Services for Automatic Subscriptions
The 'Cloud' and SaaS models are now commonplace. I am setting up a service that visitors can subscribe to on my website. In a similar manner to Quanda it is obviously a hosted service. The obvious concerns are the authorisation and recurring billing of these subscriptions and the generation and renewal of invoices. Falling in line with the AMSB philosophy of being 'Totally Automated' I am trying to find a solution that is integrated.
First my problem. Freshbooks seems to be a good solution for handling the recurring billing aspect but there doesn't seem to be a way of getting client details from either the website or payment gateway into Freshbooks without keying them in manually - not a practical solution - and what if they cancel their subscription - they have to be removed manually too!
Freshbooks offers a number Payment Gateway options but not SagePay - from what I can see in the forums they are missing a huge slice of the UK/European markets as Authorize.net and others are simply way to expensive. They do offer Paypal Payflow Pro but again 3% on each transaction is quite a lot especially when SagePay offers no transaction fees for a fixed fee of £20.00 per month.
Then there is the issue of accounting and keeping a handle on revenue for accounting purposes. We obviously need a way to get the client details from either the website or gateway into an accounting package together with potentially figures from Freshbooks.
With limited technical knowledge this all sounds so complicated - wouldn't it be great if there was a service that handled all this! - so I wondered how others handled these issues? - Perhaps this is a subject to big for the forum and better for a podcast but with the number of sites like this growing daily, it would be great to know how others do it.
Love you guys.
Hi Alan - I am also in the process of working on a subscription based web-product and have been doing preliminary research on a few tools. Here are a few I found:
chargify.com spreedly.com cheddargetter.com zuora.com
As of now I have no experience working with any of these because I am just starting my research as well.
If anyone else comes up with any others OR has direct experience working with any of these systems I would be interested in your feedback!
I too am building a subscription-based service. Hopefully we are all working on totally different products : )
The payment processing information Carl has provided is very valuable. I had never thought that I could outsource this whole portion, I was actually afraid I would have to build something.
Thank you very much.
In case you're interested my site is: http://testsitedaily.com/
Anyone looking for processing subscription based services please contact me, I can help. www.merchantsupersite.com