Skip to main content
How to create payment plans

Setup plans in PayWhirl to automatically bill your customers & place orders as needed. Create subscription plans, pre-orders, layaway & more

Ryan P. avatar
Written by Ryan P.
Updated over a week ago

Plans in PayWhirl are typically for products and/or services you want to offer to your customers. You can configure plans in many different ways to cover a variety of use cases, from subscriptions to rentals and pretty much anything in between. 

Plans can be configured to the bill once, a fixed number of times, on specific dates, or on an ongoing basis until the customer cancels. Plans with a specific number of payments can also be 'chained' together to create almost any kind of recurring setup you can imagine. 

How to Create a Plan

To begin making a plan, click the "Create a plan" option under the plan's main menu item...

The first few options set up the basic rules of the plan and tell the system how to charge the customer.

NAME- What do you want to name the plan?

CHARGE - What amount do you want to charge the customer?

EVERY - How often do you want to bill them this amount?

In the example above, the customer would be billed $10 every month, but you could change the "Every 1 month" setting to "Every 2 months".  This would change it to bill every other month. 

The next section of the plan settings contains more options, including the INSTALLMENT setting.

Installments are the number of payments the customer will make while they are subscribed to the plan. This is set to "no limit" by default, so the subscription will not end unless the user cancels or the payment declines too many times. This is set to 3 times by default but can be adjusted from one failed attempt to a max of 5 failed attempts.

Installments can be used to create anything from a normal subscription plan that ends automatically after a specific number of payments to layaway products with a set number of payments, pre-orders, and more. 

Plans with a specific number of installments can also be chained to other plans if you'd like to create completely custom billing schedules that are still automated.

You can also configure a plan to only bill on Specific Days of the year with a specific number of installments. 

Additional Plan Options:

  • Charge Shipping - Yes/No (if shipping rules are set up)

  • Charge Sales Tax - Yes/No (if tax rules are set up)

  • Free Trial (days) - Number of days to delay the invoice before any charge runs (0 by default). Note: This will also delay the setup fees if the plan contains one.

  • SKU - Define an SKU for the plan (carried into invoices / required for orders)

  • Setup Fee - A one-time fee added to the 1st invoice/payment. You can rename this field by going to the translate page.

  • When to Charge Setup Fee - By default, the setup fee is only charged to a customer once, even if they re-add the subscription. Instead, you can have it charged every time the subscription is added (most common).

  • Billing Cycle Start Day - Force subscribers to start on a specific day of the month. You can also specify specific days to bill customers using the specific dates frequency.

  • Currency - What national currency to make changes in.

  • Installments - The number of times to charge a customer before they are unsubscribed or transitioned to another plan. Use 'No limit' for subscriptions if you'd like them to continue indefinitely. 

Note: Adding a free trial or billing cycle start day to a plan will likely delay the customer from being charged initially and, therefore, will also delay any orders that are placed or access to 3rd party systems.

Additional Settings:


  • Tags - Used internally for organizational purposes. You can search for plans in the manage plans view using these tags.

Profile Questions

  • Profile Questions - Here, you can select which profile questions should be asked when a customer purchases a plan. If a customer checks out with more than one plan, then the system will group all the questions together. 

Digital Download

  • Digital Download - You can attach a file (up to 100MB) to a plan, and it will be delivered to your customer via the new subscription email after a successful purchase.

Promo Codes

  • Promo Codes - You can create promo codes and/or limit the use of an existing promo code to the specific plan you are editing.

Note: Promo codes associated with specific plans will only discount that plan's subtotal amount.


After you save your plan initially, you might see additional settings appear based on your integrations.

For example, if you are connected to an order system like Shopify, BigCommerce, or ShipStation, you will see a new setting to control how orders are placed in the connected system. 

Once you have all your plan(s) created, it's time to build your checkout widget. This is what gets embedded in your website so customers can select the plan(s) they want and complete checkout securely on your website.

Related Articles:

Please let us know if you have any questions. 

The PayWhirl Team 

Did this answer your question?