Latest updates from the Dubsado team
New feature

Autopay on Payment Plans

Becca avatar
Shared by Becca • October 14, 2022

Originally posted: December 8th, 2021

Your clients can now enroll in automatic payments for payment plan installments, as long as the invoice is eligible. Once enrolled in autopay, your client will be automatically charged on each installment due date!

Why we developed it

Our goal for this feature is to help our business owners collect more payments on time with less involvement from their clients. Even with payment reminders, business owners have told us that their clients would like to "set it and forget it" when it comes to payments, and if this feature works for your business, you can now set it and forget it.

Who this feature is for

This feature is perfect for anyone who has a predictable, standardized invoicing process. After they send an invoice to a client, they will not be changing that invoice. So whether you're a photographer and have a payment plan on an invoice, clients can set up autopay leading up to their big day. Or say you're a coach wanting to set up a 6 month coaching package on an invoice, or you are a web designer and payments are due at specific points. This feature can work for many types of businesses.

About this feature

When autopay is available (see criteria below), the option to enroll will appear below the credit card field during the payment process. Clients can start this process by clicking Pay Now on an installment.

In these release notes

  • Autopay eligibility
  • Managing autopay on a payment plan
  • Autopay notifications
  • Autopay and invoice changes

Autopay eligibility

Payment plans must meet a few criteria in order to be eligible for autopay. If a payment plan is not eligible for autopay, your client will not see an option to enroll.

The requirements for payment plans are:

  • There must be more than one installment in the payment plan.
  • All installments in the plan must show a specific due date (no TBD due dates).
  • No more than one installment can be overdue.

There are also a few payment requirements:

  • You must have Stripe or Square connected to Dubsado.
  • Your client must click Pay Now for a specific installment in the plan.
  • Your client must choose Pay with Card if shown the option (Stripe e-Check and PayPal are not compatible with autopay).

👋 Here's a tip... if the invoice is eligible, autopay for payment plans will work on invoices you create from scratch, as well as invoices created by proposals or workflows.

Managing autopay on a payment plan

After your client enrolls in autopay on a payment plan, they can return to that invoice at any time to update their payment method or cancel autopay.

You'll be able to see whether autopay is turned on for a payment plan by opening the invoice in the client's project:

Autopay notifications

Automatic email notifications will send whenever there's a change to automatic payments for a payment plan.

Client notifications

There are three client notification emails for autopay:

  • Autopay Enrollment Confirmed: sends immediately after your client enrolls in autopay on a payment plan.
  • Autopay Cancelled: sends if autopay is cancelled by you or your client.
  • Autopay Failed: sends if an automatic payment fails and asks the client to pay the invoice manually to update their payment method.

These emails send automatically and cannot be turned off because they communicate important information to your clients. However, they can be customized under Templates >> Canned Emails >> Edit Templates.

👋 Here's a tip... we recommend customizing the client notification emails to fit your brand voice. As you customize the emails, try to keep the content roughly the same so that your clients receive the correct information.

User notifications

We have two system notification emails for autopay. You can adjust your preferences for these notifications under Settings >> Notifications.

  • Alert me when autopay has been cancelled
  • Alert me when an automatic payment has failed

Autopay and invoice changes

Once your client enrolls in autopay, we restrict certain invoice and project changes to protect your client from any surprise charges.

Autopay will be turned off for the invoice if you change:

  • the invoice total by adding or removing line items or discounts
  • the quantity of any invoice line items
  • an installment due date
  • an installment due amount
  • the total number of installments
  • the remaining balance by applying a manual payment

If you have payment plan installments watching a project date or contract, autopay will also be turned off if you:

  • remove or change the project date
  • remove a signed contract

Don't worry, we'll warn you so you can decide whether you'd like to proceed with one of these changes. If you do, autopay for that invoice will be turned off and your client will be notified via email that their autopay was cancelled. Your client will be able to re-enroll in autopay if the invoice still meets the eligibility criteria.

👋 Here's a tip... if you'd like your clients to take advantage of autopay on payment plans, we recommend having an invoicing process that doesn't involve making changing the invoice after it's been sent to the client.


Where is my client's credit card information saved?

The payment processor (Stripe or Square) connected to your account will securely save the credit card details needed to process the automatic payments.

What if my client forgets to enroll in autopay on their first payment?

Your client will be able to enroll in autopay on a future payment if there is more than one unpaid installment remaining.

Can I enroll on behalf of my client?

No, your client must turn on autopay after entering their own payment information.

Can my client opt-out or update their billing?

Yes. Your client can turn off autopay or update their credit card from the invoice.

What happens if my client's payment fails?

Your client will receive an email with a link to the invoice so that they can manually pay and update their credit card information. You can edit this automatic email under Templates >> Canned Emails >> Edit Templates >> Autopay Failed.

As long as there is no more than one overdue payment, your client will be able to re-enroll in autopay by paying their missed payment on the invoice.

Does this work on recurring invoices?

Recurring invoices already have an autopay option for that invoice as a whole. You can read more about autopay on recurring invoices here.