How to Stop Recurring Payments: All the Best Ways in 2023

Learn how to stop recurring payments from your credit or debit card, PayPal, or your bank account. It's easy to do if you choose the right way.

Few things are more frustrating than being charged for a service that you’ve canceled. 

As a customer, stopping recurring payments is simple. All you need to do is understand how to cancel a subscription via a service provider or revoke authorisation through your bank or card issuer. The good news is that both of these options can usually be done online or by phone. 

For business owners, using a straightforward payment system that allows you to manage payments and refunds quickly and easily will ensure that you can run your business more efficiently.

In this post, we’ll go through the exact steps you need to take to cancel recurring payments quickly and easily. We’ll also take a look at how to stop recurring payments through different payment methods.


What Are Recurring Payments?

Sometimes called automatic payments, recurring payments allow a business to bill a customer at regular intervals. This may be each day, week, month, or year. Recurring payments are a great solution for businesses that operate on subscription models.

Recurring payments are convenient for businesses and customers. Rather than having to send clients an invoice at the end of each cycle, the customer provides their billing information once and the business debits their account at the agreed time.

With, businesses can easily receive recurring payments. Click here to find out more.

Types of Recurring Payments

There are two types of recurring payments: fixed and variable. 

Fixed Recurring Payments

With fixed recurring payments, the same amount is charged at each interval over a set period. Common examples of these types of payments are gym memberships, magazine subscriptions, and streaming services like Netflix.

Variable Recurring Payments

For variable recurring payments, the amount charged each time is different. These types of recurring payments are common among usage-based services such as utility bills.

How to Stop Recurring Payments on a Credit Card or Debit Card

Suppose you're paying regularly through your debit or credit card for your monthly gym membership, streaming service, or magazine subscription. The best way to stop these payments is to first cancel your subscription with the company directly by requesting a cancellation via email or phone. 

If this doesn't work, you should contact your bank or card company online or by phone to cancel the payment. You should do this at least three days before the next scheduled payment to avoid having another amount charged. 

In general, you should be able to withdraw your consent and stop a future payment at any time up to the day before the payment is due. Your card issuer must stop the payment when asked. If further payments are taken after you requested a cancellation, the bank must refund them. 

Of course, this doesn't mean you can just break your contract with your provider. If you have signed a minimum contract or an agreement that doesn't allow you to cancel your subscription early, you'll likely need to pay your outstanding balance.

How to Stop Recurring Payments on PayPal

One of the most useful tools PayPal offers is the ability to sign up for and cancel subscription services on the go. This saves you time and energy, especially if you have a lot of recurring monthly subscriptions. 

All of your subscriptions are conveniently organized under the ‘Payments’ tab in your PayPal settings menu, so it's simple to find what you want and cancel it whenever you need to. To cancel a recurring payment or a subscription, follow these steps:

  1. Log into your account
  2. Click the gear icon in the upper right of the page
  3. Click ‘Payments’
  4. Click ‘Manage automatic payments’
  5. Click ‘Cancel’ or ‘Cancel automatic billing’ and follow the instructions

After canceling a payment or subscription, you will still have to pay the company for the goods or services you've already received. Canceling a subscription can be done up until the day before the next scheduled payment.

How to Cancel Recurring Payments for Online Subscription Services and Apps

It's usually pretty quick and easy to cancel online subscription services that you no longer want. Many companies have flexible policies that enable you to cancel at any time. The process of canceling your subscription will depend on the company you’re working with.

Generally, the process will look something like this:

  • Log into your account
  • Open settings and go to the subscriptions or similar page
  • Click the manage button
  • Click the subscription plan you want to cancel 
  • Select cancel subscription

Most service providers will keep your account or subscription open until the next date of the following payment because you’ll already have paid to use the service up until the next billing date. 

How to Stop Automatic Payments from Your Bank Account

Automatic payments are a convenient way to pay for bills and different services. But sometimes, you may need to pause payments or stop them altogether because you no longer need or want to use a service, or because you need to take a break for whatever reason. 

You can stop automatic payments from leaving your bank account by following the three steps below. Of course, this is a general guide and some processes may differ depending on your financial institution, but most banks follow more or less the same procedure.

  1. Contact the company: Contact the merchant's billing or customer service department by phone and state that you no longer want your bank account to be automatically charged. Ask for a fax number, email address, or mailing address for the billing department. Follow this up by sending a letter stating that you no longer authorize automatic withdrawals from your bank account.

    Keep a copy of your correspondence as well as details of any phone conversations (e.g. the time, date, and reference number). This will serve as proof of your request to cancel should the company fail to stop charging your account.

