Installment rules

If your store is customized to use installment rules, customers can pay for purchases by using an installment payment plan. Installment rules specify different installment payment options that a customer can select. For example, you can configure an installment rule to offer customers four monthly payments of $26.69 when they purchase a coffee maker from your store catalog.

You can configure options from 2 to 24 installments, with varying interest rates and associate installment payment options with particular categories, manufacturers, and payment methods. For example, you can offer customers two to six monthly payments of $10.00 with no interest when they purchase an item from your store catalog by using a VISA credit card to pay for their purchase.

Marketing Managers can create and manage installment rules by using the Installments tool in the Management Center.

The following diagram illustrates a typical business scenario for installment rules:

Installment rules overview
To build and maintain a library of installment rules, a Marketing Manager might complete the following tasks:
  1. Create a default installment rule that applies to all of the products in the catalog and all credit cards. For example, 1x to 3x installments with 0% interest and a minimum installment amount of $100.00. If a catalog entry does not qualify for this default installment rule, no installment payment options are offered for the catalog entry.
  2. Create additional installment rules that offer the installment payment options based on agreements with specific credit card companies.
  3. Create a default installment rule for each payment type that applies to all products. For example, a specific credit card company might offer the following option: 1x to 6x payments with 0% interest and a minimum installment amount of $50.00.
  4. Create specific installment rules for each payment type that include particular categories, catalog entries, and manufacturers. For example, a rule that applies to the Furniture category, excluding desks, when customers pay by using a VISA credit card. This rule might offer the following options: 1x to 6x payments with 0% interest and 7x to 12x payments with 1% interest.
  5. Determine which of these specific installment rules to offer as limited time promotions and specify the range of dates during which these rules are active. View the Installment Rule Calendar to see which installment rules are active during a given time period.
  6. Activate the installment rules when they are ready to be put into production. As business relationships with credit card companies change, deactivate installment rules that no longer apply and create and activate new rules.

Typically, available installment rules and payment options are determined by business relationships with specific credit card companies. For example, a credit card company might impose a minimum payment amount that restricts the number of installments that can be offered for catalog entries of a certain price. Installment payment options can also be used for promotional purposes. For example, you can configure a short duration installment rule to offer an extended payment period, such as 24 months, on all furniture items.

You can create installment rules to include or exclude certain catalog entries or categories, and include certain manufacturers or payment methods. You can also include all category entries or all manufacturers in an installment rule. To exclude certain manufacturers or payment methods, you must define all manufacturers or payment methods to include in the installment rule instead.

If you are using extended sites, installment rules that are created in the asset store can be referenced by installment activities in an extended site. Installment rules that are created in the asset store cannot be modified or deleted in an extended site.

Installment rule priority

You can assign a priority to an installment rule. When a single catalog entry qualifies for multiple installment rules, the installment rule with the highest priority is applied. If more than one of these installment rules has the same priority, the installments engine cannot determine which rule to apply to the catalog entry. To avoid this scenario, ensure that you create installment rules that offer customers a wide range of installment payment options. Assign these rules a lower priority than installment rules that offer specific installment options.

When a customer submits an order, the offered installment prices are recalculated to determine the highest priority installment rule for each item in their shopping cart. If a shopping cart contains multiple items, the order might not qualify for the same payment options that were advertised for the individual catalog entries. For example, consider a store that offers an installment rule of two installments of $100 interest free with a priority of one, and a second installment rule that offers four installments of $50 at a 5% interest rate with a priority of 10. If the customer's order qualifies for both, the second installment rule is applied first, since it has the higher priority of 10.

Installment rule states

There are two installment rule states:
An installment rule for a payment option that is available to customers in the store. Any submitted orders respect the installment rule that is active at the time they were submitted.
New installment rules are inactive by default when created. Inactive installment rules are not available to customers.

Storefront availability

You can prioritize, enable and disable, and set installment rules to start and end on a particular day and time. You can also use a featured installment option to advertise the best available payment option based on the number of installment payments and the interest rate. For example, you can set the installment option that has both the highest number of installment payments and the lowest interest rate as the featured installment option in the storefront.

To determine whether an installment rule is available, the system checks the status of the installment rule. If the installment rule is in the Active state, then the evaluation continues. If the installment rule is Inactive, it is considered unavailable, and is not evaluated.

The next consideration is an installment rule schedule. When you create an installment rule, you must define availability dates, which act as boundaries. If the current timestamp (according to the HCL Commerce Server) falls between the two availability dates, and meets the other optional scheduling criteria, it is considered available. Otherwise, the installment rule is considered unavailable, and the installment rule is not evaluated further.

Applicability to customers and shopping carts

When you create an installment rule, you must define purchase conditions. These conditions can be at either the category level or the catalog entry level. Each item in the shopping cart has an associated installment rule that specifies some installment payment options.

If the shopping cart contains an item that costs more than a certain percentage of the total price of the shopping cart, the payment options of this dominant item are used for the entire shopping cart. The default percentage is 50%. If the shopping cart does not contain a dominant item, a combination of each item's payment options is used.


Installment rules do not support the workspaces feature.