Auto-Renewable Memberships

Billy Fluck
Billy Fluck
  • Updated

Memberships in Spektrix can be set up to automatically renew (these Memberships are sometimes referred to as auto renew) by using continuous authority. This means that when memberships expire, customers don't have to visit your website or get in touch with the box office to renew.

Spektrix will contact members when their Auto-Renewable Membership is due to expire, and will then take payment (if possible) to renew their Membership – all automatically.

If you choose to enable Auto-Renewable Memberships then you can set some or all of your Memberships to be eligible for auto-renewal.

This article looks specifically at the setup required for Auto-Renewable Memberships – for information on how to set up your Memberships in Spektrix in the first instance, please see our article on Setting Up Memberships.

In this article, we'll cover:

The benefits of Auto-Renewable Memberships

First and foremost, using auto-renew helps you and your customers save time and effort. You don't have to manually track when customers' Memberships are due to expire and get in touch with them to discuss renewing, and customers who want to renew their Memberships don't have to take any action at all!

In addition, an automated process of renewing Memberships is likely to encourage customers to renew – some customers might be put off by having to get in touch to renew their Membership, but will be happy to let it renew automatically.

Auto-Renewable Memberships with a donation element are also a great way of managing ongoing support from your customers; you could, for example, create a Membership that automatically renews on a monthly and is 100% donation to offer customers a way to donate to your organisation on a regular basis.

Setup required

There are several steps involved in turning Auto-Renew on, some of which will be performed by the Spektrix Support team, and others which will be in your hands.

Setting up Continuous Authority via your Payment Services Provider

The Auto-Renew functionality relies on you having Continuous Authority set up via your Payment Services Provider. This is what will allow you to charge customers' cards without them being present, and is the same functionality that Netflix and other such services use to take regular subscription payments.

If you're in North America, you should already have Continuous Authority set up and can skip to the section on Setting up Auto-Renewal in Spektrix. However, please do get in touch with the Spektrix Support team if you have any questions about this.

If you're in the UK/ROI, you may need your Merchant Bank to generate an additional Merchant ID (MID) for the purposes of Continuous Authority. Some merchants will allow you to use one MID for all your transactions. It can take up to several weeks for some banks to generate MIDs, so take this into account when planning to start using Auto-Renewable Memberships. We would recommend contacting your merchant bank who will be able to advise further.

Setting up your new MID with Opayo

Once you have your new MID, contact the Spektrix Support, Training and Consultancy team with this information, and they'll pass it on to Opayo in order to get Continuous Authority switched on for your account. This normally takes around one working week.

Setting up Auto-Renewal in Spektrix

As soon as Opayo have turned Continuous Authority on for your account, the Support, Training and Consultancy team will turn on the Auto-Renewal functionality in Spektrix for you.

They'll need one or more email addresses that you would like to receive confirmation of successful and failed renewals.

Setting up Auto-Renewable Memberships

Once everything else has been set up and switched on, you can then either create new Memberships, or edit existing ones in order to choose which Memberships are auto-renewable. To do this, just edit the Membership in Admin > Subscriptions > Memberships and do the following on the Membership Details page:

  • Tick the Can Auto Renew? Box in the Basic Details section:


This then allows you to set three further options:


  • Notify customer of auto renewal: tick this if you want to enable automated notification emails (see below for more information) when the system attempts to renew a Membership. If you leave this unticked, members won't receive any auto-renew notifications
  • Days before expiry: assuming you've ticked the check box, this allows you to set the number of days before the Membership expires that you would like to contact customers about their renewal. It's usually best to set this to be the same as your Renewal Period
  • Attempt auto renew payment: the number of days before the Membership expires that you would like Spektrix to attempt to take payment for the Membership renewal. It's generally best to set this to a few days before the renewal date, as long as it's within the renewal period; this way there's less danger of a Membership lapsing if any attempts to take payment fail


What does Spektrix do at the point of auto-renewal?

When an Auto-Renewable Membership is up for renewal, if you've chosen to notify customers of auto-renewal, then Spektrix will send one or more of four emails:

  • Auto-Renew Notification Email: this email gives notification that you are going to attempt to take payment to renew a customer's Membership, and prompts them to log in to their account online or contact the box office if they don't want to renew

NOTE: this sends to any customer who has purchased an Auto-Renewable Membership, has agreed that it can be renewed automatically, and has a current card stored on the system.

  • Auto-Renew Update Card Email: this email gives notification that you are going to attempt to take payment to renew a customer's Membership but don't have an up-to-date card in their customer record, and prompts the customer to log in to their account online or contact the box office to add a current card to the system

NOTE: this sends to any customer who has purchased an Auto-Renewable Membership and has agreed that it can be renewed automatically, but doesn't have a current card stored on the system (i.e. if their card has expired or has been cancelled since signing up for this Auto-Renewable Membership).

  • Auto-Renew Success Email: this email gives notification that the customer's Membership has been successfully renewed
  • Auto Renew Failure Email: this email gives notification that the customer's Membership couldn't be renewed automatically and prompts them to log in to their account online or contact the box office if they would still like to renew their Membership

NOTE: this also shows the Membership expiry date. If you have set the Membership to be renewed on the day it expires, any customer whose Membership can't be renewed will only have that day to get in touch and renew manually – unless you have set a grace period that allows customers to renew a Membership during a set period after it has expired.

