In today’s business landscape, subscription billing has become a crucial component. This article will look extensively into the Chargebee vs. Recurly differences to help you decide which of these two popular billing platforms, if any, is the best fit for your company.
We will examine their respective features, integrations, pricing models, and customer feedback from various software reviews sites like G2 or Capterra, to give you a comprehensive understanding of these two competitors.
Whether you’re seeking a substitute for your existing billing solution or are in the early stages of your search, this piece is a must-read.
You will get the best possible comparison of Chargebee and Recurly, and (not surprisingly) we will also introduce a strong alternative, our Tridens Monetization.
Table of contents
- Chargebee vs. Recurly – the comparison method
- What is Chargebee?
- What is Recurly?
- Who uses Chargebee and Recurly?
- Chargebee customers
- Recurly customers
- Chargebee and Recurly pricing
- Chargebee vs. Recurly: Comparison of features
- Chargebee vs. Recurly: Comparison of integrations
- Chargebee customer experience and user reviews
- Recurly customer experience and user reviews
- Chargebee vs. Recurly: The customer support
- Chargebee vs. Recurly: Pros and Cons
- Chargebee vs. Recurly and alternatives
- Tridens Monetization as Chargebee and Recurly alternative
Chargebee vs. Recurly – the comparison method
Chargebee and Recurly are platforms that help companies streamline the management of recurring revenue processes through subscription and billing automation. While both platforms have similar features, there are some slight differences between them.
In order to provide an impartial comparison, our blog conducted extensive research on both platforms. We analyzed their key features and evaluated the level of options available for integrations and configurations, such as APIs and plug-ins. Additionally, we examined customer reviews and ratings to gain insights into user experience, including ease of use, user interface, pricing, potential hidden fees, and customer support.
Despite the limited information publicly available on the costs associated with starting and operating each platform, we made a point to include this information in our analysis.
By utilizing these steps and multiple sources, we strive to present a comprehensive and unbiased comparison of Chargebee and Recurly to give readers a better understanding of both platforms.
What is Chargebee?
Chargebee is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) billing platform designed for businesses that rely on recurring revenue models and require a streamlined solution to manage their billing and subscription processes.
It provides comprehensive features for automating and managing recurring billing processes. Chargebee caters to a range of billing models, such as subscription-based billing and metered billing.
What does Chargebee do?
Chargebee offers a suite of tools that enable businesses to manage the entire subscription lifecycle, from sign-up to billing and renewal. It also provides customizable invoices, flexible pricing options and integrates with popular payment gateways and other business tools. By providing features such as recurring billing, metered billing, and more, Chargebee streamlines the process of managing and automating subscriptions.
Overall, Chargebee is a billing platform that caters primarily to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) that provide subscription-based services. Its extensive range of features and capabilities simplifies the billing process, enabling companies to focus on delivering value to their customers.
Who owns Chargebee?
Chargebee is a privately held company whose ownership information is not publicly disclosed. However, it was founded in 2011 by Krish Subramanian (CEO), Rajaraman Santhanam (COO), Saravanan KP (CTO), and Thiyagarajan Thiyagu (director).
Over the years, the company has raised several rounds of funding from venture capital firms and angel investors to support its growth and expansion and, in 2021, reached unicorn status.
Where is Chargebee located?
Chargebee was founded in Chennai, India, and has its headquarters on 340 S. Lemon Avenue in San Francisco.
What is Recurly?
Recurly is a comprehensive billing platform that helps primarily small and medium-sized businesses to manage and automate their subscription and revenue processes.
It’s a customizable and scalable billing solution that allows businesses to adjust it to fit their needs as they grow.
What does Recurly do?
Recurly provides businesses with a platform that can manage the entire subscription lifecycle. From sign-up to billing to renewal, it simplifies the billing process with features like recurring billing, metered billing, and customizable invoices. It also integrates with popular payment gateways and other business tools.
By automating and managing the subscription billing process, Recurly helps companies to focus on delivering value to their customers. With advanced reporting and analytics features, it allows businesses to gain insights into their subscription revenue and make data-driven decisions.
Overall, by simplifying the subscription billing process, Recurly helps businesses to monetize their products and services.
Who owns Recurly?
Recurly was founded in 2009 by Isaac Hall. In 2010 Dan Burkhart joined as CEO, the company raised a $1.6M investment seed round, moved to San Francisco, and launched its billing platform.
Over the years, Recurly has raised several rounds of funding and, in 2020, was acquired by Accel-KKR, a technology-focused private equity firm specializing in growth and middle-market investments.
Where is Recurly located?
The headquarters of Recurly is at 400 Alabama Street in San Francisco, California.
