Automatic Recurring Billing (ARB)

Question

How can I set up automatic billing to bill my members' credit card or ACH payment each month?

Resolution

Automatic Recurring Billing (ARB) is available. This feature allows you to set up billing items that will automatically charge your member's credit card or debit their checking account at specified intervals.

Before you can use this feature, you must first have an Authorize.net, CardPointe or Beanstream gateway (ARB will not work with PayPal). To use Auto Recurring Billings for credit cards in Authorize.net, you must add the ARB option to your Authorize.net account. Log in to your Authorize.Net account to set up the ARB option.

To use ACH features to automatically debit your members' checking accounts, you must add the eChecks feature to your Authorize.net gateway account. Log in to your Authorize.Net account to set up the eChecks option. Note: The eChecks application is lengthy and may take a week or more for Authorize.net to approve once submitted. You must check the 'PPD' and 'CCD' options when completing Section 2 of Authorize.Net's eChecks application for the Atlas ARB feature to work properly. (See sample below.) These options will allow you to accept personal checking and savings accounts from your members, plus corporate checking accounts.

Once you have your ARB and/or eChecks features added to your Authorize.net account (or use Bambora or CardPointe), complete the following steps to set up ARB in Atlas:

  1. Go to Admin > Global Settings, then click Integrations > Credit Card Gateways. Check Enable ARB.
  2. Once you have checked Enable ARB, click Actions/Edit for the gateway(s) you want to enabled.
  3. Check the box for ARB .
  4. Check the box for AuthNet_eCheck if you have a eCheck account set up with Authorize.net

    Note: If you check either of these boxes and you do not have an ARB and/or eCheck account created with Authorize.net, you will experience error messages when trying to create Automatic Recurring Billing items in Atlas.
  5. Once you check the ARB checkbox, this will enable the Automatic Recurring Billing flag on your New Billing screen. Set up a new or flag an Payment Type to be used as ACH (Admin > Manage Codes > Revenue Codes > Payment Types). Be sure to set the ACH Type Flag and set the gateway to process through your new eCheck gateway.

  6. Bambora (formerly Beanstream) Customers:
    Make sure values in Atlas Credit Card Gateways are filled in for:
    - Bambora Username
    - Bambora Password
    - Bambora Merchant ID (if you are a US merchant, you'll need to fill in the US Merchant ID field in the desktop version of Atlas)
    - Bambora ARB Passcode
    - Bambora Reporting Passcode
    Note: the desktop application still displays a "Silent Post URL" but this is no longer the method used to retrieve ARB charges and create invoices/payments. 
  7. Authorize.NET Customers:  
    Make sure values in Atlas Credit Card Gateways are filled in for:
    - AuthNet API Login 
    - AuthNet API TransKey
    Note: the desktop application still displays a "Silent Post URL" but this is no longer the method used to retrieve ARB charges and create invoices/payments. 

  8. Card Connect CardPointe Customers
    Make sure values in Atlas Credit Card Gateways are filled in for:
    - CardPointe Merchant ID 
    - CardPointe Username
    - CardPointe Password

You can now create an ARB Record for each member:

  1. Navigate to the profile you want to set up the billing for, click Edit Profile (browser), and click Add in the Billing section for that profile.
  2. Create the billing item as you do normally, with two changes:
  3. Check the "Set as Automatic Recurring Billing" checkbox.
    When setting up Automatic Recurring Billings, the Anchor Day must be at least one day in the future. You cannot set the Anchor Day to be 'today's' date. The Anchor Month, Anchor Day and Starting Year will be the first day that the card/account is charged via your gateway's ARB service. From that day forward, the charge will automatically recur at the frequency in the Billing Cycle dropdown. NOTE: CardPointe supports only Monthly or Every 12 Months cycle, you cannot choose Every 3 Months or Every 6 Months if you are going to set up an ARB with a CardPointe gateway.
  4. Select the Payment Type for the recurring payment.
  5. Enter the name, address and phone number for the person/company who will receive the Automatic Recurring Billing. Note: The address must match the billing address on file with their credit card company or bank.
  6. If you selected a Payment Type of Credit Card, enter the credit card information on the Credit Card Tab.
    • a. Type of Card (Visa, MasterCard, American Express / AMEX, Discover)
    • b. Credit Card Number
    • c. CVV2
    • d. Expiration Month
    • e. Expiration Year
  7. If you selected a Payment Type of ACH (desktop version), enter the account information on the ACH Tab.
    • a. Name on Bank Account
    • b. Bank Name
    • c. Bank Routing Number
    • d. Bank Account Number
    • e. Bank Account Type
  8. Click Save to save the ARB account info and send the information to your gateway. The gateway will create an ARB subscription in your account using the information provided from Atlas.

 

What happens next?

  1. On the specified date of each cycle, your gateway will charge the card or debit the account automatically.
  2. Each day (early morning hours), Atlas will run an import to create invoices and payments for all charges that were made in your gateway any time during the previous or current day. 
  3. Any charges made during the day after the initial sync has run will be created the following day, but dated properly for the date the card was actually charged. 
  4. The email in the "Online Bill Pay Notification" field in your settings will receive an email indicating all of the invoices that were successfully created during the import. 

