Migrating Subscriptions to Cart66

Cart66 offers built-in recurring billing that works with all of the supported 50+ on-site payment gateways. You can even switch gateways at any time giving you unprecedented freedom with you subscriptions. Here is a technique for securely migrating your subscribers from your old system into Cart66.

Emphasis On Security

Cart66 also has a very strong emphasis on security. As part of our security policy we have designed the system such that credit card numbers are never revealed to anyone under any circumstances - ever. The only person who can enter or update a credit card is the owner of the credit card. There are no screens in the Cart66 admin where a credit card number can be entered on behalf of anyone else. This means that in the Cart66 management panel it is not possible to create a subscription with recurring billing enabled for someone else.

PCI Compliance Implications

PCI compliance applies to your entire business as a whole, not just your website. Therefore if you are handling credit card numbers and manually entering that data into a system on behalf of your customers you open yourself up to a much more difficult path to becoming PCI compliant. Using Cart66 your business never sees or touches card holder data. Completely outsourcing the collection, transmission, and storage of card holder data essentially takes you and your business "outside the scope of PCI compliance." If you start dealing with credit card numbers and customer data in other ways your business in now "in scope" and you have to comply with some very strict and potentially expensive regulations and paperwork.

Plan For Migration

The recommended way to migrate accounts into Cart66 is to create a subscription product in the Cart66 management console that has a free trial for the first billing period. Then announce your new site to your existing subscribers and invite them to sign up with your Cart66 system. The free trial for one billing period means that you subscribers won't be double billed because the new system won't kick in until after the old system stops billing.

Example Subscription Migration

Suppose you have a month-to-month subscription on your old system and you want to bring everybody over to your new Cart66 system.

  1. Create a subscription product with a 1 month free trial
  2. Send out an email newsletter with a Buy Now link link inviting your subscribers to sign up with your new system. Note that you don't have to offer this special, free trial version of your subscription on your public website if you don't want to.
  3. Your customers will get the Buy Now link and sign up on the new system. This will create their accounts and allow them to enter their own credit cards, confirm their emails, etc.

How The Billing Works

If a customer paid on January 1 for a month-to-month subscription they would normally be billed again February 1, one month later. If in the middle of the month, perhaps January 15th, they switch over and sign up for your new, 1 month free trial subscription on Cart66 their next payment would be on February 15th. Therefore they get all the time they have already paid for (through the end of January) and also get a little bit of extra "free" time.

It's not an exact one-to-one migration because you will end up giving away a couple of "free" days depending on when the customer makes the switch, but it is a safe, easy, and secure way to migrate you customers from your old system into Cart66.

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