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Setup WooCommerce Recurring Payments with PayPal and Stripe In Less than 5 Minutes

Do you want to offer your customers recurring payments with an automated recurring transaction on various payment modes? You are in the right place.

In this tutorial, we are going to see how to set up and use the WooCommerce recurring payment so you can start taking recurring payments on your store or maybe start a membership.

You can use WooCommerce extension for recurring payments or subscriptions to make recurring billing for your digital products that would be a membership website. 

You can also create recurring billing for physical products which will help you have automatically new orders every month from existing customers.

Types of WooCommerce Recurring Payments

Let’s not waste time and get into the business. We will see the extension that you need to use, how to set up the payment gateway, and how to set up both simple and variable subscription. 

  1. Simple Recurring Payments (Subscription) – sets up a single recurring pricing payment with no variations in the product
  2. Variable Recurring Payments (Subscription) – allows you to have varying prices on the product for varying conditions like membership, size, color, etc, Say you have a product and you want to set different recurring fees for different membership levels like Bronze, Gold, Silver, etc. In this case, you could use the variable subscription model which will let you create different recurring pricing for each membership level.

Let’s see how to set up recurring payments with a WooCommerce extension.

WooCommerce Subscriptions:

You can WooCommerce subscription plugins for recurring payments. There are many subscription plugins but we will use the official  WooCommerce subscription extension for this tutorial. This plugin allows you to create products with recurring payments. You can have a variety of subscriptions for both physical and digital products.

Just purchase and install it on your website as you do for any other plugins.

You could also use other 3rd party WooCommerce subscription extensions that you can use for collecting recurring payments (If you want us to cover any other subscription plugin, let us know in the comments section).

Setup the Payment Gateway for Recurring Payments

First, you need to set up a payment processor to accept the recurring payments. WooCommerce subscription plugin comes with built-in support for PayPal. 

Let’s see how to set that up so that you could start receiving recurring payments from your customers with PayPal. 

To set this up, we need to set up the IPN (Instant Payment Notification)  correctly and enter the valid API username, password and signature into the WooCommerce settings. This is what we need for subscriptions to work on PayPal.  

Setup PayPal IPN

If you don’t have PayPal, you can create a free business account. Note that this should be a business account and the free version is enough.

  • Log in to your PayPal business account. Go to settings by clicking the gear button at the top right.
  • Choose “Selling tools”. Find “Instant payment notification” and click Update. You will see something like this:
  • Choose IPN Settings and enter the website URL and choose the option “Receive IPN messages”.

PayPal API Key:

  • Log in to your PayPal business account. Go to settings by clicking the gear button at the top right.
  • Choose “Selling tools”. Find “API Access” and click Update. You will see something like this:
  • Under the NVP/SOAP API integration (Classic), click the “Manage API credentials”. If you are entering it the first time, you might be asked to verify it. Once verified, you will see this:
  • You could see the API username, password, and signature by clicking on the “Show” button. 
  • Now, copy it and go to WooCommerce -> Settings -> Payments. Find the PayPal payment method and click “Manage”.
  • Scroll down to the bottom and you will find “API credentials”.
  • Paste the API username, password, and signature that you got from the PayPal two steps back.

WooCommerce Recurring Payments with Stripe

We have used PayPal in this tutorial because it comes by default with WooCommerce. You can also use other payment processors such as Stripe.

To do this you will have to first setup the Stripe payment gateway for your WooCommerce shop.  After setting up the Stripe payment gateway you need to install the WooCommerce Subscriptions plugin.

When you use this extension you should know that they will not use the Stripe’s Recurring Plan feature, so you will not find the subscription information on your Stripe Dashboard. But the subscriptions will be managed by WooCommerce and use token billing for each recurring payment.

Moreover, if you are having multiple stores and want to accept recurring payments on multiple sites, PayPal doesn’t have that option. But Stripe does allow you to sell subscriptions on multiple sites.

Having done this, now we are ready to create products and take subscriptions. Let’s see how to create a simple subscription first and then the variable subscription.

Creating Recurring Payments for Simple Products

  1. Create a product under Products –> Add New. Create a product by having a name, description, category, image, etc. as you do for any product.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom and in the “Product Data”, select simple subscription.
  3. Now, set the various terms for the subscription. Set the recurring price. You can have the recurring interval to be every year or every month or every week and even every day. You can set an expiry time for the subscription, have a sign-up fee for the subscription. You can also give your customers a certain amount of free trial, like a free trial for 7 days. Note that all of these terms are optional.
  4. Go ahead and publish it. Once published, you will see the simple subscription enabled on your product page.

Creating Recurring Payments for Variable Products

  1. Create a product under Products -> Add New. Create a product by having a name, description, category, image, etc. as you do for any product.
  2. Scroll down to the bottom and in the “Product Data”, select variable subscription.
  3. Then go to Attributes and select Add. Set the name for Attributes and select the different values of the plans. In this case, I have set it as Premium, Deluxe, and Standard. You can set it as anything as per your plans. Enable the “Used for variations” that are seen below and select save attributes.
  4. Then go to variations and select “Create variations from all attributes” and click Go. Now, the attributes that you added will be linked.
  5. Now, we need to set the options for each plan. If you click the drop-down button that appears on the right end of every plan, you can edit the details of it.
  6. Now, set the terms for it as you did in the simple subscription. You can have unique terms for each variation. Also, you can create a unique sign-up fee, trial period, billing period, recurring price, subscription length, a unique image for each variation and much more. Note that these are the same options as you did in the simple subscription, except that you set this for variation here.
  7. Do the same for all plans and publish them. Once published, you will see the variable subscription enabled on your product page.
  8. Choosing various plans will display it’s respective prices and variations accordingly   

 

Managing WooCommerce Recurring Payments

As an admin, you can manage your complete subscriptions from WooCommerce –> Subscriptions.

You can temporarily pause a subscription, resume the suspended subscription, or even cancel the whole subscription.

They have many more options. You can sort the subscriptions by

  • Start date
  • Trial end date and
  • Many other criteria

They also have a search box to search for a particular subscription by product name, billing address, shipping address, etc..

I hope this article helps you in setting up a recurring payment for your product.

Feel free to let us know in the comments if you have any questions.

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