Who uses Chargebee and Recurly?
While Chargebee and Recurly are primarily intended for businesses that rely on subscription-based revenue models, they can also be used by companies that operate with a mix of subscription and non-subscription revenue models like annual maintenance contracts, service plans, or metered billing.
Some industries that use Recurly and Chargebee (or their alternatives) for subscriptions and recurring billing, customer relationships, and more:
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
- Financial services
- Digital Media and Entertainment
- Consumer Goods & Retail
- Professional services
- Video & OTT
- Health & Fitness
Chargebee and Recurly offer high levels of customization and scalability, allowing businesses to adjust the platforms to suit their evolving needs as they grow.
While the size of a company may not be the primary consideration when choosing a billing platform, factors such as specific requirements, budget, and long-term goals are important. However, it’s worth noting that both Chargebee and Recurly appear to primarily target businesses of similar sizes and industries.
Chargebee is generally perceived as a more mid-market solution often used by smaller and growing companies looking for a cost-effective, easy-to-use solution.
It provides a simpler and more streamlined solution with a user-friendly interface. Therefore, it’s a good fit for businesses just starting or looking to simplify their billing process.
Chargebee’s main clients are companies with 1-100 employees and 1M to 10M dollars in revenue.
58,8% of Chargebee clients are companies with up to 100 employees, followed by companies with 100 to 1000 employees (33,8%).
Only 2,9% of clients employ 1000 to 10000 people, while the share of clients with more than 10.000 employees is 4,4%.
The biggest market for Chargebee is the United States, where 41,2% of customers come from, followed by the United Kingdom (17,6%), Australia and Germany (8,8%), and France and Sweden (4,4%).
Some of the most prominent companies that use Chargebee are Calendly, Fujitsu, Philo, Octa, Freshworks, Gigwell, Epoch Times, Palo Alto Software, Inc., Corteva Agriscience, Pret a Manger, and TaylorMade Golf.
Like its competitor Chargebee, Recurly is particularly popular among small and medium-sized businesses seeking an affordable and scalable subscription billing solution. However, we can also find some enterprise-level organizations among its list of clients.
Recurly’s main clients are companies with up to 50 employees and revenue of up to 10M dollars.
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55,9% of Recurly customers are companies with up to 100 employees, followed by 29,4% of companies with 100 to 1000 employees. Companies with 1000 to 10000 employees present an 11,8% and those with more than 10.000 employees a 2,9% share of customers.
More than half (55,9%) of these companies are from the United States, with other important markets being the United Kingdom (29,4%), Canada, Singapore, Sweden, and Denmark (all 2,9%).
Some of the most prominent companies that use Recurly are AccuWeather, AMC Networks, Paramount+, Showtime, Switch, Speedo, Lucid, Live Chat, and Casting Networks.
Chargebee and Recurly pricing
Both Chargebee and Recurly have a simple pricing model with three or four tiers. However, except for the basic Core plan, Recurly is not disclosing the prices, and there are no credible sources available to be able to get price estimations.
|Chargebee (price/mth)||Recurly (price/mth)|
|Free Trial✔️||Free Trial✔️|
|Launch plan – $0||Core plan – $0|
|Rise plan – $249||Professional plan – price on request|
|Scale plan – $549||Elite plan – price on request|
|Enterprise plan – custom pricing|
How does Chargebee make money?
Chargebee offers a free trial and four basic pricing plans, each with different levels of features. Each has a different monthly fee and can include overage fees based on the customer’s monthly or annual revenue. These plans are Launch, Rise, Scale, and Enterprise.
The Launch plan is intended for businesses that are building and launching a recurring revenue model for the first time. It is initially free, but once a customer’s total invoiced amount exceeds USD 100k, they are automatically converted to a $99 monthly plan.
Customers with revenue over $25,000 per month will also be subject to a 0.5% overage fee on any amount exceeding that. The Launch plan offers basic features such as a secure checkout, support for up to six pricing models, a customer portal, credit note issuing, and dunning.
On the other hand, the Rise plan is a $249-per-month plan (+ possible overage fees) designed for startups and small businesses. It includes core billing features, CRM integration, and basic integrations and reporting.
The Scale plan is intended for growing businesses and costs $549 per month (+ possible overage fees). It includes advanced billing features, more integrations, and reporting options.
The Enterprise plan is the most advanced plan and is designed for larger businesses with more complex needs. The pricing is custom-based on the requirement and scale of the company. It includes advanced features such as custom fields, API access, and dedicated customer support.
A point worth mentioning is that there are user reviews where customers complain about rising costs.