TIP: When changing the cost of an auto-renewal membership, the price is set based on the amount on the Admin interface at the point the reminder email is set. If reminder emails are turned off, it is set when the Renewal Period starts.

If the price of a Membership is changed, renewals will remain at the old price, until the following renewal period.

These emails are all editable in the Admin Interface under Document designs > Memberships:


Notification of Successes and Failures
When a Membership automatically renews, Spektrix generates an email to confirm whether the process was successful or not. This email can be sent to one or more email addresses – this should be set up when you first turn on Auto-Renewable Memberships, but if you would like to change who receives these emails, please get in touch with the Spektrix Support, Training and Consultancy team.

Selling Auto-Renewable Memberships

Once you have made one or more of your Memberships auto-renewable, customers have the option to decide on a Membership-by-Membership basis whether they'd like them to auto-renew. The process for buying an Auto-Renewable Membership therefore requires the customer to make that choice; this looks slightly different depending on whether the transaction is happening online or in the box office/over the phone.


When a customer visits your Memberships page (if you have one), they'll see a check box for Automatically Renew? against each Auto-Renewable Membership:

This defaults to being ticked; if a customer doesn't want their Membership to automatically renew they will need to un-tick it.

After this point, the customer can carry on with their order as normal, until they reach the Billing Details section on the Checkout page:


On this page, the option to Store my card details will automatically be ticked – this is because, for a Membership to be auto-renewable, the customer needs to store their card.

As long as that option remains ticked, the customer can continue through the rest of the Checkout page and complete their order. Their Membership will then auto-renew, with payment being taken from the stored card.

In the Sales Interface

With a Membership in the basket (remember that you have to have a customer in the basket to sell a Membership, so the system will prompt you to add a customer if you haven't already), you will see a check box for Auto Renew in the Items section.

  • If you don't tick the box, you can sell the Membership as normal
  • If you do tick the box, you will be prompted to choose a payment card

At this point you can either choose one of the customer's stored cards – the system will default to the Preferred Card:


Or, if the customer doesn't have a stored card, you will see a similar popup with the option to click Add card:


Once you have selected or added a stored card to use to auto-renew the Membership, you can complete the order as you would normally.

Editing Auto Renewable Memberships

Should you need to, it's possible to make changes to an Auto-Renewable Membership once it has been purchased.

WARNING: To change the price of an Auto-Renewable Membership for all Customers, you'll need to change the price before the Membership is in its renewal period.

Once a Membership is in its renewal period, you can't change the price of the Membership.

Setting a Membership to auto-renew after purchase
If a Membership which could be set to automatically renew was purchased and the Auto-Renew option was not selected, it can still be set to automatically renew at any point during the life of the Membership. This can be done within the customer's record, without any need to amend the order that the Membership was purchased in:


In the Memberships section of the customer record, you just need to click on the relevant Membership to edit it, then select the Auto renew check box:


WARNING: If a Membership is within the renewal period, you'll be unable to make any changes to the Auto renew check box.

Once you've ticked that option, you'll be able to choose which stored card to use, then click the Save button to complete the edit.

Changing the stored card to be used to auto-renew a Membership

Once an Auto-Renewable Membership has been purchased, it's still possible to change which stored card will be used renew the Membership. This is similar to making the Membership auto-renewable as above, but you just need to select the new card from the dropdown menu.

NOTE: the new card will need to have been added to the customer's record ahead of time; this can be done by navigating to Wallet in the customer's record and clicking Add card:



Here are some frequently asked questions about how Auto-Renewable Memberships work:

What happens when a customer's stored card expires?

It's up to the customer to get in touch with you and update their card details if they want to maintain their Auto-Renewable Membership after their card expires. If they don't add a new card, the automatic payment attempt will fail; this will be flagged in the auto-renew report as payment having failed and the customer will receive the Auto Renew Failure Email. If you check the customer's record and find that their card has expired, you should get in touch with them to obtain new payment information.

How do you cancel an Auto-Renewable Membership?

Auto-Renewable Memberships can be deleted and refunded in the same way as any other item if you just want to cancel the whole Membership.

To change an Auto-Renewable Membership so that it no longer auto-renews, you just need to edit the Membership in the customer's record and un-tick the Auto renew check box:


Customers can do this online by logging into their account on your website, then clicking in to the My Memberships section of their account.

If a customer has more than one card, will Spektrix try each card until payment is successful?

No, Spektrix will only attempt to take payment once; if the first card fails it won't try another. If a payment fails, the customer will receive the Auto Renew Failure Email, and you'll see that the payment has failed in the auto-renew report.

What if a customer's record has no email address – will the payment still be taken?

No; if a customer doesn't have an email address, Spektrix will attempt to send the Auto Renew Notification Email and fail. No further automated action will be taken, and that customer will be included in the report of failed auto-renewals.

If a customer updates the preferred card in their wallet, will that card then be used for future recurring payments?

Updating a customer's preferred card will not automatically affect the billing of their Auto-Renewed Membership. To use their new preferred card as payment for the Membership, that card will need to be selected for the Membership in their customer record – see the section above on Changing the stored card to be used to auto-renew a Membership.

Further reading

Hopefully this article has given you everything you need in order to set up Auto-Renewable Memberships. We'd recommend you also check out these other articles:


If you have any further questions about Auto-Renewable Memberships please contact the Spektrix Support, Training and Consultancy team, who will be happy to help.