What is Auto-Pay?
First things first...It's important to know the difference between two common phrases: Auto-Renewal and Auto-Pay.
Auto-Renewal: Novi's Member renewal model where your member's invoices are automatically generated without you having to take action. Learn more from our Membership Auto-Renewals article. Auto-renewal will always occur before auto-pay.
Auto-Pay: Auto-pay is the member-elected process that allows their stored credit card to automatically be charged as a payment toward the dues invoice generated during auto-renewal. This automates the payment for the member, and saves you time by not having to worry about collecting open A/R!
The general auto-pay process is as follows:
Member signs up for auto-pay via their Member Compass
Auto-renewal runs based on member type settings
Member is notified via email prior to the auto-pay occurring
Member's card is charged
Member is notified via email that the charge was successful
Done! Member is paid in full and renewed for the next membership term.
Note that just because a member is auto-renewing, does not mean that they have to turn on auto-pay. If they have not enabled auto-pay for their membership, they will simply need to manually pay the renewal invoice once it is available.
Admin Member Type Setup
This first step in making sure that auto-pay is ready for your members is ensuring that your member types are set up properly for it.
Each member type has a Renewal tab, where you'll find settings that drive auto-renewal, and therefore, auto-pay.
Let's dive into a few of the settings in this tab that pertain to auto-pay:
Setting A: Determines whether auto-renewal will run for this member type. Note: If you are unsure which setting your member type should be, you probably want to choose the "Yes" option. Choosing "No" or "Disabled" should be for very specific business reasons.
MOST COMMON: Yes, unless member opts out = All current member records will auto-renew, unless the member or an admin has turned that setting off for the specific record. Any member can signup for auto-pay with this setting.
No, unless member opts in = Auto-renewals will not run for any records, unless the member has opted in to auto-pay, or an admin has manually turned on auto-renew for a specific member.
Disabled = No auto-renewals ever run and auto-pay is not an option for anyone.
Setting B: When should auto-renewals occur (invoice creation and expiration date moving forward, not auto-pay)?
(Auto-renewals generally kick off at 4:15am EST and spread over several hours as the system runs through the members needing to be renewed.)
Setting C: Once auto-renewal has run and notices have been sent (see setting D below), when should auto-pay cards be charged? We recommend giving members a 5-7 day window between notices being sent and cards being charged, so they can make sure their card info is updated.
Setting D: When auto-renewal has run, you have the option for renewal notices to go out automatically. We recommend that organizations with anniversary renewals, where renewals are happening often, utilize this feature.
Those on a calendar schedule may choose to leave this off to give themselves the chance to review invoices before notices are sent out, since it's a less common process - but do still have the option of automating sending these notices.
*Note: You must send renewal notices before auto-pay will kickoff so that your members will have some context as to why they're being charged before it happens. Whether you choose to have these sent automatically by the system, or to send them manually in bulk, this must occur first.
You can learn more about the different options in our Membership Auto-Renewals article.
Offer a Discount to Members who Opt-In to Auto-Pay
In the Member Type settings, under Dues Rules, you can create a dues rule to offer those who have chosen to Auto-Pay a discount on their renewal.
Create a new dues rule, and utilize the Condition: Auto-Pay = Yes or No
Then, in the Dues equation, input your discount. (AE Tip: Make sure you add a negative number, so it will subtract from the total dues amount.)
Note: The discount will apply to auto-renewals, but won't apply to new member signups.
Auto-Pay Signup & Management For Members
Members can sign up for auto-pay when joining for the first time (A), or when they are a current member paying an existing dues invoice (B).
*Please note that auto-pay must be authorized by the member. To help protect your organization from disputed charges, admins cannot set up auto-pay for a specific member.
In order for a member to signup for auto-pay, they must save the credit card (or already have a saved card) on their account for future payments.
Remember! Full saved credit card information lives in QuickBooks Payments or Stripe, not in Novi. For security purposes, admins cannot edit or manage saved credit cards for members.
If the user is setting up auto-pay for a company membership, this auto-pay method lives on the person's record. If the person leaves that company, auto-pay will no longer be enabled.
Admins can see information about a member's auto-pay and renewal status on the Details tab of their member record. Next to their membership dates will be information similar to the image below:
Managing & Removing Auto-Pay
If a member would like to turn auto-pay off, they can do so from their Member Compass > Payment Methods tab.
They will see a note that says: "Note: Your membership is currently set up to auto-pay using your default payment method. If you'd like to discontinue auto-pay, please click here."
From here, they will be shown the following message, ensuring that they know that they will now need to pay their next renewal invoice manually once it is ready.
So your member set up auto-pay, and renewals have run, great! Now what?
That depends on if you have told the system to automatically send your renewal email notices out or not. (Remember Setting D from the second section of this article?)
If your renewal notices are getting sent out automatically, skip down to the Auto-Pay Notifications section below.
If your notices are not getting sent automatically, you'll first need to manually send out your renewal notices to your members.
Your member will be notified that auto-pay is going to take place in a few days, and a second email will be sent once it has run.
*Note: If the auto-paying member logs in and manually pays the invoice before auto-pay runs, these notifications will not be sent to them.
The typical email cadence for a successful auto-pay is sent to the member in this order:
Auto-Pay Renewal Notice Email
This email first notifies the member that their renewal will be charged on a certain day (per your member type settings), along with the details of their renewal amount. This gives them time to change their default card, turn auto-pay off if they need to, etc.
Auto-Pay Charge Success Email
On the day that auto-pay runs, the member will be notified that their card has been successfully charged.
*Auto-pay charges generally kick off at 7:15am EST and the failure/success emails are sent accordingly.
If there are any issues with the charge, we let the member know ahead of time by sending them a pre-failure email:
Auto-Pay Pre-Failure Warning Email
Once the initial renewal notice has gone out, the system will check to make sure that the card is valid (i.e. not expired) and that the member has a payment on file. If any of these are not true, they will receive a notice that their auto-pay is going to fail, giving them time to update the info before it runs.
If the charge completely fails we will also notify them:
Auto-Pay Failure Notice Email
If auto-pay runs and the charge fails, we will notify the member, and also include a link to the dues invoice so that they can pay it directly.
Please check out the Custom Emails for Membership Renewals article for specific examples of each, and how to customize these emails for your members.
As an admin, you can pull reports showing which of your members have auto-pay turned on.
This can be done in two places:
The Accounting > Transactions tab
Click the gear icon in the right corner of the Transactions list to add "auto-pay" as a column that will show you which dues invoices have auto-pay turned on.
In Custom Reporting
Navigate to your Reporting > Custom Reports section to use "auto-pay" as a condition or a display column for your custom reports to find which members are utilizing this feature.
The member that auto-pay is turned on for will appear in the results. For example, if John Smith is an individual member with auto-pay turned on, you'll see John Smith in your report. If ABC Company is the member, you'll see ABC Company in the report - even if Sally Smith their primary contact is the one who has auto-pay turned on for the company.