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4.4: Recurring PayPal Payments and more with Braintree and Commerce

Braintree is a payment gateway provided by PayPal which provides some great additional features for PayPal transactions including a significantly improved recurring payments model. We are delighted to be bringing full support for Braintree for Commerce in Invision Community 4.4.

What is Braintree?

Braintree is a payment gateway provided by PayPal which supports taking payments by credit cards (including Apple Pay and Google Pay) and Venmo as well as PayPal, providing a good option for communities wanting to use a single payment gateway, and also brings improved functionality for recurring PayPal transactions.

For PayPal transactions, there are no additional fees and the checkout experience uses the normal PayPal experience your customers are used to.

Recurring PayPal Improvements

Recurring payments / Billing Agreements in PayPal have up until now been initiated by PayPal. Invision Community tells PayPal what the renewal terms of a purchase are, but then it's up to PayPal to take that payment and notify your community when it succeeds (or fails).

This comes with a number of limitations and problems. It makes it difficult for you as an admin to modify an existing purchase or for the customer to upgrade/downgrade. It also means the customer has to create separate Billing Agreements for each purchase. Most significantly though, it means if there is a delay in receiving the payment (such as an expired card) it is sometimes unclear what should happen on your community's end, and how it can be resolved if/when the payment is received.

Other payment gateways work the other way around. When a customer pays by card, for example, they have the option of storing their card details. Later, if they make another purchase or a renewal invoice is generated, Invision Community can tell the gateway to recharge the same card - and if it fails, allow the customer to provide an alternative payment method. This allow both you and your customers to have much greater control, and is much more reliable.

Braintree resolves this by allowing customers when paying with PayPal to save their PayPal account in the same way they would save a credit card on file. When paying with PayPal, users will see a simple checkbox which, if checked, will allow future payments to be taken with PayPal automatically.

Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 10.19.40.png

Storing PayPal Accounts for Recurring Payments

Other Features

In addition to an improved checkout experience, our integration with Braintree supports:

  • Taking payments by Credit Card, including 3DSecure checking and the ability for customer to store card details on file. Braintree uses a fully PCI-compliant method of taking card details in a way that ensures the card information never reaches your server.
  • Apple Pay and Google Pay
  • Venmo, which also allows storing accounts in the same way as PayPal accounts.
  • Offering PayPal Credit
  • Handling chargebacks/disputes
  • Support for Braintree's Advanced Fraud Tools

Screen Shot 2018-12-28 at 10.35.11.png

A Disputed PayPal Transaction

Existing Setups and Upgrading

The existing PayPal gateway will continue to be available for basic PayPal integration, and your existing set up will continue to work exactly as it does now after upgrading.

If you are using PayPal, especially if you are using Billing Agreements, we strongly recommend switching to Braintree after upgrading. While it isn't possible to convert existing Billing Agreements, you can allow existing ones to continue to work and use Braintree for new purchases.

Please note that while existing setups will work fine, from 4.4 it will no longer be possible to set up a new PayPal method with either Billing Agreements, or to take payments by card, as PayPal has deprecated the API this was using in favour of Braintree and it can no longer be enabled on new accounts.

As mentioned though, this does not affect any existing setups, which, if you do not switch to Braintree, will continue to work as they do now.

This blog is about our upcoming release Invision Community 4.4.


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58 minutes ago, JohnDar said:

From Braintree's acceptable use policy.

How does stack up against those of us that offer membership subscriptions? Are we all likely to be rejected?

> 1 year more than likely means over 1 year, I can't see the big deal with this company anyway it is not a major step up in the commerce app, it is just another PayPal site what don't care for digital transactions and offer no protection on it

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I was told that I could set up a recurring payment subscription with the current version of IPS, only to find out after buying it and setting it up that clients still have to manually approve and pay for each monthly invoice. If this is finally fixed, thank goodness, but I'm skeptical because it was supposedly a feature already.

I want people who sign up for the subscription to be automatically billed each month, with the option to cancel at any time.

That doesn't work the way it is supposed to in 4.3.

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13 minutes ago, iacas said:

I was told that I could set up a recurring payment subscription with the current version of IPS, only to find out after buying it and setting it up that clients still have to manually approve and pay for each monthly invoice. If this is finally fixed, thank goodness, but I'm skeptical because it was supposedly a feature already.

I want people who sign up for the subscription to be automatically billed each month, with the option to cancel at any time.

That doesn't work the way it is supposed to in 4.3.