 

NOTE: If you are experiencing issues with transactions going through in Authorize.net but not being recorded in Atlas, please click here to ensure that your API Key is up to date and compatible with the ARB integration.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. What do I need to use Auto Recurring Billing in Atlas?

A. First, you need an Authorize.Net or Beanstream account. Auto Recurring Billing will only work with Authorize.net. For assistance in creating an account, please contact Atlas Support. To use Auto Recurring Billings for credit cards, you must add the ARB option to your Authorize.net account. Log in to your Authorize.Net account to set up the ARB option.

To use ACH features to automatically debit your member's checking accounts, you must add the eChecks feature to your Authorize.net account. Log in to your Authorize.Net account to set up the eChecks option. Note: The eChecks application is lengthy and may take a week or more for Authorize.net to approve once submitted.

Q. Can I edit an ARB Billing Record after I've created it?

A. No. After Atlas passes the ARB account information to Authorize.Net, Authorize.Net does not allow the information to be changed. If you need to edit the account information, you should first inactivate the existing ARB billing record and create a new one using the updated information.

Q. When I Auto-Generate Invoices, will Atlas try to create invoices for my ARB accounts?

A. No. All ARB accounts are excluded from the Auto Generate Invoice process. This prevents the creation of duplicate invoices for the same item and/or period.

Q. How will I know what my projected billings are for a given month?

A. The Projected Billings report will still show all billing items that are expected to be billed in future months.

Q. How can I find the members that have ARB records set up?

A. On the Billing Info Tab of the Profile Selector, there is a new check box for 'ARB Billings Only.' This will allow to search for all profiles with ARB Billings or filter them using additional functions in the Profile Selector.

Q. How will I know when a member's credit card is about to expire?

A. When you log in to your Authorize.Net account and view your ARB subscriptions, you can view a list of any Expiring Credit Cards. Under 'Configure ARB Email Notifications' you can choose to receive email notifications of upcoming credit card expirations as well.

Q. What happens if a member's card is declined?

A. You will receive an email from Authorize.Net that a transaction has been declined. An invoice will not be created for this transaction. You can either manually create the invoice to apply payment that you receive from the client, or you can set up a new ARB billing with updated card information to re-start their billing.

Q. If I delete or inactivate an ARB billing will Atlas automatically inactivate the ARB subscription in Authorize.Net?

A. Yes, when you inactivate a billing item or if you right-click and delete it on the Billing Tab, Atlas will pass that information through to Authorize.Net.

Q. Can ARB records be flagged as Taxable, Invoice Separately or Bill Manually like other recurring billings?

A. No. Automatic Recurring Billing records cannot be flagged as Taxable, Invoice Separately or Bill Manually. If any of those three check boxes are checked when you click 'Automatic Recurring Billing (ARB)', they will be unchecked and greyed out (disabled) by Atlas.

Q. How can I tell which members have had ARB subscriptions created in Authorize.Net?

A. Log in to your Authorize.Net account and click on Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) under Products & Services. You'll be able to view the Active, Expiring and Inactive ARB Subscriptions in addition to any credit card that are expiring soon.

Note: You must set up the ARB subscription through Atlas as an ARB Billing Record for the invoice to be created in Atlas . If you set up an ARB Subscription directly in your Authorize.Net account, Atlas will not create invoices for those billings.

Q.: What is the ‘Recover ARB’ option in the Atlas Credit Card Processing Tab?  Should we ever have to do that?
 
This is a legacy method of recovering transactions that were not created dynamically through Silent Post, a method no longer used by Atlas as of 11/10/2020 to generate invoices/payments from successful recurring transactions. "Recovery" is no longer necessary as the modern import method retrieves all transactions proactively and does not require Authorize.net to send any information to Atlas.  
 
Are receipts with invoice information (whether ACH or Credit Card ARB) automatically sent via email like with online credit card payments? 
 
Not out of Atlas, no. The ARB record in Authorize.net should have whatever email was entered in the CC information screen along with the card number, etc.
 
Does Atlas auto retry failed ARB payments or should we enable that in authorize.net?
 
Atlas does not "try" charges at all - it only sets up the ARB in Authorize.net. After that, the recurring charge is 100% in Authorize.net's court. So, any "retry" options need to be done in Authorize.net.
 
Can ARB payments/dues be auto increased/decreased like non ARB dues or do they need to be expired/recreated annually?
 
They need to be recreated annually. For WL to create/update an ARB record, the WL user must have the card info "in hand" as a form of consent to set up the recurring billing. Because we are not the processor, we can't update the amount without basically re-getting consent.
 
If a member has a few months remaining of an annual membership but express interest in moving to a month to month can an ARB be set up for month to month, and will it hold off on starting the charge process until it reaches the upcoming anchor month/specified start year?
 
That's correct, it will use a start date of the anchor month/day/starting year on the billing record.
 
How are refunds handled?
 
Once a payment has been created for the corresponding charge in Authorize.net, you can refund just like any other transaction.
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