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Chargebee is a robust subscription management platform. However, there are certain aspects of collecting recurring payments that you would still be responsible for when using Chargebee, such as:
- Connecting to payment gateways manually. While Chargebee supports several different payment gateways, you have to set up and configure each one.
- Remitting taxes at the end of the year. They will collect taxes for you, but you are ultimately held responsible for filing taxes correctly with each state, province, country, etc.
- Reconciling payments, fulfillment, refunds, etc. While Chargebee lets you automate many mundane accounting tasks and integrate with account software, you still have to track and record every transaction, refund, etc.
- Responding to and processing chargebacks. They will notify you when a chargeback occurs, but you have to figure out the next steps to take.
In this guide, we present eight alternatives to Chargebee that help relieve some of these burdens for users, starting with an in-depth review of our solution, FastSpring.
Chargebee alternatives in this list:
FastSpring handles the entire payment process from checkout to remitting end-of-year taxes for SaaS companies. To learn more about how FastSpring can help you scale quickly, sign up for a free account or request a demo today.
FastSpring: Takes on Responsibility for Payment Processing, Remitting Taxes, and More for SaaS Businesses
Most Chargebee alternatives are either subscription billing software or payment gateways. These types of providers may be able to help you connect to international payment gateways, alert you to chargebacks, and help you gather consumption tax. However, you’ll still be responsible for paying taxes, processing chargebacks, and for things like legal compliance, dunning, and more.
FastSpring, on the other hand, handles everything from optimizing your checkout flow to remitting end-of-year consumption tax by acting as your Merchant of Record (MoR). Next, we explain how a MoR is different from other payment service providers.
What It Means to Have FastSpring as Your Merchant of Record
A Merchant of Record (MoR) is the business entity that sells goods or services to the buyer. You can act as your own MoR or you can outsource the entire process to FastSpring. Companies that haven’t thought about who their MoR is are effectively acting as their own MoR.
When you outsource your transactions to FastSpring, your customers still visit your website to choose their software and subscription but FastSpring takes over when the customer goes to checkout. They’ll receive a receipt from FastSpring, and FastSpring will be listed on their bank or credit card statement. All revenue is yours, but FastSpring is the liable party for the sale.
That’s why FastSpring can do more than other service payment providers and can…
- Gather and remit consumption tax
- Comply with local laws and regulations
- Process chargebacks
- Reconcile transactions, payments, refunds, etc.
- And more…
… for you.
If something goes wrong with taxes, local compliance, chargebacks, accounts not balancing, etc., FastSpring takes the lead to solve the issue on your behalf.
Instead of juggling multiple platforms and providers for a complete payment solution, you can work with just one provider — FastSpring.
Plus, you can start selling in 200+ regions almost instantly because we’ve already established the necessary processes in each region. You can learn more about how FastSpring helps you with international recurring payments, here.
In the next sections, we’ll dive deeper into how FastSpring helps you:
We’ll also cover how FastSpring provides all features for one flat-rate price designed to fit your budget.
Create Flexible Free Trials and Recurring Billing Logic Without Code
Not every business can use the same free trial model. Some businesses will see more success if they let customers sign up without payment details while others will see more success if they require a payment method to sign up but don’t automatically charge the customer at the end of the trial. Additionally, what worked for your business to start may not be the right solution for you long term. That’s why most SaaS companies need payment software that can support many different types of trial models, subscriptions, etc.
However, many payment processors only offer limited recurring billing and trial options. This makes it difficult to optimize your trials and subscription plans for high conversions. It also makes it difficult to adapt as a business in the long run.
FastSpring, on the other hand, delivers a wide variety of options for how you can set up trials, subscriptions, and more. Below, we provide an overview of FastSpring’s subscription management tools.
Trial subscription options:
- Set any length of trials
- Set up free, paid, or usage-based trials
- Choose whether or not to require a payment method when signing up for a trial
- Choose to automatically bill the user after the trial has ended or let them manually start a paid subscription
- Allow subscribers to reactivate expired trial accounts
- Choose when FastSpring will send reminders of ending trials (e.g., three days before the trial ends)
- Offer a discounted trial period
- Automatically detect when a single user tries to sign up for multiple trials and only allow one trial account
- And more
Recurring billing options:
- Choose subscription frequency and billing date (or let your customers choose)
- Set subscriptions to auto-renewal, manual renewal (i.e., customers have to re-enter payment information each time they’re billed), or managed renewal (i.e., your team initiates the charge via the API which is great for usage-based billing)
- Offer discounts and coupons
- Allow prorated billing if a customer wants to upgrade, downgrade, or pause the service part-way through the billing cycle
- Add one time purchases to initial bill but not recurring billings
- Manage upsell and cross-sell products at checkout
- Give customers the option of whether or not to store payment information (or make the decision for all customers)
- Auto-renew to a different subscription
- Offer subscription add-ons
- And more
- Choose whether to share products and resources via a license key, product download, signed PDF, or email
- Configure multiple fulfillment actions for one subscription (e.g., send a license key and product manual PDF via email)
FastSpring also provides your customers with a self-serve portal where they can upgrade, downgrade, or pause their subscriptions. This self-serve portal is entirely managed by FastSpring but reflects the visual branding of your checkout for a cohesive customer experience.
