Subscription billing has become an essential aspect of modern businesses. This blog will deeply dive into Zuora vs. Chargebee comparison, exploring the key differences between these two popular billing platform competitors.
We will compare their features, integrations, and more to give you a clear understanding and help you determine which one is the right choice for your business. Of course, we didn’t forget their pricing models and customer reviews from various software review sites like G2 or Capterra.
Whether you’re looking for an alternative to your current billing solution or are just starting your search, this article is a must-read.
You will get the best possible comparison of Zuora and Chargebee, and (not surprisingly) we will also introduce a strong alternative, our Tridens Monetization.
Table of contents
- Chargebee vs. Zuora – the comparison method
- What is Chargebee?
- What is Zuora?
- Who uses Zuora and Chargebee?
- Zuora customers
- Chargebee customers
- Zuora and Chargebee pricing
- Zuora vs. Chargebee: Comparison of features
- Zuora vs. Chargebee: Comparison of integrations
- Zuora customer experience and user reviews
- Chargebee customer experience and user reviews
- Zuora vs. Chargebee: The customer support
- Zuora vs Chargebee: Pros and Cons
- Zuora vs. Chargebee and alternatives
- Tridens Monetization as Zuora and Chargebee alternative
Chargebee vs. Zuora – the comparison method
Zuora and Chargebee are subscription management and billing platforms that help businesses automate recurring revenue processes. Both platforms offer similar capabilities, but there are a few key differences between the two.
When writing this blog, we conducted thorough research on both Zuora and Chargebee to ensure an accurate and fair comparison. Firstly, we compared the key features of each platform. Since integrations and configurations are essential to any billing platform, we also evaluated the level of options available, such as APIs and plug-ins.
To get insight into the user experience, both platforms provide, we studied customer reviews and ratings on the topic of their ease of use, user interface, pricing, potential hidden fees and costs, and customer support.
Of course, we didn’t forget about the costs of starting and running both platforms, although the information here is scarce, with only the basic pricing models available to the public.
By using these steps and various available sources, hopefully, we made a fair comparison of Zuora and Chargebee.
What is Chargebee?
Chargebee is aimed at businesses that operate on a recurring revenue model and need a solution to manage their billing and subscription processes.
It’s a comprehensive SaaS billing platform for automating and managing recurring billing processes.
Chargebee also supports a variety of billing models, including subscription-based billing and metered billing.
What does Chargebee do?
It provides a suite of tools to manage the entire subscription lifecycle. They include sign-up, billing, and renewal. Also included are customizable invoices, flexible pricing options, and integration with popular payment gateways.
Therefore, with features like recurring billing, metered billing, and more, Chargebee simplifies managing and automating subscriptions.
Overall, Chargebee is a subscription billing platform primarily aimed at small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
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 Zuora?
Zuora is a subscription billing and management platform primarily regarded as suitable for larger companies and enterprises. Besides billing, it supports revenue recognition and accounting functions.
The software also includes subscription and quote-to-cash process (CPQ) management, automated payment processing, analytics, and more.
What does Zuora do?
Zuora’s recurring billing feature automates collecting payments for subscription-based services. In addition, its metered billing and usage-based billing features allow businesses to charge customers based on the amount of resources they consume.
Overall, Zuora is a powerful billing platform that offers a comprehensive suite of features and capabilities. With it, businesses can manage all subscription-based billing and revenue recognition processes.
Its robust features and integrations help companies unify revenue streams and manage subscriptions, consumption, and various pricing strategies.
Who owns Zuora?
Zuora was founded in 2007 by Tien Tzuo, K.V. Rao, and Cheng Zou and is a publicly traded company that is owned by shareholders. The company went public in April 2018 and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker symbol ZUO.
Zuora’s shareholders include individual and institutional investors who hold shares in the company.
Where is Zuora located?
The headquarters of Zuora is at 101 Redwood Shores Parkway in Redwood City, California.
Who uses Zuora and Chargebee?
Zuora and Chargebee are primarily designed for subscription-based businesses. However, they can also be used by other types of businesses with a mix of subscription and non-subscription revenue models, such as annual maintenance contracts, service plans, or usage-based billing.
Some common industries that use Zuora and Chargebee (or their alternatives) for subscription billing, recurring billing, customer relationships and more:
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
- Financial services
- Media and Entertainment
- Manufacturing & IoT
- Video & OTT
Both Zuora and Chargebee are highly customizable and scalable, so businesses can adjust the platform to fit their needs as they grow.
Media & Entertainment: Unlocking Its Full Potential
In general, the company’s size doesn’t affect the choice of a billing platform so much as its specific needs, budget, and long-term goals. However, there is a difference in the size of companies the companies tend to target and how both competitors are perceived in public.
Zuora is commonly regarded as a billing platform intended for enterprise-level usage. Therefore, it’s typically favored by bigger corporations with complex billing needs and a larger number of subscribers.
