How FastSpring Imports Subscription and Payment Information From Your Current Vendor

FastSpring
Estimated read time: 8 minutes, 18 seconds

FastSpring can import your subscriptions with or without payment details. This article covers importing subscriptions with payment details. If you want to know what the import process is like without migrating payment details, please click here.

For the FastSpring subscription export process, please click here.


FastSpring’s subscription import service provides sellers the ability to move their active credit card subscriptions from their existing vendor to FastSpring. Currently, our service supports all currencies that FastSpring accepts at checkout. 

Importing subscriptions is a multi-step process that requires the participation and coordination of multiple parties. Import timelines vary from seller to seller; generally, it takes weeks, not months.

Who Is Involved?

A hard migration including subscriber payment information needs the involvement of four parties: 

  1. The seller (if you’re thinking about moving to FastSpring, that’s you) needs to provide FastSpring with subscriber information (that doesn’t include payment information). 
  2. The seller’s current payment service provider (PSP) needs to share the subscribers’ payment information to FastSpring’s PSP. 
  3. FastSpring needs to gather and import the subscriber information with payment information. 
  4. FastSpring’s PSP needs to tokenize the payment information and provide it to FastSpring. 

Who From the Seller’s Company Is Involved?

The decision maker and the project manager will need to work on this process.

Who From FastSpring Is Involved?

FastSpring’s product manager, sales lead, implementation project manager, and sales engineer (if necessary) will take part in the process. 

What Happens in the Hard Migration Process?

Before any import project begins, a kickoff call takes place with relevant project stakeholders. FastSpring’s project manager typically leads this call and covers the import process and timeline along with roles and expectations.

Here’s a flow chart that explains the process visually (more details below): 

fastspring hard migration flow chart

Note: The next six steps correspond to the numbered steps in the diagram above.

Step 1: Seller Requests Subscription Data From Their Current Vendor

Prior to any import discussions with FastSpring, it is the seller’s responsibility to confirm with their existing vendor that they are able to move subscription and payment information from the current provider to FastSpring.

Step 2: Seller Provides Subscriber/Customer Information in Required Format

FastSpring requires the seller’s subscription information to be formatted based on the Subscription Import Guide. FastSpring can help answer questions about data formatting to assist the seller but will not be responsible for producing the import file. 

Ultimately, it’s the responsibility of the seller to ensure their customer/subscriber information is in the format required by FastSpring to import. For a sample import-ready file, please refer to the Subscription Import Guide; it includes an example file that meets FastSpring’s requirements as further outlined in that guide.

Best practices for a successful import:

  • All products that you wish to import should already be fully configured in your FastSpring store before you start the import process. 
  • Remember that the referenceID is the field used to match the files you submit. Imported subscription data will be merged with your FastSpring subscriptions using this field. 
  • The number of subscriptions being passed to FastSpring should match the number of subscriptions being passed from your payment provider to FastSpring. There should also be a correspondingly similar amount of encrypted primary account number (PAN) information. 
  • Provide tax exemption data whenever possible to avoid unnecessary tax charges to exempt buyers. 
  • Do not import subscriptions with credit cards that are known to be invalid. 
  • Deactivate the rebilling process, and double check the subscription charge and end dates with your previous provider in order to avoid double-billing errors. 
  • Inform your subscribers of the migration in advance to avoid chargebacks, cancellations, or returns; FastSpring does not send these notifications to subscribers. 
  • All columns and column headers in the subscription file need to be maintained, regardless of whether or not data is included. If columns are removed, this will cause the import to fail.
  • All required data must be populated and formatted correctly. Keep in mind the following:
    • Date formats (YYYY/DD/MM).
    • Five-digit zip codes for all US-based subscriptions.
    • Product path is different from the product name.
  • Nextchargedate is the day we will charge the customer.
    • Note: If the nextchargedate is past the import date, FastSpring will still attempt to bill the customer the day after the import. FastSpring does not recommend importing subscriptions with a nextchargedate more than 60 days in the past.
    • Recommendation: To avoid any double billing (by both FastSpring and the old vendor), we recommend setting the nextchargedate on the second or later re-bill date after the import.
  • Taxes/VAT details:
    • Based on the store’s setting, the price specified will either be defined as price inclusive (gross pricing) or price exclusive (net pricing).
    • For US-based subscriptions, we treat all prices as tax exclusive and will apply tax on top of the product price when applicable.
  • Prorating Subscriptions
    • Prorating subscriptions is not supported until after the first successful rebill.

