Churn Buster interacts with Stripe Billing to expand Stripe's functionality for recovering failed payments.

Churn Buster does:

  • Monitor for past-due invoices, failed payments, updated cards and canceled subscriptions.
  • Replace a subscriber’s default payment method with an updated credit card.
  • Initiate payments of past-due invoices following a card update.
  • Reactivate uncanceled subscriptions when a card is updated.
  • Prompt payment reattempts when warranted.
  • Leave past-due subscriptions as “unpaid” until the end of the recovery process, at which point they are either left as unpaid or canceled (up to you, as configured in your Stripe Billing settings). In either case, you have the option of receiving a webhook notification.

Churn Buster does not:

  • Create new subscriptions.
  • Create invoices.
  • Change invoice amounts.
  • Attempt to charge a canceled subscription or forgiven invoice.

Below are more in-depth explanations.


1. Payment Method Updates

When a customer updates their payment method via a Churn Buster Capture form, Churn Buster tokenizes the payment method and passes it directly to your Stripe account.

Churn Buster adds payment methods and sets them as the default for your customer, rather than deleting/replacing existing payment methods.

2. Subscription Reactivations: 

  • When a subscription is past_due (during Stripe retries), and the customer's default payment method is updated, Stripe on its own won't immediately pay the most recent invoice, leaving the subscription in a past_due state until the next scheduled retry (1-7 days).
  • When a subscription is unpaid (after Stripe retries have finished), and the customer's default payment method is updated, Stripe on its own does not pay the most recent invoice. This leaves the subscription in an unpaid state permanently. The customer will not be charged, even though by correcting their payment method they have shown intent to remain a customer.

In both of these scenarios, Churn Buster activates to collect payments quickly and reliably.

Any time a default payment method is updated in Stripe (via Churn Buster Capture form, a dashboard, in-app, or Automatic Card Updater), Churn Buster automatically, and instantly, reattempts the most recent invoice for every delinquent subscription. Once the payment clears, the subscription will return to an active state. And critically, future invoices will be automatically billed to the new payment method.


3. Voided or Uncollectible Invoices

Churn Buster does not attempt to charge a forgiven invoice. If a customer is in a campaign and the invoice is marked as Void or Uncollectible, the campaign ends immediately (within an hour or so). Failed invoice payments in the future will create a new campaign.   


4. Additional Invoice Collection

Churn Buster always reactivates the subscription by paying the most recent invoice. Sometimes, you will want additional unpaid invoices to be collected. 

With Churn Buster, you have the option to collect additional unpaid invoices automatically. This can be useful when customers have been delinquent for a long time, or when your recovery campaigns last more than 30 days (i.e. multiple invoices can go unpaid before your customer corrects their payment method).

By default, this feature is disabled and payment is only collected on one invoice (the most recent unpaid invoice) for each subscription. (See "Subscription Reactivations" section above.)

Churn Buster doesn't attempt payment on an invoice in the following scenarios:

  • invoice older than 6 months
  • invoice has been forgiven
  • subscription has been downgraded to a free plan
  • subscription is set to cancel at period end

Contact the Churn Buster team if you'd like to collect up to 6 previously unpaid invoice payments.

5. Smart Retry Logic

Stripe allows you to schedule up to 3 retries after a payment fails. 

Using Churn Buster's Custom Retry Logic, you can schedule as many additional retries as you need. Retries are positioned to optimally resolve payment issues with the existing card-on-file, instead of emailing your customer for a new payment method. 


Related Resource

Article: How to Verify Churn Buster Is Properly Set Up with Stripe


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