Finally, some subscription management tools require a lot of technical skills to set up and use. FastSpring lets you set up many of the options mentioned above without code. If you have unique subscription management needs, you can also use our API and webhooks library for more control.
Note: If you already have multiple subscriptions set up in another platform, we can help you easily migrate over to FastSpring. For subscription data migration with payment information included, click here for more info. For subscription data migration without payment information, click here for more info.
Minimize Payment Failures with Advanced Payment Routing and Smart Dunning
From the initial purchase to each subsequent rebill, failed payment is one of the main reasons for lost revenue. Many payment service providers will automatically retry failed payments once or notify customers of failed payments. This is a good place to start, but there are more ways to reduce churn due to failed payments.
FastSpring helps you proactively minimize payment failures and reduce churn with:
- Proactive notifications (e.g., ‘your credit card is expiring soon’)
- Multiple follow-up notifications (e.g., two, five, seven, fourteen, and twenty-one days after their payment method fails)
- Multiple payment retries before each follow-up notification is sent out
- Automatic payment gateway rerouting (this solves many payment failures due to network or system errors)
- Intuitive self-serve portal (customers can easily update payment information from the same portal where they manage their subscription plan)
Plus, you can choose whether to pause or continue the service when a payment fails. If you keep the service going after a failed payment and give your customers a chance to update their payment information, you’ll have less churn.
You can also choose to pause rather than cancel their service after all reminders have been sent out. This makes it easier for your customer to restart their subscription without the hassle of onboarding again.
You can read more about how one of our customers reduced churn by 50% in this case study.
Increase Conversions with a Branded, Localized Checkout
Friction at the purchase step can cause customers to fall off before completing a purchase. For example:
- If the price at checkout is different than it was on the website (e.g., different currency or different amount because additional fees have been added without a clear label), customers may decide not to buy.
- If the checkout is visually very different from the website or if the checkout is on an entirely different website, the customer is less likely to believe the checkout is authentic and secure.
These are just two examples but there are many reasons why a customer may decide against completing a purchase at the last minute. FastSpring helps you anticipate objections and reduce friction at checkout in the following ways:
Customizable Checkout UI
Most subscription management platforms or payment processors only provide checkout templates where you can add your logo and choose basic color schemes. These solutions rarely truly match your visual branding and may not be optimized for increasing conversions. To create the best experience for your customers and get the highest conversion rates, you need more custom abilities.
FastSpring lets you customize the look and feel of your checkout with pre-built branding tools and CSS overrides. We also provide a Store Builder Library that gives you extensive flexibility over how your checkout looks and operates. This allows you to create the checkout experience that most aligns with your brand and highlights your product.
Preferred Payment Methods
One of the biggest reasons customers fail to complete a purchase is because they can’t use their preferred payment method. However, offering different payment methods isn’t as simple as adding their logo to your checkout screen. You have to agree to certain terms and conditions before a card network or issuing bank will approve transactions with your business. Each payment provider will have different regulations regarding fraud, chargebacks, privacy protection, etc. It can be a huge task to stay in good standing with many different payment providers on your own.
If you want to transact internationally, there will be even more to manage. While Visa and Mastercard may be popular payment methods in the U.S., buyers in other countries prefer different payment methods. To convert international customers, you need to provide many different types of preferred payment methods — which means more payment providers to maintain.
FastSpring takes care of all of this — from staying in good standing with card networks to managing fraud and chargebacks — for you. FastSpring already has good relationships with many different card networks and issuing banks around the world, which means you can accept your customers’ preferred payment methods right away.
Local Currency Conversions and Language Translations
Customers are more likely to trust a checkout experience that uses the same language and currency as what’s shown on your website. That’s why FastSpring lets you translate checkout into the local language and convert prices to the local currency.
You can let each buyer select their preferred language from a dropdown menu. Or, you can lock the language and FastSpring will automatically select the appropriate language based on the buyer’s location.
You also have the option to set a custom price in each currency or let FastSpring automatically convert prices to the local currency. FastSpring uses OANDA for exchange rates and we update prices four times per day. (Contact our sales team for information on markup rates.)
If you choose to let FastSpring convert product prices for you, we match the format of the original price. For example, if the original price is $12.99 and the conversion to Euros is €14.29, FastSpring would change it to €14.99.
You can learn how Nelio increased growth by 50% with localized checkout, in this case study.
