Tips

Changing Payment Gateways

Overview

Membership subscriptions and shopping cart payments can be processed through your MemberGate site using a token system as a payment gateway. This allows sites to use the highest level of data security when it comes to credit card information that is no longer stored in your site's database. 

The use of a token system reduces the risk involved as credit card information is not stored on your site. It also increases the ability to consistently pass the PCI testing.

Can I Switch Payment Gateway Companies when using a Token System?

Thinking of switching from Authorize.net CIM to Stripe? Or Stripe to Payflow Pro Reference Transaction?

Yes, it is possible to switch from one token system to another. But read on....

Using a token system for your payment gateway means your member's credit card information is saved at the payment gateway company. It is not saved in the database or anywhere else on your MemberGate site, thus reducing your liability should your site be compromised.

Because the credit card information is saved at the specific payment gateway company, your members would have to manually re-enter their credit card details when switching to a different payment gateway's token system. The new token system will create a new profile with the member's details so the upside is that they would only have to enter their details one time. The downside of course is that you may lose some members along the way if they prefer not to update their credit card information.

If a member does not update their credit card details in time, when it comes time for their account to automatically renew, there will be a billing failure and the member would have to manually renew using a subscription form to update their account.

Our Recommendation

The time to switch payment gateway companies is before you begin using a token system. This means if you are using authorize.net, you can choose to switch to authorize.net CIM or Stripe or even Braintree.

If you are not using a token system and you switch to a token system the member's profile will be created upon the next automactic renewal. The member would not have to manually update their credit card information (the member will only have to manuall update their credit card details when moving from one token system to another token system)

Before switching to a token gateway, we advise to thoroughly check between your choices as once the token system is in place, user data is stored at that gateway. There are differences between the payment gateway companies. One will be better for you than the others, so we recommend going with one that best fits your needs. 

How to Switch Payment Gateways when Using a Token System

Sometimes it is necessary to switch payment gateway accounts. With a token system payment gateway switch, every recurring member on your site will have to manually resubscribe to your site. Because the member's credit card information is saved at the payment gateway, the member will have a billing failure at the time of automatic renewal. 

 

The Steps to Take When Switching Payment Gateways

  1. Open a New Account with the Alternate Payment Gateway Company 

  2. Edit the Billing Failure Messages: When a member has a billing failure, they will automatically receive a billing failure message. This message can be customized to meet your needs. Edit this message to to let your members know what happened and what their next steps are (they will not be able to access your site until they renew). In this case it's not a billing failure due to a bad card, so it might be worthwhile to let them know (as this will probably save on customer service inquiries for those who know they have a valid card that should have processed successfully).

    Check out the Tutorial about Customizing the Billing Failure Messages (don't forget to include the link for the renewal page!)

  3. Connect your site with your new payment gateway information.

  4. Cancel the old Payment Gateway Account: Once you have had a few successful transactions and you are happy that everything is processing as expected with the new payment gateway, the account with the old payment gateway can be cancelled.