Recurring Payments

Recurring payment, What it is

1. Introduction

Recurring payments are automatic payments which enable you to charge a customer bank account or credit card on a regular basis. Your customers must initiate the first payment themselves. You must also take steps to make your customers aware that you will be charging them on a recurring basis. You can do this at the checkout process, but it is sufficient to include this in your General Terms & Conditions and require the customer to agree to those Terms & Conditions before checkout. You should also inform your customers in advance of each transaction. Recurring payments are a perfect solution for companies who charge their customers with a monthly or yearly subscription.

MultiSafepay supports two payment methods for recurring payments:

  • Credit cards (Visa, Mastercard and American Express)
  • SEPA Direct Debit (SDD) - optionally you can use iDEAL or SOFORT Banking for an initial payment and continue with recurring direct debits.

We offer a workaround option to use Bancontact for an initial payment. Contact your Account Manager for more information.

Top 3 things you need to know before using recurring payments:

  • Merchants are responsible for scheduling recurring payments and optional retries
  • In order to use recurring payments, our Risk Team must specifically enable this functionality in your MultiSafepay Control
  • Merchants are responsible for informing customers about commitment to frequent charges and storing mandates.

2. Important Terms

  • Initial Payment
    The first payment initiated by a customer with acknowledgement and approval of a recurring charge

  • Subsequent Payments
    All payments following the Initial Payment

  • SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area)
    All countries within the European Union and Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and Monaco

  • SEPA Direct Debit
    The international SEPA Direct Debit

  • Single Direct Debit
    A direct debit on which the customer approved to a single withdrawal

  • Recurring Direct Debit
    A recurring direct debit on which the customer approved to regular withdrawals

  • Chargeback
    When a customer revoked the payment.

3. Requirements

In order to use the recurring payments functionality, you need to have the following:

  • An active MultiSafepay Control account

  • Recurring payments enabled by the Risk Team of MultiSafepay in MultiSafepay Control.

If your account has not been enabled with the recurring payments functionality, please contact us.

Without recurring payments being enabled by our Risk Team, you will not be able to initiate and process recurring payments.

Recurring payments, How it works

Recurring payments process

The standard recurring payment process allows you to easily charge your customer on a recurring basis. This is a suitable solution for monthly or annual subscriptions.

The standard process is as follows:

  1. The customer creates the original transaction by processing the first payment with a credit card as payment method (Visa, Mastercard or American Express). This is done on the website by selecting a product and/or service, and by finalizing the credit card payment

  2. The result of a successful payment is the receipt of the recurring_id in the order details of a successful transaction. Retrieve the order details of a transaction through a GET request. For further information on how to retrieve an order available in our API documentation

  3. A recurring payment is created using the recurring_id provided in the original transaction. The charge is applied using the same payment details as the initial payment.

SEPA Direct Debit

Through SEPA Direct Debit, payments from international bank account numbers (IBAN) can be processed, as a one-off or as a recurrent withdrawal. This only applies to private banking. SOFORT Banking and iDEAL are supported as Direct Debit payment methods.

Full API documentation on Direct Debit can be found on our dedicated FAQ page, Direct Debit explained

The first payment for a Direct Debit collection is received and/or processed by the payment methods iDEAL, SOFORT Backing or Direct Debit. Upon successful completion of the payment, a recurring_id will be displayed in the response upon retrieving the order details only when recurring payment are enbled for that specific MultiSafepay Account.
It is important to note that recurring ID’s retrieved using a credit card cannot be processed when the gateway is set to DIRDEB (Direct Debit). In this case, the gateway must be set to the specific credit card e.g. ‘VISA’, ‘MASTERCARD’. Thus, only recurring ID’s retrieved by SEPA IBAN payments can be processed by DIREDEB. This allows recurring payments to be deducted with direct debit payment methods such as iDEAL or SOFORT.


According to European law, merchants who use recurring payments should inform their customers about any charges being made. This can be done by email, but it is sufficient to include this in your General Terms & Conditions provided the customer has explicitly agreed to those Terms & Conditions.

Credit Cards (Visa, Mastercard or American Express)

  1. The customer selects a credit card as payment method on the website of the merchant
  2. The customer submits a payment
  3. If the payment was successful, you will receive a recurring payment ID in the transaction details which can be used for recurring payments.

MultiSafepay automatically uses the Site Description and Order ID to show on the customers bank statements. This way the customer can easily recognize the payments.

