Subscription Billing 101


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  • (Tara) I’d like to introduce Donna to those of you who may not know her. Donna is our customer success manager here at Fusebill and she spends her days with our customers, addressing requirements, helping to onboard, and being there for whatever our customers need. In fact, Donna even helps people who aren’t customers with any questions about Fusebill they may have as they are researching our service. Anyone on the call who has ever talked to Donna knows how important it is to her that our customers succeed, not just with Fusebill but with their own business as well. Before starting at Fusebill Donna worked her magic at Premiere Global Services, Phresseia, and like many of us at Fusebill - Protus.
  • (Tara) Before we start, I just wanted to give everyone a quick introduction of Fusebill. While our goal in the webinar is to give an intro of subscription billing services in general, we will be using examples from Fusebill. Fusebill automates invoicing, billing and collections for subscription based companies. We solve “real world billing problems” and are ideal for both B2B and B2C businesses.One of the things that sets Fusebill apart is our history, the founding team of Fusebill helped build Protus – the maker of MyFax, Campaigner and my1voice – to support over 550,000 paid subscribers and a wide variety of pricing models and real-world billing issues. Many of the people who work at Fusebill, including both Donna and myself used to work at Protus, so we’re a the product of a 10 year history of building & running large scale billing systems with hundreds of thousands of subscribers. We've lived the pain of billing outages & architected Fusebill to avoid them.
  • (Tara) Now that I’ve made some introductions, I want to welcome all of you and thank you for attending our webinar. Here is a look at our agenda and some of the things we are going to be covering today. NEXT Slide
  • Over the past couple of years the way we buy things have changed. Transactions or one time purchases used to be the norm and subscriptions were really regulated to magazines, newspaper delivery, and record of the month clubs but now we’re seeing almost a complete reversal of the two, and more and more businesses are moving to the subscription model. And it’s not just in the software industry, subscription services are everywhere from netflix, to car rentals, airlines, security services, to almost anything you can imagine being delivered to your door on weekly, monthly, by monthly, quarterly, etc. While this shift form a one time sale to an ongoing relationship is great for the consumer, it can be challenging to the seller as it requires an ongoing relationship between the business and the customer.
  • This change to a subscription model means that more and more businesses have to deal with the recurring nature of their billing- you now need to send and collect on your bill, 12 times a year, not just once a year, in the customer lifetime. The recurring nature of the business really challenges things as it makes it more complicated, more expensive and more error prone. So what we, and other services like usdo, is help automate that recurring billing capability, send out invoices, collect credit cards and generally provide insight into the health of your subscription business.The reality is that the sales process is now only the first part of an ongoing relationship withyour customers. Suddenly you need to managethem through their customer lifetime, including renewals, cross-selling, and upselling different products. Challenges like recurring billing, subscription and account management, usage charges, and even just the basics of managing credit cards are really all challenges that didn’t exist when you are only trying to process a one-off transaction. Billing services or payment platforms like Fusebill address these challenges. If you’re looking for a billing service, it’s important to keep in mind you’ll want something that doesn’t just fit your business now, but will grow with you as you grow and that there’s no one size fits all solution, so find the service that is the right fit for you.Some of the things you can do with a billing service are:Automatically charge cards each month Manage expiring cards, failures, and fraud Automate one time or ongoing discounts and free trials Reduce passive churn Process debit, echecks and ACH payments Automate delivery of invoices and statementsEliminate billing clerks and prevent errors Reduce manual processingAccess analytics like MRR, churn, ARPU, etc.Boost new customer registrations Lower cost of customer acquisition Quicker response to market changes Mine data on existing customers for marketing new services &upsellingA platform with web self-service features means your customers buy online and manage their own accounts
  • One question we’re asked a lot is what the difference is between a payment platform and a payment gateway. Some people believe they are interchangeable and just two different names for the same thing (an error that many payment gateways don’t try to correct in their marketing material).In reality payment platforms and payment gateways are very different differ in 5 key areas:A Payment Gateway is needed to process an electronic transaction online, while some gateways do provide some recurring billing capabilities, this usually costs extra and is very limited when it comes to what you can do. A Payment platform is much more robust:1. Billing IntelligenceGateways process specified charges, platforms determine the amount based on price plans, free trials, discounts, taxes, coupons, pro-rating, currency, add-on purchases, volumes and usage2. Customer ManagementGateways manage financial transactions. Platforms manage customer lifecycle from free trial to premium package, to add-ons, to renewals with management features like welcome emails and self-serve portals.
