Included below are frequently asked questions and scenarios that you may face with your students and how to handle them when using our native Stripe Integration.
- My student is on a subscription or payment plan and their payment has failed! What happens now?
- How to create a New Payment within Stripe
- How to Process a Refund in Stripe
- I had to process a refund in Stripe, how does this impact the student in Thinkific?
- I ended an enrollment in Thinkific that had a subscription. Did this also cancel the subscription in Stripe so no further payments will be made?
- I deleted a student who had an active enrollment with a subscription. Did this also cancel the subscription in Stripe so no further payments will be made?
- How do I cancel a subscription in Stripe?
- If a student decides to end their subscription payments to a course or bundle, do they lose access to the course contents at the same time?
- Can I manually change the billing date for a student’s subscription without unenrolling them and then re-enrolling them?
- I changed the price of my subscription payment plan to a higher/lower amount in Thinkific. Will this affect the students already registered?
- I have deleted or changed a coupon that was used for previous registrations, will this change affect those registrations?
- Can I pause a student's subscription or payment plan?
- I want to change the currency that I'm selling my Thinkific courses after I've been selling them in my current currency for a few months. What are my options?
My student is on a subscription or payment plan and their payment has failed! What happens now?
With subscriptions and payment plans, each student will be charged monthly, and the schedule will vary between students based on when they first enrolled in your course.
When a payment is attempted and fails, that student automatically loses access to the course content in Thinkific. The student enrollment is marked as expired in Thinkific.
Stripe will automatically attempt to process the payment to the default schedule below and if the issue is addressed by the student during these attempts and payment successful, access will be restored. If the payment is unsuccessful following those attempts, the student enrollment will stay as expired with no access to course content and will follow the setting parameters below:
The above settings are configurable in Stripe via https://dashboard.stripe.com/account/recurring though they are system-wide, not specific to one student or subscription. It is important to understand the effects of the 'Then finally' setting:
Cancel subscription - when all attempts at processing have failed, the subscription will be removed, access revoked and to restore access, the student will need to purchase the course again.
Mark subscription as unpaid (Recommended if offering payment plan options) - when all attempts at processing have failed, the subscription will be left as is, access revoked and to restore access, the admin will need to enter a payment manually once the student corrects their credit card information in Thinkific. This is the recommended setting given it will retain the subscription allowing for access to be granted once a payment is made, and your student can continue making payments toward their payment plan instead of having to repurchase the payment plan from the start.
Leave subscription as-is - when all attempts at processing have failed, the subscription will be left as is and access revoked. Stripe will simply move onto the next billing cycle and new invoice. The invoice with failed payment will be left as unpaid. Access to the course will require a successful payment entered into Stripe either manually or through the next billing cycle.
**Note: Updating the credit card details will NOT activate further attempts to charge the card in Stripe.
How to Create a New Payment within Stripe
1. Search for and open the customer record in Stripe
2. Scroll to Payments and select Create Payment
3. Within the Create a New Payment window. Enter the amount, add a description. Statement desc. is already complete and do not change. The Source will be the credit card currently on file for the account.
4. This will charge the card immediately and no impact will be made on current subscription or billing cycle. Note the new payment shown in Payments.
How to Process a Refund in Stripe
If you need to process a refund to a customer then that can be done directly from your Stripe dashboard.
1. Locate the customer in Stripe - e.g. by searching for their email address using the search bar in the top right of the dashboard.
2. While looking at the customer profile page in Stripe, scroll down to the Payments section
3. Select the '...', and then Refund payment...
4. You can then process either a full or partial refund to the customer. (Please note that the refund can take up to 10 days to reach the customer - more info here).
I had to process a refund in Stripe, how does this impact the student in Thinkific?
Payments and refunds in Stripe are generally separated from Thinkific. In the case of a refund, the student will still be enrolled in the course and have access to all content*.
To ensure a student does not have access to course content after a refund is processed in Stripe, a Site Admin must manually unenroll the student in Thinkific. Or, if you would prefer to, you can automate the unerollment process as per the instructions in this article: How to use Zapier to End Enrollments Automatically after a Stripe Refund
*Unless there's an expiry date set for the enrollment in Thinkific, in which case access will end on the enrollment's expiry date.
I ended an enrollment in Thinkific that had a subscription. Did this also cancel the subscription in Stripe so no further payments will be made?
No, a Site Admin must also cancel the subscription in Stripe.
