It’s a big topic, but automatic recurring billing is a must for any serious business to master.
With the right recurring billing tools, you can take your business from startup to success, or streamline enterprise operations to increase profits and reduce churn. In order to help your business launch into the stratosphere, you’ll need the right recurring credit card billing platform and a strategy to make the most of your recurring billing options.
Let’s see what your SaaS business needs to know about recurring billing systems.
Recurring Billing Merchant Account
First things first: a recurring billing merchant account is a necessity for any recurring billing strategy. The merchant account is what will enable your company to actually make sales.
Some recurring billing solutions will serve as your merchant of record while others will require you to do it yourself. Depending on the size and maturity of your organization, you’ll need to make the decision about whether you want to handle being the merchant of record, which comes with the need to, among others, handle taxation yourself in each of the markets you’re selling in.
If you’re just getting started, it’s probably best to let your platform handle recurring billing merchant services for you.
Complex or Easy to Use Recurring Billing Solutions?
When it comes to recurring billing, you don’t necessarily have to make a tradeoff between doing something that’s hard or easy. When you find the right subscription payment platform for your SaaS company, you’ll also discover that it makes it easy to handle complex operations like changing subscription terms, upselling new products and enhancing with cross-sell offers.
It’s the sweet spot between available features and complexity that you’re looking for in any recurring billing provider.
To Build or Not to Build?
Of course, if you’re really up for a challenge, you could decide to automate recurring billing yourself by building a custom solution in-house. While this might be necessary if you have a very specific set of recurring billing needs, it’s more likely that your needs can be met by an existing platform and building your own enterprise recurring billing system would be an expensive, time-consuming distraction from your core business.
For most companies, it’s better to select a proven platform that’s already built and relatively easy to customize.
Get in Line with Recurring Billing Laws
Another reason not to build your own platform is that in order to do so, you’ll need to become an expert in a variety of laws regulating recurring billing and online payments. This can require quite a bit of study!
Recurring billing regulations require you to make it easy for customers to cancel, and online businesses are required to meet stringent regulations regarding customer privacy and data security.
Unless you have some experts in-house or cash and time to spend on getting up to speed, best to select a platform with the recurring billing features you need and leave the legal ins and outs to the company that deals with recurring billing every day.
Consider Your Company Size
Recurring billing is for every type of customer and every type of company, from small startups to established enterprises. No matter what your business or where you’re at in your growth stage, recurring billing can really help you scale more.
Recurring billing for small business can focus on simple scenarios like a basic monthly SaaS subscription, while enterprise subscription billing can handle a wider variety of products, subscription periods and flexibility for customer choice.
Is an API Right for You?
Instead of building in-house, relying on a recurring billing API could solve some of your customization needs without requiring you to hire a team to build a product from scratch. An API can help integrate recurring billing features with your existing systems in a way that will give you greater power and flexibility to make recurring billing features work for your organization.
From trial periods to subscription options, APIs can help you customize and connect the details you need to run your business and satisfy your customers.
Making the Most of Recurring Billing
Auto recurring billing is an absolute must-have; the whole point of subscriptions is that they’re automated, after all. So, make sure you can put everything on autopilot and let your customers just type in their digits and cruise to success, no matter what credit card processing recurring billing service you choose.
Free online recurring billing is available, but free isn’t always the best recurring billing option you can get. Free platforms will typically come with feature limitations that can negatively impact your business in the long term.
What the Experts Say
Gartner’s competitive landscape for recurring billing management has a few standout insights into the recurring billing ecosystem.
According to Gartner, a leading analyst firm, over 90% of software providers will have upgraded to subscription-based business platforms by 2022. With just two years left until this milestone, it’s time for you to get with the online recurring billing program if you can. Whatever recurring billing app you choose, make sure it comports with Gartner suggestions such as focusing on the customer experience and the need to develop an agile billing approach that accommodates the complexity of changing customer needs.
Ultimately, the SaaS subscription billing platform you need depends on what your company wants to do. Once you’ve defined your automated billing goals, you can select the platform that will help you achieve the success you deserve.
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