We have a web-app that requires our users to register, get approved, and then begin using the service. We are requiring setting up subscription payments.

My question is when to ask for the subscription payment - during registration or after approval but before user can use the service? Curious if anyone has experience with this type of flow or know of any studies or research that can offer direction?

During registration? If so early in process or as a last step before submitting registration?

– Benefit: The User will be more aware of the payment requirement and can make determination to proceed at this point. Also registration, payment, and setup is all done at 1 time and when the user is approved they can immediately, without additional action, use the service.

– Downside: we are asking to set up payments before user can use the service (though of course we will not process charges until approval). There is also the possibility of user not being approved and we have already asked them for payment.

Or after approval? This would mean the user has already gone through inputting all their registration information, submitting, and then, once approved, in a subsequent session, are prompted to pay.

– Benefit is registration can be done without payment so theoretically registration is more frictionless and we don't set up payment before user can use the service.

– Concern: having registration type activity in separate sessions. User expectation not being set properly and they then decide to not follow through i.e. feel tricked after doing all the work of registering.

Our current thinking is to ask at the end of registration as a last step before submitting.

  • Great question. I assume you goal is to increase the conversion rate—you want to ask for a subscription payment at the point where it will cause the least drop off.
    – JeromeR
    Nov 21, 2015 at 8:19
  • 1
    Yeah precisely. Want to avoid as drop off as much as possible.
    – NStyles
    Nov 24, 2015 at 22:04

1 Answer 1


You asked for studies or research. Check out the following lightweight reading. I say "light" because although research is definitely involved, it's not cited:

I hope this helps you move forward a bit.

  • 1
    Thanks for the links. And yes we will be doing a/b but for our first rev to start banging on we want a place to start.
    – NStyles
    Nov 24, 2015 at 22:21

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