Archive for the ‘payment form’ Category
FormSmarts offers a really simple way to create bills that customers can pay online: just create a billing form like the one below, then use a tool on FormSmarts.com each time you want to generate a bill for a specific client and amount.
Make a Billing Form
We only need to create the billing form once, we’ll then reuse it each time we need to create an invoice.
Here our example has two main input fields: an email field to uniquely identify the customer and a text box for the amount we want to bill them for. You can view and test the billing form. We’ve also made a slightly more elaborate example that allows a client to add a gratuity with a second amount box.
Note how both the Email and Amount Due fields are fixed: the values preset in the pre-filled URL can’t be changed by the client. We’ll cover how to do this in the next section, for now I need to explain how to set up the Amount Due input field so FormSmarts recognizes it as a fee to be paid by the bill recipient.
Add an Amount Box
- Add a Text Box form control (widget)
- Name the input field Amount Due ($ USD). The ‘Amount Due’ label can be whatever you prefer, but you must stick to the same format and specify the currency as shown.
- Set its Allowed Content value to Positive Number
- If you’ve already configured PayPal integration, you’re all set. Otherwise your need to associate your PayPal account with FormSmarts.
Create a Pre-Filled Bill
- Set the Method to
- Set the API Endpoint to
https://formsmarts.com/api/v1/forms/Form_ID/prefilled_url, replacing Form_ID with the ID of your form.
- Enter the Request Data as illustrated below and described in the documentation, then submit.
https://formsmarts.com/form/2301?mode=h5, its Form ID is
Preset Values & Make Fields Read-Only
We enter the preset value of the email and amount fields under Request Data, and make sure those can’t be modified by the user:
- Pre-fill the first input field on the form (
pf_f1) with the value email@example.com
- Preset the second input field (
pf_f2) to 187.59
- Prevent the user from modifying either fields by making them read-only (
firstname.lastname@example.org pf_f2=187.59 pf_ro1=1 pf_ro2=2
Find out more about how to pre-fill your forms and how to automatically generate pre-filled URLs if you need to create too many bills to do it manually.
FormSmarts now allows customers1 to change the text part of the confirmation email we send to form users once their payment has been confirmed, as highlighted below.
If you use FormSmarts for online event registration forms, edit the confirmation message to remind attendees of the date and time of the event, provide information about the venue location, and ask them to print a copy of the message or have it ready for inspection on their phone on the date of the event.
To edit the confirmation message, log in to the form builder and click/tap the pen icon corresponding to the form you would like to edit, then visit the Submit Actions tab.
You can emphasize a section of the text with bold or italics and you may include links and bullet points. The text can be formatted using the buttons provided or with the same Wiki-like syntax you can use elsewhere on your forms.
Use the Preview button to visualize the formatted output of the message.
As always, we value your feedback about this feature.
Note: If you have verified your site and uploaded the logo of your organization to FormSmarts, it will appear at the top of the message.
1 The confirmation email can only be customized with a Business Plus account or above.
Your can allow form users to get an invoice by specifying prices, fees and quantities directly on a form. When FormSmarts detects an amount of money on a form, we compute the total amount and show it on the confirmation page, the PDF receipt, and in the confirmation email.
FormSmarts helps you generate invoices and manage check and cash payments by showing the total amount due on the printable Summary Page of a form and in the confirmation email and PDF receipt that users can get on that page.
- Use this to generate an invoice when someone submits an order form
- If you’re using our popular payment form feature to collect online payments on your membership and registration forms, chances are that some of your customers will want to pay by check, cash on site or by any other offline payment methods. Use this feature to offer an offline payment option for your online payment forms.
When a form is set up to show a Summary Page when submitted, users may:
- Request a confirmation email
- Download a PDF receipt
- Print a copy of the information submitted with the form
Fees and priced items must be formatted with the FormSmarts payment integration syntax.
As illustrated above, the printout, PDF receipt and confirmation message all include a QR code to help you process payments more reliably and effectively.
- Ask users to enclose a printout of the Summary Page with their check
- Scan the QR code with any phone or tablet to access the corresponding form entry on FormSmarts
- Update the form entry’s payment status with a tag and add a note to record the check number
Cash Payments on Site
The Summary Page can also help you manage cash payments by allowing guests to show their confirmation email or PDF receipt (a.k.a. e-ticket) on their phone (or their printed receipt), that staff can scan to update the registration on FormSmarts. Since the amount due also appears in form response notification emails and PDFs, check-in staff can also reconcile e-tickets with the list of notification emails or registration PDFs even if there is no network connectivity.
How to Make an Offline Payment Form
- Create an online payment form with fees formatted as documented
- When you’re satisfied with the result, make a copy of the form with the Duplicate Form button ( icon) in the Forms Tab of the form builder
- Rename the form and set On Submission to “Show summary with print, email & PDF options” in the Submit Actions tab of the Form Details screen.
Can I Accept Online & Offline Payments on the Same Form?
One of the benefits of FormSmarts payment integration is that we won’t notify you until the person has paid so you don’t have to check this yourself each time. If you have a form allowing both online and offline payments, you won’t know which customers have paid online, so you’ll have to review each and every form response.
