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Subscription Billing Company

Subscription Billing Company

Finding the Right Subscription Billing Company for Your Business: A Merchant's Guide

A “set it and forget it” business model is the best way to keep customers buying on a consistent basis. Every year, more and more eCommerce merchants discover new ways to make subscription billing work for them.

The subscription model is a “win-win” for you and your customers. The process can be complex, though. You need a good partner to handle management, invoicing and compliance.

In this post, we take a quick look at what subscription billing companies do. We’ll give you some questions you need to consider, and explore some of the companies you can partner with to leverage subscriptions.

What is a Subscription Billing Company?

Subscription Billing Company

[noun]/* səb • skrip • SH(ə)n • bil • ing • kəmp • (ə) • nē •/

A subscription billing company is a firm that offers management platforms specifically designed to facilitate the subscription-billing process.

Subscription billing is a business model by which merchants automatically bill customers on a fixed schedule. This is usually done in exchange for regular delivery of a product, or for ongoing access to a service.

The subscription model offers benefits for all parties. That said, managing the system can be tedious and time-consuming if done in–house.

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Like any payment processor, subscription billing companies conduct payments on your behalf. However, they also offer specialized software to manage and automate the process.

They let you set up a recurring billing scheme for your customers. This enables you to more effectively track and manage the different components of your subscription program. You can handle processes like onboarding, payment processing, invoicing, accounting, and legal compliance, all from one location.

How Do I Choose a Subscription Billing Company?

Subscription billing companies are experts who develop, sell, and manage systems designed to address the specific needs of subscription billing models. This would include providing special accounting practices or handling adjustments to subscriptions mid-cycle.

Some companies offer standalone software, while others have products that can be integrated into your CMS or customer operating systems. The larger platforms may also include reporting and analytics to help you track your return on investment (ROI). There are even payment gateways that include subscription billing as part of their services.

Subscription Billing Company

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With so many different options available, it's important to figure out exactly what you need. Here are a few important questions to ask before you begin your search for a potential billing partner:

What are your scalability needs?

If you’re planning on your business growing substantially, make sure your subscription billing platform can grow with you. You want to avoid having to switch service providers in the middle of a growth period.

This also applies to your customers. Do you serve smaller customers that may become larger in the future? Do you provide a service for one department that could turn into an enterprise contract?

You’ll need a turnkey system right from the start. At the same time, though, you also want a billing partner that is flexible enough to adapt if the parameters of your business model change.

What is your pricing model?

Do you offer a standard pricing tier, with only a few options? Or, does each customer have a unique payment plan? Do you ever use specific features like discounts, free trials, or upgrades in your plans? Is all billing done monthly, or can the payment periods vary? The more flexible your pricing options are, the more important it will be to have an easily customizable platform.

Will you benefit from automated ASC 606 compliance?

ASC 606 is a new revenue recognition standard. It represents an important accounting principle for subscription-based businesses. It determines the specific conditions under which income gets recognized as revenue.

If your business is still working with manual methods and spreadsheets for subscription billing accounting, it may seem easier to stick with that. However, software that can automate the process can save considerable time and energy on your end, while ensuring that you remain in compliance.

Finding a Subscription Billing Service Provider

You need a processor capable of offering recurring payments in order to offer subscription services. Here’s an impartial list of some reputable processors who can help:

2Checkout provides international online payment options, including recurring billing, catering to small and mid-size businesses. The company also offers additional services, such as a payment gateway, a merchant account, and fraud detection technology.
Braintree is a PayPal subsidiary. They offer a simplified, plug-and-play solution with payment gateway, a merchant account, processing service, and more. Plus, they offers secure payment data storage, enabling easy rebills, and can help prevent dropped sales with automatic updates.
Chargebee a SaaS provider, rather than a conventional payments processor. Their services are designed to help merchants easily send and manage invoices and recurring payments. Chargebee lets merchants work with their current processor to accept recurring transactions.
Chargify is a billing and revenue management platform that was built with SaaS operations in mind. The company has expanded its offerings over the years. However, their platform remains focused on the core needs of recurring billing.
Fusebill provides cloud-based financial and accounting processes. These include billing, invoicing, reporting, and more. Their software is ideal for small- to mid-sized companies who are seeking scalable recurring billing and invoicing support.
Inovio is a tech-driven, fully-integrated payment gateway. They offer seamless integration and global scalability, with products including hosted checkout and virtual POS, plus APIs that are adaptable to most programming languages and billing models.
Konnektive CRM facilitates the automation and streamlining of complex sales procedures. Additional services include email auto-responders, shopping cart technology, and more. The platform integrates with most gateways, supporting every global currencies for easy rebill management.
Sticky.io is an eCommerce engine built for online marketers. They offer everything you might need in a recurring billing environment, with personalized billing options to customize your platform to fit existing payment processing structures.
MoonClerk facilitates recurring and one-time transactions quickly and easily. You'll enjoy a variety of solutions to address your payment management needs, regardless of the scale or industry of your business.
NMI offers an eCommerce payment gateway for one-time and recurring payments. It features a virtual terminal, built-in fraud filters, and more. NMI processes more than 150 currencies, plus all major card brands, and Apple Pay.
PayoLee’s platform is catered to the “non-tech savvy.” It's straightforward, allowing you to set up online recurring payment forms easily and with no coding required. PayoLee can also accept donations, making it ideal for fundraising purposes.
PayPal helps individuals and companies accept and make recurring payments easily and without having to provide financial information. It offers secure transactions, a scalable platform, limited fraud protection, and a simplified customer checkout process, with a widely-known and trusted name.
PaySimple is an extremely user-friendly platform. Their suite of cloud-based software helps merchants accept payments, bill customers, monitor details, and set up recurring payment systems. This can all be done with no specialized knowledge.
Recurly is an enterprise-level platform touting premium functionality and simplicity. They're meant specifically for recurring billing management in a global, subscription-based context. They boasts best-in-class support and security.
Shopify allows you to set up your own webstore and conduct recurring transactions with ease and simplicity. It's designed for users with little to no technical or design skills, making it a good choice if you're new to the eCommerce space.
Stripe aims to streamline revenue flow, billing itself as a global all-in-one solution. It works with applications that help manage revenue, prevent fraud, and drive growth. The company advertises easy integrations, plus cost-effective scalability for recurring payments.
Upodi is an enterprise-grade recurring billing platform. Their system enables SaaS and companies to accept payments, measure customer engagements, and scale globally. They offer an easy-to-use interface and developer-friendly APIs.
Vindicia’s comprehensive subscription management solution offers support for subscriber lifecycle management. They also provide big data analysis, strategic consulting, and proprietary customer-retention technology.
Zuora is subscription billing and payment software designed to help businesses manage finance operations. Highly adaptable and easily integrated, their platform provides a cohesive, end-to-end solution for managing the subscription lifecycle.

Subscription Billing Companies & Chargeback Prevention

Subscription billing is generally regarded as a “high risk” model by card networks and acquirers. This is because subscription billing—while a profitable practice—is associated with higher chargeback risk.

Even if you’re using a subscription billing company, you will likely still receive the occasional chargeback. The stakes are especially high here, as a single chargeback could result in months of lost revenue. The good news: you don’t have to fight chargebacks alone.

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Continue below to learn more about our risk-free solutions today.


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