Trial to Subscription workflow without Credit Card


Looking for pointers with the free trial / no credit card workflow.

We sell an app that is part cloud part on premise.  What we'd ideally like to do is..

1. Sign up for our cloud (through a cloud portal), no credit card required, and begin the 30 day free trial (Start chargebee subscription)

2. Allow unrestricted app access for 30 days - allow ability to purchase from cloud within 30 days.

3. After 30 days, display an alert and potentially block access for some things in the app until they pay.

What we're having trouble figuring out is what to do when a customer doesn't pay in the 30 day window, how to allow them to head in to the cloud portal, sign up, and begin receiving recurring charges to their CC.

What we've gathered is setting auto_collect to OFF means the Subscription stays "Active" but an invoice is generated, and setting auto_collect to ON means the Subscription becomes "Cancelled" and no invoice is generated.  

auto_collect = OFF is good because it doesn't require a CC upfront (what we need) but the invoice workflow is really wonky.  We have our portal link to the chargebee portal via SSO and there's no way to fill out a form to pay the invoice as far as I can tell.  The best I can come up with is to ask a customer to update billing info (incl credit card, which I'd rather happen in the chargebee portal) then ask chargebee via the Api to pay the invoice.  Then once that invoice is paid - does the recurring charge begin?  How does that work?  It's potentially a really confusing workflow.

auto_collect = ON seems good because it looks easier to alert our app that a customer has not paid and the trial is up.  However, we'd like to continue to give the customer a bit of a grace period after the trial is up to pay us.  Just setting the subscription to 'Cancelled' automatically after 30 days doesn't seem right either.  Maybe we should add links to ask for trial extensions that could re-activate and extend the trial for customers?

Have you had customers with a similar need?  What approach would you take here?  Am I missing something?

Finally how do you set a due date for an invoice?

1 person likes this idea

Hey Lucas,

You could create a $0 plan with a 30-day trial period and sign up customers to this plan (with auto_collection = ON). So, when the subscription is in trial, the user can get full access to the app. At the end of the trial, if there’s no card present for the customer, the subscription will still activate and you could limit the customer’s access until they upgrade to a paid plan.

To change the subscription, you could either use checkout existing hosted page API or update payment method (to collect just the card details) and then update a subscription

As for the invoice due date, we will be working on including payment terms within the invoice in the near future. Once this is done, you’ll be able to specify the due date. We don’t have an ETA right now but we’ll definitely give you an update as soon as it's rolled out.

Still no way to use hosted page without collecting card details when subscription has a trial?

1 person likes this

Hi Erwan

Sorry for the delay in getting back to you.

If you're using Chargebee's hosted pages for sign ups and you want to let your customers sign up for a trial subscription without card details, you can build a form at your end along with a simple script. Here's an article that shows you how to do it:

Our developers are working to make this option simple so that you don't have to use any script or form at your end. Though we cannot promise you an ETA at the moment, we'll notify you once the feature is available.

Hey guys

Good news! 

Chargebee now has the option to offer a cardless checkout when there is no charge at the time of signup either due to a $0 plan or a free trial or discounts. Here's more information about the cardless checkout feature. Please try it out and let us know if you have any questions.

- LN

I don't see where ChargeBee offers cardless Checkout for Free Plans??

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