If we were to observe the past decade to identify radical changes in consumer behavior across various industries, one of the standout contestants would be subscriptions.
The rise of cloud-based digital services and the proliferation of gadgets like smartphones, wearables, and smart home devices, were instrumental in driving the massive adoption of subscription-based services.
Today, from music to school lessons, there are several subscription services available for consumers to choose from in almost all walks of life. For service providers, this opens up an opportunity to build a more streamlined business channel with recurring revenue rather than selling services for a one-time fee.
However, the rise of the subscription economy has also called for the emergence of new-generation billing platforms that help subscription service providers to accurately bill and manage revenue from their end customers.
Today, there are several digital billing solutions that help organizations of all sizes handle payments and recurring billing management for all kinds of subscription services they provide. In fact, these new-gen billing solutions are cloud-based and offer subscription plans for their own service as well.
So, what makes such emerging new-gen platforms so enticing for the business community that is fast adopting subscription-based service delivery models?
Let us examine 5 key benefits:
- Minimal Up-Front Expenditure: New-gen billing platforms do not require a huge investment upfront as capital expenditure to replace, onboard, and integrate into a service provider’s technology ecosystem. They are built to be easily integrated into an existing technology architecture, followed by a digital service that an organization plans to offer on a subscription basis. The organization doesn’t have to pay a huge sum as license fee, hosting, and infrastructure readiness costs, hire technical resources on-site to manage data centers or servers to run the application, and much more. All it takes would be a small cost of customizing the solution to suit your branding and usability guidelines for digital payment and subscription platform interfaces. This cost savings can be extremely beneficial for SMB’s as they can focus on utilizing their funds for more core business activities rather than making large investments in IT systems.
- Lowered Total Cost of Ownership: In the long run, billing platforms may need changes in their operational models, or need newer features to be added. If a legacy license based on-premise system was used for handling billing, then every new feature addition would involve a long and expensive integration process that runs into months. This will increase the total cost of ownership considerably over the lifetime of the software. For a new-gen billing system, this problem is solved easily. New feature additions, R & D on new features, and other long-term product optimization and improvement costs are borne by the billing service provider. Businesses who use them are offered a cost-effective option to include any new trending features on a pay-for-use model. This gives them the freedom to experiment with new features without spending a fortune on integrating the feature on a legacy system only to find out later that it did not serve too much value in their operations.
- Agile Development and Delivery Approach: As explained earlier, with a cloud-based next-gen billing platform, businesses can relieve themselves from having to invest in large infrastructure to host the platform and human resources needed to extend the product’s features aligned with trends and manage the application’s availability. It is the billing service provider that guarantees the availability of the solution as well as an agile approach to the development and delivery of new features. They cause minimal or zero disruption to your core subscription business. The billing platform is assured of all world-class features being implemented and made ready for use when customers demand such convenience.
- Flexible Commercial Models: Most new-gen billing platforms offer businesses a flexible and highly economical costing model wherein; they can pick a usage scenario based on their needs and pay for only the resources they consume. This could be costing based on the volume of transactions or volume of traffic or the amount of money processed across different currencies or other metrics that a business finds feasible. Modern billing platforms offer a high degree of configurations and rule engines that allow businesses to create flexible billing options for their end customers while ensuring that they operate the platform itself on the cloud with sustainable costs.
- Faster Time to Market: As innovation, product R & D, and tracking of market trends are all done by the service provider in the case of new-gen platforms, businesses relying on them have a major advantage. They can be assured of rolling out new payment or invoice processing or billing management features in the fastest timeline as there would be dedicated teams of engineers and product specialists working tirelessly at the billing service provider to incorporate new features into the billing product. These can be easily rolled out to existing business users faster without any disruption and, in most cases, without any additional upgrade cost. When new features reach end-users faster, the subscription service provider can leverage the first-mover advantage to surge ahead of competitors in the space.
New-generation billing platforms offer unparalleled advantages over older and legacy software solutions. From being more cost-effective to enabling better digital transactions for businesses of all sizes, such billing platforms bring ROI for both business owners and end customers. It brings peace of mind for business owners by automatically managing a host of payment options, subscription plan management, revenue management, dynamic pricing, etc. As for end-users, they are greeted to a limitless array of flexible billing options for their favorite subscriptions.
Get in touch with us to see how OneBill can help build the best billing experience for your subscription business.