Pre-Install FAQ

Do I need the “Customer Information Manager” (“CIM”) or “Payment Profile” or “Data Vault” or “TransArmor” feature?


In order to securely store your customer credit card data in a 100% PCI-compliant environment, Chargify utilizes the gateway’s “customer information manager” or “payment profile” or “data vault” feature.

When signing up for a gateway, please be sure to ask for this to be enabled on your account. (For, ask for “CIM”. For First Data, ask for “TransArmor”.) In most cases, this feature will have an additional cost but will provide you with the peace of mind that your customer data is stored securely.

In addition to security, these services give you total ownership of your customer credit card data. Instead of being stored on the Chargify servers, you can communicate directly with your gateway to update, delete, or transfer card data at any time.

Please note that it may take a day or two for the vault to become active after it is enabled. With both and First Data we have seen several merchants report that things just started working fine about 24-48 hours after turning on the CIM option in or TransArmor in First Data.

Do I need Recurring Billing (called “ARB” at enabled on my account?


Chargify replaces the need for recurring solutions, such as “ARB”, at the gateway level. We calculate the recurring schedules and perform the transactions without the use of a gateway’s recurring features. We provide many features that ARB cannot, such as metered-usage billing, discount coupon codes, reaching out to customers when cards are declined, etc.

Can I run test transactions before I have a gateway account?


Choose ‘Test Gateway’ from Site Settings. This allows you to test your system using the following dummy credit card numbers instead of full 16-digit numbers:

“1” (to generate a successful outcome, as if the card was charged successfully) “2” (to generate an unsuccessful outcome, as if the card was declined for the charge).

Can I run test transactions against my gateway?


To do so, ask your gateway provider for a test account.

In the case of, be sure to get a “developer account”. You can sign up online..

Enter the test credentials you are provided into your Chargify “test site” settings.

Do not use these credentials for a Chargify production site.

What will I need to run transactions in Production?

You will need a “live” gateway to integrate with your Chargify production site. These credentials differ from your test credentials.

Please note that some gateways will not provide an error if you use production credentials on a test site within Chargify; be sure the appropriate credentials are entered into your site settings.

** “live” accounts have a ‘test mode’ feature. It is strongly recommended that you do not use ‘test mode.’ Please register for a developer test account instead.

Why do I need a Merchant Account or Payment Gateway?

A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payment by debit or credit cards.

A payment gateway facilitates the secure transfer of information between you and your merchant account.

These work together to form the basic “plumbing” that allows you, the merchant, to accept and process credit card transactions and have the money collected end up in your bank.

Chargify is a complete management system on top of this… kind of like the automated control system that turns on the water to your lawn and garden.

If you’d like to learn everything you’ll ever want to know about merchant accounts & payment gateways, and the easy ways to get these things, here is a complete description by one of our founders.