Archive for the ‘payment form’ Category
Did you know you can offer paid memberships through a simple online form?
If you thought offering online memberships was challenging because it involved a recurring payment each year (or month), you’d be wrong. Making a membership or subscription form with FormSmarts is (almost) as easy as making a one-time payment form.
Creating a Recurring Membership Form with FormSmarts
What Is a Recurring Membership?
Before discussing how to make a membership form, let’s first define what a membership is: A member of an organization or membership site may take part in the activities or otherwise claim the benefits exclusively offered by the organization or site to its members during the period of time covered by the membership (one year or month or any other period of time) by paying a membership fee. To remain an active member after the initial period of time, a member needs to pay again. Because most members want renew their membership, membership fees tend to be recurring payments.
When someone signs up for a recurring payment, also called subscription, they agree to be charged a fee at the time they subscribe and again after each period of time specified — until they cancel their membership.
How Can I Make a Recurring Membership Form?
The short answer is: simply by writing “Recurring Membership ($100 USD/year)” on a form. FormSmarts will understand that the person filling out the form should be charged US$100 each year for a membership called “Recurring Membership”.
Like with other types of payment forms, you may add a recurring fee to a form in a radio button option, check box, drop-down list option or text block.
FormSmarts supports the following recurring periods and (optional) number of installments:
- Recurring Monthly Subscription ($15 USD/month)
- Recurring 6-Month Membership ($60 USD/6 months)
- Recurring Yearly Membership ($100 USD/year)
- options: day(s), week(s), month(s), year(s)
Recurring Times/Number of Installments
- Quarterly Subscription (4 x $20 USD/3 months)
- Optional, if Recurring Times is not specified, the recurring payment runs until it is canceled
- Think of Recurring Times (4 in this case) as a number of installments
Multiple Recurring Fees
You may allow users to select more than one recurring fee on a form like on the membership form shown on the screenshot above (feel free to try the demo), but all fees must then have the same Recurring Period and Recurring Times.
When someone selects multiple fees, FormSmarts will charge them each time for the total amount.
Offering a Trial Period
Many membership sites offer new members a trial period allowing them to access the site at a low or no cost before having to pay the full membership fee. A fee with terms (i.e. Recurring Period and Recurring Times) different from the first recurring fee listed on a form is interpreted by FormSmarts as a trial period. Our membership form demo has a trial period.
Integration with Other FormSmarts Features
- If cloud storage is enabled, the details of a membership and all associated payments are listed on FormSmarts on the page corresponding to the initial form entry. A link is provided in every email notification.
- FormSmarts sends a confirmation email to the donator after each successful payment
- FormSmarts notifies the account owner when a recurring payment is received
We are pleased to announce that FormSmarts now also supports recurring donations. A recurring donation allows a contributor to sign up for a donation plan to give the same amount at regular intervals, typically every month or year.
Creating a Recurring Donation Form
- Add a text box with the field name formatted as My Donation ($ USD/month)
- Set the field’s Allowed Content (aka. data type) to Number
- In the Form Details screen of the form builder, set the On Submission option to Integrate with PayPal using advanced integration.
FormSmarts supports the following variations:
- Cause Description ($ USD/month)
- Cause Description ($ USD/2 weeks)
- options: day(s), week(s), month(s), year(s)
- Cause Description (12 x $ USD/month)
- Think of Recurring Times (12 in this case) as a number of installments
- If Recurring Times is not specified, the recurring donation runs until it is canceled
Contribution to Multiple Causes
As illustrated on the screenshot above and in this demo, you may add multiple donation boxes to a form to give contributors the opportunity to choose the causes they wish to donate to and allow them to contribute to several causes in a single donation. In the example above, the donor is signing up to give a total of $300 each month; with $200 to support Project A and $100 going towards Projects B.
We’ve completely redesigned the user interface of our SuperCart shopping cart to provide a more refined and intuitive user experience.
What Is SuperCart?
SuperCart is FormSmarts’ shopping cart.
SuperCart allows a user to submit multiple payment forms — each with one or more priced items on it — and pay for all of them at the end.
A typical use case for SuperCart is to allow a customer to register an open-ended number of guests for an event:
- The customer first enters the information of the first participant and chooses the relevant registration options.
- Once the customer has submitted the form, all fees and priced options are listed in the shopping cart. In the example below, the registration options for the first guest include two fees: Standard Registration and Lunch & Dinner.
- The customer is presented with two choices on the confirmation page: Continue Shopping or Proceed to Payment
- He can submit the form again as many time as needed to register more participants
- Once done, he can pay for all registrations
How to Create a SuperCart Form
Building a SuperCart form is easy:
- Create a form with fees formatted like on any FormSmarts payment form.
