How to choose Recurring Processing Model?

The recurringProcessingModel defines a recurring payment type. By default the recurringProcessingModel is set to Subscription. You can change the recurringProcessingModel on merchant account level. This will apply to all (recurring) transactions from your account. If you want to set the Recurring Processing Model on a transaction level, you should submit the values on your API request. Possible values are:

  • Subscription: Contracts for a series of transactions with fixed or variable amounts, following a fixed time interval. If not set in the payment request, this will be the default value for shopperInteraction ContAuth.
  • CardOnFile: Models where a shopper stores card details and then purchases from the website or app at a later time using the stored card details.
  • UnscheduledCardOnFile: Contracts that occur on a non-fixed schedule and/or have variable amounts using stored card details. For example, automatic top-ups when cardholder's balance drops below certain amount.

The following table shows common business models with the corresponding Payment request parameters (Shopper Interaction and Recurring Processing Model)


Business model Transaction type Payment request parameters
Shopper Interaction Recurring Processing Model
Online purchase with shopper in-session



One-off online purchase where a shopper enters card payment details on the checkout page.


Online purchase where shopper agrees to store card details for future use on your website or app. This can be a zero-value transaction.

Ecommerce CardOnFile

Online purchase where shopper uses previously stored card payment details.

ContAuth CardOnFile
Subscriptions First transaction to sign up for a subscription. This can be a zero-value transaction. The terms and conditions should describe the policy for later subsequent charges, for example, fixed or variable amounts. Ecommerce Subscription
Subsequent subscription charges as described in the initial terms and conditions during the sign-up transaction, following equal time intervals. ContAuth Subscription
Contracts with non-fixed time interval, such as auto account top-ups Initial transaction where shopper agrees to the terms and conditions of later subsequent charges. This can be a zero-value transaction. Ecommerce UnscheduledCardOnFile
Subsequent charges as described in the initial terms and conditions during the sign-up transaction, following non-fixed time intervals. ContAuth UnscheduledCardOnFile
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