With subscriptions and payment plans, each student will be charged monthly or at the frequency that you have defined when pricing your course. The billing schedule will vary per student based on when they first enrolled in your course.
When an attempted payment fails, that student automatically loses access to the course content in Thinkific. The student enrollment is then marked as expired in Thinkific. You can manage failed payments for recurring payments with both Thinkific Payments and Stripe.
Managing Failed Payments with Thinkific Payments
Learn about failed student payments with Thinkific payments. Students can also renew subscriptions or payment plans themselves from their billing page after a payment fails by clicking the Renew button as outlined here.
Managing Failed Payments in Stripe
Our integration with Stripe allows you to specify what happens if a student's recurring payment fails. Stripe will automatically retry a failed payment using the default setting, Smart Retries from Stripe - or based on a custom retry schedule set by you. You can configure Stripe’s automatic collection behavior from the Manage automatic collection settings page of your Stripe dashboard. These settings are system-wide and will apply to all students with subscriptions/payment plans.
If the outstanding payment is successfully made by the student during these attempts, course access will be restored. If the payment has not been captured by the end of the retry schedule, the student enrollment will remain expired in Thinkific. Students can also renew subscriptions or payment plans themselves from their billing page after a payment fails by clicking the Renew button as outlined here.
In your Stripe dashboard, you also have the option to define what status the subscription will have in Stripe if the payment has not been captured by the end of the retry schedule. You can find these options under the Subscription status section of your Manage failed payment settings:
Click to learn more from Stripe about configuring automatic collection.
Restore Course Access in Thinkific
Check out details below for what will occur for each option listed and how the student can restore access to the course:
When all attempts at processing have failed, the subscription will be removed and access to the course revoked.
To restore access, the student will need to purchase the course again. This will not affect their course progress. As soon as they purchase again, they will simply continue for where they left off.
Mark Subscription as Unpaid (Recommended If Offering Payment Plan Options)
When all attempts at processing have failed, the subscription will be left as is and access to the course revoked.
To restore access, you will need to retry a payment manually in Stripe once the student corrects their credit card information in Thinkific.
Students can see how to update their credit card information here: How can students manage their billing?
Once your student updates their credit card information, you can manually retry the payment in Stripe. This will automatically update the student's enrollment upon successful payment.
This is the recommended setting given it will retain the subscription allowing for access to be granted once a payment is made, and your student can continue making payments toward their payment plan instead of having to repurchase the payment plan from the start.
This will also not affect their course progress. As soon as they purchase again, they will simply continue for where they left off!
Leave Subscription As-is
It is not recommended to keep a subscription as-is after the payment fails, because this will not remove a student's access to the course.
When all attempts at processing the invoice have failed, the subscription will be left as is and access will not be revoked. Stripe will simply move onto the next billing cycle and new invoice. The invoice with failed payment will be left unpaid.
Students will still be able to access the course content with new invoices being created and marked as unpaid for future subscription periods, but no further automated attempts to take payment will occur.
You will need to retry the payments manually in Stripe to collect outstanding invoices. Once the outstanding invoices have been collected, the student's subscription will resume charging automatically moving forward.
Updating the credit card details will NOT activate further attempts to charge the card in Stripe. You will need to manually Retry the charge in Stripe to attempt any further charges.