Payments FAQs

Why do I need a Merchant Account or Payment Gateway?

A merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payment by debit or credit cards. A payment gateway facilitates the secure transfer of information between you and your merchant account. These work together to process automated transactions, such as by credit card, and transfer the appropriate funds to your merchant account. Chargify manages and automates this process for your business via our integrations with many payment gateways.

What payment gateways does Chargify support?

Chargify currently supports a number of Payment Gateways in various countries. Please check our Payment Gateway List.

Does Chargify store my customers data and credit cards?

Chargify does not store your customers credit card information. That information is stored in your payment gateway’s secure “vault” in a secure, PCI compliant location. We work with your gateway so you don’t have to worry about managing this sensitive information. Chargify is officially Level 1 PCI compliant, the highest level of compliance for any business. Additionally, our services are hosted in a special facility that focuses on financial transaction security and integrity.

What does it mean to be PCI compliant?

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of requirements designed to ensure that companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment. Cardholder data is any personally identifiable data associated with a cardholder. This could be an account number, expiration date, name, address, social security number, etc. All personally identifiable information associated with the cardholder that is stored, processed, or transmitted is also considered cardholder data.

How is credit card information transmitted securely with Chargify?

Using Chargify Public Pages

If you use Chargify hosted Public Signup or Self-Service Pages to collect credit card data from your customers, then we take care of security for you. The pages are secured using our SSL certificate.

Using Your Own Secure Pages with the Chargify API

If you use our API and create your own pages to collect and display credit card numbers, then you need to be sure the data is always encrypted 1) on its way from your customer’s browser to your servers, and 2) from your servers to Chargify.

For any pages you host that collect or display credit card numbers, you must use an SSL certificate. These pages must only be accessed by your customers via https (not http). Chargify API calls are secured with Chargify’s SSL certificate. You do not have to do anything extra to make this work.

Does Chargify support collecting foreign currencies?

Depending on the Payment Gateway you’ve chosen, Chargify supports different currencies. For a current list, please see our documentation on Currency selection.

Do you support Payment Gateways outside the USA?

Yes, we support a number of payment gateways for our merchants in various countries.

Please check our Payment Gateway List.

Can I use Chargify in another country or currency?

Yes,  Chargify supports the ability to collect payment in multiple countries and currencies. Currency and geography are payment gateway specific. If your current payment gateway does not support a currency or geography, you can use an additional gateway which does and our multi-gateway functionality.  

My customer’s card is expired. How did they still get charged?

Sometimes even if a customer’s card is expired, they will still be charged for their subscription. Chargify attempts to charge the card at renewal time regardless of the expiration date. We’ve found that many card issuers and payment processors will continue to honor a card when it has been used for recurring or frequent transactions with a merchant.

Additionally, some gateways have a card updater service that receives information about new expiration dates for a cards on file, and the new date is not always displayed in the Chargify system.

Do I need the “Customer Information Manager” (“CIM”) or “Payment Profile” or “Data Vault” or “TransArmor” feature?

Yes. In order to securely store your customer credit card data in a 100% PCI-compliant environment, Chargify utilizes the gateway’s “customer information manager” or “payment profile” or “data vault” feature.

When signing up for a gateway, please be sure to ask for this to be enabled on your account. (For, ask for “CIM”. For First Data, ask for “TransArmor”.) In most cases, this feature will have an additional cost but will provide you with the peace of mind that your customer data is stored securely.

In addition to security, these services give you total ownership of your customer credit card data. Instead of being stored on the Chargify servers, you can communicate directly with your gateway to update, delete, or transfer card data at any time.

Please note that it may take a day or two for the vault to become active after it is enabled. 

Do I need Recurring Billing (called “ARB” at enabled on my account?

No. Chargify replaces the need for recurring solutions, such as “ARB”, at the gateway level. We calculate the recurring schedules and perform the transactions without the use of a gateway’s recurring features. We provide many features that ARB cannot, such as metered-usage billing, discount coupon codes, reaching out to customers when cards are declined, etc.

Can I run test transactions before I have a gateway account?

Yes. Choose ‘Test Gateway’ from Site Settings. This allows you to test your system using the following dummy credit card numbers instead of full 16-digit numbers:

“1” (to generate a successful outcome, as if the card was charged successfully) “2” (to generate an unsuccessful outcome, as if the card was declined for the charge).

Can I run test transactions against my gateway?

Yes. To do so, ask your gateway provider for a test account. In the case of, be sure to get a “developer account”. You can sign up online.. Enter the test credentials you are provided into your Chargify “test site” settings. Do not use these credentials for a Chargify production site.

What will I need to run transactions in Production?

You will need a “live” gateway to integrate with your Chargify production site. These credentials differ from your test credentials.

Please note that some gateways will not provide an error if you use production credentials on a test site within Chargify; be sure the appropriate credentials are entered into your site settings.

** “live” accounts have a ‘test mode’ feature. It is strongly recommended that you do not use ‘test mode.’ Please register for a developer test account instead.

Does Chargify support Level 2/3 transaction data?

Chargify does not currently support sending Level 2 or Level 3 data for credit card transactions.

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