The billing system has gone through a tremendous amount of evolution starting from manual to automated. Billing being a necessity irrespective of the type of business, garnered enough attention to make it more convenient, error-free, fast, and flexible. As a result, the automated billing system came into play. We are living in an era, where everything is getting digitized, be it shopping or education. The pandemic has even further aided in it. In this scenario, you must have considered getting an automated billing system for your business. But, how to choose the right one? Well, we are going to discuss it right away!
Define your Business Requirements
We often get stuck in the beginning, wondering how to get started? And the same goes for choosing an automated billing system. It is easy to get overwhelmed amidst the booming subscription billing platforms. But all you need is to focus on your own business requirements. For instance, if you are running a B2B SaaS business, you may have a specific set of requirements such as, subscription management for different customer licenses, smooth integration with your existing softwares, etc. If your business has end-users of diverse demographics then you may have requirements for multiple currencies or multi-lingual support. In order to find out the best fit, you need to define your business needs or goals.
Now that you know what your business requires from an automated billing software, let us make it easier for you. Here are some key factors you must consider while choosing an automated billing system-
1. Flexible Integration
An online business consists of various in-house applications such as accounting systems, user service systems, ERP software, and others. Not every automated billing system is flexible enough to get integrated with your business applications. Especially, if there are legacy systems (old computer application, system, or technology) in your online platform, you need to be extra cautious, as many of the subscription billing systems don’t integrate with them well.
2. Robust API
The API or Application Programming Interface is a set of functions that allow multiple applications to interact with one another. A billing platform with built-in API allows the front-end and back-end applications to interact directly with your billing system. In addition to this, you may look for billing platforms which come with standard API integration connectors. This will save your time, cost, and improve the overall flow of your in-house business functions.
3. Managing Various Account Structures
Your automated billing platform should be in charge of handling various account structures. While your customers have different requirements and hence different types of billing accounts, it is important for you to have some control at multiple levels. Always choose an automated billing system that is capable of handling complex account structures such as parent-child account structure and lets you create your own account types for your business.
4. Subscription Model Flexibility
Subscription model flexibility must be one of your top priorities while choosing an automated billing platform. The requirements of your customers differ from each other and your billing system should be capable of accommodating their needs by providing subscription model flexibility. For instance, Netflix offers multiple subscription plans to its customers such as- Mobile, Basic, Standard, and Premium.
5. Supporting Globally Accepted Standards
If you have plan to globalize your business, then only go for a billing management platform which supports globally accepted standards such as-
- Multi-Currency: Let’s give a real life example. You have an e-commerce website, and customer X is about to purchase a product he liked on your website. X lives in the U.S., but the price shown to him is in Inr. What will X do? He will leave your website and search for the same product in another website where the price is shown in U.S. dollars. A sound automated billing system not only supports multiple currencies but also allows you to add or delete currencies as per your need.
- Multi-Language: In order to gain global customers, your billing management platform should come with multi-lingual support while dealing with invoices, bills etc. Unless your target audience is only of any specific geography, this is a must-have feature for the billing system.
- Taxes: Taxes vary for different countries and a smart billing system can adjust the prices and invoices accordingly for your customers.
5. Customization Options
Be it adding a new subscription model or incorporating a new payment gateway, customization is required in every step to implement new ideas or processes. If your billing system can’t keep up with the evolving business, then it may come in the way of your business growth. A customizable billing system gives you more flexibility to incorporate changes as per the changing business or customer requirements.
How can we forget about security when it comes to billing! Only go for the automated billing system which is compliant with the standard security and safety protocols. Your billing system is in charge of handling your customer transactions and the related confidential data. So, any loophole can put your customers and brand reputation at risk. Most of the top-rated subscription billing systems are PCI compliant and never choose the one which is not!
Apart from the above-mentioned points, always look for more in an automated billing system,
- Granular analytics and Reports: Providing granular reports & analytics on recurrent revenue, due payments, new subscriptions etc. for effective decision making.
- Industry-agnostic: Suitable for diverse industries such as OTT platforms, internet providers, SaaS businesses, e-learning platforms, etc.
- Supports Add-ons: Supports different types of add-ons and lets you add your own- coupons, vouchers, discounts, bundle services, and whatnot!
Muvi Billing is one of its kind automated billing system offering 17+ payment gateways, smart record keeping, flexible billing, analytics & insights, and carrier-grade security. You can take a 14-day free trial to have a seamless billing experience.