Paddle Billing

Configure payment recovery and dunning

Choose what happens when payment fails for an automatically-collected subscription. You can turn on tactical retries, send optimized email notifications, and show retry payment forms in your app or website.

When payment fails for an automatically-collected subscription, the subscription status changes to past due and Paddle Retain gets to work to automatically recover the payment for you. This process is called dunning.

You can configure how Paddle Retain notifies customers about failed payments, turn on tactical retries, and choose what happens to past due subscriptions where the payment isn't recovered.

Screenshot showing the Retain Control Center page. The payment recovery tab is open. There are toggles for: payment recovery emails, pre-payment failure notifications (unavailable), payment recovery notifications, payment recovery SMS, and tactical retries.

How it works

Paddle Retain combines world-class subscription expertise with algorithms that use millions of data points to recover failed payments for you. Paddle Billing is fully integrated with Retain, meaning it handles payment recovery for you.

With Paddle Retain, you can:

You can simulate some Paddle Retain payment recovery interventions using your browser console.

Before you begin

Paddle Retain works with live data for your billing platform. This means you can't integrate or test with sandbox accounts.

Set up Retain

If you haven't already, connect Paddle Retain to your billing platform and set up Paddle Retain.

Use Paddle Billing? Billing automatically integrates with Retain, so you're ready to get started. Click the Paddle > Retain link to jump to Retain to review your setup.

Check your Retain email settings

Emails sent from Paddle Retain are designed to look like they come from you or someone on your team. Review the email sender and reply-to addresses for your email addresses in ProfitWell > Retain > Control Center.

Pause or cancel past due subscriptions

When all payment recovery attempts are exhausted, Paddle Retain can automatically pause or cancel subscriptions for you. You can choose whether subscriptions should pause or cancel.

In Paddle Billing, canceled subscriptions can't be reinstated. Create a new subscription for customers who have canceled if they want to return. You can create a transaction with data from the previous subscription to make this easier for your customers.

Illustration showing the subscription status drop-down from the Retain Control Center. It says: if a customer's payment has not been recovered then… There is a drop-down box with two options next to this: pause subscription, cancel subscription.

Send optimized payment recovery emails

Paddle Retain sends emails to customers to let them know that their renewal wasn't processed successfully.

You can preview messages, but we handle the content for you. Our team of experts have sent millions of messages, testing and optimizing the content and cadence across hundreds of thousands of transactions. We found that plaintext, personal emails work best.

UI component from the Retain Control Center. It is a toggle that says payment recovery emails. The toggle is ON. The description for the toggle says: Our collection emails are continuously tested and optimized across thousands of credit card transactions throughout our Retain system.

Turn on payment recovery notifications

Payment recovery notifications reach your customers when they're using your product, maximizing the likelihood of payment recovery. They prompt your customers to update expired credit cards in your web app or on your commercial website with an unobtrusive notification.

When customers click the link to update, they're presented with a secure form to enter their details there and then — no need to go to another page.

UI component from the Retain Control Center. It is a toggle that says payment recovery notifications. The toggle is ON. The description for the toggle says: Prompt your customers to update their expired credit cards from directly within your application without disturbing their workflow.

Turn on tactical retries

You only have so many chances to retry a credit card payment. Tactical retries analyzes billions of credit card transactions across the Retain network and uses algorithms to retry payments at the best time for success. We look at product type, card type, customer location, and more than fifteen other factors to boost payment recovery by an additional 10 to 15 percent.

Send payment recovery messages by SMS

SMS is a reliable way of reaching customers, with 90% of text messages being read within three minutes of receipt. Retain can send text messages to customers to further boost payment recovery, targeting your customers at the right time in a highly personalized way.

Messages include a link to update payment information — all handled by Paddle.js on your website, with no sign in required.

  1. Grab a copy of the Retain SMS phone number template and fill it in. Send it to us at

  2. Fill out the Retain SMS recovery form. We use this information to register your details with Twilio, our SMS provider.

  3. We'll take care of the rest and reach out when you're ready. This may take fifteen business days.

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