Practical Ecommerce

9 SaaS Subscription-Billing Solutions

Subscription business models are becoming increasingly popular on the web. Amazon Prime may be the best example of a successful, ecommerce-related subscription. But there are many others. We’ve addressed Amazon Prime here previously, in “Amazon Prime: 5 Million Members, 20 Percent Growth.” We’ve profiled other companies that offer digital subscriptions, in “Consider the Subscription Model for New Revenue.”

For merchants interested in launching their own subscription programs, here are nine subscription-solution providers for small and enterprise-scale companies.

Chargify

Chargify provides a SaaS billing solution for online companies. In addition to processing one-time and recurring transactions, Chargify handles free trial periods, one-time fees, promotions, refunds, email receipts and dunning (reminders for failed credit card payments). Prices are: $39 a month for a maximum of 10 customers; $99 a month for up to 500 customers; $349 a month for up to 2,000 customers; and $999 a month for a maximum of 10,000 customers. A free developer version is available. There are no transaction fees. Customers include Scribd, CopperEgg, Manpacks, Panda, and World Flight Planner.

SaaSy

SaaSy provides a customizable, hosted subscription order page that can match the look and feel of a company’s existing website design. The product incorporates chargeback management and fraud prevention. Pricing is 5.9 percent plus 95 cents or 8.9 percent flat per order, whichever the customer prefers. The minimum fee is 75 cents per order. Clients include Realmac Software, LabSlice, JoomlaTools, Bouncely, and Smith Micro Software.

Zuora

Zuora’s Z-Billing 2.0 is an enterprise-level product that supports virtually any customer subscription model, provides customer metrics, tax automation and compliance, and multi-currency support. It comes integrated with Salesforce.com and NetSuite. Zuora claims that it saves companies money by reducing the number of invoice queries and the number of disputed or unpaid bills. It is often replacing a cumbersome ERP (enterprise resource planning) system that does not focus exclusively on billing. Among its customers are Pandora, Box.net, Reed Elsevier, Marketo, and GigaOm. Zuora does not make its pricing available to the public.

Monexa

Monexa allows for a good deal of customization. Customers can define their services and bundle them into plans. Monexa supports one-time fees, recurring fees, and usage based (metered) fee calculation. The product also supports free trials. The standard plan costs $799 per month with a maximum of $25,000 in sales or 200 billing records included in the base price. The premium solution costs $2,399 per month for $100,000 in sales or 800 billing records. The enterprise plan costs $4,000 per month minimum with additional costs. Customers include Amway, Radiant Communications, Pitney Bowes Business Insight, Untangle, SalesVu, and Telus.

Aria

Aria’s SaaS recurring billing solution automatically processes payments and updates account balances while complying with all PCI requirements. It handles full and partial refunds. Aria provides renewal anniversary reports and aging analysis reports. Among its customers are Disney, Hootsuite, Taleo, Roku, and Vmware. Aria would not provide pricing information.

Recurly

This provider offers a payment gateway designed for subscriptions. It manages customer communications via email, business performance monitoring, and account changes. Recurly states that it can get live subscriptions up and running on a website in as little as 30 minutes. A merchant bank account is required to work with Recurly. A payment gateway is part of the product but it also integrates with other payment gateways including PayPal. The fee structure is 1.25 percent plus 10 cents per transaction, with a minimum monthly fee of $69. Retargeter, Foodzie, JibJab, Slideshare, and Cloudfare are Recurly customers, as examples.

Spreedly

This product integrates with all major international payment gateways. It accommodates multiple sites, complimentary subscriptions, free trials, different feature levels, and proration. Spreedly’s pricing ranges from a $49 per month starter plan with a 40-cent or four percent fee (whichever is less), to a $149 per month plans with a 30-cent or three percent per transaction fee. For higher volumes there is a $399 a month plan with a 20-cent or two percent transaction fee. Customers include NeoBudget, Realtyninja.com, Rose Park Roasters, and Rumpus.

SubscriptionBridge

With SubscriptionBridge, merchants can manage multiple subscription-based businesses from the same merchant center. The product can accommodate upgrades and downgrades, one time charges and pro-ration. For less than 100 subscribers, there is a flat fee of $25 per month. For 101 to 500 subscribers, the fee is 25 cents per subscriber per month. Fees reduce on a sliding scale to 11 cents per subscriber per month for less than 50,000 subscribers. A customer list is not available.