They claim using Chargebee is more expensive than they expected or were told. This can be a signal that maybe the price list is not fully transparent or understandable, or there is a lack of clear communication about the costs in the sales process.
How does Recurly make money?
First, let’s mention that Recurly, except for the Core plan, doesn’t offer any prices, and all pricing is available “on request.”
They offer a Free Trial and three plans: Core, Professional, and Elite.
Their basic Core plan is designed for businesses just starting with subscription models and looking for a quick launch. This plan includes core features such as subscription management, dunning management, and analytics.
The Core plan is free to start with, and in time charges and fees are added according to various factors like the number of invoices, transactions, or earned revenue.
The Professional plan includes all of the Core plan’s features and additional features, such as advanced analytics, custom branding, and multiple payment gateways.
Our research found a listing of prices stating that the Professional plan starts at $499 monthly. However, it’s not an official source, so we can’t confirm it.
The Elite plan is designed for larger businesses, and its pricing is custom based on the customers’ specific needs. This plan includes all the Professional plan’s features and additional features, such as dedicated support and custom integrations.
Regarding pricing, some reviews suggest there could be an occasional miscommunication in the pricing or sales process. Some users reported Recurly turned out more expensive than first told and calculated.
It looks like both Chargebee and Recurly have this in common and should look into these complaints.
Chargebee vs. Recurly: Comparison of features
Before going deeper into details about features comparison, let’s point out that the decision of which platform is a better fit really comes down to specific functions a company needs. Since they are so similar in most functions, one solution might look better, but lacking just one important feature may turn the decision the other way.
Of course, our comparison is based on the full capability of the platform, selecting a lower-price plan will not limit some functions.
Chargebee and Recurly both provide extensive subscription management and billing capabilities. As mentioned, even if both solutions offer similar features, a few areas set them apart.
According to various sources, Chargebee provides more customization options, allowing businesses to create custom fields, forms, and workflows.
On the other hand, Recurly has a simpler user interface that may be easier to navigate and especially beneficial for businesses that do not require advanced customization options.
Chargebee also offers built-in support for tax management, while Recurly requires businesses to use a third-party tax solution.
In the area of dunning management, some sources claim that Chargebee offers more advanced dunning management capabilities, including the ability to configure custom dunning workflows. However, other users praise Recurly for quick and effective payment collection with its dunning automatization.
Regarding analytics, the general verdict is that Chargebee provides more advanced reporting features and customization options. Still, Recurly has more robust subscription analytics features, including churn and lifetime value analyses.
In the “Features” category on the Capterra user review site, Chargebee got 4.2 out of 5 stars, while Recurly scored slightly better with 4.4.
Again, both solutions will meet most businesses’ needs, but depending on their specific use cases, one might just slightly prevail.
Both providers have a list of 50+ features, so in this table, we show only the ones where they differ.
|Payment Processing Services Integration||❌||✔️|
Chargebee vs. Recurly: Comparison of integrations
Regarding integrations, Chargebee and Recurly offer similar integrations with popular business systems. However, Chargebee has a few more, while Reculry has a strong point in Netsuite integration, one that Chargebee doesn’t have.
According to some reviews, Recurly offers a more developer-friendly API with comprehensive documentation and sample code in multiple programming languages.
Nonetheless, businesses must evaluate their specific needs and required integrations before choosing their platform.
Both providers have an extensive list of integrations. In this table, we show only the most important ones.
Chargebee customer experience and user reviews
With Chargebee, users most commonly praise its user-friendly interface and extensive subscription management features. However, some users have pointed out shortcomings in the billing and invoicing processes, as well as a lack of certain advanced features, particularly for more complicated billing models.
According to G2, GetApp, Capterra, and Software Advice, Chargebee has received an average rating of 4.4 out of 5, while TrustRadius has given it a score of 7.7 out of 10.
Disclaimer: All ratings are as they were on the day of the article publishing and can change over time.
Recurly customer experience and user reviews
Recurly is being related to as an easy-to-use subscription management platform, with users praising its flexibility.
However, some users report limited customization options, issues with some billing scenarios, and sometimes unhelpful customer support.
On popular business software review sites G2, GetApp, Capterra, and Software Advice, Recurly has an overall rating of 4.6 out of 5.
Furthermore, on TrustRadius, Recurly has a rating of 8.1 out of 10.
In general, we could say that Chargebee and Recurly are pretty even in user reviews, with some significant differences in reviews on different review sites.
However, just looking at overall ratings would be oversimplified, as there are many categories and reviews one should look into before making the final decision.
Chargebee vs. Recurly: The customer support
Both Chargebee and Recurly offer FAQs/forums, phone and email support, and chat. In addition, Chargebee also offers 24/7 Live rep support and a Knowledge Base.
