How Does RevenueCat Differ From a Payment Processor?

  • 17 August 2021
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RevenueCat proudly helps create an easy way to keep track of all your in-app transactions. However, although we manage your purchases, we don't process the payments for your subscriptions and non-renewing products.  


The differences are best explained by understanding how RevenueCat interacts during the purchasing phase of a customer buying a subscription or non-renewing product. 


  1. When a user goes to your paywall, the SDK uses the product IDs from your current offering and retrieves the product information from the respective stores ( Apple/Google/Stripe).

  2. When the user selects a product to purchase, the SDK gets the product ID to send it to the store to purchase

  3. The store then processes the payment (charges the user via their payment option) and adds this product to the customer's receipt. 

  4. When the customer's receipt changes, RevenueCat has listeners that update the `PurchaserInfo` object (allowing customers to get access to the product/feature they purchased) and updates our backend with this information (updates the customer profile). 


Any time changes are made to a customer's receipt, such as through cancellations, renewals, and billing issues, RevenueCat will be updated with this information. 


As RevenueCat is not a payment processor, this means we can not:

  • Change someone's billing information

  • Give a discount to a subscription/non-renewing purchase

  • Pause a subscription

  • Refund Apple purchases 

  • Cancel subscriptions with Apple 


Some exceptions/workarounds include:

  • Active Android subscriptions may be refunded and revoked via the REST API or directly through the  RevenueCat dashboard.

  • You can defer a subscription with Google via the REST API

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