Simplifying the Recurring Payment Process
with a Subscription Billing SaaS
Web businesses that offer products, services or
information based on a subscription model spend
a lot of time and effort managing customer billing
and payments. This process only grows more
complex as a business acquires more customers.
Scaling to handle these new accounts can quickly
get out of hand.
In an effort to correct the problem, many Internet-savvy
professionals turn to subscription billing software-as-aservice
(SaaS) solutions to automate the process.
Many benefits exist for those businesses willing to hop on
the subscription billing SaaS bandwagon. Ultimately, they
all come down to helping you, the provider, save both
time and money.
SaaS-based automated billing systems streamline subscription
billing and the entire renewal process, which can
include everything from email notifications to automatically
retrying failed payments that features can dramatically
improve efficiency and increase revenues.
Some of the other advantages that go along with using
a subscriber billing SaaS are access to APIs, improved security measures and PCI compliance, as many of these are
compliant from the initial build. These services also offer
some payment choices, including options for different
payment gateways and the billing needs of different customers,
as well as the ability to offer trial periods, promotions,
and plan upgrades or downgrades.
But perhaps the most useful benefit to these systems is
the instant access to key metrics, such as the number of
sign-ups a business receives, monthly and/or daily revenue,
outstanding accounts and more. Most of them will
even let users customize how data is presented and integrated
into their websites.
Selecting the Right SaaS
The demand for subscription billing SaaS solutions has
caused a proliferation of software choices for business owners,
which means there are a number of options to choose
from. To select the right system, it’s important to consider a
business’s unique needs and those of its customers.
The first major step to take when choosing recurring
billing software is to decide what types of payments to accept.
Most businesses will likely want to take credit card
payments, but others will want to consider automated
clearing house (ACH) payments or alternative services
like PayPal. A merchant account may be needed for those
accepting credit card of ACH payments, so finding a subscription
billing solution that integrates them will remove
the cumbersome step of having to make separate purchases
for an account and billing system.
Payment considerations don’t stop there. Merchants
also need to prepare for any payment acceptance needs
they might have beyond recurring billing, such as onetime
payments or charges. Beyond that, businesses need
to be aware of how much technical expertise is needed
to run an online recurring payment service.
Some solutions provide complete control over the payment
experience, but require immense technical resources
and expertise, while others offer customizable-hosted payment
forms that automate subscription sign-ups and online
payment processing. For this reason, it is important to
know how much flexibility you’ll need in your recurring
payment collection options, and how much of the payment
process a merchant will want to automate before selecting
Another variable to consider is what a business’s reporting
needs will be, specifically, if it wants (or requires) a
system that proactively notifies staff when there are potential issues that may hinder the automated billing process,
such as a credit card that is about to expire. Data sharing
needs should also be top-of-mind because if other systems
need to integrate with the billing software, that needs to be
factored in as well.
Subscription Billing SaaS Providers
If your business is in the market and you sell your product
or services directly on the Web or through a mobile
application, there are many different providers to consider.
The popular payment gateway provider Authorize.net offers
an Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) solution that
lets its users submit and manage recurring transactions
that can be created manually or in Web checkout forms.
This automated and flexible recurring billing and payment
solution was designed with mid-sized businesses in mind.
Fusebill helps manage billing throughout the customer
life cycle. Features include account creation through recurring
payments and invoices and support for an entire
organization, including accounting/billing operations,
sales, marketing and management.
Avangate offers a quick setup process and its users can customize
the purchase experience for customers and even offer
their products to consumers around the world. It also comes
with the industry’s highest security standards, including
fraud checking, secure order pages and PCI compliance.
Customers can charge using flat, metered or tiered pricing
with the Chargify recurring billing solution, which even offers
functionality for the use of coupons and setup fees.
Chargify helps manage the entire subscription cycle, from
sign-ups and trials to payments and upgrades; it even covers
affiliate payouts. And all of this is secured and PCI compliant.
Of course, there are many other solutions that you could
use, such as Billing Circle, Zuora, SaaSy, Monexa, Recurly,
SubscriptionBridge and CheddarGetter. With so many
great choices out there, there’s no reason you shouldn’t
switch over to a subscription billing SaaS to simplify your
payment processes right now.