Account Updater

Recurly’s Account Updater service monitors your customers’ Mastercard®, Visa®, Discover®, and American Express credit cards for changes, making updates in Recurly's records whenever necessary. Account Updater is critical to minimizing loss in revenue due to avoidable failed payments.

Credit Card Support

Recurly's Account Updater works with the Account Updater programs for Mastercard®, Visa® and Discover® credit cards. Participation is first determined by the customer's card issuing bank who provides account change events to Mastercard®, Visa® and Discover®. Recurly also supports the card updates in Europe.


New! Recurly now supports American Express Card Refresher.

This service works a bit differently from Mastercard®, Visa® and Discover®. Please read the American Express section below.

Configuration & Availability

This service is available for every credit card payment gateway that we support, with the exception of SagePay. Account Updater for Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express are available across all Recurly plan levels.

To enable the service for your site, simply go to your Payment Gateways configuration. Recurly's Account Updater service can be turned on in any environment but will only request card updates when your site is in production mode. Please note that your site must be in production mode in order to enable the Amex Account Updater service.


If enabled, Recurly's Account Updater checks for credit card account updates before a subscription renewal and when a re-subscribe signup results in a hard decline.

Subscription Renewal

6 days prior to a subscriptions renewal, Recurly checks the account with Mastercard®, Visa® and Discover®. If there is an account update required, the update will be applied to the customer's billing info before the subscription renewal.

Subscription Renewal Failures

When a subscription renewal attempt is declined resulting in a past due invoice, Recurly checks the account with Mastercard®, Visa® and Discover® if it has been 5 days or more since the last check. To maximize payment recovery, Recurly performs this check in perpetuity as long as the invoice remains past due. When an account update is required, the update will be applied immediately to the customer's billing info. And the transaction is retried immediately at the time Recurly applies the update to the customer's billing info. Later, if a future transaction retry is scheduled during dunning, the scheduled transaction retry attempt will use the new billing info.

One Time Transaction Decline

One time transactions will not be submitted to the Account Updater service.


When a customer re-subscribes with billing info already on their account and the transaction results in a hard decline from the payment gateway, Recurly checks the account with Mastercard®, Visa® and Discover®. If there is an update, it will return in 1-8 days. The re-subscribe hard decline provides an opportunity to update credit card information on the account in case the customer tries to re-subscribe again or if there happens to be another subscription on the account that would be affected by the bad credit card data.

American Express

Recurly is able to provide connectivity to Amex Account Updater, known as Card Refresher, even if your gateway doesn’t support the service. Merchants need their own American Express merchant accounts to utilize this service.

Getting Started

  1. Log into your Recurly account and navigate to the gateway configuration page, where you'll see an American Express Card Refresher box on the right side.

  1. Click "Enable", then enter your 10 digit American Express SE number and submit.

You should expect card updates beginning in 3 business days.

Update Triggers

Amex account updater works differently from account updater for other card brands. When the merchant registers their SE, Recurly registers all stored Amex billing information with Amex Card Refresher. Once a card is registered, Amex automatically pushes any relevant updates to Recurly and Recurly updates the stored billing information accordingly. As the merchant gets new American Express cards, Recurly will continue to enroll them as long as the merchant is enrolled in the program.

*Note: Some gateways use aggregate American Express accounts rather than each merchant having their own Amex account. American Express does not support Card Refresher in these cases.


For Mastercard®, Visa® and Discover® credit cards, the following events will automatically apply the latest account credit card information:

Updated Expiration Date

The expiration date will be updated on the account billing information.

Updated Credit Card Number

The credit card number will be updated on the account billing information. The changes will be reflected in the customer’s account with an updated first six and last four digits.

Credit Card Account Closed

The billing info is marked as invalid and requires the account cannot be billed.

All of these events trigger the Update Billing Info webhook.

Account Activity

Under an Account's Activity, an event will be recorded for any credit card billing info updates by the Account Updater.


Excluding an Account's Billing Information

In scenarios where billing info should not be updated with Account Updater, a merchant may choose to exclude an account's billing information from the Account Updater service. This will allow the Account Updater feature to remain enabled for a Recurly site as a whole, while selectively excluding certain accounts as needed.


Configuring this can be done via the steps below:

  1. From Recurly, go to the specific customer account you'd like to exclude.
  2. On the right-side of the page, scroll below the "billing info" section.
  3. Adjust the Account Updater setting as needed.


  1. Since Account Updater only works for credit cards, this option is only available on accounts that have credit card billing information stored.
  2. Only users who have the ability to edit billing information will see this option.
  3. By default, all billing info will be submitted to the Account Updater service if enabled.

*There may be a fee associated with this feature.