But the best way to find out is to look at user reviews and what they had to say.
On G2, the average industry score for “Quality of support” is 8.7. Chargebee scored just a little over this with 8.8. while Recurly only scored 8.0.
The GetApp and Software Advice websites use the same user review database, so both sites rate Recurlys customer support at 4.7 and Chargebee at 4 out of 5 stars.
On TrustRadious, there is no extra score for “Customer support,” however, some reviews for both platforms mention sometimes non-responsive customer support and inefficient technical support documentation.
On Capterra, the users rated Recurly with a score of 4.6 and Chargebee with a 3.8 out of 5 in the “Customer service” category.
Overall, user reviews of Chargebee and Recurly suggest that they are pretty equal regarding customer support, with reviews slightly favoring Recurly. For more details, it’s best to dig deeper into reviews to get a better picture since both show some need for improvement.
Chargebee vs. Recurly: Pros and Cons
We compiled a list of pros and cons of Chargebee vs. Recurly to offer a quick insight into each platform’s strengths and weaknesses. Although it doesn’t represent everything Chargebee and Recurly offer, it can make comparing each other and potential competitors or alternatives easier.
Chargebee Pros & Cons
Ease of Use✔️
Chargebee is renowned for its user-friendliness and ease of use, even for businesses with limited technical know-how. Furthermore, according to user reviews, this user-friendliness is one of the most compelling reasons to choose Chargebee.
Flexibility and Customization✔️
Chargebee offers a high degree of flexibility and customization options. This allows companies to tailor the platform to their specific needs and integrate it with other business systems, tools, and data sources.
Chargebee’s pricing is competitive and reasonable. Therefore it’s a good option for small to medium-sized businesses that want to keep costs low. As mentioned, there can be some misunderstandings regarding operational costs. Therefore, pricing requires a precise and in-depth case-to-case calculation.
Chargebee boasts a formidable list of integrations with other business systems, such as Salesforce and QuickBooks. This powerful integration capability allows businesses to streamline their operations and maximize efficiency.
Some users report that Chargebee has limited features compared to some other subscription management platforms.
Limited Payment Gateway Support❌
While Chargebee integrates with various payment gateways, some users have reported that it does not support all payment gateways. Therefore, this may be a challenge for businesses needing a specific payment gateway.
Limited Reporting Capabilities❌
Some users reported that Chargebee’s reporting capabilities are limited compared to other subscription management platforms.
Limited Support for Complex Billing Models❌
According to some user reviews, Chargebee’s platform is not well-suited for businesses with complex billing models, such as usage-based or tiered pricing.
Recurly Pros & Cons
Ease of Use✔️
Recurly has a clean and intuitive interface that makes it easy to navigate and use.
Recurly offers a high degree of flexibility and customization options. This allows companies to tailor the platform to their specific needs and integrate it with other business systems, tools, and data sources.
Recurly pricing is one of the strong points of this platform since it’s competitive and flexible. As mentioned before, double-checking pricing for your specific scenario is advisable to avoid misunderstandings.
Recurly offers various integrations with third-party services, such as CRM, accounting, and marketing automation tools.
Some users report that Recurly has limited features compared to other subscription management platforms.
Limited Payment Gateway Support❌
Recurly integrates with various payment gateways, but users report that it does not support all payment gateways. Therefore, a throughout check is advised.
Limited Reporting Capabilities❌
Some users stated that they wish Recurly’s reporting capabilities would improve to the level that some other solutions offer.
Limited Support for Complex Billing Models❌
It is no surprise that, like Chargebee, Recurly lacks support for complex billing models like usage-based or tiered pricing.
Chargebee vs. Recurly and alternatives
Although Recurly and Chargebee are one of the most popular subscription management platforms, they are by far not a perfect fit for all, and other alternatives may suit better.
Reviewing user comments and scores on software review sites G2 and GetApp quickly reveals a strong alternative that successfully answers what users miss in these two billing platforms and upgrades their strong points.
This high-rated billing platform for small and large companies is Tridens Monetization.
Tridens Monetization as Chargebee and Recurly alternative
Tridens Monetization is a cloud-based Billing and Revenue management platform with a successful track record in assisting businesses in monetizing their offerings.
Its wide range of capabilities includes subscription management, recurring billing, and real-time usage-based billing. It can also manage complex pricing models, invoicing and payment processes and offers advanced reporting, analytics, and forecasting features.
Tridens Monetization has an overall user rating of 4.9 out of 5 on G2 and an overall score of 9.6 out of 10 on TrustRadius. On GetApp, the overall user rating is 5 out of 5, 4.95 out of 5 on Software Advice, and 4.9 out of 5 on Capterra.