Embedded Checkout, Pop-up Checkout, or Web Storefront
With FastSpring, you can embed checkout directly on your webpage, which ensures less disruption and decreases the likelihood of your buyers abandoning.
You can learn how DaisyDisk was able to spend less time managing their checkout while significantly increasing conversions by using FastSpring’s pop-up checkout, in this case study.
Finally, if you want to outsource the entire checkout process to FastSpring, you can choose to use the web storefront option. Customers will be redirected to a webpage entirely managed by FastSpring where they can view their cart and complete the purchase. This web storefront will be customized to match your visual brand identity.
Personalized Developer Support
Many payment service providers will only help you with the initial setup and when something goes wrong with the software. This leaves you on your own to manage ongoing payment operations.
FastSpring is dedicated to providing you with the best experience throughout the entire engagement. Our friendly support team will help you find and build out the best solutions for your business — regardless of how big or small your operation is.
All-in-One Pricing Without the Need for Additional Software
Chargebee separates features into three plans, so you may eventually need the most expensive plan to get the features you need. For example, chargeback automation is only offered in Chargebee’s most expensive plan.
Plus, you’ll still have to pay for additional software solutions like payment gateways or tax software for a complete payment management system (and the staff to manage all of it).
FastSpring, on the other hand, offers one flat-rate price that includes all services and features. Our team works with you to find an affordable price based on the volume of transactions you move through FastSpring. You’ll only be charged when transactions take place and you won’t be charged migration fees.
If you think FastSpring could be the right payment solution for your subscription business, sign up for a free account or request a demo today.
7 Other Chargebee Alternatives
Stripe’s main service is payment processing, however, they do offer a few other services such as:
- Fraud and risk management
- Online invoicing
- In-person payments
- Subscription management
- Virtual and physical card issuing
- Business spend management
Stripe billing has fewer options than Chargebee for recurring billing, but you can easily integrate the two software. Stripe works with companies of all sizes from startups to large enterprises.
Maxio (formerly Chargify and SaasOptics) is a financial operations platform for B2B SaaS. They offer solutions to automate financial systems on the back-end and features to help improve the order-to-revenue process. Their main services include:
- Subscription management
- Usage-based and global billing
- Revenue recognition and revenue management tools
- Billing system analytics and metrics
- Built-in integrations with various other software (e.g., accounting software like QuickBooks and Xero)
- International payment gateways
Maxio advertises their ability to accommodate any go-to-market strategy (i.e., product-led or sales-led).
3. Zoho Subscriptions
Zoho offers a large suite of software to run your business from a CRM and ERPs to a video meeting platform. Zoho Subscriptions is their payment processing and recurring billing solution. Some of their key features include:
- Tax compliant invoicing
- Multi-currency conversions
- Invoice templates
- 30+ pre-built analytic reports
- Automatic online payment retries
- Out-of-the-box integrations with other billing platforms (e.g., Stripe, PayPal, etc.)
Zoho Subscriptions offers more pre-made solutions than other options on this list, which some companies may find limiting. However, Zoho Subscriptions may be a good choice if you’re already using other Zoho tools.
Fusebill integrates with Stax Bill to provide you with subscription management software and a payment gateway in one platform. Other than offering a payment gateway with each plan, Fusebill offers many of the same features as Chargebee including:
- Dunning management
- Flexible recurring billing options
- Recurring revenue recognition software
- Billing analytics
- Tax calculation
Fusebill also offers flexible catalog pricing and inventory tracking tools.
Zuora is a monetization platform for B2C and B2B companies. Zuora’s key functionalities include:
- Customer subscription management
- Revenue reconciliation tools
- Revenue analytics
- Built-in integrations with lots of business software
- Low-code SDKs and APIs to build your own integrations
- Quoting software
Zuora provides a lot of flexibility for building out your own solution on top of their platform, however, non-developers may find it difficult to manage.
Sticky.io is a subscription management platform that integrates with popular ecommerce platforms like Salesforce Commerce Cloud, BigCommerce, and Shopify. They advertise the ability to:
- Support nearly any subscription or pricing model
- Create coupons, discounts, and special promotions
- Offer add-ons, upsells, etc.
- Fight fraud and chargebacks
- Manage automated dunning
Like Chargebee, Sticky.io doesn’t provide a payment gateway, however, they do offer pre-built integrations with several payment gateways.
Braintree by PayPal is a payment gateway provider that also provides merchant accounts. Braintree offerings include:
- Subscription billing management
- Optimized checkout flow
- Flexible risk mitigation options
- Reporting and analytics
- Third-party integrations for recurring billing, accounting, and more
Braintree supports payment from PayPal, Venmo (in the US), Apple Pay, and Google Pay.
Instead of managing a large software stack, let FastSpring handle the entire payment lifecycle for you. FastSpring is more than a subscription management platform — we’re the Merchant of Record for global SaaS companies. Sign up for a free account or request a demo today.