Stripe Billing + Churn Buster

Stripe Billing + Churn Buster

Churn Buster interacts with Stripe Billing to expand Stripe's functionality for recovering failed payments.

Churn Buster does:

  • Monitor for past-due invoices, failed payments, updated cards and canceled subscriptions.
  • Replace a subscriber’s default payment method with an updated credit card.
  • Initiate payments of past-due invoices following a card update.
  • Reactivate uncanceled subscriptions when a card is updated.
  • Prompt payment reattempts when warranted.
  • Leave past-due subscriptions as “unpaid” until the end of the recovery process, at which point they are either left as unpaid or canceled (up to you, as configured in your Stripe Billing settings). In either case, you have the option of receiving a webhook notification.

Churn Buster does not:

  • Create new subscriptions.
  • Create invoices.
  • Change invoice amounts.
  • Attempt to charge a canceled subscription or forgiven invoice.

Below are more in-depth explanations.


1. Payment Method Updates

When a customer updates their payment method via a Churn Buster Capture form, Churn Buster tokenizes the payment method and passes it directly to your Stripe account.

Churn Buster adds payment methods and sets them as the default for your customer, rather than deleting/replacing existing payment methods.

2. Subscription Reactivations:

  • When a subscription is past_due (during Stripe retries), and the customer's default payment method is updated, Stripe on its own won't immediately pay the most recent invoice, leaving the subscription in a past_due state until the next scheduled retry (1-7 days).
  • When a subscription is unpaid (after Stripe retries have finished), and the customer's default payment method is updated, Stripe on its own does not pay the most recent invoice. This leaves the subscription in an unpaid state permanently. The customer will not be charged, even though by correcting their payment method they have shown intent to remain a customer.

In both of these scenarios, Churn Buster activates to collect payments quickly and reliably.

Any time a default payment method is updated in Stripe (via Churn Buster Capture form, a dashboard, in-app, or Automatic Card Updater), Churn Buster automatically, and instantly, reattempts the most recent invoice for every delinquent subscription. Once the payment clears, the subscription will return to an active state. And critically, future invoices will be automatically billed to the new payment method.


3. Voided Invoices

If invoices are marked as Void in Stripe, the associated campaign will stop immediately so the customer is not contacted further.

4. Additional Invoice Collection

Churn Buster always reactivates the subscription by paying the most recent invoice. Sometimes, you will want additional unpaid invoices to be collected.

With Churn Buster, you have the option to collect additional unpaid invoices automatically. This can be useful when customers have been delinquent for a long time, or when your recovery campaigns last more than 30 days (i.e. multiple invoices can go unpaid before your customer corrects their payment method).

By default, this feature is disabled and payment is only collected on one invoice (the most recent unpaid invoice) for each subscription. (See "Subscription Reactivations" section above.)

Churn Buster doesn't attempt payment on an invoice in the following scenarios:

  • invoice older than 6 months
  • invoice has been forgiven
  • subscription has been downgraded to a free plan
  • subscription is set to cancel at period end

Contact the Churn Buster team if you'd like to collect up to 6 previously unpaid invoice payments.

5. Smart Retry Logic

Stripe allows you to schedule up to 4 retries after a payment fails.

Churn Buster Enhanced Retries optimally position additional retries to resolve payment issues more quickly while sending fewer emails.

What about leaving the subscription as-is?

Leaving subscriptions as-is means that monthly invoices are re-attempted as they are created. If subscriptions are not passively canceled, these payments will often fail resulting in customers repeating campaigns over and over. This degrades the customer experience as well as metrics — with recovery rates dropping as this "endless" cohort grows in size.

If you need to use this setting, we recommend extending your End Campaign to at least Day 45. With an active campaign still running, the next month's failed invoice will not create a back-to-back campaign.

Access to your Stripe account can be revoked anytime from your Stripe dashboard. Any active campaigns will continue to run, so please contact us at support@churnbuster.io to ensure the best experience for your customers—either ending campaigns, or helping reconnect your Stripe account.

You may cancel service with Churn Buster anytime, or as stipulated in your signed service agreement if you have one (non-standard).