Zuora’s main customers are businesses with 50 to 200 employees and an annual income of between $10 and $50 million.
49,7% of Zuora clients are companies with 100 to 1000 employees, followed by 22,8% of companies with up to 100 employees and the same number of companies with 1000 to 10000 employees.
The share of clients with more than 10.000 employees is 4,8%.
More than half (56,6%) of these companies are from the United States, with other important markets being the United Kingdom (12,4%), Canada (6,2%), and Germany (4,1%).
Some of the most prominent companies that use Zuora are AXA Group, NetSuite Inc, International Business Machines Corporation, Schneider Electric, Seiko Epson, Zillow Group, Salesforce, and Visa.
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 customers 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.
Zuora and Chargebee pricing
In general, Chargebee has a simple pricing model with four tiers (+overage fees), while Zuora’s pricing is based on usage and volume. However, since both offer very dynamic and customizable pricing options, let us look at both closely.
|Pricing||Zuora (price/ year)*||Chargebee (price/mth)|
|Free Trial||No (only Test Drive)||Yes|
How does Zuora make money?
First, let’s mention that apart from pricing on AWS Marketplace, there is no official public price list for Zuora. According to the company press releases, Zuora offers a “dynamic pricing model” where customers pay based on the value they get from it.
Zuora charges a one-time upfront fee for equipment or service activation. From then on, the customer pays recurring fees, including a flat monthly rate and a per-unit or per-user fee.
In addition, there are other usage fees, where charges are based on variables like how much product the customer uses, for example, per minute, per article, or per gigabyte.
A fair warning, companies must carefully calculate their costs of running the software since there are quite some complaints in users’ reviews about the costs being higher than expected. But it’s a question of whether this is Zuora’s fault when presenting a price list or just poor judgment of customers before adopting it.
How does Chargebee make money?
Chargebee’s pricing is based on your needed features and monthly or annual revenue. Chargebee offers a range of pricing options and models, including a free trial and four basic pricing plans, Launch, Rise, Scale, and Enterprise.
According to their website, the Launch plan is “for companies looking to build and launch a recurring revenue model for the first time.”
It starts free of charge, but once a customer is invoiced a total of USD 100k, he is automatically converted to a $99 monthly plan. If your monthly revenue exceeds $25.000, you will also pay a 0,5% overage fee on every $ over that amount.
The Launch model offers basic functions like a secure checkout, support for up to six pricing models, a customer portal, credit note issuing, and dunning.
The “Rise” is a $ 249-a-month plan (+ possible overage fees) for startups and small businesses, and it includes core billing features, CRM integration, and basic integrations and reporting.
At $549 per month (+ possible overage fees), the Scale plan is designed for growing businesses. It includes advanced billing features, more integrations, and reporting options.
As the name suggests, the Enterprise plan 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 like 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.
Zuora vs. Chargebee: Comparison of features
Zuora and Chargebee both provide subscription billing capabilities. However, several areas set them apart even if both solutions offer similar features.
Zuora provides a comprehensive suite of services, including core subscription management, financial governance and analytics, payment gateway integrations, and automation workflows.
Zuora also mentions that they provide a customer relationship management tool (CRM). However, according to our sources, this is an integration of Salesforce CRM, something Chargebee also offers.
Chargebee, on the other hand, offers more specialized features for managing recurring revenue, including subscription management, invoicing, automated dunning processes, and multiple payment gateway integration options.
On numerous occasions, Chargebee mentions usage-based billing. However, according to our research, it’s metered billing and not real-time usage-based billing, as some might misinterpret it.
Zuora offers a broader range of features, such as tax compliance solutions, while Chargebee has more e-commerce and marketing-related features.
In the “Features” category on the Capterra user review site, Chargebee got 4.2 out of 5 stars, while Zuora scored 3.9.
Ultimately either solution will be able to meet most businesses’ needs, but depending on their specific use cases, one might make more sense than the other.
Both providers have a list of 50+ features, so in this table, we show only the ones where they differ.
|Credit Card Management||❌||✔️|
|Drag & Drop||✔️||❌|
|Payment Processing Services Integration||✔️||❌|
|Purchasing & Receiving||✔️||❌|
|Subscription Plan Management||❌||✔️|
Zuora vs. Chargebee: Comparison of integrations
In terms of integrations, both Zuora and Chargebee offer similar integrations with popular business systems. However, users report that Zuora has broader integrations with other systems.
According to these reviews, Zuora offers more extensive APIs and customization options, allowing businesses to tailor the platform to their specific needs. However, Chargebee might offer more integrations for businesses in specific niches like e-commerce.
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.
Zuora customer experience and user reviews
Zuora has a generally positive reputation among its customers and users, with many noting its robust feature set and comprehensive subscription management capabilities.
Overall, Zuora has a reputation for being a reliable and comprehensive subscription management platform, with many users praising its flexibility.
However, users report technical issues, troubles with customer support, and a steep learning curve.
