All companies have industry-specific requirements that they need to address if they want to become — and stay — successful. Similarly, there are many elements that almost all successful companies share, regardless of their specific industry.
Recurring billing capabilities fall into the second category, as they allow companies to simultaneously optimize their internal operations and their customer experience.
But, in order to choose the best tool to use for recurring billing, you need to weigh the features your company needs the most and which of those exist at a billing platform that fosters growth.
How to Evaluate and Choose the Best Billing Software
Choosing a recurring billing platform is not always easy, especially if you’ve never used a subscription software before. Here are some elements to keep in mind when choosing the best recurring billing software:
Integration and Flexibility
It’s normal for companies to use different pieces of software to process orders and organize their accounts. Make sure you find a billing service that offers integration with the tools you already use. You should also look at the software that provides the most flexible settings, for example, the ability to provide discounts, apply coupons, and pause the billing cycle easily.
Payment Methods and Gateways
Always verify that the subscription management platform you choose gives your customers their preferred payment option. Credit and debit cards are the most traditional, but some of your customers may also use alternative channels.
What’s more, your billing software of choice should integrate with your payment gateway. While your payment gateway may have a recurring billing option, using a subscription management platform will help you organize and keep track of each transaction at a granular level.
Quality Customer Support
Keeping a smooth and seamless automatic billing experience is critical for the success of the subscription feature you provide. Likewise, you need a platform that has a customer support team that is available to help you and your customers whenever a problem arises.
The main security feature you’ll want to look at is Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) Compliance. In a nutshell, this is a set of rules that allow billing services to handle payment information securely. Some platforms may offer additional features, but they should always follow the requirements set forth by the PCI Compliance Guidelines.
Pricing and Other Business Requirements
Always look at the price of the recurring billing service and make sure it’s within your budget. You’ll also want to calculate the ROI relative to the price of the software in order to figure out if it’s worth the investment and find ways to maximize your profitability. You may be pleasantly surprised to discover that many subscription billing softwares can ultimately save you money by reducing churn rates and increasing your customer lifetime value.
Also, you’ll want to find a platform that provides all the tools your company needs to succeed. This includes ecommerce related features, analytics, and any other attributes that may be important to your organization.
Improving Subscription Services: Recurring Billing Software
Businesses that rely on recurring billing, such as utility companies or SaaS providers, need to employ reliable subscription software that adds value to their services. The relationship between subscription companies and their customers is different from traditional structures, so these providers also have to offer premium customer support to keep subscribers happy.
Implementing a subscription billing software fosters some of the key principles of a successful business. It can help deliver outstanding customer support, nurture the relationship with your customers, and provide valuable insights that help you make sound financial decisions down the line.
Increase Convenience for Customers
One of the reasons why consumers choose to sign up for a product with subscription billing is for convenience. Your subscription services need to affirm this choice by delivering convenience to your customers. Consistently sending accurate invoices on the correct date and allowing your customers to issue payment through their preferred channels are just two examples.
Create a Scalable Model
Many small companies, especially startups in the IT or ecommerce industry, like to rely on either manual or relatively rustic subscription tools. Collecting manual payments or working with a clunky platform can become cumbersome as your company grows, so deploying subscription software that can grow with your company will prepare it for a bright future.
Upsell and Cross-Sell More Effectively
Based on the “foot in the door” technique, subscription-based companies should theoretically have an easier time upselling and cross-selling to their customers. Intuitive subscription services that allow your employees to easily change or update clients’ billing terms can provide a seamless experience when pitching upgrades to your clients.
Preventing cancellations is of utmost importance for companies employing subscription billing. In many cases, “auto” cancellations occur because customers are not notified of failed payments or expired cards, so their service is terminated without their knowledge.
Ideally, subscription software will offer tools to inform your customers and team members when a payment fails or when the method needs to be updated, reducing churn rates.
Allow Accurate Forecasting of Your Company’s Performance
Subscription services that are buggy or not well-maintained could affect your data and your ability to make accurate predictions. On the other hand, choosing a quality software for periodic billing can help you make meticulous projections and plan accordingly thanks to its consistent performance.
Gives Your Team the Ability to Focus on Other Business Activities
Subscription models are more complex than the traditional purchase cycle. These companies have to deal with initial payments but also manage different billing dates, calculate the fee for pro-rated accounts, and much more.
On top of delivering a great experience, your recurring payment options should also reduce your team’s workload by taking care of invoices and failed payment notifications among other tasks. This will give your employees the ability to focus on other revenue-generating activities like developing your marketing plan or sales strategy.\
The Top 3 Recurring Billing Softwares Available Today
#1 . Rebilly
Rebilly.com offers a powerful platform that can be tailored to your requirements. From entrepreneurs cultivating a startup to large corporations trying to establish more seamless operations, Rebilly is suitable for most business ventures thanks to its list of comprehensive features and great customer support.
