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What Does a Comprehensive Subscription Billing Platform Need?

By CIOReview | Monday, August 31, 2020

The subscription businesses are thriving exponentially with the Internet of Things (IoT) being the driving factor of this growth.

FREMONT, CA: With the industry evolving, traditional billing solutions are coming up short. But, robust subscription billing platforms have come to play to mitigate the challenges offering advanced tools and features that continue to progress with the market. The question here is what makes the subscription billing platform so unique, and it ultimately comes down to capability. The recurring billing software is created with subscription businesses and their different pricing models in mind. 

Notifications

Subscriptions have revamped the business-consumer relationship. Traditional business models centered on one-time purchases; the business-consumer relationship ends once a transaction is complete. On the other hand, subscription businesses must cultivate a long-term relationship with customers to ensure the recurring revenue upon which they rely.

To some extent, this is better for business. It’s easier to get customer feedback from subscribers, who hope to benefit from sharing their thoughts by getting an improved product down the line. This benefit and others come at the cost of an increased need for efficient customer communication.

Invoicing

On the topic of customer communications, invoices are the other side of the product catalog management coin. Like a comprehensive subscription management platform should handle the numerous complexities, a business’s catalog presents, similarly, should it be able to translate delivered products clearly and concisely to customers through invoicing.

This is especially important in usage- or consumption-based pricing models. Invoicing becomes considerably complicated, for instance, in telematics businesses that might use distance traveled and drive time on top of fixed recurring fees and one-time charges for specific products or services. Calculating these charges using an internal algorithm is one thing; presenting it clearly to a customer on an invoice can be another.

Account management

Comprehensive subscription billing platforms are also subscription management platforms.

The distinction is important: the software doesn’t just crunch the finances—it integrates other essential account management functions such as sign-up, activation, upgrades, downgrades, cancellations, and even re-activation.

The agility doesn’t end there. In the case of business-to-business subscription providers, the ability to separate the end-user from accounts receivable when sending invoices is paramount. If the wrong person receives an invoice, there’s a chance it’ll never get paid.

See Also: Top E-Invoicing Solution Companies