first check does not have to be the amount of the recurring payments. If the customer will submit the first check via the secure online check form - instruct them to make sure and check the box agreeing to the recurring payments on the data confirmation screen. As mentioned above, when the new check appear in your control panel, the table row will be a pale orange. Simply click on the Make Check Recurring link under the Options button and you will be taken to the page to setup the schedule for the future payments. That page is shown below broken into 3 different images for clarity.
The top of the page will show the customer's pertinent data for you to confirm (which can be edited now or later if need be):
The next section is where you setup the check details. If desired, you can designate a starting check number (let's say 8000). That way your customer will know when they see a check number in the 8000's, it is a recurring payment to your company. The check number will increment by 1 for every new check.
IMPORTANT NOTE FOR ACH ACCOUNTS: The customer's check account number is NOT stored by Vcheck for ACH transactions. Therefore, you will have to obtain that number and manually enter it to setup of a recurring payment or as a repeat customer.
By default, the field for Check Amount will be the amount of the first check submitted. However, this can be changed to the amount agreed to by the customer or the contractual obligation.
Number of Payments To Make - This field is used to set a specific number of recurring payments to generate. For instance, if someone makes a down payment with their initial check, and owes 23 additional monthly payments, you would select "23" as the number of payments to make. Unless modified, the system will generate 23 new payments according to the schedule you set. If "Unlimited" is selected, recurring checks will continue to be generated until you manual alter the settings or delete the recurring payment.
The bottom section of the Add Recurring page is where you set the schedule for the checks. It is very flexible. The actual options for each type will appear once you select the radio button. The blue ? icon throughout the page will pop-up more details.
The first option for scheduling is to have a new check created on either one or two specific dates each month. For instance, on the 1st and the 16th of each month. To enable this option, click the radio button next to the Monthly or Semi-Monthly Payments by Date. To have a check created only once a month, select the appropriate date in the First Recurring Day of Month field. You can select from the 1st through the 28th - or the last day of the month (since this varies with every month). Leaving the Second Recurring Day of Month field blank will restrict this schedule to one day a month. Obviously, to have another check (semi-monthly) created, select the second date in that field.
You may also create a recurring check to be processed Quarterly, Semi-Annually or Annually. Once you check that option the section will expand showing all 12 months and a drop-down for the day of the month. You simply click once on each month you wish the check created ( for example Jan, Apr, July, Oct for a Quarterly payment) and select the day of the month.
When each new check is created, you will received a recurring check creation notification email, and your customer will receive a recurring payment email receipt.
Skip Next Scheduled Payment option. Check this box if you want the first check that would be created to be skipped. For instance, if you receive the initial check from a customer on January 15th and you want to setup a month recurring payment for the 16th of each month, that would create the first recurring check the very next day (January 16th). By checking this option, you will skip that first scheduled check and the first recurring check won't be created until February 16th.
To edit recurring payments, to create a new recurring payment from scratch (without the customer submitting the first check) and to see all upcoming payment set to occur in the next 60 days, use the Customers - Manage Recurring Payments menu. The critical section of that page is shown below.
I Don't Want the "Make This a Recurring Payment" Option to Appear on my Vcheck Forms.
OK, so you have the Recurring Payments option enabled for your account, but you don't want that option to appear on the Vcheck form that your customers see. Not a problem, that Vcheck form section can be removed by simply adding a variable to the link you use to send customers to your check form.
You simply call for &template=norecurring.
Standard, simple link to Vcheck form: https://www.securevcheck.com/?id=widgetsinc to remove the Make Recurring agreement and checkbox from you check form, you just add the new variable to your link like the example below: https://www.securevcheck.com/?id=widgetsinc&template=norecurring
If you want to use the Signature Capture option along with not showing the recurring option, the variable would be template=signaturenorecurring