  • 3. Failures & ChargebacksGateways tell you when charges fail. Platforms proactively reduces failures & chargebacks with warning of expiring cards, optional payment receipts, upcoming renewal notifications, automatic account statusing & grace periods, etc.4. Data Portability & LockinIf a payment gateway holds all subscription information and is also acting as a credit card vault, it can be difficult to move to another gateway. This flexibility to move is important so that you can find the most attractive pricing as your business grows, and in the case of commercial disputes. 5. Reporting & Analytics While a payment gateway can provide information about payments, platforms generate insights about subscription businesses by inherently tracking key subscription metrics like:Monthly recurring revenues;ARPU (Average Revenue per User);Churn;Customer Lifetime Value.Platforms work cooperatively with gateways and securely maintains the customer, subscription and payment information. This allows you to rapidly switch gateways, or add new gateways and route traffic between them. Fusebill is not a payment gateway provider, but interconnects with over 25 different gateways including, Beanstream, PayPal and Moneris.
  • (Tara) The robustness of a billing service and payments platform create benefits that go beyond just making month end easier. By automating their billing, businesses can also save money AND make money. How does automating billing save you money?:- When your billing is automate you receive payments on time, passive churn (which can work out to almost 5% of your revenue per month if not addressed) is significantly reduced, dunning rules are automatically implemented, and you’re notified of missed payments.  - By offering a convenient payment solution completely set up by you, you ensure your business receives payments on time.  You and your customers are notified if a payment has failed, so alternative arrangements can be made.And because most automated billing services include heuristics to ‘try again’ when payments are declined, businesses see a much higher percentage of successful charges. The amount of revenue leakage that occurs in businesses with manual billing can be significant. One of our clients estimated that with three clerks producing manual bills, up to $6,000 per month was lost through billing errors. Moving to an automated service instantly puts an end to this kind of revenue leakage.
  • (Tara) How does automating your billing make you money?All of these things lead not only to more efficient billing processes which save your business time and money, they also lead to better relationships with your customers. Since better relationships lead to longer relationships, an automated recurring billing service not only saves you money, it makes you money.Over the next few slides we’ll go into more detail about how the features of an automated recurring billing service like Fusebill both saves, and makes you money.
  • Now that you know the difference between a payment gateway and a payment platform, let’s look at the benefits of Fusebill’s platform in a little more detail. When you’re looking for a billing service, it’s important to choose one that has the features you need for your business. One of the things that sets Fusebill apart from other services is that we have a lot of the same features as the very expensive billing services but at a smaller price.
  • Flexible pricing plans that are scalable so that they’ll grow as you grow are very important feature when you’re choosing a billing service. Within Fusebill, you can:Define time-based free trials that automatically expire.Define recurring charges for standard subscription pricing fees.Implement volume based charging.Specify usage based charging, including Standard, Tiered, or Stairstep. Through the Coupon Management feature you can create and administer coupons for fixed or percentage based discounts.Define recurring billing period in days, weeks, months or years.Rapidly Test Price Changes Without IT
  • Whether your customers pay electronically by credit card or ACH or offline by check or wire transfer, Fusebill’s complete billing system lets you automate ALL of your billing. Flexible Options to Suit Your BusinessMany of our customers offer multiple payment options because it suits their business - often smaller clients pay by credit card, while larger, longer term clients are granted credit terms and pay after being invoiced. With our AR features you can:Specify recurring billing dates or distribute throughout the month.Itemize to show one-time charges, recurring charges, and line-by-line usage-based charges.Choose who to invoice.Create an invoice for your records, for presentment to customers if requested, and for legal requirements in some countries.Here are some examples of what you can do with our invoicing features. - add your logo and contact information to your invoices;-You can customize emails to deliver invoices, and warn of past due payments.Record offline payments and link to specific invoices.Customers can access past invoices and payment receipts online which can save your billing department a lot of time on the phone. Online Invoice Access: A secure self-serve portal allows customers to access their old invoices and payment receipts.Viewoutstanding payments and receivable aging reports.
