How The First Payment Is Charged

If a PayPal subscription is started without a free trial, the first payment is charged as a "setup_fee" instead of a normal recurring payment. To make the second recurring payment on the right date, we add a fake "trial" period to the subscription.

This little trick allows us to charge the first payment right after creating the subscription — and wait for it before letting the user join your members-only channels & groups.

Otherwise, it could take several hours (up to 24 hours) to make the first charge and a subscription could actually start with a failed payment.

When Recurring Payments Are Charged

Recurring payments are charged at 10:00 am, GMT irrespective of country.

How To Cancel A PayPal Subscription

A PayPal subscription can be cancelled in 4 ways:

  • by the user in your membership bot ("Cancel subscription" button);
  • by the user on the PayPal website;
  • by you on the PayPal website;
  • automatically (due to the failed payments).

Once a PayPal subscription is cancelled, the access to your members-only area is immediately revoked.

That's why, when a user cancels his subscription in your bot — we actually suspend it and cancel the subscription only at the current period end.

For example: a user started his monthly subscription and paid for the first month on Jan 1. On Jan 15, he cancelled it in your bot. In this case, his PayPal subscription will be suspended on Jan 15 and on Feb 1 will be cancelled (by InviteMember, automatically). The user will be removed from the channels on Feb 1.

How To Suspend A PayPal Subscription

You can temporarily suspend a subscription to pause payment collection.

To do that, login to your PayPal account, open subscription page and change the status to "SUSPENDED". This won't affect the user's membership status in your membership bot.

InviteMember will only remove the user when his subscription status is set to "CANCELLED".

How Failed Payments Are Retried

In short, PayPal will make 2 more attempts (on the 5th and on the 10th day) to recover the payment and then will suspend the subscription. InviteMember will receive "subscription suspended" event notification from PayPal and will cancel the subscription.

Below there's a more detailed explanation.

Here's a quote from the official PayPal documentation:

Failed payments are retried every 5 days (a maximum of 2 retries) until the next cycle is reached. If the second retry attempt fails, PayPal increments the failed payment count by 1, places the amount in the outstanding balance, and adds it to next billing cycle.


A subscription is suspended if this count exceeds the payment_failure_threshold configured against the plan associated with the subscription. Any amount you're trying to recover will go into an outstanding balance which you settle offline or can pull anytime.

InviteMember starts PayPal subscription with default payment_failure_threshold value equal to 0.

You can change payment_failure_threshold value if you like (in Payment options > PayPal Live menu).

Note. For old (started earlier than 28 August 2020) PayPal subscriptions payment_failure_threshold was set to 4.

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