Intelligent retries

Boost payment success with Recurly's Intelligent Retries. Harness machine learning for optimized transaction retries.


Required plan

This feature is available exclusively to customers on the Professional and Elite subscription plans. For those interested in upgrading to these plans, please contact your Recurly account manager or email [email protected] for further information.


  • An active Recurly account in production mode.
  • Recurring credit card payment setup.
  • Access to the Recurly dashboard and configurations.


  • Not applicable for hard declines unless specific conditions are met.
  • Direct debit payment methods do not undergo automatic retries.
  • The default settings allow a maximum of 7 transaction declines or 20 total transaction attempts per invoice. These parameters can be customized by your Dedicated Support Contact (DSC) according to your business needs.


Recurly's Intelligent Retries employs machine learning to determine the optimal time for retrying a declined recurring credit card payment. By analyzing vast data points and transaction attributes, it enhances the likelihood of payment success, ensuring consistent revenue flow and reduced involuntary subscriber churn.

Key benefits

  • Data-driven decisions: Utilizes machine learning to determine the best retry schedule.
  • Enhanced revenue recovery: Increases the chances of successful payment collection.
  • Reduced subscriber churn: Minimizes disruptions and involuntary subscriber churn.
  • Adaptable logic: Tailors retry schedules to maximize the opportunity of success.
  • Comprehensive coverage: Works alongside other revenue recovery strategies such as Dunning.

Recurly's intelligent retry logic

Recurly's intelligent retry logic uses data from billions of transactions to increase the chances of successful payments. This helps keep your customers' subscriptions active and reduces the chance of losing them due to payment issues. Upgrading to Recurly's Professional or Elite plans gives access to a personalized retry schedule for each declined transaction, improving revenue and customer satisfaction.

Simplified retry strategy

Rather than a one-size-fits-all retry attempt, Recurly applies a customized approach for each failed payment, informed by ongoing analysis and machine learning. This method adapts over time, aiming to find the best moment to re-attempt a transaction. Core plan users can contact Recurly support to learn more about the advantages of upgrading for this feature.

General retry guidelines

Soft declines and machine learning

Soft declines, which occur for reasons like insufficient funds or temporary holds, are not final. Recurly's machine learning technology plays a crucial role here, as it determines the most effective timing for retries using the same payment method. By analyzing patterns in transaction data, the system adapts the retry schedule to enhance the likelihood of a successful charge, tailoring the process to suit various scenarios and maximize efficiency for your business.

Hard declines

While hard declines typically aren't retried, there are exceptions:

  • Exception A: Immediate retry if Account Updater or the customer updates billing information.
  • Exception B: Change from hard to soft decline during dunning after billing information update.
  • Exception C: Forced collection outside the typical recurring schedule.

Handling gateway payment declines

Different gateway errors have specific retry schedules:

  • Try Again/Gateway Error: Every 2 days.
  • Issuer or Processor Unavailable: Every 3 days.
  • Communication/Configuration Error: Initial retries up to 2 times, 4 hours apart, followed by 6 retries, 1 day apart, and finally retries through the end of the dunning cycle, 3 days apart.

Maximum retry attempts

Retries will cease after 7 transaction declines, 20 total transaction attempts, or 60 days since the invoice creation.

Manual retry and forced collection

For more control, you can initiate a forced collection attempt by clicking the Attempt Collection Now button on a pending or past due invoice's details page. However, excessive manual retries might exhaust the allowed transaction count for automated retries. This function is also available via API.

Force Collection

Direct debit payments

Recurly currently does not implement automatic payment retries for most direct debit methods such as ACH and iDEAL, except in cases where there is an update to billing information. For situations that may require a retry, such as an invoice correction or update, manual retries are possible and can be executed through the Admin Console or via Recurly’s APIs.

Recurly has implemented a new feature to automatically retry SEPA payments. Read more on the SEPA Direct Debit Retries page.

Complementary revenue recovery strategies

Intelligent Retries complement the Dunning customer communication process.. For a deeper dive into the Dunning process, visit the Dunning Management page.