Recurring Profiles are most often used for subscriptions or products with installment payment
plans. When such a product is purchased from your store, the customer is redirected to a thirdparty
payment system. The customer enters into a recurring payment agreement to authorize
the payment system to charge the customer account according to the recurring profile settings.
When a customer purchases a product with recurring payments, the profile parameters
specified from Magento are transferred to the payment system. Magento supports recurring
profiles for items paid with PayPal Express Checkout.
For example, to set up a product with monthly subscription payments, the following
parameters are specified in the recurring profile of the product. The customer is charged by the
payment system once a month, for a year.
Billing Period Unit: Month
Billing Frequency: 1
Maximum Billing Cycles: 12
You can also set up a trial period where the customer pays a special, introductory price for a
period of time. Wen the trial ends, the customer is charged the regular amount.
Creating a recurring profile for a product does not create additional sales orders.
In the third-party payment system, a recurring profile is an accounting record that captures
payments on a regular basis and according to the payment schedule defined in the recurring
profile. A recurring profile submits the information about the frequency of a payment being
initiated to the payment system.
The Recurring Profile tab appears by default for simple and virtual products. However you can
configure it to become available for other product types by changing the Apply To property of
the recurring_profile attribute. To learn more about recurring profiles, see: Working with
Recurring Profiles in the knowledge base.
To set up a recurring profile:
1. On the Admin menu, select Catalog > Manage Products. Find the product in the list, and click
to open it in edit mode.
2. In the panel on the left, select Recurring Profile.
3. Set Enable Recurring Profile to “Yes.” The section expands to include additional options.
4. In the Schedule section, do the following:
a. To let the customer determine the starting date for the payments, set Customer Can
Define Start Date to “Yes.”
b. In the Schedule Description field, enter a brief description of the recurring payment. The
description is used as the name of the recurring payment on the Review Information page.
c. In the Maximum Payment Failures filed, enter the number of times payment can fail
before the recurring profile is suspended.
d. To automatically initiate a payment transaction at the end of the next billing cycle, set
Auto Bill on Next Cycle to “Yes.”
5. In the Billing section, do the following:
a. Set Billing Period Unit to the period of time that defines the billing cycle.
b. Set Billing Frequency to how often a payment transaction is initiated during the billing
c. In the Maximum Billing Cycles field, enter the maximum number of payments allowed for
the recurring profile. If left blank, the customer will continue to be charged until the
recurring profile is canceled.
6. In the Trial Period section, do the following:
a. Set Trial Billing Period Unit to the period of time that defines the billing cycle during the
b. Set Trial Billing Period Frequency to how often a payment transaction is initiated during
the trial billing cycle.
c. In the Trial Billing Period Cycles field, enter the maximum number of payments allowed
during the trial period.
d. In the Trial Billing Amount field, enter the product price during the trial period.
The trial billing period parameters are optional, but if specified, make sure that all fields are
complete. Otherwise, the payment system will not authorize the payment.
7. In the Initial Fees section, do the following:
a. In the Initial Fees field, enter the amount that the customer is charged at the time of
purchase. The initial fee is paid only once during the life of a subscription.
b. If you want to cancel the recurring if the initial payment fails, set Allow Initial Fee Failure
to “Yes.” If set to “No,” the initial fee is added to the customer’s outstanding amount and
is charged by the payment system as soon as the customer account has a sufficient
8. When complete, click the Save button.
Field Descriptions (cont.)
Field Descriptions (cont.)