Subscription Billing Software: Choose the Right Program for Your Needs

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If your company offers subscription-based options for products or services, ensuring customer billing works seamlessly is essential. Fortunately, by choosing subscription billing software that’s highly capable, managing recurring billings is a breeze.

But how do you find the right program for your subscription billing? If you aren’t sure where to begin, here’s a look at subscription billing software, including what it is, how it works, the benefits it offers, and how to choose the best solution for your needs.

What Is Subscription Billing Software, and How Does It Work?

Subscription billing software is a program that assists with managing recurring billing. Essentially, the program simplifies billing by automating a significant part of the process, ensuring that charges are processed or invoices are issued to customers at the appropriate time.

Typically, subscription billing software also brings other features to the table. For example, reporting tools are commonly available in these programs, allowing companies to monitor subscription-related earnings, customer attrition rates, and more.

In the vast majority of cases, subscription billing software can also assist with purchases associated with an existing subscription. For example, it can support customers choosing to upgrade to a higher subscription tier or the purchasing of add-ons that arrive when the primary product or service is delivered.

What Are the Benefits of Subscription Billing Software?

Generally, the primary benefits of subscription billing software fall into three categories. First, robust solutions will automate or simplify new account or subscription sign-ups. For example, when customers purchase a subscription, the program can collect and store the needed delivery and payment information, eliminating the need to have an employee enter it manually. Often, they can also ensure the customer details are sent to other internal platforms, such as CRM solutions, through integrations, simplifying the process further.

With subscription billing software, various accounting needs are also streamlined. Automatic and recurring invoice generation and payment collection are usually part of the program, too. As a result, employees don’t need to create invoices every subscription cycle, as the process is automated. Similarly, payments are able to move forward without extra effort from employees or customers, making it easier on all parties.

Another accounting-related benefit is the ease of tracking payment information. Subscription billing software classically has a variety of reports, allowing the company to monitor related revenue or other relevant metrics.

Finally, some of the best subscription billing software programs also offer customers a wide variety of payment options. For example, they may support credit cards, debit cards, PayPal payments, and more. This makes subscription service or product offerings more accessible, which can lead to a broader customer base.

How to Choose a Subscription Billing Software Provider

When you’re selecting a subscription billing software provider, there are several points you want to consider beyond the available features above. First, you need to make sure that the subscription billing software aligns with your company’s subscription model. Generally, there are three models businesses typically use: fixed-recurring, quantity-based, and usage-based. Different subscription billing solutions may support any or all of those options, but it’s critical to ensure that any programs you’re considering come with the model you require.

Next, seeing if there’s the ability to offer promotions is wise if you plan on providing discounts to new or long-time customers. Similarly, looking for a program that has pause or postponement options is typically wise, as that gives customers more control while providing an alternative to cancellation.

After that, consider the company’s record for security and compliance. Similarly, fraud-management features are a critical part of the equation.

Another point you’ll want to examine is available integrations. Most companies use a variety of customer-management and accounting platforms. By having subscription billing software that can tie directly into those solutions, you can eliminate the administrative burden that’s usually associated with having to enter that information into other platforms manually.

Finally, it’s always wise to factor in a subscription billing software provider’s reputation. Choosing one with a strong history of exceptional customer service is essential for a better experience when you need support. Additionally, if you’re using a cloud-based solution, having reliable uptime metrics is vital. Outages could cause disruptions for you and your customers, so finding a program for which outages are at or below industry norms leads to a better overall experience.

Top Subscription Billing Software Programs

If you want to start exploring subscription billing software programs but aren’t sure where to begin, focusing on the top subscription software options is usually best. Here are a few that are worth exploring:

  • Chargebee
  • Maxio (previously Chargify)
  • Wave
  • Zoho

Each of the solutions above has its own strengths and weaknesses. As a result, you’ll want to review what they offer to determine which software billing program is the best fit for your needs.