Dunning for Direct Debit

For Sites connected to GoCardless, Chargify allows you to customize the information you send during the dunning schedule, communications and final actions inflicted on your subscribers that pay via Direct Debit. Similarly to ACH Dunning, in the event that you have Direct Debit-based subscribers, you’ll want to customize your emails to focus on the needed update of banking information, rather than card-related data.

There are two ways of handling the dunning process:

  • Direct Debit Dunning - set a payment retry that will occur a day after the previously failed payment and send customizable emails.
  • Advanced Dunning for Direct Debit - which allows you to create a dunning strategy with fully customized steps that can specify if a retry should be made and/or if an email will be sent.

If you are interested in Advanced Dunning please see our documentation on migrating to Advanced Dunning for more information.

Dunning Settings

Select Retries and Dunning (Direct Debit) in your site’s settings. Use the controls under this section to edit your dunning strategy. The sub-articles below will illustrate certain actions and limitations that will help you build a successful Direct Debit strategy.

Select your dunning for Direct Debit settings

There’s a couple things to keep in mind when you are setting up your dunning settings for Direct Debit:

  • Decide upon the number of days you’d like your user to spend in dunning
  • Decide upon the maximum number of retry attempts days you’d like to make in dunning
  • What communications should be sent during the process and for the final action
  • If the subscription should be canceled at the end of the process, or marked as unpaid

Retry Attempts

While there are no Governing rules of the Direct Debit / electronic payment system regarding the number of retry attempts for Direct Debit-based payment methods on file, Chargify allows you to set the limit retry attempts yourself. For example, with the limit set to 2, 2 retry attempts and 1 final action on the dunning strategy will be allowed. The final action step does not contain a retry attempt.

If you select any of the options outlined in red, you’ll be directed towards the Retry Settings where you can configure each of these items.

Open Retry Settings
Edit the retries attempt limit

Final Actions

When constructing the final action for your dunning strategy, you have two options:

Option 1

Mark the subscription as canceled. The subscription will cancel immediately.

Option 2

Mark the subscription as unpaid. Unpaid subscriptions will continue to accrue charges, even though being marked as unpaid.

For more information, please see our informative article on end-of-life subscription states.

Select the final action at the end of an unsuccessful dunning process
When editing the final action attempt by selecting send this email, this only affects the final action email that is sent to subscribers. The initial emails that are sent to subscribers are configured in the dunning schedule below.

From Address

You can specify a unique email address that sends the dunning emails. This is especially helpful if you’d like to have all dunning-related emails come from your billing team.

Edit the "From Address"

BCC Emails

If you’d like to send a copy of all dunning-related emails to a specific address, please enter the email address here:

Edit the BCC email address

Dunning Emails

Set your schedule for your dunning-related communications. Easily add, remove and edit the existing emails for your Direct Debit-dunning process.

Edit the dunning email
Add, remove or edit your dunning emails
When setting the schedule for the dunning emails, please be sure to take into consideration the length of the dunning process as well as the retry attemps limit set under Retries & Final Action. For example, you cannot send dunning emails on day 10, if your dunning process ends after 5 days or after 2 retry attempts.

Dunning Email Body

Include dynamic text specifically geared toward the dunning process. Choose from a host of variables to give your subscriber as much information as process as to why their account is currently in dunning. Please see our documentation on dunning email parameters for more information.

Edit the contents of your dunning email

Advanced Dunning - Overview

In order to use Advanced Dunning for Direct Debit you need to contact support to enable that feature on your site.

Advanced Dunning for Direct Debit allows you to specify for each dunning step if a retry should be made and/or if an email will be sent. In that way, you can notify customers of payment failure via email without also retrying payment to prevent additional gateway transaction fees.

Advanced Dunning - Settings

Select Config > Retries & Dunning then click on the Direct Debit tab.

Note that this is a new user interface which brings all of your dunning strategies across payment methods into one place for easy access and management.

Direct Debit Dunning is located under Config > Retries & Dunning.

You create a dunning strategy either from a predefined template or build a custom strategy, whichever best meets your needs. The predefined templates match the ones that can be used for direct debit dunning—basic and assertive.

Customize your strategy from scratch, or start from a pre-configured template..
List of available pre-configured templates.

Advanced Dunning - Retry and Schedule

Due to the GoCardless processing time, the minimum interval between retrying payment is 5 days.

To build a custom strategy, as with our other dunning toolsets, you define each step to be taken. With editing or adding a step you can:

  • specify on which day it should be executed
  • enable or disable ability to retrying the payment
  • enable or disable sending the email and configure the template
Overview page of the current dunning strategy.

Click the three dots to the right of each day to edit or delete that step.

Available actions for given step.
Step editing form.

Advanced Dunning - Final Step

The last attempt to retry the payment is called ‘Final Step’. It has its own section at the bottom of the strategy page.

Final step section

Select the day that you would like the Final Action to take place on. You can either cancel the subscription or mark the subscription unpaid.

  • When you cancel the subscription, the subscription will transition to the ‘canceled’ state and it will cease to accrue any new charges. No more attempts will be made to collect the balance due. A canceled subscription can be later reactivated.
  • When you mark the subscription unpaid, the subscription will transition to the ‘unpaid’ state, but it will continue to accrue new charges. No more attempts will be made to collect the balance due. An unpaid subscription can be moved back to active by either applying a payment, retrying the renewal (and receiving a successful payment), or zeroing out the balance and retrying the renewal.
Final Action select field on Final Step

Advanced Dunning - Email Settings

Change the email address that your dunning emails are sent from, by clicking on the From Address field. If you would like to add a BCC email address to your dunning emails, add that information here:

Editing the email settings.

To enable a BCC emails on given step, check the box for “Email BCC list”.

Enable the BCC option.

Advanced Dunning - Dunning Emails

Each step in the schedule can enable sending an email notification. To add an email to a step, toggle the switch for “Send Email” to launch the email editor. Within the email editor you can customize the subject and body of the email. You can also create a custom layout to personalize the look and feel of the email.

After adding or editing a new dunning email via the email editor, you will be able to choose whether or not to be BCC’d on this email.

Enable the 'Send Email' option
Edit the contents of the dunning email.

Include dynamic text specifically geared toward the dunning process. Choose from a host of variables to give your subscriber as much information as process as to why their account is currently in dunning. Please see our documentation on dunning email parameters for more information.

Editing the dunning email template.

Migration to Advanced Dunning

In order to use Advanced Dunning for Direct Debit you need to contact support to enable that feature on your site.

Once you get enabled the feature for Advanced Dunning, we will continue to use the existing direct debit settings on the site until a new one is created from the new form. Anyone in dunning currently will use the old strategy, and any subscriptions that enter dunning moving forward will use the new advanced strategy.