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User API, Multiple Credit Cards, Subscriptions

bret_ortonbret_orton Member
in Help edited October 2009
Below is an interesting question from a client regarding subscriptions, credit cards and the new user API, that I'll try and summarize. Any thoughts on how the back end functions would be great. And if my searches couldn't find a match to what I'm asking, please just post the link.

- Jon Doe purchases "subscription 01" with credit card "xxxx...0001" on 01/01/2009.
- Jon Doe purchases "subscription 666" with credit card "xxxx...0666" on 06/06/2009.
- Pending nothing funky, both cards are active and good for rebilling.

1. Since Jon Doe used a different card for the second subscription purchase, does his "subscription 01" recurring billing now charge against the new "xxxx...0666" card, or the original card used?

2. Store owner logs into User API screen and wants to update Jon Doe's credit card number. Does changing Jon Doe's credit card number affect all his previous subscriptions in regard to what cards they were originally purchased with?

Mainly, the store owner just wants to know how to handle customers who, for whatever reason, use different cards between different purchases. I'm guessing it's "one card to rule them all", but wanted to make sure.

Thanks again you all.
- bret
  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    edited October 2009
    Yes, it is indeed "one card to rule them all". The second checkout in your example above would change the payment card for "subscription 01". Also, if the API is used to updated the payment card, all subscriptions for that customer will use the new card.

    It's easier to think about the payment cards as being attached to the customer. So if the customer has one or 10 subscriptions, they are all going to be on the same card. If they change that card, it will change for all of the subscriptions. If the same person really does need to use a different payment card, they will have to use a different email address and, in a sense, create a new customer.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Somewhat related, but our next version may include an extra little bit of language clarifying the credit card info portion.

    Here's what we have so far, where the checkbox to save the payment info would be forced to be checked (similar to how it's done already), but the descriptive text may be changed to something like this:
    Your payment information will be encrypted and securely stored in order to process your recurring billing. If you have other products with recurring billing associated with this email address, those will be updated to use this payment information as well.

    Thoughts on that? You could always update it yourself per store, but if you have thoughts on the default language we'd love to hear.
  • Luke - Thanks for the explanation.
    Brett - I think that verbiage sounds just fine, actually.

    Thanks guys.
  • Going off of this discussion, it sounds like customers are limited to storing one credit card at a time. That's not really a limit in my mind, but a client asked if it's possible to store more than one card for a customer, so they can choose between, say:

    1. Use credit card ending in xxxx1234
    2. Use credit card ending in xxxx9876
    3. Enter a new credit card for future use

    Of course, this setup requires you to think about how many credit cards to allow people to store, and which one will be the default, etc. Plus you'd probably have to include functionality for removing cards... Have you guys thought about this, or is this one of those "left field" suggestions?


  • lukeluke FoxyCart Team
    Hey Ryan, thanks for posting.

    We've definitely thought about it, but we haven't made any plans to implement something along those lines yet. We want to focus on the cart/checkout process and when we start focusing on the customer details, customer attributes, etc we start to become just like every other eCommerce package out there that attempts to be everything at once and ends up doing nothing well.

    What you're hoping to do might be possible via the API in the future and a custom portal built on your end. That way you wouldn't be limited by anything FoxyCart is doing in regards to customer attributes and such that you'd want to store about your customer. When a customer selects their "preferred card" as an example, an API call might be made to FoxyCart to update that customer's card number so that it's available to them the next time they checkout. We're definitely open to opinions on this one, but we also like not duplicating data and sticking to one thing and one thing only. There are great systems like FoxEE out there that manage "everything else" along with a lot of custom systems that can meet individual business needs instead of a "one size fits all" approach.
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    I may have a slightly different view on this than Luke, at least with regard to whether or not it should be on our end or your end. Since it's cardholder data and storing it puts you in a whole new world of PCI hurt, I definitely see this as something that (if supported) would definitely be on the FC side of the fence. I see this as fundamentally different than extra customer details and attributes and such, though.

    Like Luke said though, it's not on the horizon as the extra UI would be a bit more than we'd want to add to the checkout at this point (and may require some more significant checkout tweaks). Also, it'd potentially make subscriptions more difficult to manage.

    So I wouldn't hold your breath for this, but if you want to request it please feel free:
    We're always looking for ways to improve FoxyCart. At this point we have more improvements than we have time though ;)
  • Guys,

    Great responses. I don't think this feature is really important, especially since I understand the difficulties involved in implementing UI and structural changes to your cart. There are many better, cooler, more useful improvements to make :) It was more a let-me-tell-the-client-he's-reaching-for-the-sky question that needed confirmation. Thanks!
  • brettbrett FoxyCart Team
    Ha, glad we could be of service ;)
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