I deleted a student who had an active enrollment with a subscription. Did this also cancel the subscription in Stripe so no further payments will be made?
No, a Site Admin must also cancel the subscription in Stripe.
How to I cancel a subscription in Stripe?
Search for and open the customer record in Stripe
Scroll to Active Subscriptions
Click on the ‘...’ to the right of the subscription to cancel and choose Cancel Subscription
If a student decides to end their subscription payments to a course or bundle, do they lose access to the course contents at the same time?
Not immediately. Access will be revoked when the next renewal or billing date occurs in Stripe and no payment is made. For example, if a student ends the subscription on Sept 1 and the next billing date is Sept 30, they will have access for 30 days and then lose access on Sept 30.
Can I manually change the billing date for a student’s subscription without unenrolling them and then re-enrolling them?
Yes, you can change billing dates for a student within the Stripe Dashboard through the following steps. You will also want to change the expiry date within Thinkific as unmatched dates may either result in loss of access to the course or provide access for a longer period than intended. For example, if the current expiry date was Jan 30, 2019 in Thinkific and the billing date in Stripe was updated to Feb 3, 2019, the student would lose access to the course on Jan 30, 2019 before the Stripe charge went through. Another scenario might be if the current expiry date in Thinkific was Mar 30, 2019 and the billing date in Stripe was updated to Feb 3, 2019. In this case, the student would have access to the course until Mar 30, 2019 even if the subscription payment failed on Feb 3, 2019.
To change the billing date in Stripe:
1. Open the student record in Stripe.
2. Click on the ‘...’ to the right side of the active subscription and choose Edit Subscription.
3. Click Add Trial and enter the number of days (it’s OK to guess as you can edit this afterward).
4. Edit the date using the Calendar widget. The trial period will adjust the billing date.
To change the expiry date in Thinkific:
Go to Users in the Admin Dashboard and search for the specific user record
Click on the user's name in the results
For the specific course and subscription, click the date under Expiry Date and adjust to match the new billing cycle as it is set in Stripe.
I changed the price of my subscription payment plan to a higher/lower amount in Thinkific. Will this affect the students already registered?
No. Students already set up as subscribers will always pay the price set when they first subscribed. New students will pay the new price.
To update the price of the subscription for currently subscribed students, the overall subscription will need to be removed and re-added. This can be done in two ways:
The student can choose to Cancel the subscription by going into My Account/Billing and click the Cancel button. This will remove the subscription within Stripe as well.
The student can then re-register in the course at the new price plan and subscription
The site owner/admin can end the enrollment for the student in that specific course however they will still need to cancel the subscription in Stripe themselves. End Enrollment does NOT cancel the subscription.
Once the subscription is canceled in Stripe, the student can then re-register in the course at the new price plan and subscription in Thinkific.
I have deleted or changed a coupon that was used for previous registrations, will this change affect those registrations?
No, any current registrations will not be impacted by changes to the coupon whether the coupon is deleted or edited for the price.
Can I pause a student's subscription or payment plan?
Thinkific and Stripe do not support pausing a subscription natively, however, if you would like to remove a student's access for an extended period of time, you can do the following:
- In Thinkific, temporarily change the student's email address so that they cannot access their account (Remember to make note the original email address for future reference)
- In Stripe, locate the customer profile and apply a 100% off coupon or add a free trial period. A 100% off coupon can be applied if the student will be away for an indeterminate amount of time and removed when they return. A free trial period can be used to delay the student's next invoice to a specific date. For instructions on how to set this up in Stripe, see HERE.
- When the student returns, you can edit their email address back to what it was originally and ensure that the subscription is being charged again in Stripe.
I want to change the currency that I'm selling my Thinkific courses after I've been selling them in my current currency for a few months. What are my options?
**We would not recommend changing currency after making your first sale, as Stripe does not allow users to make purchases in multiple currencies. This means that if a user paid for a course in USD and you changed your currency to CAD, they would need to create a new account in order to make the CAD purchase.**
If you're not concerned about users making multiple purchases, you'll want to head to your Stripe integration page to update your currency. Then, you'll need to open any courses or bundles that you're selling and re-save your prices, as Thinkific will send the new currency data to Stripe when you save your price. Failure to do this will result in Stripe payment failures as if a user tries to purchase a course after you've changed your currency, Thinkific would try to connect the user to a plan that was in your previous currency which no longer exists.
Changing your currency will not impact any users that have already purchased subscription or payment plan products. Those users will still pay in your previous currency.