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How to Manage Failed Payments and Declines in Shopify
How to Manage Failed Payments and Declines in Shopify

Setting Up Automatic Dunning Rules in PayWhirl for Shopify

Larry Brager avatar
Written by Larry Brager
Updated over a week ago

Payment declines can be a frustrating aspect of managing an online store, but they are common in e-commerce. As a merchant using PayWhirl on Shopify, you have tools to manage and reduce the impact of these declines. This document will guide you through understanding the reasons behind payment declines and how to use PayWhirl features to address them.

Steps to Take When a Payment Declines

  1. Check the Decline Code: Refer to the specific error message to understand the reason for the decline.

  2. Communicate with Your Customer: Send a personalized email to inform them of the issue and request updated payment information.

  3. Review PayWhirl Alerts: Use email alerts from PayWhirl to stay informed about declines in real time.

Common Decline Codes and Their Meanings

  • Invalid Account: The card number or bank account details are incorrect or have changed.

  • Card Does Not Support Type of Purchase: The card is not authorized for recurring payments or certain types of transactions.

  • Incorrect Card Number: The card number entered is outdated.

  • Expired Card: The card has passed its expiration date and can no longer be used.

  • Insufficient Funds: The cardholder's account does not have enough funds to complete the transaction.

  • Do Not Honor: The customer's bank is unwilling to approve the transaction. This is a generic decline that often requires the cardholder to contact their bank.

  • Lost or Stolen Card: The payment is declined because the card has been reported as lost or stolen.

  • Transaction Not Permitted: The cardholder's bank has restricted the card from making this type of transaction.

  • Your card was declined: Check with your card issuer for details or use a different card.

  • Your card's expiration month is invalid: Verify and correct the expiration month on your card details.

  • Agreement was canceled: Update the payment method or use a new method.

  • credit_card_not_found: Ensure your card is correctly linked to your account or use another card.

  • Payment method was revoked: Update the card on file or use a different payment method.

Setting Up Automatic Dunning Rules in PayWhirl for Shopify

With PayWhirl for Shopify, you can automate the dunning process to improve recovery rates and reduce churn.

What is Dunning?

Dunning is a key part of subscription management, aimed at recovering failed payments. When a customer's payment fails, the dunning process involves contacting the customer to update their payment information to continue the subscription service.

Customizing Dunning Rules

PayWhirl allows you to customize your dunning strategy based on your business needs and the typical behavior of your customers. Here are the steps to set up and customize your dunning rules:

  1. Choose the Number of Payment Attempts: Decide how many times PayWhirl should attempt to charge the customer's card before considering the subscription as failed. You can set this number between 1 to 5 attempts based on your preference.

  2. Set the Frequency of Attempts: Schedule how often PayWhirl should retry the card. You might choose to space out attempts every few days to give customers time to see the alerts and update their payment methods.

  3. Maximize the Timing: It’s important to balance giving your customers enough time to update their payment information without allowing too much time to pass. If too much time elapses, the customer may cross into a new billing cycle without payment, which could complicate the subscription status and service delivery.

  4. Customize Dunning Emails: Tailor the content of the emails sent to customers after a failed payment. It’s crucial that these emails are clear, helpful, and convey the urgency of updating payment details without causing alarm. Provide direct links where they can update their information seamlessly.

  5. Monitor and Adjust: Keep an eye on the performance of your dunning process. If you notice many customers are updating their payment details after the first email, you might decide to reduce the number of attempts. Conversely, if customers are regularly taking longer to update their details, you may want to increase the time between attempts.

How to Use PayWhirl's Email Alerts to Reduce Failed Payments

Email alerts are critical in managing payment declines, as they provide immediate notification when an issue arises. Here’s how to set up and customize these alerts in PayWhirl:

  1. Navigate to Settings: Log in to your PayWhirl account and go to the settings page. Look for the section dedicated to email notifications or alerts.

  2. Enable Failed Payment Alerts: Within the email settings, ensure that the checkbox for failed payment email alerts is activated. This will enable the system to automatically send out a notification when a transaction is declined.

  3. Customize Email Templates: PayWhirl typically provides default email templates for various notifications. You can customize these templates for failed payments to suit your brand's voice and provide clear instructions. To do this:

    • Click on the template for failed payment notifications.

    • Edit the subject line to be clear and direct, like "Action Required: Update Your Payment Information".

    • In the body of the email, briefly explain why the payment failed, if known, and provide a step-by-step guide on how to update payment information.

    • Ensure you include a direct link to the page where customers can update their payment details to streamline the process.

  4. Set Up Customer-Friendly Messaging: The tone of your email alerts should be friendly and helpful. Acknowledge that payment issues can happen and assure the customer that it can be easily resolved. Avoid language that might cause panic or frustration.

A well-crafted dunning strategy prevents revenue loss due to failed payments and helps maintain a positive customer relationship. By automating this process, you ensure consistent communication and reduce the administrative burden of manually chasing down payments.

Remember, the goal of dunning is to recover payments without losing subscribers. The right balance will respect your customers' circumstances and give them ample opportunity to fix the payment issues so their experience with your service will remain positive.

For more detailed instructions or if you encounter any difficulties setting up your dunning rules, please reach out using the intercom messenger. Our team is ready to help you with any questions or customization you need to make sure your dunning process is optimized for your store's success.

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Please get in touch with our support if you have any questions or problems configuring the app. We're happy to help.


Team PayWhirl

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