Why are my customers' charges marked as recurring?

You may find that sometimes your customers see ‘recurring’ on their statements, even for non-subscription charges. Stripe cannot store CVC codes so we mark payments made with saved payment information as ‘recurring’ so the card-issuing bank knows why charge requests are missing that information.

For more context:

Banks take a lot of factors, including the CVC code, into account when determining whether to approve or decline charges. The presence of the correct CVC code in a charge request is a strong signal that a charge is being made by the cardholder. Card-issuing banks are much more likely to approve a charge when the correct CVC code is present.

When you store your customers' payment data with Stripe, you may initially send over the CVC code associated with the card. We use the CVC code in our initial validation of your customer’s card information, as well as with any charge created right after the payment data is stored with Stripe.

However, to maintain PCI compliance, Stripe cannot store your customers' CVC codes. That means any charge made after your customers' payment data is saved with Stripe will not be accompanied by a CVC code.

To increase the likelihood that your charges will be approved, we mark all charges being made with a saved customer as ‘recurring’. This tells the bank that the CVC code isn’t present because the payment information was stored for recurring use.

The ‘recurring’ flag may show up on your customers' statements, but doesn’t necessarily indicate the customer is subscribed to a recurring billing plan.

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