  • Whether you’re large or small, selling B2B or B2C, Fusebill’s account management tools provide your business with the solutions you need to simplify your billing challenges.The Fusebill philosophy of “Keep it Simple Stupid” is reflected in our simple and efficient Account Management tool that includes:Dunning management such as collections notes, and account status changes.We make defining and managing free trials easy and you can define subscriptions with either fixed or ever green terms. You can add multiple subscriptions to accounts which makes cross selling and upselling a lot and we have features that support one click renewals, and manual cancellation of subscriptions and accounts.
  • Our self service portals can be created without needs and help from your IT people and they let you provide your customers with the ability to manage their own accounts, from reviewing current subscriptions and invoices, to managing theircredit cards online. Portals reduce lifecycle costs which is great for your bottom line and they help you provide better customer service while at the same time reducing calls and emails to your billing people. They also reduce the number of failed payments and improve cash flow and removes the burden of PCI compliance and password management from your shoulders.
  • Hosted Checkout Pages are a quick & easy way to offer your subscription services onlineThey really are the most secure and affordable option for businesses who want to sell their products or services without the headaches of development, and the responsibilities of PCI compliance. Storing card data is a high-risk undertaking. Fusebill mitigates your risk by hosting the page, securing the transaction, and storing the data for you with no hosting charges. Our pages are fully brandable and configurable and allow customers to choose components they want to purchase and provide credit card information for the transaction.
  • With the Fusebill Automate Lifecycle Emails, you can send communications to your customers as well as provide notifications internally based on specific triggers.Some examples include: New customer “welcome” emailsSuccessful payment notificationsFailed payment notificationsAlerts about expiring credit cardsStatements and invoicesCollection warnings, dunning emails and account status changes.
  • Knowing how your business is doing is very important, if it’s hard to find out what areas need your focus how can you possibly keep your business healthy and successful? That’s why it’s important to look for a billing service that give you easy access to real time metrics like:Total Customer Value (TCV)Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)Cash FlowChurnCustomer Lifetime ValueCustomer Acquisition RatesProduct / Subscription SalesEarned RevenuesFusebill has an executive Dashboard that you can check whenever you like (without have to ask IT or finance to pull a report for you) our Reports are concise, easy to understand and complement the portfolio of detailed reporting on customers, products, revenues and other financial metrics.
  • SalesforceWith the Fusebill Salesforce CRM integration application you can create accounts, manage subscriptions, and view customer information without leaving Salesforce CRM. Because the integration is two-way, customer accounts in Fusebill are published to Salesforce CRM and opportunities in Salesforce CRM create billing accounts in Fusebill.No one will have to duplicate information in both services or make manual updates from one to another because the account synchronization means new customers created in Fusebill are automatically sent to Salesforce CRM with Fusebill account fields and subscription data. Information for existing customers such as status, balance, subscription setting and subscription cancellations is also synchronized.Webhooks:Webhooks are an HTTP POST callback request sent to a URL of your choice in response to an event.If you’re not a developer, that description may not mean much to you. In layman’s terms, webhooks are nifty things that ‘publish’ or ‘notify’ other systems of changes, basically turning the Internet from a pull platform to a push platform.Typically a system-system integration, webhooks allow you to collect information about events within the customer life-cycle so that other systems can act on the data in near real-time. Basically, instead of having to ask or look up if something has happened, you’re told when something happens.Some common Fusebill webhook applications:A customer is created in Fusebill. The webhook notifies a downstream system that this has occurred, so it can choose what to do (i.e., provision the service).A customer upgrades (moves from free trial to paid, or changes plans). The webhook notifies a downstream system so it can adjust the service delivered.A customer changes status (e.g., for non-payment, or cancellation). The webhook notifies a downstream system so it can stop delivering the service.
