Customer management and monthly recurring billing
I am a big fan of AMSB and this Q&A. I have searched through a lot of the previous questions but there doesn't seem to be one like what I am looking to do. Here is what I am looking to do and if anyone has any input I would greatly appreciate it.
I have a business that will be charging customers all different amounts on a monthly basis. Similar to a subscription but they will not be signing up through the website. I would like to be able to go in and setup there accounts individually so that I can add all of the services and the amounts that they are paying. I would also like this system to be able to accept their payments by credit card and update their account history showing when their payments are due and also showing them as being paid up to a certain date. So for instance a customer can come to my site and sign in to their account, make a payment and have their account automatically update without me going in and changing their invoicing status to paid.
I would also like this site to have content available only to the customers with an account. This content would be structured into different section depending on topic. For example, Customer A has purchased a service about information A. When Customer A logs into their account they can see all of the content available that I have designated to them about Information A. Now for another example, Customer B has purchased a service about Information A and Information B. Now when Customer B logs into their account they would have access to both the Information A and B sections of the site.
I have no problems going in and setting up the individual customers but I am having a hard time finding a system that will give me the backend functionality to accept payments and restrict content in the site based on the criteria I set for that customer. I hope that I explained myself clearly enough. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. I'm sure there has to be other people out there looking for the same kind of solution that I am. If anyone can help I would be so grateful. Thanks for this great site AMSB!
Freshbooks can do either all or almost all of what you need here w.r.t invoicing. If you wanted to hide the fact that you're using a third party application for this functionality, you could hire a php or rails developer to use their API to integrate everything with your own site.
Recurring billing is built in, and you can integrate with a variety of payment processing methods. Some good free ones are Paypal Business Payments ($0.50 flat fee per invoice -- yes please) and Google Checkout. The invoice status ("due" vs "pending" vs "paid") updates automatically if you do some easy configuration. You can even set up automatic late fees (% of amount due).
All this business about showing "Information A" to only those customers who have purchased it sounds like something you'd have to add on to this system yourself. There are some services that have attempted to address this need (i.e., mailchimp can create "pay to subscribe" mailing lists), but my professional opinion is that none of them will do absolutely everything you need.
For the information management/control functionality, you might want to look into http://member.wishlistproducts.com/. They make a WordPress plugin to manage membership sites.
If anyone needs to set up recurring billing I can help. please contact me. www.merchantsupersite.com