Skip to main content

Overview of Payment Method Updater


Overview of Payment Method Updater

Zuora Payment Method Updater (PMU) enables merchants to automatically incorporate changes made to a customer's Visa, MasterCard, or American Express data, including the expiration date, new card number, account closure, and brand migration. Zuora PMU service updates payment methods according to the payment gateway type. You can configure one Payment Method Updater for all payment methods of a payment gateway type. Updating payment methods of specific gateway instances is not supported. 

Why Zuora's Payment Method Updater?

Maintaining updated payment methods is important to avoid loss in revenue due to failed payments. The payment method refers to the form of payment customers are using, which is a credit card in the case of PMU. The Zuora PMU works with Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards.

The Payment Method Updater (PMU) is for Zuora customers who have signed up with the Account Updater service of payment service providers. Merchants interested in using the PMU feature must first register for the account updater services with the provider of their choice and review the prerequisites.

Key features

  • Automatically selects default payment methods and then request updated account information for credit cards prior to the customers' next bill cycle day. The updater service receives the update requests from Zuora via a secure batch file, then forwards it to Visa's Account Updater Service, American Express Card Refresher or MasterCard's Automatic Billing Updater Service to obtain updated card information.
  • Automatically updates credit card information into Zuora.
  • Creates new payment methods in Zuora when credit card numbers have been changed (this may also include a new expiration date) and sets the new credit card as the default payment method.
  • Updates payment methods with the latest expiration dates.
  • For closed accounts, marks these payment methods in Zuora as closed. Closed credit cards will no longer be used to process payments.
  • View and export updater credit card batches. 
  • Easy to understand batch processing statuses: processingcompleted, and error.

Overall workflow

The diagram below shows the top-level view of how the PMU operates. Each month, the merchant has one or more bill cycle days (BCDs) to send bills to the customers. Before the BCD, the PMU service sends out a batch of credit cards to the appropriate updater service and updates the credit card information. The service normally takes 2-5 days to complete -- each providers' updaters have slightly different time schedules. Afterwards, the merchant reviews the batch of credit cards for any accounts that the merchant may have to follow up with, and then the end customer's bills are sent. Lastly, on the BCD, customers are billed. As discussed in the setup sections in detail, it is a good idea to submit the batch at least 5-10 days prior to the BCD.

PMU Top Level (2).png

Zuora provides a console to help track and monitor all the batch files submitted to the updater service for account updates.

Each provide will supply you with the required credentials to get set up with the Zuora PMU and to update payment methods. Zuora will collect the default payment methods for all accounts on the specified day prior to the billing day. Zuora sends this information to provider, who sends the information along to Visa, American Express and/or MasterCard. Within approximately a week, the credit card provider returns information to Zuora, and Zuora will update the payment information for the credit cards that were sent. 

If the returned PMU results indicate that a credit card has been closed, Zuora will subsequently close the corresponding payment method. Closing the default payment method for an account stops the payment run from processing the account if the credit card was the default payment method on the account.

Zuora processes only major PMU status returned from the gateway by default. If you want to process other PMU status, you can obtain the response code using Data Source Export and implement your own processing logic using Workflow.

Enabling Zuora PMU will vary between providers, and thus separate configuration pages exist for each updater service. See Setting Up Payment Method Updater for more information.