- Superb Security Standards: The platform provides robust security standards by maintaining PCI Compliance Level I, ensuring your customers’ data is handled with extreme caution.
- Innovative Automated Rebills: Not only can you set up subscriptions, but Rebilly can help you create custom plans and manage your subscribers’ billing schedules as well. You can extend free trials and automatically transfer them to recurring payments after days, weeks, months, or years – it’s all up to you.
- Customized Invoices: You can also create tailored invoices that give your clients a customized experience. This is especially helpful for SaaS companies, finance service providers, and other B2B businesses.
- Flexible Free Trial Scheme: If you’ve never used a recurring billing service you may not be ready to commit just yet. Rebilly offers a flexible free trial scheme so that you can enjoy its services for three months or until you generate $1000 worth of monthly profits, whichever comes first.
- Comprehensive Payment Gateway Integrations: With more than 50 different integrations, this subscription service offers one of the most complete payment gateway options in the industry. And if your preferred gateway isn’t listed, Rebilly’s support team can usually integrate it within 1-3 weeks at no additional cost.
- Lack of eCommerce-Related Features: While it’s a great choice for most companies, Rebilly doesn’t offer inventory tracking, shipping rate calculators, or order fulfillment options, so it’s not ideal for ecommerce businesses.
Solid Subscription Billing Tool
Rebilly claims to help businesses get the most profit from every customer, and they have the features to back this claim. Whether you’re a new entrepreneur or an established company pivoting towards SaaS, the number of ways in which you can leverage your sales data with Rebilly can help you gain a true competitive edge.
Recurly.com is a solid subscription billing software that could give any platform a run for its money. Besides perfecting the mechanics of a great billing service, the company is also focused on optimizing their services every chance they get.
- User-Friendly Interface: Recurring billing platforms are meant to reduce the amount of work you do, but some of them require extensive learning. Recurly prides itself in being a simple, intuitive software that doesn’t compromise features for ease-of-use.
- Solid Number of Integration Options: Even though it’s not as high as others on this list, Recurly features a number of integration options with major platforms. Some of these include Salesforce, Vertex, Okta, amongst others.
- Enable the Implementation of Different Billing Models: One of the best parts of Recurly is that it enables different billing models and charges you accordingly. Companies that require basic billing features will not have to fork out the same kind of money as larger businesses.
- Limited Native Reporting Options: Reporting is a critical part of optimization and Recurly offers limited native options when it comes to creating reports, which forces many companies to hire additional analytics solely for this software.
Great option for new businesses and startups
Recurly prides itself on its ease of use, making it a great option for new businesses and smaller startups. They can integrate with a number of payment gateways, and could be a good option for a SaaS business in the growth stage.
Companies that offer services instead of physical products may have slightly different needs. Chargify.com is a billing system designed for SaaS companies and businesses that center on delivering a superior digital experience to users.
- Full-Fledged eCommerce Features : In addition to having features focused on online services, Chargify is also equipped with a variety of ecommerce-friendly capabilities. This includes integration with Shopify and custom workflows that can be used for order fulfillment.
- Optimization of Revenue : Chargify can help identify areas of improvement by experimenting with different offers. You can try out variations with price, service packages, and products until you find the most profitable structure.
- Subscription Analytics : There’s no better way of evaluating and predicting the performance of your company than comparing monthly reports. With Chargify, you’ll be able to create reports based on different date ranges in order to identify patterns and potential areas that need improvement.
- Single Currency May Create a Reporting Nightmare: Local companies may not see this as a huge setback, but international businesses that accept more than one currency may find themselves in a reporting conundrum when using Chargify. This is because this billing service can only generate reports in one single currency. Therefore, companies that are looking to expand may have to rely on multiple Chargify accounts in different currencies without being able to consolidate them automatically.
Suitable for startups, ideal for quick launches
A subscription billing and management platform focusing on payments that fluctuate in price. If your company often updates its pricing or needs complex billings, this could be an option. They work in tandem with payment gateways and offer a number of integrations and features for managing the customer lifecycle.
Condensing the Facts – Key Takeaways
Implementing a recurring billing software can enhance your company’s performance across the board while delivering an outstanding experience for your customers. But, you have to select the most suitable subscription software in order to see the best results.
Rebilly.com stands out as the most complete subscription service as it’s suitable for most companies thanks to its complete list of features and excellent overall service. eCommerce platforms, on the other hand, may benefit more from choosing Chargify or another platform that serves their recurring billing needs.
Always keep your company’s needs in mind and use the tips above to find the ideal recurring billing service for your business!