Authorize.net has a feature called CIM (Customer Information Manager). This allows a client's credit card to be stored on file and automatically charged on their payment due dates. The client only needs to enter their credit card information once; they are not required to enter it every time a payment is due.
You can directly integrate this feature into ShootQ as a merchant account type called 'Authorize.net CIM Recurring'. When this payment method is used on a shoot, your client's credit card on file will be automatically charged on their invoice due dates.
To get started, you first need to enable CIM in your authorize.net account..
- 1. Log into your Merchant Interface at https://account.authorize.net.
- 2. Click Customer Information Manager in the main left side menu.
- 3. Click Sign up for Customer Information Manager (CIM) Now.
- 4. Click the checkbox labeled I have read and understand the Terms of Service.
- 5. Click I Agree.
Once this is set up, log in to ShootQ and navigate to Settings > Invoices & Payments > Online Payments and click the blue 'New Merchant Account' link. Then choose 'Authorize.net CIM Recurring' as the merchant type in the drop down menu. We suggest giving your merchant account a nickname that distinguishes it from a standard authorize.net merchant (for example, call it something like 'Authorize.net Recurring'). Next add your API Login ID and Transaction Key (this article should help you find these credentials in your Authorize.net account).
When your changes are saved, we recommend that you run a test transaction to make sure your Authorize.net account is synced up to ShootQ. When your test transaction is successful, your Authorize.net CIM Recurring merchant will be ready to use as a payment method on your shoots.
If you already have an automated Thank You email enabled in ShootQ (Settings > Invoices & Payments), you may want to turn off the automated email receipts that Authorize.net will send to your clients once a payment is made. You can do this in your Authorize.net control panel by navigating to Account > Settings > Transaction Format Settings > Email Receipt.
Important Notes about Authorize.net CIM Recurring Billing
- CIM will not work with Card Code Verification (CCV) enabled because Authorize.net does not store this information with a customer's profile. To disable CCV in your Authorize.net control panel, click on the Account tab > Payment Form > Form Fields. Then uncheck the "required" box for Card Code and click 'Submit' to save.
- Once a client chooses their payment method initially (credit card or bank account), they cannot switch it for subsequent payments. If they update their card information they will see either credit card or bank account fields depending on which method they initially chose. The method can be manually changed by you, however, in your Authorize.net account control panel.
- CIM Recurring Billing payments are charged at approximately 8:00pm Pacific Standard Time on the invoice due date.
- In ShootQ you can have both your "Standard" and "CIM Recurring" Authorize.net merchant types integrated from the same Authorize.net account (the API Login and Transaction Keys are the same). This will give you the option of choosing either one when booking a shoot or creating an invoice. Some clients may not want their credit card info stored on file so you could choose the standard method instead (where the customer must enter their card info each time when a payment is due).
- When using CIM and the main contact on the shoot is a coordinator/event planner (not the client), please refer to this article so that you are collecting payments from the correct person.
There are also some further optional features that you can enable in your Authorize.net account - modifying your payment form fields and adding e-checking (see below).
Optional Feature - Modifying Field Options
ShootQ uses the credit card form hosted by Authorize.net. You have the ability to modify what is visible on the form itself. These modifications must be done through the admin panel in your Authorize.net account.
Steps to modify your field options in Authorize.net:
- Log in to your Authorize.Net account (either test or live)
- Click on the "Account" tab at the top of the page
- In the first section, "Transaction Format Settings", under the "Transaction Submission Settings" sub-section, click on "Payment Form".
- On the page that displays, click on "Form Fields"
- Un-check all of the check-boxes in the "Shipping Information" section. You can also adjust other fields here as you deem necessary (see below).
- Click the "Submit" button when you are done.
If you do not see the "Payment Form" option in the Account Settings, then you are logged in with a sub-account of the Authorize.Net account which does not have permissions to change them. In this case you need to contact whoever owns the Authorize.Net account to either give you access or have them change the fields themselves.
Determine which fields should be viewable, editable, or required when submitting a transaction using the Payment Form. Check the "Required" box to require a value for that field before the transaction can be processed. Check the "View" box to allow the field to be viewable on the Payment Form. Check the "Edit" box to allow the field to be editable on the Payment Form.
We suggest having at least the following fields to be checked: Invoice No, Description, First Name, Last Name, Address, City, State, Zip Code, Phone, Email. Note: Make sure the Required box for Card Code is unchecked when using CIM Recurring billing.
Optional Feature - Adding E-Checking
When setting up your Authorize.net account you can enable e-checking (this option will only be available for clients with banks based in the United States). This works the same way as a credit card, but it will show up in your auth.net transactions as an e-check. If you have already setup e-checking and would like to remove the e-check option you have to call Authorize.net directly to get it removed from your account. The benefit to setting up e-checking is that the fees are lower than credit card fees.
To set up e-checking, log into your Authorize.net account and click the Home tab. Under the Product & Services section , click eCheck.net and proceed with the process.
This is what e-checking will look like to your clients on the credit card form hosted by Authorize.net.