Recurring payments

Document created by gjsissons on May 10, 2016Last modified by gjsissons on Feb 21, 2017
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The Recurring Engine is a managed service that relieves the burden of developing an in-house billing solution for merchants engaged in installment or recurring transactions. This service allows developers to create virtually any payment plan required by your business model and then apply the Plan to customers as part of the standard Authorization or Sale transaction.

The Recurring Payment Engine can be used by developers to provide a number of benefits for merchants. These include:

Reduced Infrastructure Costs – save development as well as ongoing maintenance expense by avoiding the need to build your own solution.


  • Reduced Labor - once developers create a Subscription in the Recurring Engine via a standard Authorization or Sale transaction, further action is usually not required for the life of the Subscription.
  • Integration with other Value Added Services - if Recovery Services (Automatic Account Updater and Recycling Engine) are included as part of an implementation, merchants can potentially reduce expenses associated with issues such as account number changes and recycling of declined payments.
  • Flexible Plans – Developers can define the billing interval (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.), number of payments (including open ended schedules), amount of payments, as well as trial periods within a Plan. To add flexibility developers can override several of these settings and set a specific start date at the individual Subscription level.
  • Flexible Creation of Discounts - if merchants wish to offer a discount to selected customers, simply include the information at the time of the Subscription creation, or add it anytime afterward by updating the Subscription.
  • Flexible Creation of Add-ons - similar to a discount, charges for additional services can be applied at the time of the Subscription, or anytime afterward.
  • Integrated Reporting - in addition to the normal revenue reconciliation information available in the iQ Reporting and Analytics platform, there are a number of recurring specific reports that help merchants analyze their revenue stream associated with recurring payment plans.


The recurring payments engine provides developers with multiple constructs to manage recurring payments. To understand how these elements are used, developers should inspect the Recurring Payments documentation. Elements used for recurring payments include:


  • createPlan
  • updatePlan
  • recurringRequest / subscription
  • updateSubscription
  • cancelSubscription
  • createAddOn
  • updateAddOn
  • deleteAddOn
  • createDiscount
  • updateDiscount
  • deleteDiscount


Sample XML for creating a three year monthly subscription for 36 payments of $41.66. is shown below:


     <description>3 Year, monthly Payments, 1 month trial</description> <intervalType>MONTHLY</intervalType>
     <numberOfPayments>36</numberOfPayments> <trialNumberOfIntervals>1</trialNumberOfIntervals>      <trialIntervalType>MONTH</trialIntervalType>


Developers can learn more about the recurring payments and how to use it in the Vantiv eCommerce Recurring Engine documentation.


More detail is provided the LitleXML Reference Guide.


Learn more about Vantiv’s eCommerce platform features.