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How does Subamplify handle failed charges and automatic retries

Customize automatic retries for your customer subscriptions

By Tom Dallimore
January 30, 2023

One of the challenges of accepting payments online is dealing with card declines, which can occur for various reasons. In this article, we'll explore how the Subamplify Shopify app handles card declines and the steps businesses can take to customize automatic retries and view charge errors.

Understand card declines

A card decline can occur when a customer's card is unable to process a payment. There are several reasons why this may happen, including:

  • Insufficient funds

  • Expired card

  • Incorrect card details

  • Card limit reached

  • Fraud detection

When a customer updates their card information, it can also result in a decline error. This can happen if the customer entered incorrect information or if the bank is unable to process the update.

Additionally, card declines can be flagged by banks for various reasons, including suspected fraud or unusual spending patterns. If you're unsure why a card was declined, it's important to get in touch with your customer to resolve the issue.

Set up automatic retry settings

The Subamplify Shopify app offers customizable retry settings to help businesses reduce the impact of card declines. By default, Subamplify will retry the most common charge errors after the customer updates their payment method.

When a customer updates their card, the max retry count is ignored, and an additional retry attempt is triggered the following day. This helps to ensure that payments are processed smoothly, even if the previous attempts are declined.

Businesses can adjust their retry settings in the Payment settings of the merchant dashboard. This allows them to set the number of retries, the time between retries, and the conditions under which a retry should occur.

Customizing your automatic retry settings

  1. Open your Subamplify dashboard

  2. Click the side menu item Settings

  3. Then click the Payment sub menu item

  4. Under Subamplify will retry failed charges, select the interval between each attempt

  5. Under Maximum number of retries, select the number of retry attempts that should occur before the system stops retrying the charge

  6. Finally under When maximum number of retries are reached, select from the following options:

    1. Default: Cancel subscription, send email to customer

    2. Do Nothing: Keep subscription, send email to customer

  7. Click Save

How to view charge errors

When a customer has a charge error, a merchant can navigate to Orders > Charge errors to view a history of charge errors. This information can help identify trends and make adjustments to retry settings to improve payment processing.


If an order is still declined after the last retry attempt, it is marked as Closed/Max Retries Limit Reached. You can specify how Subamplify will handle orders after the last retry attempt via the automatic retry settings in the Customizing automatic retry settings section.

Understand the Dunning Process and Card Declined Notification

The dunning process is the process of attempting to collect payment for a failed charge. In the context of Subamplify, the dunning process only counts payment related charge errors as charge attempts. This means that the customer will receive the card declined email the first time the card declines and the order cannot be processed.

However, the card declined notification is not sent after every retry attempt. Instead, it is sent after any attempt following a seven-day period after the last notification was sent. This helps to avoid overwhelming the customer with too many emails.

For example, if you set your retry logic to retry a failed charge every five days, an initial card declined email will go out on the first day. The next retry attempt will occur on the sixth day, but since a card decline notification went out within the last seven days, no email will be sent to the customer. However, on the next retry attempt on the 11th day, a card declined notification will be sent to the customer.

You can customize customer email settings by navigating to Email settings in the merchant dashboard. For more information on how to customize email settings in Subamplify, click here.

Common error messages

If a customer gets a card decline error, they will get an automatic email asking them to update the card. As the store owner, you get additional details for the error message.



Your card was declined

Contact and inform the customer

Customer needs to update their credit card

Contact and inform the customer

Your card has insufficient funds

Contact and inform the customer


This error indicates the customer has updated their payment method to resolve a charge error. The next charge attempt automatically takes place one business day after the card is updated.

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