When making a payment: Should I create a customer, subscription or charge?

Core Principles

Customer

  • A 'customer object' stores the customer's details (first name, email, payment sources etc.) and the history of all their charges, subscriptions, and refunds.
  • Example 1: You want to store your customer's details to email them a promo code in the future. 
  • Example 2: You want to store your customer's details to create a charge in the future without having to re-enter their payment details. 
  • Related Article: How do I add a new customer?

Subscription 

  • If you add a new subscription, a customer will be created automatically. 
  • A subscription is an automated, recurring (repeating) charge to a customer. It has a schedule for when charges of a certain amount are to be made. 
  • Example: You are a gym that sells memberships and charges members (customers) the same amount each month.  
  • Related Article: How do I add a new subscription?

Charge

  • A charge can be created individually for one-time payments.  
  • Note: Creating a charge will not save customer details (first name, email, payment sources etc.) and no Customer object will be created.
  • Example: You are a Not For Profit and a donor wants to make a one-time donation, while remaining anonymous.  
  • Related Article: How do I add a new charge?
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