How to choose the best recurring payment
system for your SaaS or eCommerce business

Choosing a recurring payment system can seem difficult, with so many options available. Learn what to
consider in our comprehensive guide of must-have features for subscription billing systems.

Intro

While their users usually get a set-it-and-forget-it deal, subscription businesses are coordinating a lot of aspects in the
background, to make the experience seamless from start to renewal.
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Recurring billing systems are used by subscription companies to collect revenue due from their customers at regular, automated intervals. These solutions are popular among online service providers, such as SaaS, e-learning, streaming, or subscription boxes, companies who can receive automatic repeat payments without needing to re-authenticate a transaction from the same user each month.

A subscription billing system can come in all forms and sizes, so it's important that you pick the best recurring payment processor for your business. There are a lot of aspects to consider and it helps to know what to look for and what you're getting for your money. This guide will help you choose what's right for your business.

Your Choice of Best Recurring Payment
Software Depends on...

What Does Payment Processing Mean?
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  • Your company's size and maturity stage
    Startups or companies just introducing subscription models have different needs versus those which already have an established recurring product on the market. Your company size will determine, for example, how many payment methods you need for subscriptions (just a couple of popular ones vs. a full suite including local payment methods), the type of integration with your systems (API or custom build), or even if you need more sophisticated tools for recurring billing (such as automatic card updater).
  • Your pricing approach
    When choosing a subscription billing system, it's also important to consider what kind of pricing you're using. Entry-level recurring billing systems may facilitate payments at regular intervals or subscriptions charged on number of users, but your business could require more complex models, such as free trial or usage-based billing. Look for a supplier whose subscription pricing capabilities include all the models you are currently using and those you'd wish to implement in the future.
  • Your customers
    The type of customers your business attracts will also influence how you choose your subscription billing system. If you're selling to both end-consumers and legal entities, for example, you will have to choose a provider which can accommodate different selling processes from different industries.
2Checkout's all-in-one platform features a modular design that includes all subscription features you could want,
but lets you choose just the capabilities you need. You can scale your subscription solution as your business
grows, ensuring you're always paying just for the features used.
Sign up for a free account today.

What to Look for in Recurring Billing Systems

Subscription Management Software Features

Some of the most useful subscription billing system features available on the market include the following - make sure you evaluate each aspect in terms of business needs and provider capabilities.

Payment Methods + More Payment Methods
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Payment Methods + More Payment Methods

Start by reviewing what types and how many payment methods are included in the recurring payment system. Be sure to also check whether these are also available for one-time purchases - you might want to extra-monetize your users with these one-time purchases, so it serves to have the option ready.

If selling in multiple markets, it's also relevant to check what currencies are accepted and if the subscription-based billing system includes all local preferences in the market.

