UPDATE: For up-to-date information on how to charge customers on the same day each month, please visit our Calendar Billing support documentation.
The normal behavior of Chargify is to start the billing cycle on the day your customer signs up. This matches what most merchants want.
But some merchants want to bill all of their customers on the same day of each month (for instance, on the 1st or the 5th or the 15th).
IT’S RELATIVELY EASY
Many merchants use the following workaround. It’s actually not much work, but that really depends on how many signups you get per day:
• Manually: Using functions in our app, you can update one or many subscriptions to bill on a given date.
• With software: If you never want to do anything manually, you can automate the following process with a short program on your end. Set it up to listen for our Webhook for each new signup, and then to make the API calls to carry out the steps below.
In the future, we will add another option, where you won’t need this workaround at all.
For now, this is the workaround, either manually or with your own short program:
Define your product with a trial period.
If you already have a trial period, great! Go to Step 2.
If not, add a trial period of at least 1 day, with a trial fee of $0.
Why are we doing this?
Well, because we want to delay Chargify from billing your customer. Without a trial period, we will bill your customer right when they sign up.
The trial period slows things down and gives you time to perform the next steps. You can set the trial to 1 day, or to 10 days or 30 days or whatever you’re comfortable with. 1 day is simply the minimum.
STEP 2 (if you like doing 1 subscription at a time)
After a new customer signups up, find their new subscription:
And then change the Next Billing Date on the new subscription:
It will currently be set to the end of the trial / start of billing, presumably 1 day from now.
Change it to the next available 5th day of the month (or whatever day you want), which may be this month or next month (depending of course on what day today is).
STEP 2 (if you’d rather do many subscriptions at once)
Use our new (as of May 2014) filter/update functions to find all of the subscriptions that need to be set to bill on the 5th of next month, and update the billing date on all of them in one step.
This screenshot shows where this process starts, on the Subscriptions tab:
If you’d like to see more depth on these functions, read this Blog Post about the ability to change the billing date, product, and product version on many subscriptions at one time.
The subscription(s) will remain in the trial period until the date you just set, then will bill and cycle as set in the product settings (for instance, if you set up your product to bill every 1 month, then it will keep billing on the 5th of every month).
BONUS STEP 4 (optional)
If you want to charge your customer a prorated fee for the time between now and the 5th, you’ll need to compute that fee yourself and then process a one-time-charge on the customer’s subscription.
You can select an immediate charge to their card on file, OR you can tell the system to just add the charge to their next regular bill.
This may seem a little complex, but once you’ve done it a few times, you’ll see that it’s actually pretty easy, especially with the new functions to update many subscriptions in one step.
And if you want to fully automate this, you can write a small program that uses our webhooks and API to do so.