What is An Account Updater and How to Use it for a Better Customer Experience

A card account updater service verifies stored card details against bank data, enhancing transaction efficiency and reliability. It's crucial for platforms to ensure merchants receive payments, and for merchants to have seamless payment solutions at the point of sale. Card account updaters are perfect for recurring payments or customers revisiting purchases.

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Recurring Payments
Reliable Payments—Day In. Day Out.

Make your revenue operations predictable and scalable with PayTheory’s Recurring Payments. Easily create subscriptions, payment plans, and securely capture card-on-file payments.

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Using Recurring Payments to Increase Access

Pay Theory’s platform allows you to leverage recurring payments in 3 powerful ways: Payment Plans, Subscriptions, and Payment-Method-on-File.


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Embedded Payments
Pay Theory’s Embedded Payments are built to be integrated into the workflows that you’ve built. Don’t plan around your transactions — plan for them.


Complete & Total View

Merchant Hierarchy
Pay Theory’s Merchant Hierarchy allows you to zoom in and out of specific merchants to view detailed information or horizontally across several merchant accounts.



Customer Experience
The magic is in our combined solution and how that solution shows up to your customers to power the growth of your SaaS platform.

Super Charge Recurring Payments with Account Updating

If you’ve ever had a service/subscription end because your card expired, you know how frustrating it can be to get everything back in order.

Pay Theory offers a powerful tool to check if stored accounts are still current before running a transaction. We systematically check stored information and run it against the most up-to-date data from the issuing banks (Chase, American Express, Capital One, etc).

It's important to move money efficiently & reliably.

What is An Account Updater?

Access For Your Users

Equitable Access

Recurring Payments are eligible for Remote Cash Access to address the needs and preferences of the un/underbanked.

Reduce Barriers to Purchase

Break larger fees into more manageable sizes. Open up your total addressable market while meeting your users where they are.

Allowing payers to match their payments to their cash flows has improved fee collections and made payments more transparent throughout our district’s ecosystem.

Bill Delord
WHTC Schools

What You Should Know


API's Made Easy
Easy to code API that allows developers to easily create and manage recurring payments programmatically.


Payment Method Tokenization
A secure way to allow Partners and Merchants to maintain access to a payment instrument without having to store sensitive card, account, or personally identifiable information.

Image showing one of the recurring payment screens.

A Pristine User Interface
Beautiful, transparent user interface that makes all recurring payments in a Merchant’s portfolio transparent and easy to manage once set up.


Sign customers up for subscriptions to products or services with a fixed end date or ongoing until canceled term.


Payment Plans
Breakdown large bills into smaller bites by choosing the amount or number of payments. Even make this choice available to the customer.


Payment Method on File
Keep a payment method on file for ongoing fee or billing needs, like at a school for a student’s nutritional payments that are billed at the end of a month or a utility payment that changes in amount each period.


Inclusive, Recurring Payments
Accept cash for recurring digital payments using barcodes issued to a payer each time a payment is due.

Recurring Payments

Build payment flows that get you and your customers paid more often. PayTheory’s Recurring Payments infrastructure powers your subscription, payment plan, and card-on-file payments.

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What is the difference between a payment plan and a subscription?

A Payment Plan is a given dollar amount, say $100.00, that is broken down into a number of payments such that the $100.00 balance is reduced with each payment. A Payment Plan has a set number of payments and a set end point in time.

A Subscription is an open ended payment schedule for a set amount of money remitted to the merchant on a set schedule, say monthly.

Can I manage a recurring payment programmatically or do I have to use your portal?

Recurring payments are best set up programmatically as the user interface for setting up the recurring payment is usually through an existing software platform. When a recurring payment is set up, it can be viewed and managed through the Pay Theory portal or programmatically via the Pay Theory API. For more information you can view our recurring payments documentation.

Are there additional costs with recurring payments?

There are no additional costs associated with using recurring payments.

Can I create and manage recurring payments from a mobile application using your mobile SDK’s?

Yes. For more information you can view our Android and IOS Documentation.

What happens when a payment method expires or the account is closed?

If a payment method is expiring any time in the coming 2 months, it will be flagged to the merchant and to the payor. They will be reminded a number of times before the expiration date via emails from Pay Theory. If the account is then closed or suspended, the next payment will fail and the subscription or payment plan will be suspended until the account returns to good standing either by updating the payment method or changing it.