Stripe can automatically attempt to pay an invoice if the customer has a payment method on file. Where an invoice is set to be charged automatically, a charge is attempted about an hour after the invoice’s creation.
Set the subscription or invoice’s
billing property to
charge_automatically to automatically charge the payment method on file.
For both one-off invoices and subscriptions, you can also configure automatic charges through the Dashboard.
Retrying failed payments
When a payment attempt for an invoice fails, Stripe can retry payment at a later date. You can choose the schedule of retries, or you can allow Stripe’s Smart Retries feature to optimize the schedule and number of retries.
Using machine learning, Smart Retries chooses optimal times to retry failed payment attempts, so as to increase the chance of a successfully paying an invoice. The machine learning system behind Smart Retries uses hundreds of time-dependent, dynamic signals, such as:
- The number of different devices that have presented this card in the last N hours
- Payments made for debit cards in certain countries might be slightly more successful at 12:01 am in local time zones
Stripe then uses this information to intelligently assess when to retry cards, based on a combination of these factors. Unlike more common, rules-based, approaches to card and payment retry logic, Stripe’s system is flexible, responsive, and continuously learning from new purchaser behaviors and transaction features.
The Smart Retries feature attempts to retry the customer’s charge up to four times within a customizable period. You can override this behavior (for all invoices) in your Dashboard’s Automatic collection settings, by disabling Smart Retries and defining your own custom retry rules.
You can also configure what happens to the invoice’s subscription, if one exists, after all retry attempts have been exhausted. This transition action (e.g. cancel the subscription or mark the subscription as unpaid) will only apply to invoices with the subscription attribute. Invoices generated without a
subscription but with subscription line items will not have any retry final action applied.
Sending email reminders
You can configure Stripe to send email notifications to your customer:
- Upon failed payment attempts
- With receipts after invoices are paid
- When a subscription is about to renew
- When a card on file is about to expire
- When a payment requires 3D Secure, or reminders to complete such a payment
Before you send emails, be sure to customize the branding in your account settings.
Sending email reminders for incomplete payments requiring 3D Secure
When your 3D Secure settings are configured to enable the Send a Stripe-hosted link for cardholders to authenticate when required option, emails will be sent to your customers when charging their card on file – and when they’re not present – requires them to complete 3D Secure authentication. The email links to a Hosted Invoice Page where they can confirm the payment.