Disclaimer: All ratings are as they were on the day of the article publishing and can change over time.
Chargebee customer experience and user reviews
Chargebee has a strong reputation among its users and customers, with many praising its ease of use and comprehensive subscription management features.
Overall, Chargebee is known for being an easy-to-use comprehensive subscription management platform. Nonetheless, users have reported issues with billing and invoicing processes and a lack of some advanced features, especially for complex billing models.
In general, we could say that Chargebee outperforms Zuora in user reviews, but that would be oversimplified as there are many categories of reviews one should look into before making the final decision.
Zuora vs. Chargebee: The customer support
Both Zuora and Chargebee offer 24/7 Live rep support, a Knowledge Base, and FAQs/forums. In addition, Chargebee also provides phone and email support and live chat.
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 Zuora only scored a 7.3.
Both GetApp and Software Advice websites rate Zuora’s customer support at 3.5 and Chargebee’s at 4 out of 5 stars.
On TrustRadious, there is no extra score for “Customer support,” but both platforms got some critique for slow and sometimes inefficient technical support.
On Capterra, the users rated Zuora with a score of 3.6, while Chargebee scored 3.8 in the “Customer service” category.
Overall, based on user reviews of Chargebee and Zuora, it would be unfair to claim who has better customer support. Both platforms scored a lot of positive reviews but also received some hard critics on all review sites.
Zuora vs Chargebee: Pros and Cons
The pros and cons of Zuora vs. Chargebee are meant to offer a quick insight into each platform’s most important benefits and drawbacks, making it easier to compare each other and potential competitors.
Zuora Pros & Cons
Comprehensive Subscription Management✔️
Zuora provides a comprehensive subscription management platform that supports all aspects of subscription-based business models, including pricing, packaging, billing, and revenue recognition.
Flexibility and Customization✔️
Zuora offers high flexibility and customization, allowing companies to tailor the platform to their specific needs and integrate it with other business systems (ERP, CRM,…).
Advanced Analytics and Reporting✔️
Zuora provides advanced analytics, reporting, and forecasting capabilities. This gives businesses an insight into different metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPI) such as revenue, churn rate, and customer behavior and is a basis for making informed business decisions.
Zuora offers various integrations with other business systems, such as Salesforce and NetSuite for example. This makes it easy for companies to integrate other tools and data sources.
Due to its wide range of features and customizability, users report that Zuora can be complex, time-consuming, and challenging to set up and manage. This can be especially true for smaller businesses without dedicated IT resources.
Zuora can turn out to be expensive, especially for smaller businesses with limited resources. Since the pricing is based on usage and volume, businesses with many customers or complex billing needs may face high costs.
Therefore, the cost evaluation must be done on current volume, needs, and company growth projections.
The complexity of Zuora means that new users may face a steep learning curve, which can slow down adoption and implementation and prolong the time-to-market.
Limited Customer Support❌
Some users have reported limited knowledge center and customer support from Zuora, especially for smaller businesses, and this can turn out to be frustrating if some issues need immediate attention.
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, and 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 other subscription management platforms, such as Zuora for example.
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 Analitycs and Reporting Capabilities❌
Some users reported that Chargebee’s analytics and 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 unsuited for businesses with complex billing models, such as usage-based or tiered pricing.
Zuora vs. Chargebee and alternatives
While Zuora and Chargebee are popular subscription management platforms, in many cases, other alternatives may fit better.
A quick look at comparisons of all competitors on software review sites G2 and GetApp reveals a strong alternative that successfully answers what users miss in these two and upgrades their strong points.
That high-rated billing platform is Tridens Monetization.
Tridens Monetization as Zuora and Chargebee alternative
Tridens Monetization is a proven cloud Billing and Revenue management platform designed to help businesses monetize their products and services.
It offers a range of features, including subscription management, recurring billing, and usage-based billing. It can handle complex pricing models, invoicing and payments, all accompanied by advanced reporting, analytics, and forecasting.
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 5/5, 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.
All these ratings surpass all the competition and guarantee Tridens Monetization is an excellent alternative to other subscription and billing management platforms, including Zuora and Chargebee.
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 Zuora’s 6.8 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 7.5 of Zuora. 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 the ability of a billing system to analyze billing data and identify patterns and trends automatically. 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 Zuora (7.3) and Chargebee (8.8.) well behind.
In conclusion, the decision between Zuora and Chargebee ultimately depends on a case-to-case situation.
Both platforms offer many subscription management tools, but each has unique strengths and weaknesses, and their pricing structures and features vary.
For businesses with more complex subscription models and larger budgets, Zuora may be the better choice due to its advanced billing and revenue recognition capabilities.
On the other hand, smaller businesses with simpler subscription models may find Chargebee to be a more affordable and user-friendly option.
Furthermore, businesses should also consider other competitors in the market to ensure they are making the best decision for their specific needs.
Choosing a platform that can scale with the business, has predictable costs, and provides the necessary tools for expansion is vital.
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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