Securely store customer credit and debit cards for future use – while staying PCI compliant. It’s easy: your customers enter their credit card information once. You can then authorize charges or store it in Stripe's or Square's secure and PCI-compliant environment for later use. Use Card on File to simplify recurring payments, subscriptions, installments, or any time when you don't know what the final charges will be.
How to keep credit cards on file
- If you haven’t already, log in to your Cognito Forms account and create a payment form.
- Connect your Stripe or Square account to your form. If your Square account is already connected, you will first need to reconnect (remove, then add) your payment account in order to use this feature.
- In the payment settings block, find the Keep Card on File in Stripe/Square option:
- Always – Collect credit card information every time a customer submits your form.
- When – Only collect credit card information when specific conditions are met. After selecting this option, the Conditional Logic Builder dialog will display and allow you to determine when to keep credit cards on file.
- Never – Credit cards are never kept on file. This option is selected by default.
- Select the Always or When options to enable card authorization on your form. Next, you will be prompted to map billing fields on your form that contain your customer's name, address, and phone number. You must select an email address field to save customer details. All of this information will be sent to Stripe/Square as part of each payment; however, only the email address will be populated in the customer profile.
- Save your changes. Now, customers must select the I agree to save my card for future transactions option before submitting your form. This checkbox is required so that customers can give explicit consent to having their card information stored in Stripe/Square. At this point, you can authorize charges from within Cognito Forms or process charges later in Stripe/Square.
Charge customers in Cognito Forms
Once a customer’s card information has been saved, you can easily charge the card on file from within Cognito Forms:
- Open your form’s Entries page.
- Find the entry for the customer that you want to charge.
- Select the Submit Payment button.
- Select the Credit Card on File option, and hit Submit. Alternatively, you could enter a new credit card, or simply mark the amount as paid (with cash).
The payment entry will now indicate a status of Paid. At this point, you can choose to refund the payment if necessary. Learn more about managing entries with payment.
Once you’ve enabled card on file payments with Stripe, your customers’ information will be stored in your Stripe Dashboard. Please note that Stripe will create a new customer for every transaction, even if a customer already exists with the same email address.
From the Customers menu, there are multiple ways to charge customers:
Select the Create payment option to charge a customer using the card on file. Specify the currency, amount, description, etc.
Select the Add subscription option to create a new active subscription. Learn more about creating subscriptions in Stripe.
Select the Create invoice option to customize and send invoices. Learn more about creating invoices in Stripe.
Once you’ve enabled card on file payments with Square, your customers’ information will be stored in your Square Dashboard. From the Directory section under the Customers menu, there are multiple ways to charge customers:
When you create a Square Invoice, you can select a card on file to charge. With every successful payment, you can provide customers with a digital receipt (text message or email) or a printed receipt. Customers can click the link at the bottom of any of their receipts to unlink or delete their payment card.
In Square, you can use a card on file to process recurring or subscription-type payments. Learn more about creating and managing recurring invoices.
Check out our pre-built form templates to learn how to use card on file payments:
- Contract – Create a contract for services that allows customers to pay a lump sum or split up their payment.
- Credit Card Authorization Form – Capture a customer’s credit card billing information for later use. No payment is collected when the form is submitted.
- Credit Card Booking Form – Obtain payment for the entire amount due and also authorize future charges.
- Payment Plan Agreement – Collect a down payment and capture customers’ billing information for future recurring monthly payments.