Once or twice a year, we gather our team somewhere beautiful for a week. Last week was in Breckenridge, Colorado.

The goal of these team trips is:

• To provide “together time” for everyone (we’re all remote workers in the USA),
• To improve various aspects of Chargify, with a focus on functionality.

Here are the first 4 items that the team got out – they went into production today:

1. Prorated Quantity & On/Off Components
(add & remove user/item/location licenses, let us worry about prorating & taxes)

2. Option to Remove Chargify Logo from Portal
(have a strong brand?… keep the Portal pages focused on it)

3. Easily Invite Customers to their Self-Service Portal
(another place where you can invite customers to their self-service Portal)

4. One-Time Charges: Accrue on Card Failure
(if you attempt an immediate one-time charge on a card and it fails, you can tell our system to just add it to your customer’s bill)

Here’s more detail on today’s new features…

1. Prorated Quantity & On/Off Components

More and more merchants are using our Quantity Components and On/Off Components to charge their customers for user licenses or “seat” licenses for things like:

  • $25 per month per added feature
  • $50 per month per user
  • $100 per month per vehicle
  • $2,500 per year per location

When the amount is small and the period is short, almost everyone is happy without prorating any amounts. For instance, if your customer adds or removes a user in the second bullet, most people don’t care about ~$25 during the first month.

But when the amounts get bigger, and especially when the periods get longer, people start to care about the money! Imagine in the last bullet, if the customer adds or removes a location in the 6th month, we’re talking about $1,250 that’s owed to someone.

Until now, our merchants had to figure out the prorated amount on their own and then do a manual debit or credit to their customer’s account. Some merchants have the technical skills to automate it, and they did so with API calls.

Oh, and what if some components were taxable? Then you’d have to figure out tax to collect or return, too. Uggh! That’s what you want Chargify to do, right?

Now it’s available to all merchants, with no work!

Here are your new options:

If your customer increases the number of units (and thus owes you money), you can set Chargify to do 1 of 3 things:

  • No Prorate: We won’t calculate or charge anything. This is how components already work.
  • Prorate & Charge Now: We calculate the prorated amount (with current tax rate, if the component is taxable) and charge the card on file immediately. If the charge is declined for some reason, then it will be added to your customer’s current statement/invoice and will be billed along with any other charges on their next bill.
  • Prorate & Charge Later: We calculate the prorated amount (with tax, if applicable) and just add it to your customer’s current statement/invoice.

If your customer decreases the number of units (and thus is due money), you can set Chargify to do 1 of 2 things:

  • No Prorate: We won’t calculate or credit anything. This is how components already work.
  • Prorate & Give Credit: Calculate a credit (including tax, if applicable) and place it on your customer’s current statement/invoice. It’s money that your customer will redeem later, when it’s time to charge them for something.

Site Settings for Component Proration

Existing Chargify Sites will be set to ‘No Prorate’ in both cases, so that current behavior will not change for you unless you specifically turn it on.

The defaults for NEW Sites will be: ‘Prorate & Charge Later’ for unit increases and ‘No Prorate’ for decreases, as these seem to be what most merchants want.

Component proration defaults can be set in your Site Settings. Individual API calls can override the Site defaults.

2. Option to Remove Chargify Logo from Portal

A few merchants have asked if they can remove the Chargify logo from the new Self-Service Customer Portal that we rolled out last month. (Read the Portal blog post for Portal details.)

Starting on our $129 plan, we’ve added a Portal setting that allows you to remove our logo from the bottom of the Portal pages.

Your customers will of course still see the billingportal.com domain name in the URL, but they will see nothing of Chargify. Only your logo will appear anywhere.

3. Easily Invite Customers to their Self-Service Portal

After rolling out the Customer Self-Service Portal last month, a number of merchants asked for various improvements.

One request was to be able to invite your customers from the familiar Subscription information page that you already use a lot. That’s been added!

4. One-Time Charges: Accrue on Card Failure

As part of our work on prorated components, we had to tackle the issue of, “What to do if the merchant chose ‘charge immediately’ for an increase in components but the card gets declined?”

We added structure to smoothly handle this case, by adding a failed one-time charge to your customer’s open statement, presumably to be billed later.

We went ahead and added this new functionality to the existing one-time charge functionality on a subscription.

This, and More

These features will make various groups happy. And we have more things coming soon!