Overall, based on the high “Likelihood to Recommend” user review score (10/10 on Capterra & GetApp), we trust our customers have a positive experience with the product.
This clearly shows that Tridens Monetization scores higher than its competitors, which only reinforces its position as a top alternative to other subscription and billing management platforms, including Chargebee and Recurly.
Why choose Tridens Monetization?
Flexibility and Customization✔️
Tridens Monetization is known for its flexibility, allowing businesses to fully customize the platform to their specific needs and integrate it with other business systems.
It also scores 9.2 out of 10 on G2 in the “Ease of Setup” category compared to the industry average of 8.3 or Chargebee’s 8.4 and Recurly’s 7.9 scores.
Tridens Monetization is a highly scalable monetization solution capable of managing high transaction volumes and heavy workloads without compromising speed or performance. This ensures that it can keep up with the ever-increasing demands of businesses, whether you’re a startup or a large corporation.
You can monetize your products and services confidently, allowing you to focus on your business’s core operations and growth.
Tridens Monetization can integrate with popular ERP and CRM platforms like NetSuite and Salesforce, accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero, and payment gateways like PayPal and Stripe.
Customized integration support ensures secure and seamless communication between systems and helps our clients leverage current investments in technology.
Ease of Use✔️
User-friendliness is something best left to the evaluation of users themself. Tridens Monetization scored 9.4/10 in the category “Ease of Use” on G2, well surpassing the industry average of 8.5. or Chargebee’s 8.9 and 8.5 of Recurly. On GetApp, it scored 5/5 and 4.9/5 on Capterra.
Tridens Monetization offers competitive pricing and is more affordable than most billing platforms, making it a good option also for small to medium-sized businesses.
In fact, it scored 5 out of 5 points in the “value for money” category on GetApp and Capterra user reviews.
Advanced features and support for complex billing models✔️
A modern cloud-based billing system must handle complex billing scenarios beyond the standard billing models. These scenarios include usage-based billing, tiered or promotional pricing, recurring subscriptions, one-time charges, or whatever businesses need to create custom billing plans.
In addition, the system must handle multiple currencies, taxes, discounts, and refunds, among other considerations.
Various advanced features enable businesses to tailor their billing models to suit their unique requirements and provide greater flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency in their billing processes.
In the “Features” category on Capterra and GetApp user review sites, Tridens Monetization got 5 out of 5 stars in all reviews.
Advanced analytics, reporting, and forecasting✔️
Advanced analytics refers to a billing system’s ability to analyze billing data and automatically identify patterns and trends. It will extract actionable insights like customer demographics, transaction volumes, revenue trends, and more.
The reporting function generates customizable reports and dashboards that provide a clear view of all billing activities, like billing statements, transaction summaries, or customer account information.
Forecasting predicts future billing trends and anticipates customer behavior. It can, among others, include projections of future revenue, churn rates, and customer acquisition and retention rates. With accurate and timely forecasts, businesses can make informed decisions on pricing, promotions, and other vital aspects of their billing operations.
Overall, our advanced analytics, reporting, and forecasting capabilities offer businesses a powerful tool for improving their billing operations, reducing costs, increasing revenue, and making data-driven decisions.
For example, let us look at churn.
There are many reasons for customer churn, but as McKinsey & Company reports, an analytics-driven approach can help companies reduce churn by as much as 15%. This number is for the telecommunication industry, and these rates can be even higher in some other industries.
We probably don’t need to explain how important good customer support is. Still, let’s mention that according to research by thinkJar, 84% of users get frustrated when the agent doesn’t provide helpful information.
Tridens Monetization offers complete support to its users, including customer service, documentation, and training resources.
User reviews of the “Customer service” category support this claim with a 4.9/5 score on Capterra. On G2, the average industry score for “Quality of support” is 8.7, with Tridens on the top with a 9.8 out of 10 score, with Recurly (8.0) and Chargebee (8.8.) well behind.
In conclusion, the decision between Chargebee and Recurly really comes down to a case-to-case situation.
Since both platforms offer various and almost identical subscription management tools, businesses must look at their specific needs and take an in-depth look into each platform’s strengths and weaknesses.
Furthermore, businesses should also consider other competitors in the market since there is quite a competition.
In the end, they need to choose a platform that can scale with the business, has predictable costs, and provides the necessary tools for the growth of their business.
Ultimately, whether Tridens Monetization is a good alternative to other subscription management platforms depends on the specific needs and resources of the business.
We recommend that companies evaluate various subscription management platforms, including Tridens Monetization, to find the best fit for their needs.
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