Zype's Stripe integration allows you to offer subscription pausing to your consumers using Zype’s APIs. You can then integrate "pause subscription" functionality into your web and native apps, allowing your subscribers to initiate a pause.
As shown in our flow diagram, when consumers initiate a pause on their subscription, Zype pauses access to all prepaid subscription content and Zype's API interacts with Stripe to ensure that the subscription payment is paused as well.
Additionally, you can integrate the "time remaining" data returned in Zype's APIs to allow consumers who pause their subscription to see how much time is remaining on their prepaid subscription.
The Value of Pausing Subscriptions
It might be hard to imagine why pausing Stripe subscriptions is so valuable. Take for example the following use case:
Home-fitness enthusiast Mia purchases a prepaid annual subscription to a workout program on your website for $199. Mia is enjoying her subscription, working out to program content 3-4 times a week.
Three months into her prepaid subscription, Mia accidentally injures herself while skiing. Mia’s estimated recovery time is 8-12 weeks. Instead of cancelling her annual subscription, Mia is able to pause her subscription and resume it at a future time, when she is fully healed.
In this case, rather than losing Mia's business, you're able to offer a flexible solution to meet her needs.
We'd like to dig into the details of how to best leverage Stripe subscription pauses, but first let's check off on some prerequisites:
- Set up your subscription service with Stripe
- Confirm your default payment processor is Stripe
- Set up subscription plans
- Confirm your subscription settings
- Confirm your content is monetized with subscription plans
- Confirm you are familiar with managing subscribers and managing consumers
- Review Zype's Subscriptions API documentation
Pausing Stripe Subscriptions via API
You can pause an active subscription by sending an update subscription call with the status param set to paused. When the subscription is paused, we store the days remaining in the subscription's cycle. This value is exposed in all the Subscription API calls as days_remaining.
To resume the subscription you use the same call setting the status param to active. When the subscription is active, days_remaining will reflect the current cycle's remaining days.
If the subscription being updated is not a Stripe subscription, the API will return an error indicating that.
Once all of the prerequisites are met, you'll be able to see a few things in Zype Admin related to pausing Stripe subscriptions. First, visit the consumers page. Here you'll notice you can use the filters at the top of the page to filter by Subscription Status = Paused. Once this filter is on, the consumers list will show only consumers with a paused subscription.
Once you have filtered your consumers view, you can select an individual consumer with a paused subscription to find out more details. On the consumer's details page, you will see the consumer's existing subscription(s), including the status and days remaining in the current billing cycle. As mentioned in our Overview, you may choose to expose this information to your subscribers using Zype's APIs.
Next, visit the subscriptions page. Here you'll notice the "paused" value in the status column. You'll also notice you can use the filters at the top of the page to filter by Subscription Status = Paused. Once this filter is on, the consumers list will show only consumers with a paused subscription.
It's also helpful to review Zype's embeds to see the pause subscription flow. Here, when a consumer selects a paywalled video, they are presented with the subscription paywall.
The consumer then selects their subscription plan (remember Mia, who would be selecting a $199/year plan in the above use case) and completes the process of subscribing.
Once their subscription has been successfully paused, if that user visits the paywalled video again, they will see the option to Resume their subscription, or Change their existing plan.
Resuming Stripe Subscriptions After a Pause
As mentioned, subscribers who have paused subscription plans will not be able to access any subscription-paywalled video content. They will also not be billed by Stripe. However when a consumer is ready to resume their subscription, they can do so via Zype's embeds, or your own custom workflows depending on how you've implemented this feature.
Upon resuming a subscription, the consumer’s prepaid subscription period will begin to decrement again, with the subscription period end date being updated based on the date the subscriber resumed subscription. This will also resume the subscriber’s billing period in Stripe.
Tracking and Reporting
You can leverage Zype's CSV export on both your Consumers and Subscriptions views when you filter by "Subscription Status". This will allow you to export a list of all paused subscriptions by consumer for easy tracking and reporting.