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Help me understand the connection between CIM - AIM - ARB

A quick brief on what I'm attempting to do and possibly you can correct my logic.


I'm attempting to create a membership element for my website.


By what I've already read I would want to initially process a paymnent through AIM which gets 

accepted or declined immediately allowing me to accept payment approval assuring a vaild

card and payment ability. Then I would set up a subscription via ARB for the same date the

following month, which would be billed monthly as long as the card remains valid.


I know that with ARB that the subscription information can be edited but not the credit card

info itself. The problem I have is what if a customer has a card that the expiration date is

at hand and it would need to be updated. Just utilizing ARB the subscription would have to

be ended and the customer initiate a new subscription using his updated card information.


To me this is not an acceptable scenario. What I see as a better solution is the customer is 

notified prior to their card becoming invalid logs into the members area, updates their card

information and billing continues as usual.


I believe the method would be supported via this chain: place the customer information in

CIM, initiate an immediate charge for the current subscription payment via AIM, then setup

their subscription for the following subsequent months. Is this correct thinking. Does my 

pan out?


I know there's alot of supporting information and examples so I don't think coding is as 

much my issue as figuring out how these three elements/modules tie together. Does the

customer ID remain the same so my backend can keep track of the process?


Any ideas or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've wracked my brain trying to

figure out how these pieces fit together without messing up the other.


As a further note are their any pluggable scripts that offer this solution. Thanks in advance.




Chris Creighton


Actually, no. If an ARB subscription fails in the middle, the subscription is put on hold. You can then update the credit card information, which automatically reactivates the subscription and starts it charging again- with the caveat that the payment it failed on (unless it was the first one) is skipped and would need to be charged via AIM. So your silent post page would need to detect failure, mail the person, send them to a page where they can update their credit card info and where they will be charged for the missing payment via AIM.


CIM is of course easier to set up for the first time and deal with on an ongoing basis, but if you're already successfully using ARB, having to change the credit card info would not be sufficient reason for switching.