- Set the Return URL of the form to the FormSmarts.com URL given by the form builder. If you prefer to embed the form onto your site (which we don’t recommend with SuperCart), use instead the URL of the page where the form is embedded.
- In the Form Details screen of the form builder, set the On Submission option to Integrate with PayPal using SuperCart.
If you haven’t already done so, remember to set up your PayPal account for payment integration.
Advanced Use Cases
Most users set up SuperCart to allow their customers to submit one specific form (e.g. registration form for event A) multiple times to register multiple participants, as presented in the scenario above.
SuperCart however allows different forms within the same cart. This would allow, for example, members of an organization to:
- Buy or renew their membership
- then register for a first event
- then register for a second event
- then pay for the total amount.
And of course, what works for one member works for several…
SuperCart also supports donations.
The new shopping cart is only available with the latest generation of FormSmarts forms. If you’re still using an older version, please update your site now.
We started the new year with a number of updates to FormSmarts’ Advanced PayPal Integration.
Mix Donations & Regular Payments
FormSmarts now allows you to accept both payments for a fixed amount (e.g. membership renewal, registration fee) and donations (which amount is chosen by the contributor) on the same form. This feature is typically aimed at non-profits that would like to collect contributions on their membership form or when taking online registrations for an event. Feel free to try this demo.
More Flexible Discount Codes
A discount code can now cover the whole amount of the transaction. This would come useful on an event registration form: some attendees to whom you have given an offer code will be able to register for free, while the bulk of delegates will have to pay.
In line with this change, we’ve also updated SuperCart to allow free registrations (or any other type of transactions) as part of a SuperCart session. So non-paying delegates can be registered at the same time as paying delegates, within a single SuperCart session.
FormSmarts allows you to offer three types of discounts to your customers on your PayPal forms: fixed amount discounts, percentage discounts and discount codes.
Fixed Amount Discount
- Syntax: My Discount (-$5 USD)
- Example form with a fixed amount discount
- You may offer more than one discount, but not more than there are paid items selected.
- Syntax: Discount Percentage (-25%)
- Example form featuring a discount rate
- You may only add one discount rate to a form
- Percentage discounts are not supported on SuperCart forms
- If you’re offering a fixed discount on the same form, both may not be selected at the same time
Last but not least, FormSmarts now supports discount codes. With discount codes, the buyer will only get the fixed amount discount if they enter a valid coupon code.
- Try this example with the discount code FSCP-DEMO
To offer discount codes on your forms:
- Add a text box to your form selecting the data type Letters + Numbers
- Create the discount code on FormSmarts with the API Console as shown in this video.
- Promo codes must start with FSCP- and may only contain alphanumeric characters and dash.
A little known feature of FormSmarts’ Advanced PayPal Integration is SuperCart. This feature allows a user to submit multiple online forms that include a payment and pay once for the total amount at the end, thereby providing the buyer with a better ‘shopping’ experience and reducing the seller’s PayPal fees. Let’s review two typical uses of SuperCart.
Note: This article discusses an early version of SuperCart. Although it content has been updated and is still relevant, please also read our introduction to the SuperCart Shopping Cart.
Use Case 1: Event Registration Form
The first typical use for SuperCart is to create an online form to register attendees for an event. For illustration purposes, I’ve made a registration form for a conference. We want each attendee to be able to choose a different registration package, pick the seminars they would like to attend and optionally add an accommodation package. With SuperCart, a user can register multiple delegates by submitting the registration form for each one, then pay for all of them at once. In the illustration above, we submit the form once to register Pat selecting the standard registration option, then again for Jim, opting this time for a premium registration and adding accommodation. We then proceed to PayPal to pay for both registrations. This short video shows how this works in practice.
Use Case 2: Order Form
Another common use of this feature is to create an order form allowing a buyer to purchase several products or services while being able to customize options for each one. I’ve built an order form demo to allow customers to configure and order goods (greetings cards in this example). Each product can be customized based on the options selected on the order form. With SuperCart, the buyer will be able to order as many products as they like by submitting an order form for each one, then pay for all of them at once.
How to Create a SuperCart Form
While understanding the concepts behind SuperCart may not appear straightforward, building a SuperCart form is easy:
- Set the Return URL of the form to the URL of the page the form is embedded into. If you’re using the standalone form, enter the FormSmarts.com URL given by the form builder instead.
- In the Form Details screen, set the On Submission option to Integrate with PayPal using SuperCart.
If you haven’t already done so, remember to set up your PayPal account for Advanced PayPal Integration.
When You Should and Shouldn’t Use SuperCart
Set up your PayPal forms with SuperCart whenever you would like to allow a buyer to pay once for multiple form submissions and providing a single form would affect the form’s usability because each registration/order has too many options or you expect someone will submit more two or three registrations/orders. If it’s unlikely buyers will submit more than one form you should use a regular payment with Advanced PayPal Integration instead.