  • We’ve all been there, you come home from a tradeshow, conference, seminar, annual meeting, etc. with a stack of paper or worse yet business cards, of new customers that you have to manually enter into your billing service and or CMS after calling them to get their credit card information.Or maybe you’re lucky and you have a mobile payment POS device which makes things a little better, but since it doesn’t work for subscriptions, you still have a lot paper work to deal with and you still have to contact people for credit card information in order to set up recurring payments.Fusebill secure is the first  mobile credit card acceptance application specifically designed for subscription billing, it means you can make sales any time, from wherever you are by turning your mobile phone into a point of sales (POS) device that securely automates charging a credit card entry. It’s like having Fusebill in your pocket. Easily set up, bill, and manage onsite signups.Automatically create customers in Fusebill.Significantly reduce the paperwork and follow up required by similar solutions that are payment collection applications only and don’t create customers and subscriptions with recurring billing.
  • (Tara) Fusebill protects your customer and credit card data in our PCI level 1 compliant facilities. Every business that sells with a credit card has to be PCI compliant. But there are different levels to that- they’re all designed to protect your data from external risks such as hackers, theft and disclosure aswell as internal risks. You frequently see someone doing something innocently internally and you may come back something up onto a CD or a thumbdrive, you’re trying to transfer something between systems using a device and you lose control of that device. It’s not simple a technology issue with external and internal risks to be managed. This exposes businesses to risk. Risk of client data disclosure in your own business and also being unable to process credit cards. The credit card companies will simply turn you off so that they don’t have the risk of exposure and that leads to unable to process credit cards. A billing service takes away the all of the time and effort required for compliance, and if you choose a service that’s PCI level 1 which is the highest, you know you won’t have to worry about your data being hacked or stolen. The Credit Card Data Portability standard is something else it’s important to look for when choosing a service. What it means is that if you choose (for whatever reason) to terminate your relationship with your billing serrvice they’ll help securely move your credit card data to you, or to a new provider. Services that don’t follow this standard keep your data, and you’re left trying to contact all of your customers in order to get it again.
  • (Tara) Service availability is key:We know how important billing is to your business. You need to be confident your billing service is working, accessible, and processing transactions at all times. We monitor our systems externally, and real time results are available on our website.Historical data is also available and most importantly.When looking at billing services make sure that like Fusebill they offer high availability to all of their customers, not just the big ones.
  • (Tara) We pride ourselves on our customer support and service and measure our success by our customer’s success. We realize that billing is a critical business function and we are available 24/7 to help with online, email and telephone support.
  • As you can see on this slide, we believe there are three areas that really set us apart from other automated and recurring billing services. Our experience, our product, and our customer service. The other area we differ is our pricing, many of our competitors charge a percentage of your revenues which Philosophically, we think it’s wrong –- just because you put your price up doesn’t mean your billing system should cost more! It’s not more expensive for us to put more zeroes on an invoice, so why should you pay more if your revenues increase? Our pricing consists of two straightforward components: A monthly platform fee And a fixed transaction fee which decreases with volume.
  • Subscription Billing 101

    1. 1. Subscription Billing 101 Donna McPhee Customer Success Manager July 12, 2013 1
    2. 2. Speaker Introduction Donna McPhee, Customer Success Manager Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved E: T: 888.519.1425 x415
    3. 3. Fusebill Introduction Fusebill automates invoicing, billing and collections for subscription based companies. • We pride ourselves on our customer support and service • and measure our success by our customer’s success. • Our customers rely on Fusebill to: – reduce costs – speed cash collections – extend their customer lifecycles. Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved
    4. 4. Agenda 1. Subscription Economy and Billing Overview 2. Payment Platforms vs. Payment Gateways 3. How Automating Billing Saves Money 4. How Automating Billing Makes you Money 5. Billing service features 6. The Fusebill Difference 7. Wrap Up and Questions Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved
    5. 5. What is the subscription economy? Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved  It’s no longer about selling a product one at a time, but about offering a service.  No matter what your industry, subscriptions are growing by leaps and bounds.  Forrester Research predicts by 2016 subscription licensing models will reach 50% of the total software license market.
