The subscription payment model and recurring billing are often usually associated with digital products and services, but its scope is significantly broader. From utility bills and membership fees to loan payment (a recurring debt), there are a variety of areas where businesses and institutions have to be equipped to receive recurring payments, both regular (fixed amounts) and irregular (varying amounts like utility bills).
Even if you already have a billing model that’s equipped to receive recurring payments, you should know what the ideal fit can be.
The Right Billing Solution To Receive Recurring Payments – 5 Tips To Identify
In order to ensure that the billing solution you invest in becomes an asset and not an overhead liability, you have to be discerning when choosing the right billing solution. There are a few tips that can help you choose the right system to receive recurring payments.
1. Choose A System That Supports Your Specific Business Needs
The right billing solution should support your business needs, and you don’t have to make significant modifications to your billing model to adjust to the solution. This requires a flexible billing solution that can either be modified with minimal effort or covers a broad enough spectrum of features that you can activate and subdue different features to make it the right fit for your business.
Some third-party solutions offer an even higher layer of modifiability. You can build your business logic on top of the billing and payment solution for perfect harmonization with your business needs.
2. Plan Ahead And Find A Solution That Can Grow With You
If you are creating subscription services or boxes and are planning to receive recurring payments, you may also consider expanding your reach and going beyond local borders. And when you do, you want your billing solution to grow alongside you. If you have to switch your billing platform to accommodate international expansion, different currencies, and local taxations, you might overly complicate your growth.
3. Look Into The System’s Flexibility With Payment Types And Currencies
As a business owner, you must understand that one key to keeping your customers happy and building long-term relationships is to accommodate them as much as possible. That includes making multiple payment methods available to receive recurring payments (for example, Netflix accepts PayPal, Cox, Dish, etc., in the US). And even though it’s not mainstream yet, you might consider opting for a billing platform that can accept and process recurring payments made in cryptocurrencies.
4. Identify Recurring Payment Features That Are Important To Your Customers And Make Sure The Billing Solution Offers Them
Not all subscriptions are equal, and neither are the recurring payments associated with them. Even fixed subscription services require features like upgrades, downgrades, discounts, free trials to higher subscriptions, temporary suspensions, etc. Many of these features change over time. For example, if your competitors start offering customized subscriptions (where the customer can choose products and services they need and would be billed accordingly), your customers might expect you to offer it as well. And if you don’t have a flexible/modifiable billing solution, you might risk losing your customers to a competitor that does.
5. It Should Have Optimal Financial Reporting And Analysis Features
Recurring payments, for all their benefits and pros, are a hotbed of customer complaints and sources of contention. Many businesses that receive recurring payments from their customers often get accused of not canceling subscriptions right away or charging extra features/services the customers didn’t ask for (among several other things).
To ensure that you can trace the root of the problem, satisfy customers, and issue refunds (if need be), you need a billing system that makes data immediately available for reporting and analytics, with nothing delayed due to batch processing of transactions. Similarly, financial reporting features that offer you transparency and control over your revenue picture and adhere to compliance rules are a must-have.
An open-source billing and payment solution like Kill Bill, which has already been tested and endorsed by many businesses of almost every scale, can be the ideal solution to receive recurring payments for all the reasons mentioned above (and several others). It’s extremely flexible, thorough, secure, and rich with features and plugins. If you are looking for a solution that can support receiving recurring payments in many ways well into the future, it’s definitely worth a try.