FormSmarts Advanced PayPal integration is as easy to use as our popular PayPal form feature, but it provides several additional benefits, mainly:
- FormSmarts only notifies you of a new order form submission after the payment is confirmed and verified (no need for manual verification)
- Your customer receives an automated order & payment confirmation email
- Advanced PayPal Integration works seamlessly with other FormSmarts features (export to Excel, PDF reports, API).
What Are the Benefits of Advanced PayPal Integration?
FormSmarts standard PayPal integration is easy to use and set up as it requires no change to your PayPal account. A downside to this is that FormSmarts has no way to know if the payment went through or not, and you — the seller — needs to manually reconcile payments and order forms using the FormSmarts Reference Number. That’s usually not an issue for small sales volumes, but can quickly become so as sales increase. At this stage payment processing must be fully automated and integrated with the form processing platform. Here are the benefits:
- No need to manually reconcile form responses with payment notifications from PayPal
- The seller is only notified of an order when the payment has gone through
- The transaction won’t appear in Excel exports until the buyer has paid
- FormSmarts verifies that the payment details match data submitted on the form (e.g. amounts, quantities)
- Excel exports combine data submitted through the form and details of the corresponding payments.
- FormSmarts sends a confirmation email to the buyer with both the order details and a payment confirmation. If you have verified your website and uploaded a logo, your site URL and logo will appear in the email.
- Payment processing is fully automated and if you’re using online/PDF reporting or export to Excel, your order forms are on autopilot — at least for the ordering part.
- You can further automate order processing or integrate FormSmarts with your website or another web service using the FormSmarts API.
Setting Up Advanced PayPal Integration
This video shows how to configure your form and set up your PayPal account for Advanced PayPal Integration.
To set up advanced PayPal integration, first create a payment form with prices formatted as shown in the PayPal integration section of the site. Then visit the Forms tab of the form builder and select Integrate with PayPal using advanced integration in the Form Details screen, as illustrated below.
It’s now time to log on to your PayPal account to add your secret PayPal Notification URL. PayPal will use that URL to communicate with FormSmarts. You’ll find your notification URL in the Security Settings section of your FormSmarts account. Note that the URL contains your private security key and it should therefore be kept confidential.
New PayPal Site. Use this link or click on Seller preferences under Selling tools in the lower left-hand corner of your account, then Getting paid and managing my risk > Instant payment notifications and follow the Update link. Hit Edit Settings and paste your URL in the text box provided. Make sure Receive IPN message is enabled before saving.
Classic PayPal Site. In your PayPal account, click on Profile, then My selling tools > Getting paid and managing my risk > Instant payment notifications and follow the Update link. Hit Edit Settings and paste your URL in the text box provided. Make sure Receive IPN message is enabled before saving.
Important: If you have added multiple email addresses to your PayPal account, please note that your Primary PayPal email must match your FormSmarts login. That is required for FormSmarts to be able to verify that payments are sent to the correct PayPal account. You can change your login if needed.
If your account allows multiple PayPal recipients, payments will be sent to the email address matching your FormSmarts login by default. To have payments sent to another PayPal account, add the corresponding email address to your FormSmarts account and verify it, then contact us.
PayPal Integration is only included with Business-level plans.
Many websites allow visitors to access online content and services for a monthly subscription fee. Creating a subscription form is somewhat different from creating a regular payment form, because it involves setting up a recurring payment, so that the buyer is automatically billed a fixed amount of money at a fixed interval until the subscription is canceled. The online form builder’s payment integration feature now supports PayPal Subscriptions.
Creating a Subscription Form
Creating a subscription form is quick and easy:
- If you haven’t got a FormSmarts account yet, sign up for a FormSmarts Business account, then create a form with the form generator
- In the Form Details screen of the form generator, set the On Submission option to Integrate with PayPal using Advanced Integration
- Add radio buttons, a drop-down list or a checkbox, and enter the description, price and duration of subscription options formatted as My Subscription ($19.99 USD/month), as shown on the screenshot above and in this demo.
Duration of a Subscription
The time before another payment is due can be specified in days, weeks, months, or years. The form builder understands the following formatting variations:
- Monthly Subscription ($9.99 USD/Month)
- 30-Day Subscription ($9.99 USD/30 days)
Like in the example presented in the first section, you may specify a trial period for the subscription. This is typically used to give a free trial subscription to the buyer before he is charged for the first billing cycle. The buyer will not have to pay anything if he cancels the subscription before the end of the trial period.
- The trial period doesn’t need to be free
- You may specify up to two trial periods
- Any trial periods must be placed on the form after the main subscription specification.
Payment in Installments
A payment in installments is a recurring payment where the number of payments is fixed.
FormSmarts supports installments with the following syntax:
- Payment in 12 Installments (12x$9.99 USD/month)
- Try this demo