How To Setup Recurring Payments for SaaS Customers

Last Updated: 

June 28, 2023

A recurring payment, also known as a subscription, recurring billing, or automatic payment, is an electronically processed payment that repeats at a scheduled time. It’s also one of the best strategies for SaaS providers. Before you can truly reap the benefits and facilitate the scaling of your company, finding the right subscription payment system is crucial. Implementing a suitable subscription payment system will streamline your payment processes, making scaling your company much easier and more efficient.

Curious about how to move away from the old-fashioned way of handling payments? Read on for all you need to know about what recurring payments are, how to set them up for SaaS businesses, and the importance of choosing the right billing solution.

Key Takeaways on Setting Up Recurring Payments for SaaS Customers:

  1. Recurring Payments for SaaS Businesses: Recurring payments, also known as subscription billing, are the primary method of charging customers in a SaaS business model. These are regular payments made by customers for the continued use of a product or service.
  2. When to Consider Automated Recurring Payments: When your business scales, manual invoicing and payment processing become impractical. You should consider using automated recurring billing if you want greater flexibility, need to manage inconsistent revenue, or are seeking quicker and smoother payment options.
  3. Setting Up Recurring Payments: To set up recurring payments, choose a payment gateway that suits your location, pick a subscription management software with essential features, decide on your preferred payment method, and ensure clear transactional communication with customers.
  4. Benefits of Recurring Payments for Customers: Recurring payments reduce the time customers spend managing bills, offer cost-effective subscription options, and provide a clearer view of spending habits.
  5. Use of a Subscription Management Software: Companies like Chargebee offer subscription management software that supports your billing requirements, making the process of managing subscriptions more efficient.
  6. A win-win Situation: Implementing a recurring payment system not only benefits the business by ensuring regular cash flow and minimizing administrative tasks, but it also improves the customer experience by simplifying their payment process.

By setting up automated recurring payments, SaaS companies can streamline their operations, increase revenue predictability, and enhance the customer experience.

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What are recurring SaaS payments?

The ‘Subscription Business Model’ is well known among SaaS business owners. The majority of SaaS payments are processed via subscription billing or recurring payments also known as SaaS billing. It entails charging customers on a regular basis for the use of a product or service.

When should you consider changing to automated recurring payments?

Bottlenecks are very easy to develop in your business, and they are usually an indication that you need to improve your management of specific areas. Manual invoicing and payment processing are manageable at first, but as you scale, this becomes impractical. Switching to automated subscription billing services is ideal for SaaS companies because it eliminates much of the administrative burden.

You should consider using automated recurring billing if the following applies:

You want greater flexibility

When everything is done by hand, it is difficult to quickly adjust your pricing plans or offer custom plans and subscriptions. Furthermore, is this the most practical option for your business? Doing things by hand can mean extensive documentation, which then requires a written process that can be assessed by necessary staff members, or simply winging it. Ultimately, both scenarios have a high risk of miscommunication and things going wrong — two things you seriously want to avoid as a business owner.

Using a subscription billing service, on the other hand, allows you to be more flexible in terms of pricing for your customers while eliminating the additional hassle of making manual changes. With automated processes, you’ll save time, cut down on admin and prevent unnecessary issues from cropping up in your team.

Your revenue is inconsistent

There are many reasons why your revenue could be inconsistent. One contributing factor is relying on customers to pay their bills on time which often leads to late payments. As a result, it can make managing incoming payments more difficult.

When you use an automated subscription model, you can forecast your revenue more accurately. Knowing your sales will enable you to make wise financial choices and steadily grow your business. It is simpler to create budgets for other areas of the business when you know how much money is coming in.

You want quicker and smoother payments options

A recurring subscription model eliminates the need to manually enter or approve payments. This in itself can take up a lot of time. For example, who can approve those payments and if that person is away, how will those delays affect your business? These factors may seem like minor inconveniences but as your customer base grows, they will quickly become big issues of the business that need to be tightened up.

On the other hand, implementing a recurring payment system means you are paid on a regular basis and subscriptions can be managed in just a few clicks rather than hours of work. And, depending on the payment processor you use, you may have immediate access to your funds which is much smoother and quicker.

How do you set up recurring payments?

Recurring payments deliver a slick payment experience for you and your customers.

Simply put, it’s a smart and convenient way of collecting payments from your customers through a flexible range of payment options including credit cards, debit cards, PayPal, Amazon Payments and more.

It’s important to consider that a lack of payment options contributes to cart abandonment. A shopper might be wary of using your primary payment system for whatever reason: maybe they had a bad experience with it at some point, read about a security vulnerability, or just prefer to manage all their payments through another system. If that’s the case, you can earn a sale in theory only to see the all-important conversion fall through.

Offering multiple payment methods, on the other hand, ensures that every shopper will have the chance to choose the best payment gateway for their specific needs. It also means that it won’t fundamentally sabotage your conversion process if a given gateway encounters a problem and suffers downtime. As a result, you’ll have a smoother checkout process.

If you’re looking for subscription management software for high growth companies, providers such as Chargebee offer reliable integrations that support your billing requirements today and in the future.

The set up process includes:

  1. Picking a payment gateway for your location.
  2. Selecting a subscription management software with basic features such as invoicing, accounting integration, custom checkout pages and customer service portal.
  3. Choosing your preferred payment method.
  4. Set up email templates and notifications so your customers get clear transactional communication from the get-go.
  5. You’re live!

Plus, you’ll have valuable insight of the subscription cycle and customers can manage their subscription data themselves with a customisable customer portal.

How do recurring payments benefit customers?

Not only do recurring subscriptions benefit you as a SaaS business owner but they also benefit your customers. There’s no denying that subscriptions take away the admin of remembering to pay your bill and actually doing it! It might not sound like much, but the task of managing and paying invoices can easily soak up hours each month — hours that would be much more useful spent on other things.

Setting your customers up with recurring payments can make a huge difference, then. Let’s look at the advantages in a little more detail:

Less time spent managing bills

The great thing about recurring payments is that customers only have to complete a one time checkout process. That means, the following transactions will be automated so customers don’t have to worry about remembering to pay each month and they can get on with using your service stress-free.

The option to subscribe and save

Customers are always looking for ways to save money and without cost-effective subscription options, customers may stop using your services either because you’re not deemed as essential or they've found a better deal. However, with a recurring subscription that saves money, they can continue with the services they love.

A clearer view on spending

SaaS customers are likely to be using more than one service at once which can make payments confusing. But with an easy to use subscription service, payments come out at the same time on a regular basis so spending habits are clear for every customer.

Setting up recurring payments for your SaaS customers is a smart move. It’ll benefit you significantly as a business owner, saving you time and effort, and it’ll greatly improve your customer experience. It might take a while to wrap your head around the processes and make the switch, but the sooner you start, the sooner you can reap the rewards. So why not start today?

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