Managing customers or subscribers of a subscription-based business is not an easy task. This gets even more complicated when you grow. According to a survey, recurring billing management has been one of the significant challenges among SaaS startups. While the lack of knowledge of recurring billing dynamics has only fueled the challenge, entrepreneurs often fall prey to the substandard recurring billing solutions hidden behind glossy setup and noisy marketing campaigns.
In this blog, we will take you through the common recurring billing challenges in the subscription business and how to overcome them.
More subscribers mean more revenue. But with a growing subscriber base, it becomes increasingly important to handle billing efficiently.
Because it takes one unpleasant billing experience to stir the trust factor that might lead to churn. Your recurring billing engine must manage each phase of the subscription cycle, i.e., free trial, an extension of the trial period, upgrade, downgrade, activation, cancelation, etc., at ease. In a nutshell, your billing engine should offer you optimal flexibility to grow your subscriber base, maximize revenue, and never let you miss a payment from your paid subscribers.
Your business cannot be called truly global unless you can transact with subscribers in their own currency. By supporting multi-currency billing and varied payment methods, you gain instant trust among cross-border customers. With new-age billing solutions, the necessary infrastructure is already in place, and multiple payment modes such as e-wallets, mobile payments, net banking, credit & debit cards, etc., your customers can pay in their native currency, and you can collect payment in your home currency.
When your products and services are global, you may need a smart recurring billing engine to help you route your payments in any possible mode. In such cases, a billing engine like Muvi Billing comes handy where the flexible APIs set up multiple payment gateways and route payment as per the type of currency.
Price, personalization, and convenience have made subscription businesses popular. So, if you cannot set a flexible billing cycle for different prices and terms, maybe it’s time to wave a good-bye to your vendor. An efficient billing engine must enable you to charge your users daily, weekly, quarterly, monthly, semi-annually, or annually. Also, it should adjust and map payments as per the new frequency without any manual intervention.
When you have a full-fledged business to run, every time, you cannot go back and forth between “where’s my money” and “Oh! here’s my money.” An absence of an auto-invoicing feature compliant with your plans and terms may result in huge manual effort, messy settlement, and revenue loss. Your invoice system should automate all complex billing processes with proper attention to detail. From supporting multiple plans to clubbing add ons, your billing engine must seamlessly generate both one-time and recurring invoices with no space for mundane tasks.
Timely notification is an inevitable part of the subscription industry. Without an effective notification system in your billing engine, you cannot track business-critical events such as sign up, end of the free trial, payment, transaction failure, upgrades, downgrades, etc. Similarly, you should notify events like payment reminder emails, payment success, promotional messages, etc., to your end-users as and when you like with customized template and frequency.
Handling Failed Transactions
Unexpected transaction failures are part and parcel of billing systems. But the differentiator remains how you are working around it. A failed transaction incites anxiety at both ends, and if not handled properly, you might counter revenue loss leaving your subscribers with an unpleasant experience.
|Always remember, although the billing engine’s primary role is to get you your money in time, shorter and crisper processing is the prerogative of both parties. Failed transactions and manual interventions cause a waste of time and human capital both.
A recurring billing engine exclusively designed for subscription businesses automatically manages failed transactions, retries automatically until success, and notifies each instance promptly with timely notifications.
Data Security & Fear of Unknown
Irrespective of the business you’re in, the first-timers will always think twice before purchasing your product or services. Research says that after quality assurance, the next hurdle in the buying process is the security of payment for online businesses. More psychological than practical, security concerns and cross-border trading comes with the baggage of fear of the unknown among potential consumers. The best way to battle this psychological misconception is to flaunt your security and data transparency guidelines upfront right from the consideration stage.
|Always opt for a billing system that maintains the highest level of PCI compliance and assures secure handling of sensitive data. A two-factor authentication, user control, and higher uptime guarantee are additional features you must ensure in your billing environment.
Now that you know the common subscription billing challenges, look at the Ultimate Subscription Billing Checklist for any Online Business – a 4-min read with informative graphics worth referring to as and when you need.
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