Product Development February 21, 2020

Do you create invoice for every payment?

Hossein Shams @hosshams

I got a few questions regards notification of charges and invoices.

  1. Do you need to have the archive of all previous payments and invoices in your app?
  2. So you have to send an email to a subscriber a few days before charging the next payment?
  3. Do you need to send an email with an invoice after payment and notify them regards the charge?

I see some products have these workflows but others not. Is there any strict rule to follow? Like rules that we have for privacy (GDPR, CCPA, etc.)

  1. 2

    Disclaimer - not a lawyer.

    Most of the laws are around cancellation and notification. Here's some info with regards to California:

    For #2 if your billing cycle is greater than 30 days, you're required to send a notification in California. The notification must come more than 30 days in advance. Look into California’s auto-renewal law (ARL).

    Just my .02, if you're at the spot where you're concerned about this (high volume), talk with a lawyer. There are enough nuances where a forum or your own research is not going to cut it, you'll most likely miss something. If you're not at that point, don't be a jerk to customers and focus on growth.

    1. 2

      Very valuable information here, especially the one that says you need to notify the user after each charge. I only have a few paying customers, no one has complained about anything. I knew I have to implement charge notification and invoice archive, but I always postponed them.

      With this knowledge, I'd certainly implement these features ASAP.

  2. 1

    I think if you sell to businesses you need to be more careful.

    Especially businesses will sometimes require specific information on invoices. Also having access to old invoices is something a business will need for accounting. So 1 and 3 yes.

    About 2, I think that's most useful for consumers.

    I'm not a lawyer 😉

    1. 1

      Yeah, you're right. I decided to implement all points in my app since they're best practices and seems like an expectation these days.

  3. 1

    You need to provide #3 by law, but not the rest.

    The rest are good practice, but your payment provider should do all of these automatically, Stripe definitely does and will make sure everything is compliant for you so you don't need to give it much thought.

    1. 1

      Yeah. I'm wondering if Stripe does the #3 or not?! That would be great if they take care of this one too.

      1. 1

        Stripe do #1, #2 and #3 :-)

  4. 1

    I don't know the answer to that, but as a related topic - I'm about to start using Paddle for subscription mgmt. They act as reseller, so all the legal (local rax rules, etc) and customer support is on them. I also don't have to have any payment provider account (stripe, paypal, etc) because it's all theirs. So potentially it's easier to expand globally.
    I get paid directly from them.
    They don't charge too much. Less than stripe+recurly for example.

    1. 1

      Nice, I'll take a look at Paddle. Stripe also creates invoices. That's what I used today for a customer who asked for his invoice. Just send him a link to Stripe's invoice. But my question is that does our app need a page to display an archive of invoices for reference? I keep postponing such implementation in my app, but I'd like to know that if such an archive is required by law.