Recurring application charges

Alternatively, you can create and issue a recurring application charge. The recurring application charge is applied every 30 days from the day the store owner accepts the charge. This means a shop will have its own 30-day billing cycle with Shopify, plus an independent 30-day cycle for each recurring app charge.

Here's an example timeline:

Day 0 Shop signs up; 30-day Shopify billing cycle starts
Day 5 App is installed; 30-day recurring app billing cycle starts; recurring charge is added to shop's next invoice.
Day 30 Shop is invoiced; app charge appears for the first time.
Day 35 Recurring charge cycle restarts; recurring charge is added to shop's next invoice.
Day 60 Shop is invoiced; app charge is included.

Once a recurring application charge is activated and approved, the system has to handle the case where future payments are declined for some reason. If a shop stops paying its bills, Shopify will freeze the account. This means that your recurring application charge will be frozen as well and you will not get paid. In the event that a shop starts payments again the shop will be unfrozen and charges will resume.

A status diagram explaining the recurring charge process.

From the app developer perspective, service should continue to be provided to a shop as long as their recurring charge is in the Active state.

It should be noted that each shop can have only one recurring application charge per app. If you activate a new recurring application charge (e.g. service upgrade) for a shop that already has a recurring application charge in place, the existing recurring application charge will be cancelled and replaced by the new charge. Then, the new recurring application charge will activate. This means that upgrading and downgrading a store owner's recurring application charge or plan is straightforward; just change their plan and have them accept the new recurring charge.

To see Recurring Application Charge endpoints, view our RecurringApplicationCharge Reference guide.