There are PayPal Billing Agreements in 4.3 already. So yes, you can have automatic recurring payments. If you are unsure how to activate that, I would suggest a support ticket. 
This blog post here is about 4.4 and Braintree, which is new option. There is nothing here that needed “fixing”. 

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21 hours ago, opentype said:

There are PayPal Billing Agreements in 4.3 already. So yes, you can have automatic recurring payments. If you are unsure how to activate that, I would suggest a support ticket. 
This blog post here is about 4.4 and Braintree, which is new option. There is nothing here that needed “fixing”. 

Actually, my recommendation would be to wait for 4.4 and to start off recurring payments with Braintree if you aren't already using Billing Agreements. (But otherwise yes - recurring payments are already supported)

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Maybe just me, but I have a really difficult time discounting developers' and IT managers' reviews of this service. I would tend to recommend holding braintree at arms distance, and certainly not as the sole payment gateway on any site. It's not a matter of PEBKAC for all, reading through those reviews. They have pulled some quite apparently less than ethical moves since being acquired by Paypal.

Edited by Marcher Technologies

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On 1/28/2019 at 12:30 PM, opentype said:

There are PayPal Billing Agreements in 4.3 already. So yes, you can have automatic recurring payments. If you are unsure how to activate that, I would suggest a support ticket. 
This blog post here is about 4.4 and Braintree, which is new option. There is nothing here that needed “fixing”. 

Sorry, yes, got some bad advice now looking back on it. I've switched things over, and will shut up now here on this topic. I apologize.

Thank you.

Edited by iacas

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@Mark - Going forward with 4.4.0, how will this effect subscriptions/billing agreements. Our site is heavily, heavily relient on Paypal subscriptions and billing agreements. If we upgrade to 4.4.0 will we need to make a Braintree account and set everything so we can handle subscriptions/billing agreements.

Also what happens over time with the 600+ people that use old billing agreements/subscriptons if Paypal switch off the API?

Thanks.

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3 hours ago, CP_User said:

@Mark - Going forward with 4.4.0, how will this effect subscriptions/billing agreements. Our site is heavily, heavily relient on Paypal subscriptions and billing agreements. If we upgrade to 4.4.0 will we need to make a Braintree account and set everything so we can handle subscriptions/billing agreements.

Also what happens over time with the 600+ people that use old billing agreements/subscriptons if Paypal switch off the API?

Thanks.

If you don't want to change anything, you don't have to. Everything will continue working as it does now.

If, however, you did want to migrate to Braintree, you have two options:

  1. The sensible option is probably to set up Braintree and use it for new purchases. Keep your PayPal gateway set up but disabled to new purchases. That way, new purchases will use Braintree, but any existing billing agreements will continue to churn away without lost revenue.
  2. If you wanted, you could cancel all the Billing Agreements with PayPal, and then when it gets to people's expiry dates, they will receive an email asking them to pay, and that would allow them to set up a new billing agreement using Braintree.

 

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I submitted application to Braintree a week ago they finally approved it yesterday still waiting for the account links to the api.

 They wanted a lot of info including copies of article of incorporation, i don't remember Stripe/PayPal or Square  requesting much info and have been using PayPal all along which is already established yet required additional scrutiny even though they are a the same company.

Am little leery about some things I read on their site regarding getting setup with a PCI company - seems like once you do your in for like the mafia, or at least mafia tactics. (based on watching customers jump thru hoops with their gateways)

 

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Hi @Mark to confirm, after upgrading when billing agreements are already setup for the community:

1) Existing billing agreements will continue working as is.

2) New customers will continue to be able to check out using PayPal billing agreements / create new billing agreements if no changes are made in the ACP to switch to Braintree?

Thank you for the clarification. 

Edited by IP15.5

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21 hours ago, IP15.5 said:

Hi @Mark to confirm, after upgrading when billing agreements are already setup for the community:

1) Existing billing agreements will continue working as is.

2) New customers will continue to be able to check out using PayPal billing agreements / create new billing agreements if no changes are made in the ACP to switch to Braintree?

Thank you for the clarification. 

Yes, that's correct.

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13 hours ago, bfarber said:

Yes, that's correct.

That is good to hear.

Otherwise I thought this would be yet another short sighted move just like getting rid of SparkPost integration.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with using paypal, especially since the appeal is... money goes right into paypal account and you are not depositing it into a checking account as you are with Stripe or Braintree.  

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@opentype When they first released it in one of the 4.4.0 Beta's, I was able to get it up and running and had several successful PayPal transactions with reoccurring charges, however several beta's later it **** the bed and completely stopped working for me. Very frustrating.

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