Recurring subscription billing plays a vital role in the growth of subscription-based businesses.
Table of contents
In the current digital landscape, businesses have experienced a shift in their revenue models, transitioning from traditional one-time purchases to recurring subscriptions.
In fact, 78% of adults are using some sort of subscription-based service.
This blog provides insights about recurring subscription billing so you can get the most out of the recurring revenue business model.
- Recurring subscription billing is a type of payment in which businesses charge their customers at regular intervals, such as monthly or annually, for a product or service.
- Recurring subscription billing is the lifeline of subscription-based businesses as it guarantees consistent revenue and customer satisfaction.
- Once a customer has subscribed to a product or service, you can create recurring invoices and automatically charge customers’ accounts regularly as long as the subscription plan is active.
- Businesses such as streaming services, SaaS, eCommerce with subscription boxes, telephone & internet services, digital news, etc., use recurring subscription billing.
What Is Recurring Subscription Billing
Recurring subscription billing (sometimes called recurring billing) is a type of payment in which businesses charge their customers at regular intervals for a product or service.
Instead of making a one-time purchase, customers agree with the business, where they pay a subscription fee in exchange for ongoing access to a recurring service.
How Does Recurring Subscription Billing Work
When the subscription is set up, the billing system quickly moves to the automated billing stage.
This involves creating a recurring invoice based on the customer’s selected payment schedule and using the stored payment details.
This process ensures secure transactions through reliable payment gateways, eliminating the need for extra steps as long as the subscription is active.
Recurring Subscription Billing vs. Recurring Subscription Payment
Recurring subscription billing refers to invoicing customers at regular intervals for continued use of a product or service.
It encompasses subscription management processes such as creating invoices, calculating charges, sending payment reminders, handling upgrades or downgrades, and dealing with cancellations.
Recurring subscription payment focuses explicitly on collecting payments from customers regularly according to their subscription plan.
It involves the transfer of actual funds from the customer’s account to the business.
Recurring Subscription Billing Benefits
Recurring subscription billing provides the following benefits:
|Predictable revenue and consistent cash flow||Regular subscription payments provide stable cash flow, which can help a business in financial planning and expansion strategies. They also offer a steady, predictable income stream for the business.|
|Customer convenience and personalization||Customers enjoy convenience through automatic payments and personalized experiences tailored to their needs and preferences.|
Choosing Between Monthly and Annual Subscriptions
The choice between monthly and annual subscriptions depends on factors like your target audience, pricing model, the nature of the product/service, and your business goals.
Monthly subscriptions are affordable and attract customers who aren’t ready for a long-term commitment, offering them the flexibility to cancel or adjust their plans easily. However, they might face higher customer churn rates.
Annual subscriptions often offer discounted rates and promotions, encouraging customers to commit for longer periods, leading to lower churn rates and steadier revenue. However, the high upfront costs might deter some potential customers.
Software & Saas: Unlocking Its Full Potential
Recurring Subscription Billing Examples
Customers are increasingly being offered the opportunity to subscribe to a product/service on a regular basis.
This trend has unlocked new avenues for revenue generation in businesses such as:
- Streaming Services: Platforms like Netflix, Spotify, and Disney+ charge users a monthly subscription fee to access content.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): Businesses use SaaS applications like Tridens Monetization, Microsoft 365, and Adobe Creative Cloud by paying regular subscription fees rather than purchasing them upfront.
- Subscription Boxes: Companies like Dollar Shave and Birchbox curate and deliver products to subscribers on recurring charges.
- Gym Memberships: Planet Fitness offers membership plans for individuals to use their facilities regularly.
- Magazine and Newspaper Subscriptions: The New York Times and Vogue allow readers to access digital publications regularly through recurring payments.
- Telephone & Internet Services: Telecommunication companies like Verizon and T-Mobile provide customers with monthly subscriptions for minutes, texts, and data.
As the subscription economy grows, it is crucial to recognize that it is not only about the revenue gains for the business but also about cultivating lasting customer relationships.
Using Tridens Monetization makes the billing process easy and efficient because it:
- automates invoicing and payment collection,
- integrates easily with most business tools (CRMs, ERPs, Payment Providers, etc.),
- provides a 360° view of the subscriptions and recurring billing through its real-time analytics and reports,
- automates recollection retries for failed payments.
Recurring billing can be categorized as fixed (regular) or variable (dynamic).
The customer is charged the same amount in each billing cycle in fixed recurring billing—for example, a monthly subscription to Netflix.
In variable recurring billing, the amount may vary in each billing cycle. The amount depends on customer usage of the product—for example, payment for a cloud storage platform like Dropbox.
A recurring payment is a type of payment where a customer authorizes a business to charge their account at regular intervals for goods or services.
On the other hand, autopay is a payment method that facilitates the automatic processing of bills or payments. It includes both one-time and recurring bills.
Yes, customers can change or cancel their subscription plans. Most subscription services provide self-service portals where customers can make these changes. It is important to note if there are any terms and conditions for cancellation, such as notice periods, fees etc.
Ready to get started?
Learn how your business can thrive with Tridens Monetization for Software & SaaS.Schedule a Demo