Credit System Addon
Posted by Oksana Budnikova on 18 February 2016 07:31 PM

The Credit System introduces credits as an internal currency for all site-in payments.

Before user is able to use any paid service of the iRealty-based website the user needs to buy credits. When user buys credits they are put to the user's balance. Then user is able to use credits to activate website's paid services.

How To Turn On / Off The Credit System

After the installation of the Credit System module, you need to turn it on by setting the "Payment Method" to "Credits" in the Admin Panel -> System Configuration -> System Settings -> General. Please note that switching a payment method may take up to 1-2 minutes, and you should not stop the script and close your browser.

When you changed payment method to "Credits", all prices for Membership Plans, Listing Packages and listing options within will be rounded (as long as normal prices accept decimal values, while credits accept integers only):

  • prices less than $1 become 1;
  • prices equals or more that $1 are rounded in accordance to common mathematical rule (round down for <= 4, round up for >= 5).

When you turn the Credit System off and select "Monetary" for the "Payment Method" setting, all user credits are retained and will be available for users after enabling Credit System. Some other credit-related elements like the links to add / subtract user credits are also accessible for the administrator after Credit System has been turned off.

Credit Management By Administrator

Credits are sold in credit packages. Website's administrator is able to define credit packages and prices for these packages in Admin Panel -> Payment Management -> Credit Packages.

  • There is no limit on number of credit packages.
  • Each credit package can have any number of credits included.
  • Administrator is able to set just any price for the package (for example: 10 credits for 10 USD or 100 credits for 80 USD).
  • The price for the credit packages is provided in currently used currency of active payment gateway (for example: in USD).

The membership subscription price, listing activation price, listing features prices and other paid service prices, that can be set in Admin Panel are given in credits, but not in real currency.

All transactions made in credits are recorded and stored in the Admin Panel -> Payment Management -> Credit Transactions. Users can also see their credit transactions on " My Transactions" page.

However, the transactions for credit purchase are also recorded in the Admin Panel -> Payment Management -> Payments section as "Payment for Credit Packages".

The administrator and the user can see the contents of specific transaction.

Website users are able to add credits to their account at any time. When using the paid service the users are asked to confirm withdrawal of the corresponding amount of credits from their balance. When user's account is approaching zero the user is sent a reminder to add credits to the account to avoid cancellation of paid services.

User Credit Balance

iRealty keeps records of each user current credit balance. The credits are withdrawn from user account each time the user is using a paid service.

Users are able to add credits to their balance by purchasing credit packages. The current user's balance is displayed on the "My Transactions" page at the lower part of the credit transactions table.

Website administrator can also add credits to user balance as well withdraw credits from a user.

He/she can do this two ways:

  1. On the Manage Users page -> Check users -> Actions with selected -> Add Credits and Subtract Credits. After administrator clicks on either of this buttons a new window in opened allowing to enter number of credits to add (or subtract) and a comment: The page is shaded out and the dialog box appears in front. Enter the number of credits and an optional comment, then press the "Submit". This transaction will appear on the users' "My Transactions" page with description: "Credit added by the administrator with comment "..."". This message can be changed in Admin Panel either by editing template /modules/credits/apps/FrontEnd/templates/credit_transactions.tpl or by editing the translation of this phrase.
  2. The second way to add or subtract credits is to do this on the User Profile edit form: When user balance goes below a certain threshold, iRealty sends user a reminder to buy more credits to avoid failure of subscription auto-extension. The threshold can be set by the administrator on the System Settings page of the Admin Panel.

User Group Initial Balance

Each User Group has the setting called Initial balance — amount of credits that user will have after registration. It is a very useful tool that allows to attract user to the website by giving them initial balance enough to put up a basic listing.

Subscription auto-extension

Credit System provides functionality to automatically extend user's contracts (subscription) if user credit balance permits.

Auto-extension is attempted by the task_scheduler function of the miscellaneous module which is run via external scheduler (e.g. cron).

Before expiring the subscription task_scheduler checks whether contract is marked for auto-extension in the settings of user's current subscription. If so, it then checks whether user has enough funds for another period of subscription (based on membership plan settings). If user has enough credits, task_scheduler extends the subscription and charges the corresponding amount from user balance. If user does not have enough funds, no auto-expiration is performed. Either way report will be send to the user with either confirmation of successful auto-extension or auto-extension failure.

User contract's auto-extension is canceled in case he/she changed the subscription plan.

Website notifies users about forthcoming subscription expiration in accordance to specified number of days and if users enabled "Notify On Subscription Expiration Date Approaching" option at the "My Notifications" page.

Advantages Of Credit System

Advantages of credit system versus conventional payment solution:

  • Site administrator can attract more users by granting them credits, setting initial balance for users of certain groups. There is no cost related to credits grant because credits are like site's own currency. Administrator can issue as many credits as desired without need to spend real money.
  • Administrator can attract users to buy more credits by providing a smaller per credit price for larger credit packages.
  • Users will not have to enter their credit card information every time they use paid service.
  • Users can enable auto-extension of listing activation and listing features and have application extend listings when expiration date comes, provided user has enough credits.
  • Initial balance of credits (as set by administrator) allows business model when there is free to post a basic listing for the first time and users will only have to pay to extend the listing or to post another one.
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