  2. Contact your bank: To avoid any surprises in the event that your automatic payment isn’t canceled, you should also contact your bank to revoke authorization for recurring payments. Different banks have different policies, so you’ll have to check if you also need to sign any document or visit the bank in person.

    Another option is to ask your bank for a stop payment order. This request directs your bank to stop making future payments to a company. You can give the order in person or over the phone, but whichever you choose, it's always best to get it in writing and do so promptly before the next payment is scheduled. Some banks will charge a fee to file a stop payment order, so you may want to check this before sending it.

    It's important to note that although your stop payment order will stop a specific payment, it doesn't release you from any contractual obligations you might have. You might be subject to anything from late fees to legal action if you break a contract.

  3. Monitor your accounts and follow up: You should always monitor your accounts closely after you’ve requested the cancellation. It’s possible that your request may have been overlooked or something else is going on that’s causing the charges to continue. 

The Benefits of Using as Your Payment Service Provider

If you’re a business owner yourself, can provide a simple and efficient solution for all your payment needs, whether that’s accepting payments for one-off purchases or accepting recurring payments for subscriptions.

You can easily track all of your customers’ payments and disputes via the Pay Dashboard. Whether your client chooses to pay via credit or debit card, digital wallet, or any of the payment methods we support, you can be sure that receiving recurring payments and managing refund requests will be simple. 

Click here to find out how you can get started with

The Bottom Line: Stopping Recurring Payments Can Be Easy

Recurring payments are a convenient solution for customers and businesses alike. An automatic billing cycle can help companies to increase efficiencies and make better business decisions. For customers, it takes the hassle out of having to make individual payments for every service they use. That said, they can cause headaches for both sides when someone wants to cancel their subscription.

Most automatic payments can be canceled by sending a simple request via email or a company’s website. Alternatively, you can easily revoke authorization for these payments with your bank.

If a cancellation isn’t processed and your bank account is debited, you can request a refund from the business in question. Where the company who charged you uses, you can rest assured that your refund will land in your account in no time.

For businesses, takes the hassle out of accepting recurring payments. We let you accept a wide variety of payment methods, from credit and debit cards to mobile wallets and ACH transfers. Click here to get started now.


What is the best way to accept recurring payments from customers? allows you to accept recurring payments for subscriptions through a variety of payment methods, including credit and debit cards, as well as mobile wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay. 

The best part is that couldn’t be easier to set up. Click here to get started now.

What are the different types of recurring payments?

Recurring payments are either fixed or variable. With fixed recurring payments, the amount that you are charged will be the same each cycle. Variable recurring payments, on the other hand, are those where the amount charged differs each cycle.

Can recurring payments be canceled?

Most credit card companies and banks will allow you to revoke authorization or request a stop payment order to prevent a recurring payment that hasn't been processed yet. You can also contact the company providing the service to stop future payments.

How do I stop recurring payments on my credit card?

You can start by directly contacting the company you are paying, whether online or by phone. Most legitimate companies will accept your request to cancel unless there are specific contractual obligations. 

If the company is unwilling to cancel your recurring payments, you can contact the credit card company and revoke authorization. Before you do this, though, it’s a good idea to check your contract carefully to make sure it’s within your legal rights.

Can I cancel a recurring payment if I have a contract?

If you've entered a contract, a merchant can refuse to cancel your payments until the end of the contract period. Unless you can prove that the merchant hasn’t upheld their side of the agreement, you'll need to continue making the recurring payments or pay a one-off lump sum of the remaining balance owed, or you may be in breach of contract. 

In a case like this, it’s a good idea to consult with a lawyer to check your options.

How do I stop a recurring payment on an app?

The process of canceling a recurring payment on an app will depend on the app. Generally, you’ll need to navigate to the settings menu to find your account information. Once you’ve located these details, there will usually be an option to cancel your subscription or instructions about how you should go about canceling.

If you can’t find this option on the app, try to visit the app’s homepage to see if there’s any information there, or contact the company to ask for instructions.

Can I block a company from charging my card?

Yes, you can block a company from charging your credit card. You do this by contacting your bank and either revoking authorization for the payment or requesting a stop payment order. However, the bank will need to confirm that the cancelation doesn’t interfere with any contractual obligations you might have with the company that’s billing you.

Meet the author
Anthony Back
Anthony is an experienced fintech analyst, content marketer, and copywriter based in Tel Aviv, Israel. With a deep understanding of payment technologies, he has worked with leading financial institutions and fintech companies worldwide.
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