Retry a failed recurring payment

When the transaction is declined, the reason will be supplied in the response of the transaction. The transaction may, for example, be refused due to insufficient funds. MultiSafepay does not provide automated retry functionality for recurring payments. It is the responsibility of the merchant to contact the customer or try and charge the customer again after a sufficient period of time.

Create an initial transaction

View the API documentation on how to create a standard transaction.

The Initial Payment - Status update request

When recurring is enabled in your MultiSafepay Control, you will receive a recurring ID when you do a retrieve an order request. A sample response is shown below.

GET - /orders/{order_id}

  "success": true,
  "data": {
    "transaction_id": "",


"payment_details": {
  "recurring_id": "",

Processing Subsequent Payments - JSON request

The recurring request is similar to the initial payment. However, in order to submit a recurring payment, you need to include the recurring ID in the gateway info section of the request. By including the recurring ID in this request, you do not have to include any bank account or credit card details in the request. An example of this is shown below. You should still offer the customer details, amount and especially an order description.

All actual recurring payment transactions use parameter type “direct” instead of “redirect”.

POST - /orders

  "type": "direct", 
  "order_id": "", 
  "recurring_id": "" 

Always use the correct payment gateway for each payment method used. Visa, Mastercard or American Express should be sent as gateway within the JSON request. More information about this can be found in the standard integration manual on our API Documentation page.

How to activate Recurring Payments

Recurring payments are not included by default in your MultiSafepay Control.
A request to activate recurring payments can be sent to either your account manager or to our Risk Team at [email protected]

There is a fixed limit to the amount of recurring payments you may charge per recurring ID. By default, this can be done once every 24 hours.

If you want to charge multiple transactions on a single recurring ID on the same day, contact our Risk Team at [email protected] to substantiate your argument on why you want this.

How to refund a Recurring Payment transaction

A recurring transaction can only be refunded to the customer when the financial status of the transaction is marked as completed. The refund can be processed as follows:

  1. Select Transaction -> Transaction overview in your MultiSafepay Control
  2. Find the transaction through search
  3. Open transaction
  4. Select Refund
  5. Fill in the amount that you want to refund to the customer
  6. Confirm the refund.

By default, MultiSafepay does not allow you to refund more than the stated amount of the original transaction. Please check your eligibility for being able to refund more with your MultiSafepay account manager.

The transaction status is now initialized. As long as the transaction status is marked as initialized, the refund can be cancelled. When the transaction status is marked as completed, the refund is processed correctly. The customer will receive the refund to the bank account number in which the transaction was originally paid to, within the next business day.

How to test Recurring Payments?

To test recurring payments on your staging environment, email our Integration Team at [email protected] with the request to enable it in your MultiSafepay Test Control.

SEPA Direct Debit

MultiSafepay provides a test platform for SEPA Direct Debit transactions. By entering a test IBAN you will be able to simulate the outcome of the transaction.

IBAN Status Description
NL87ABNA0000000001 Initialized/Completed Transaction is Initialized (after 2 minutes it is Completed)
NL87ABNA0000000002 Initialized/Declined Transaction is Initialized (after 2 minutes it is Declined)
NL87ABNA0000000003 Initialized/Uncleared/Completed Transaction is Initialized ( after 2 minutes it is Uncleared, and 1 minute later it is Completed)
NL87ABNA0000000004 Initialized/Uncleared/Declined Transaction is Initialized ( after 2 minutes it is Uncleared, and 1 minute later it is Declined)
Error as response

In some cases it may occur that an error is received as response on the recurring payment transaction request. In most cases this is a 1000 error.

1000 Error explained

Transaction not allowed.

Payment method is disabled or not available. Contact our Integration Team at [email protected] to validate and/or check the settings in your MultiSafepay Control.


A 1000 error indicates that MultiSafepay does not allow the payment. The payment is blocked due to fraud or other settings set in your MultiSafepay Control.

In exceptional cases, the customer’s data may have been added as fraud in our fraud filter system. This could be the address details or the bank account number linked to the recurring_id.

If a bank account is blocked, credit card is marked as stolen or perhaps fraud has occurred on the address of the customer, the data will be stored in the fraud filter of MultiSafepay. This may result in declining the transaction on certain data.

Another reason why a 1000 error may occur, may be because of certain settings that are set in your MultiSafepay Control that will not allow the payment to go through. Processing recurring payments needs to be approved and enabled by our Risk Team.

Enabling recurring payment will allow you to collect the amount of a customers bank account once every 24 hours. If the same recurring_id or customer data is used again within 24 hours, it will result in a 1000 error as response.

If any advise or assistance is needed, contact our Integration Team at [email protected]

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