How Union Handles Declined Subscription Charges

If the state of a users subscription is noted as past due, this typically means Union's payment processor, Stripe, received a declined code (i.e. the card has insufficient funds to complete the purchase).

Union uses Stripe's Smart Retry logic which chooses optimal times to retry failed payment attempts to increase the chance of successfully receiving payment:

The machine learning system behind Smart Retries uses hundreds of time-dependent, dynamic signals, such as:

  • The number of different devices that have presented a given payment method in the last N hours
  • The optimal time to pay—payments made for debit cards in certain countries might be slightly more successful at 12:01 AM in local time zones

Stripe then uses this information to intelligently assess when to retry payments, based on a combination of these factors. Stripe continuously learns from new purchaser behaviors and transactions. This provides for a more flexible and responsive approach over traditional rules-based payment retry logic.

When a subscription is in the Past Due state, mousing over the state will show the next retry date.

If the customer or an admin updates the customer's card on file, an attempt to collect payment is made. Payment will be retried up to four times and the subscription will be canceled if all attempts fail.

Union also updates customer cards automatically: saved card details in some cases can continue to work even if the physical card has been replaced by the issuing bank. Stripe works with card networks and automatically attempts to update saved card details whenever a customer receives a new card. Automatic card updates require card issuers to participate with the network and provide this information. It’s widely supported in the United States, allowing Stripe to automatically update most American Express, Visa, Mastercard, and Discover cards issued there. International support varies from country to country. It’s not possible to identify which cards Stripe can automatically update.

If you'd like to manually retry a failed subscription payment, you can select 'Retry Payment' in the dropdown next to any past due subscription:

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