Membership reoccuring payments, how does it work with Paypal?

How does Membership handle renewals? I'll use WPMU Dev as an example. If I've signed up for a 3 month subscription using paypal, will it automatically charge me again 3 months from now?

Is it using the Paypal PreApproval API to do this? It seems to:

Use PayPal for automatic payments to Incsub. Payments will be made with your default payment method unless you select a preferred payment method. To make changes, go to My money in your Profile, and update the My preapproved payments section.

If so, how long does this last for? Paypal says they have a 1 year and $2000 limit for pre-approvals.

Does Membership itself go out and do the transaction every 3 months or is it automatic?

Ultimately I want automatic subscriptions for as long as possible using the adaptive payments Chained payment stuff. That only seems to be possible with PreApproval and manually making initiating the transactions:;jsessionid=05FF2731690CDDBBE651ECCD92D17425.node0#183762

I know this is a lot of questions, but this is the core of what our project needs to do so I really need to understand what is possible here. THANKS!

  • highfive

    Thanks Mason, I hope your right. That would mean either...

    1. membership is calling back to paypal on a regular basis
    2. the Members get 'automatically' invoiced and have to approve it,
    3. Membership uses a paypal API aside from the Adaptive Payments that allows for chained payments.
    4. I simply don't know enough what I am asking yet.

    I'd love to find out more, even if it is #4. Specifically, which API is being called.

    From what I understand, Membership doesn't support subscription payments to the API that allows for chained payments. I need to understand that limitation and if it can be overcome. Unfortunately, I'm still too ignorant about it not to spend a lot of time going in the wrong direction without asking first. Hopefully, membership is currently using a paypal API that can be extended to create chained payments from the subscription.


  • highfive

    Ahhh, well that it explains it then, it's option #3 I outlined above. I knew Membership didn't currently support chained payments, but I wasn't sure if that was a Membership limitation or because of an underlying Paypal limitation.

    At this point I believe it is a limitation with ultimately with Paypal. Paypal does not support 'subscriptions' when using adaptive payments, unless things have changed in the past few months. So there is no reason for Membership to support the adaptive payments API. Darn.

    I'm also finding that they that been promising it since at least 2009 without delivering. Lame.