As another best practice, we recommend creating a sample subscription file with 100 records for us to verify formatting before producing a full subscription file. This allows both FastSpring and the seller to validate the quality of the data prior to import. 

IMPORTANT NOTE: The final subscription import file should be produced at the same time as payment import data is sent from the seller’s PSP to FastSpring’s PSP.

When you are ready to import subscriptions to your FastSpring store, please send an email to migrations@fastspring.com containing the required information outlined in the Subscription Import Guide.

Step 3: Seller Requests Payment Data and Securely Sends to Fastspring’s Processing Vendor

The process of requesting the information from the current provider to share with FastSpring often requires a contract by the current provider. As the seller, you’re responsible for getting any contracts signed in order for the information to be exported for subscriptions and the payments to be sent to FastSpring. This initial step often is the most time consuming. 

For your convenience, we have a sample letter the seller can send to their PSP to initiate the process. The sample letter titled “Migration Request Letter” can be found below.

Step 4: Communication Coordination Between FastSpring and Seller’s PSP

When ready, communication between the two PSP parties will be coordinated by FastSpring. Typically, the payment token file is transmitted in a specific file format, encrypted and via sFTP.

At this time, the following information must be sent to FastSpring:

  • Seller’s point of contact.
  • Seller’s PSP’s point of contact.

FastSpring will have the standard security documentation from the FastSpring PSP available for the seller’s PSP to review.

Step 5: Payment Information Tokenized and Delivered to FastSpring to Be Imported

A formatted token file is sent from the Seller’s PSP to the FastSpring PSP using strict file format, encryption, and transport rules.

FastSpring’s PSP will import the Seller’s PSP token file, exchange those tokens with new tokens, and securely send the new tokens to FastSpring, which will combine the subscription file and payment file and import that new file into the FastSpring subscription engine.

On the day of the import, FastSpring will combine subscriber/customer information with payment information and import subscriptions (usually in batches) into the system. FastSpring will inform the seller (an email will come from migrations [at] fastspring.com) when the import is complete along with all the ImportIdentifier IDs used, so the seller can query imported subscriptions via the API.

Please reference the best practices in Step #2 above.

As another best practice, we recommend communicating the change in billing providers to your subscribers. For your convenience, a sample letter titled “Sample Communication to Subscribers” can be tailored and sent to your subscribers; it can be found below.

Step 6: FastSpring Provides Import Report to Seller

Subscribers will be charged according to the nextchargedate. Thereafter, all notifications the buyer receives will be dictated by the seller’s store settings.

Following the import, FastSpring will provide the seller an import summary (an email will come from migrations [at] fastspring.com)  that includes summary data tallying the the number of subscriptions that were unable to be imported successfully. 

For those subscriptions that could not be imported, we will discuss in detail at our wrap-up meeting the actions that need to be taken to address those subscriptions.

When the import is complete, FastSpring will provide the seller with the new Subscription IDs used, so the seller can query imported subscriptions via the API.

Sample Migration Request Letter

Hi [Seller’s PSP],

Please accept this as our formal request to transfer our service to another provider. 

As part of this request, we would like to migrate our subscription payment token data to FastSpring’s PSP.  FastSpring and FastSpring’s PSP are PCI level 1 compliant and will be the new Merchant of Record (MOR).

An authorized representative from [company name] has signed this request to initiate the transfer effective as dated below.  Please sign and return acknowledging the request from [Company Name]. 

If there are any additional details you would need from us to process this request, please advise and we will provide that information promptly.

 [Seller Company Name] [Seller’s PSP Company Name]

Representative’s Name:Representative’s Name:
Signature:Signature:
Position:Position:
Date:Date:

Sample Communication to Subscribers

Hi [Subscriber],

We’re getting a better billing provider!

In the last few months, we have been tirelessly working to improve our subscription process and we believe that our new billing provider will help you enjoy your experience with [Company Name] even more. 

Managing your subscriptions information will be quicker, easier and you’ll be able to take advantage of these improvements immediately!

There is no action needed from you at this time. Please do be advised that your bank statements will now show as [insert billing descriptor] for your subscriptions with [Company Name]. 

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at [Email Address/Phone Number].

Thank you,

[Company Name]

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