Topic: Making the payment of the participation fee a requirement for completing the registration  (Read 16694 times)

We would prefer a procedure during which the payment of fees is an indispensable part of the registration process.
How can we make the payment mandatory to complete the registration as participant?

(A German version of this article is available.)

Unfortunately, you cannot really "force" someone to pay in ConfTool.
But overall it’s just a question of whom the organizers consider as fully registered participants, therefore you can still represent this requirement in ConfTool.

There are several reasons why the online payment cannot be fully embedded as a step of the registration process:
  • With offline payment methods such as bank transfer and checks, it will take some days before incoming payments are recorded in the organizer’s account.
  • Many people need to first present an invoice (and an invitation) to their administration before they get a payment release.  It may take from some days to several weeks in order to receive this approval. For this (usually relatively large) group of participants, a payment process is necessary that is separate from the registration process.
  • Please note that a registration with all details (participant data, status, booked items or events, confirmation of the registration terms etc.) is required for a legally valid purchase. The data is needed to calculate the total fee, to generate the invoice for the participant and to create the data required to call most payment systems.
  • Many payment systems providers also obligate their merchants (in the terms of their merchant agreement) to provide such a process including a confirmation of the registration terms, before users may proceed with the payment. They want to avoid that credit card holders complain later that they were not aware of the full costs and obligations, as credit card chargebacks cause considerable costs and work.
  • German customers must press a button with the inscription "zahlungspflichtig bestellen" ("order with obligation" to pay or comparable) before a payment can be made (see §312j BGB).
  • Most payment systems today use their own secure pages, the process runs outside of ConfTool. Furthermore, the ConfTool system often does not receive any message if the user does not complete the payment.Therefore, it cannot be avoided that individual payments are not made after successful booking (e.g. when customers close their browser windows).
  • Cross-border online payments (even of smaller amounts) quite often fail for security reasons, and the bank of the client has to clear the payment first. This happens much more often when compared to national online payments (e.g. to your favorite online stores).

In theory, we could automatically cancel a registration if the payment is not completed within a certain time. However, an automatic cancellation would force all users to start over with their registration process each time a payment problem occurs or if they, for instance, need the invoice and a release for payment first. For offline payment methods (like bank transfer or check), an automatic cancellation is not an option anyway, as many organizations need 2 to 4 weeks to transfer the payment. That is why we decided against an automatic cancellation of registrations.

However, the following options allow you to consider people without payment as non-registered and/or to "motivate" them to pay immediately:
  • We suggest enabling a 'Payment Required Message' informing ConfTool users that a registration is not complete until full payment of participation fees has been received.
    Please go to:
    Overview => Settings => Manage Payment Options
    … and enable the option "Payment Required Message" (Image 1).
    By doing this, participants are not fully registered until they have completed their payment.
    When you click on "Wordings and Phrases" here, you will be directed to the page on which you can edit the message.
  • On the page:
    Overview => Settings => Manage Payment Options
    ... you can also enable an automatic redirection to the payment gateway for users who want to pay online using PayPal (see Image 2) or Stripe.
    (The redirection is also available for many other credit card gateway systems.)
  • If you want to (manually) cancel registrations without receipt of payment after a certain amount of time (e.g. 4 weeks, as stated in the terms and conditions) without informing the participants first, you should enable a function allowing cancelled participants to register again (usually participants with cancelled registration cannot register again).
    Please go to the page:
    Overview => Settings => Main Settings for Participant Registration
    ... and enable the option "Allow Cancelled Participants to Re-Register" (see Image 3).
    Before you have to enable "Expert Settings".