SOLUTION BRIEF
2Checkout supports you to sell your subscriptions in 200+ countries and territories.
We accept all major credit cards and eWallets, we have support for local payment methods, and we can localize your cart in 100 currencies. Discover our payment method diversity and how it can make international customers feel at home, in this complimentary resource.
Billing Intervals for Every Preference
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Billing Intervals for
Every Preference
This might sound like a no-brainer, but checking what flexibility you have in terms of billing interval is mandatory with every online recurring billing system you consider. Sure, the majority of your clients will favor the classic billing intervals - monthly, bi-annually, or annually - but some others might have more particular needs, and you need to cater to these.
Notice
Our subscription billing capabilities allow the flexibility to set the recurring billing interval as you please best for our clients. Some of our clients are selling subscriptions charged at 5 months, 9 months, 14 months, depending on what makes sense to their audience.
Flexibility in Terms of Pricing Plans
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Flexibility in Terms of Pricing Plans
As we mentioned before, there are various models to charge for a subscription, and more complex options are often needed, especially in the SaaS space. Check that the recurring billing system you want to use includes options beyond regular subscriptions - maybe you need to accommodate one-time charges or usage-based subscriptions.
EBOOK
2Checkout's all-in-one platform supports all pricing models.
Whether you need regular subscriptions, usage-based, or hybrid, and if you want to include discounts or need regional pricing, you can easily set it up with us.
Learn how to adopt an effective pricing strategy from our Pricing for Success eBook.
Localized Checkout for a Familiar Feel
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Localized Checkout for a Familiar Feel
To be able to run a subscription business, one must first acquire said subscribers, so be sure to evaluate providers in terms of checkout options. With subscriptions as much as with one-time online sales, your online recurring billing software should localize the checkout experience for your visitors. This goes far beyond the language that the cart is in and may include specific needs for a particular layout, a certain number of fields, the number of steps in the checkout, and many other aspects.
Notice
The possibilities for checkout localization are endless in the 2Checkout platform. You can localize and optimize the look and flow in any way that is relevant, and our teams and insights can guide you through checkout best practices in any specific market.
Subscription Enrollment to Automate Renewals
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Subscription Enrollment to Automate Renewals
How can your subscription billing system help with auto-renewals? By default, when your customers sign up with a new subscription with you, they may be unsure how long they want to stick around and may not enable automatic renewals. The best recurring billing gateway will help you convince these customers to switch to the automated route. These solutions offer capabilities to launch campaigns and discounts that will incentivize subscribers to enable auto-renewals.
SOLUTION BRIEF
At 2Checkout we've been known to refine the art of handling enrollment campaigns. Our customers have seen up to 40% of customers who enter these flows enable auto-renew. Discover how our subscription platform can boost your retention metrics in this complimentary resource.
Customer Self-service Portal for the Proactive User
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Customer Self-service Portal for the Proactive User
Subscribers often need to be in control of their recurring contracts, which you can easily facilitate through a self-service portal. Professional subscription billing systems will offer the option of such a portal, which you can integrate into your own platform.
Notice
2Checkout offers an intuitive, on-demand, fully-brandable myAccount area, that can help your subscribers manage their contracts themselves. Get a free account today and see our systems in action.
Billing Continuity through Account Updater Services
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Billing Continuity through Account Updater Services
A lot of the leg work in subscriptions involves retaining your customers, and nothing is worse than losing them on account of an oversight. To guarantee continued billing, even for customers who've forgotten to update their outdated card details, your recurring payment system should include automatic account updater features. These tools automate user payment data updates and can increase your retention up to 40%.
Notice
2Checkout employs multiple automatic account updater services that can considerably boost your authorization rate, without you having to lift a finger.
Billing Continuity through Retry Logic
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Billing Continuity through Retry Logic
While we're on the subject of billing continuity, ask your subscriptions management provider how they stack up in terms of retry logic. A considerable part of authorization failures can be blamed on soft declines - perhaps the user had insufficient funds at the time of charge, maybe they exceeded their daily limit or transactions, or it could be that the card servers had a temporary glitch. These transactions can easily be recovered for merchants when they're actively using retry logic tools, which re-initiate the payment at set intervals after the failed transaction.
Notice
Our configurable Retry Logic can recover up to 20% of failed transactions, which can save your customer the hassle of having services temporally limited due to an oversight.
Security and Compliance
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Security and Compliance
We've saved one important recurring billing system feature for last, because it has to be in your takeaway stack. Collecting recurring charges implies continuous processing of credit card and other payment method data, which needs to happen in a reinforced environment. To guarantee the integrity of your users' transactions, partner with a recurring payment system that takes all precautions in terms of security. Check that they are PCI-compliant and look into the type of encryption used for storing data.
Notice
2Checkout is PCI-DSS-compliant, and we employ a mix of automated and manual anti-fraud tools to ensure all our merchant transactions occur without interruption.

Conclusion

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Recurring billing can happen seamlessly, for your business and your customers alike, when the right systems are in place. Use our guide to isolate your needs, map your way around the market, and find the best recurring payment service for you. Chances are you've already found what you were looking for with 2Checkout - our all-in-one platform allows you to pick and choose the right tools to manage subscriptions, letting you pay only for what you need. Discover the capabilities we can offer you and how we lead the industry in terms of retention.
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