CheddarGetter

CheddarGetter offers PayPal integration, its own payment gateway, account upgrades and metrics and analytics. It accommodates pricing promotion, customer-specific pricing, and account upgrades. Developers can use CheddarGetter for free. Small start-up companies, the majority of CheddarGetter’s clients, pay $9 per month plus 25 cents per transaction. Larger companies pay $79 per month and 20 cents per transaction and a credit card gateway is included in the price. Confer, DoneDone, Yottaa, and Zferral are CheddarGetter customers.

Marcia Kaplan
Marcia Kaplan
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Comments ( 17 )

  1. Anna Pietka July 30, 2012 Reply

    Marcia thank your for the post. I have recently compared some of the featured providers (Recurly, Sassy and Chargify) based on pricing. Have a look here: http://blog.subscrea.com/recurring-billing/peeling-the-onion-called-recurring-billing-part-ii/

  2. Preciouse December 12, 2012 Reply

    This was a great article for subscription comparison. BlueSnap (formerly Plimus) is also considered a popular solution for SaaS vendors. They focus on recurring charge optimization with a fallback recovery mechanism for failed charges. With no additional integration the platforms provides fully branded checkout pages or API offering multi currencies and languages, one click charge, and 38 payment methods in addition to the credit card selection.

  3. CaseFox December 25, 2012 Reply

    There are many SaaS solutions available these days for timekeeping and invoicing. CaseFox is one of them. CaseFox® Timekeeping, Billing and Case Management Software is designed to help attorneys, virtual firms, accountants and other professionals with their timekeeping, invoicing, trust accounting, time tracking, case tracking, rule based calendaring and client billing needs. CaseFox can track both billable and non-billable hours and expenses, monitor unbilled hours, late payments and handle trust accounting, case documents and case notes. CaseFox even handles income expense accounting, conflict checks, discovery tracking/docketing, fee splitting rules and abbreviation assisted time entries.

  4. Alessandro MrHoliday June 17, 2013 Reply

    Hello,

    thanks for any help.

    but this platform are online for recurring billing or also or one time paying?
    cause i’m starting a small business and want to integrate the possibility of "remote" card payment., which is easier and quicker than bank transfers.
    thanks for any suggestion

  5. Bob October 6, 2013 Reply

    Hello there! I would like to share with you fresh SaaS billing and accounting solution http://inv24.com/
    It’s free and very easy to use invoicing and accounting web app.

  6. Mike October 22, 2013 Reply

    As of October 2013, Zuora starts at $30,000 annually for up to $1,000,000 in revenue annually. For more revenue they have higher tiers where higher revenue volume means you’ll pay a lower percent as you do more volume.

  7. Jean November 5, 2013 Reply

    Thanks this was helpful…Are there any solutions that can net subscriptions from a payment stream for another product? We have one core product where we pay customers a % from utilities paid to us, and then want to net subscription products, including repeating subscription fees. Thanks

  8. Rupal December 29, 2013 Reply

    Great article. Thanks so much.

    I am wondering if there’s any site which let’s me create a website online (like shopify or wordpress or weebly) and have the subscription billing software too. Does anyone do both? Thanks!

    • Marcia Kaplan May 16, 2014 Reply

      Rupal:

      I don’t think so. These are two very different products with different purposes.

  9. SoullessDreamer February 12, 2014 Reply

    great article.

    I would also suggest PayPro Global, they have very flexible subscription tools and the fastest support. Also lots of other tools such as lead management and remarketing tools. They also claim that they use cascading payment networks with less failed charges

  10. Vladimir Valero February 22, 2014 Reply

    I have been using amember software. (amember.com) which works great to manage subscriptions. What would be the difference between it and this solutions? Amember is way much cheaper, its juts a one time licence fee.

  11. Matthew Barbour April 15, 2014 Reply

    Great Article, Marcia! Thanks for sharing.

    As an Account Manager at Nexternal, I am excited to announce that Subscription Management is now included in the Nexternal eCommerce Platform!

    Here is some additional information: http://www.nexternal.com/ecommerce/subscription-management.asp

  12. Mark Evans May 29, 2014 Reply

    Another company for the list is Fusebill (fusebill.com).

  13. Bhaskar Roy June 19, 2014 Reply

    If you are looking for more complex and enterprise level solution, please check http://www.chikpea.com

  14. Kevin Coleman June 24, 2014 Reply
  15. Xcopy July 10, 2014 Reply

    Check this Saas Subscription-Billing support Mobile & Web http://www.xcopy.co

  16. Stevejoys July 14, 2014 Reply

    Start a BirchBox like subscription box business with this subscription ecommerce platform, this turn-key Subscription ecommerce platform is loaded with TONs of features to start a subscription box business in any niche. http://bit.ly/1oz7oLN

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