Create a recurring payment

Just upgraded from Automatic Credit Card Billing? Here's what you should do first.

Before you set up a recurring payment, you must get a signed authorization form from your customer. On the Create recurring payment page, click the Authorization Form link to download a PDF file that contains the terms of the recurring payment. Send or give the form to your customer to complete. Learn more about your responsibilities as a merchant.

Sync recurring payments with QuickBooks

Recurring payments can work with your QuickBooks company file. If you connect recurring payments with QuickBooks, you can access your QuickBooks Customer list and Items list to help you fill out the recurring payment form. You can also have QuickBooks automatically create and pay invoices for each actual payment processed. All you need to do is set up QuickBooks Sync Manager. Then sync runs each day automatically, and you don't need to do a thing.

After your customer returns the completed authorization form, and you've configured Sync Manager to connect to QuickBooks, follow these steps to set up a recurring payment.

  1. From the menu on any page, choose Processing Tools > Create a Recurring Charge.

  2. Enter an existing or create a new customer.

    Note: If you choose a customer and later make that customer inactive in QuickBooks, your recurring payments report shows the Customer name in red as Unknown Customer. To fix this, make the customer active again. Sync manager must be able to find the customer in your QuickBooks file. More on QuickBooks sync.

  3. Enter a Name for the recurring payment that helps identify what it's for.

    Both you and your customer see and use this name to understand the charge. The name appears on email notifications sent when each payment occurs. (But QuickBooks items do not. Items appear only on QuickBooks invoices. You'll get a chance to set QuickBooks options in a minute.)

  4. Set the payment schedule.

  5. Choose an invoicing option.

  6. If you chose to have QuickBooks auto-invoice, add invoice items.

    If you chose to auto-generate invoices, you must itemize each invoice this recurring payment generates. To do so, enter item names in the Search for item(s) box. Click to choose an item and you see it appear in the list under the box. The item price and sales tax come along for the ride and are used to automatically calculate the Total Amount of the charge.

    Note: You can only select items that currently exist in your QuickBooks Items list. You cannot add a new item that doesn't exist or edit the information that appears. If you need to make edits or additions, open QuickBooks and make changes directly in your Items list. New QuickBooks items or edits will appear in Recurring Payments only after Sync Manager runs again. Learn more about QuickBooks Sync Manager.

    How can I charge a new customer a different tax rate?

    If you create a new customer when you set up a new recurring payment and need to charge that customer a different tax rate, you must open QuickBooks and create a sales tax item with the tax rate you need. Then run Sync Manager and create the recurring payment again.

  7. If you chose manual invoicing, go to the Amount of each payment field, enter the amount you want your customer to pay each time (including any sales tax).

    Note: If you chose to have QuickBooks auto-invoice, this amount is calculated automatically.

  8. Enter credit card information.

    Use fields in the billing information section to record the credit card (and related details) you'll bill for this recurring payment.

    If you're billing a commercial card, click the This is a commercial card checkbox and enter the Sales tax amount (how to calculate this tax) and the Customer accounting code.

  9. If you want to notify your customer by email that you've set up a recurring charge, turn on the I also want to notify my customer that I setup this recurring payment checkbox. (If you don't see this option, it's because you turned off all customer emails.)

    Tip: Each time an actual payment is processed, both you and your customer get an automated email notification. See sample payment notifications. If you don't want to send a confirmation email for each payment, you can turn off all customer emails.

    How do I change the notification email address?

    All customer notifications go to the address in the Customer Information section's Email field (at the top of the form). Your copy goes to the contact email address associated with your merchant account.

  10. You're almost done! Click Next to review and save the charge.

  11. Carefully review your recurring payment setup and make sure your entries match the terms of the authorization form signed by your customer.

Related topics

Manage recurring payments

About customer billing schedules