For this reason, we recommend that you create a copy of the form specifically for check payments and use the Summary Page setup described in the previous section, especially if there are several charges and fees on the form. You’ll then only have to track payments for entries pertaining to that form. You can make a copy of a form in a click with the Duplicate Form button in the upper right-hand corner of the form builder.
Offering a Check Payment Option on an Online Payment Form
If you are making a simple payment form that has a single payment option, you can alternatively include a check payment option on the form using radio buttons or a dropdown list with two options:
Registration Fee ($30 USD) Registration Fee (pay by check)
If the user doesn’t select the online payment option, FormSmarts will skip the payment step and send you the form entry immediately.
Note that people paying by check won’t receive any confirmation email.
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 $20 USD/3 months)
- Optional, if Recurring Times is not specified, the recurring payment runs until it is canceled
- Think of Recurring Times (4 in this case) as a number of installments
Multiple Recurring Fees
You may allow users to select more than one recurring fee on a form like on the membership form shown on the screenshot above (feel free to try the demo), but all fees must then have the same Recurring Period and Recurring Times.
When someone selects multiple fees, FormSmarts will charge them each time for the total amount.
Offering a Trial Period
Many membership sites offer new members a trial period allowing them to access the site at a low or no cost before having to pay the full membership fee. A fee with terms (i.e. Recurring Period and Recurring Times) different from the first recurring fee listed on a form is interpreted by FormSmarts as a trial period. Our membership form demo has a trial period.
Integration with Other FormSmarts Features
- If cloud storage is enabled, the details of a membership and all associated payments are listed on FormSmarts on the page corresponding to the initial form entry. A link is provided in every email notification.
- FormSmarts sends a confirmation email to the subscriber after each successful payment
- FormSmarts notifies the account owner when a recurring payment is received
We are pleased to announce that FormSmarts now also supports recurring donations. A recurring donation allows a contributor to sign up for a donation plan to give the same amount at regular intervals, typically every month or year.
Creating a Recurring Donation Form
- Add a text box with the field name formatted as My Donation ($ 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: discounts for a fixed amount, 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 supports discount codes. With discount codes, the buyer only get the discount if they enter a valid coupon code on the form.
- A discount code offers either a percentage discount or fixed amount discount
- Try this example with the discount code FSCP-DEMO1
- You may set up a discount code with a validity period by providing a start and end date (not supported with Starter accounts)
Early Bird Discounts
To offer an early bird discount on a registration form, create a discount code with a start and end date. The discount will only be applied if the form is submitted between those dates.
How to Offer Discount Codes on a Form
To create a discount code and associate it with a form:
- Add a text box to the form selecting the data type Letters + Numbers
- Create the discount code on FormSmarts with the API Console as documented and 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 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 registration (or more generally, payment form submission) after the payment is confirmed and verified (no need for manual verification)
- Your customer receives an automated email receipt with a copy of the data submitted and a payment confirmation. For registration forms, this can work as an e-ticket.
- PayPal Integration works seamlessly with other FormSmarts features (export to Excel, PDF reports, API).
What Are the Benefits of PayPal Integration?
FormSmarts’ old PayPal integration was easy to use and set up as it required no change to your PayPal account. A downside to this was that FormSmarts had no way to know if the payment went through or not, and you — the seller — had to manually reconcile payments and the corresponding form responses using the FormSmarts Reference Number. That was usually not an issue for small sales volumes, but could quickly become so as sales increased. We’ve now fully automated payment processing and integrated it 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 a registration/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 registration forms are on autopilot.
- You can further automate processing or integrate FormSmarts with your website or another web service using the FormSmarts API.
Setting Up PayPal Integration
This video shows how to configure your form and set up your PayPal account for PayPal Integration. Note: the video no longer reflects the current version of the PayPal site, please use the direct link to the IPN Settings screen below.
Add Fees to the Form & Set It Up to Integrate with PayPal
To set up PayPal integration, first create a payment form with prices formatted as shown in the PayPal integration page of the site. Then visit the Forms tab of the form builder and select Integrate with PayPal in the Submit Actions tab of the Form Details screen, as illustrated below.
Add Your FormSmarts Notification URL to PayPal
It’s now time to log in to your PayPal account to add your Notification URL. PayPal will use this URL to communicate with FormSmarts. You’ll find your notification URL in the Security Settings section of your FormSmarts account. The URL contains your private security key, so don’t share it with anyone.
Use this link to access the Instant Payment Notification (IPN) page of your PayPal account, then tap Edit Settings and paste your Notification URL in the box as shown on the screenshot below. Make sure Receive IPN messages is enabled before saving.
You can alternatively navigate to the IPN Settings screen from the homepage of your PayPal account.
Payment integration will not work until you have added your FormSmarts Notification URL to your PayPal account.
Did You Link Multiple Emails to PayPal?
If you’ve associated more than one email address to your PayPal account, the email you’ve selected as your Primary PayPal email must be the same as your FormSmarts login email.
FormSmarts will reject payments associated with an email address other than your FormSmarts login email for security reasons.
If PayPal shows an error on the checkout page when testing your first form, you may need to update your PayPal account settings.