    6. 6. Billing Service Overview Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved For businesses with products or services billed on a recurring bases, a billing service: • Reduce costs, • Improve customer response times, • Streamline operations Automated Billing for Subscription Based Companies: • Recurring billing and payment solutions, • Invoicing and credit card collections, • Real-time visibility to key subscription metrics
    7. 7. Platforms vs Payment Gateways Payment gateways: • Connect you, your customer, your customer’s credit card provider and your bank. • Securely validate your customer’s card, • ensure funds are available, • and deposit funds into your bank. To process an electronic transaction online you need a payment gateway. While some provide basic recurring capabilities this costs extra and is limiting. Payment platforms are more robust in 5 key areas: Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved 1. Billing Intelligence 2. Customer Management
    8. 8. Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved 5. Reporting & Analytics . 4. Data Portability & Lock-in 3. Failures & Chargebacks
    9. 9. Automated Billing SAVES Money Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved An automated billing service :  Eliminates revenue leakage  Reduces passive churn by automatically implementing dunning rules  Eliminates manual clerical work  Allows end clients to manage their own accounts and payment methods, which dramatically reduces inbound calls  Eliminates IT requirements for subscription billing reporting. HOW?
    10. 10. Automated Billing MAKES Money Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved An automated billing service :  Builds better customer relationships which lead to longer customer relationships.  Encourages upselling and cross selling.  Makes building your product catalogue easier. HOW?
    11. 11. The Fusebill Service Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved Features • Fusebill’s recurring billing and payments platform manages your recurring billing needs throughout the customer lifecycle – from signup or account creation, through recurring payments and invoices, dunning and customer communication. • Fusebill supports your entire organization – from accounting and billing operations, through sales, marketing and management.  Credit card payments  Recurring invoices and Payments  Flexible Pricing and Discounting  Integration & APIs  Make Billing easier  Tax Management  Account Management  Subscription Management  Mobile payment application  Salesforce Integration  Webhooks
    12. 12. Pricing Plans Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved Fusebill has the power and flexibility to define subscription pricing plans to meet your business needs – now and as you grow: Price using:  one-time,  recurring,  usage  and volume based plans. Automate:  one time  ongoing discounts,  coupons,  and free trials.
    13. 13. Billing and Invoicing Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved By seamlessly integrating invoiced customers and credit card customers Fusebill’s recurring billing platform automates all of your billing processes. With Fusebill you can: • Create invoices. • Automate email delivery. • Add your logo & customize invoice appearance. • Set payment terms per client (30 days, 60 days) and automate dunning emails. • Detailed reporting on outstanding balances & collections. • Adjust invoices with manual discounts, charges and refunds. • Accept offline payments (cash, checks) and associate with invoices. • Publish online.
    14. 14. Account Management Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved Manage:  customer lifecycles,  subscriptions,  prevent billing errors,  save time  and money. Fusebill:  makes billing easier,  frees up your IT team,  centralizes customer management,  subscriptions,  and financial transactions.
    15. 15. Web Self Service Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved A Self-Service Portal Reduces Lifecycle Costs. Your customers can: • View past and current invoices online. • Update contact and billing information. • View payments. • Renew subscriptions.
    16. 16. Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved Hosted Checkout Pages: • A quick and easy way to offer subscription services online. • Secure and affordable. • No development skills required. • Removes data storage risks. • No hosting charges.
    17. 17. Customer Communications Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved  View and resend emails to customers  Strengthen customer loyalty  Increase brand awareness.  Build long lasting relationships.
    18. 18. Reporting Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved  Real time analytics to manage your business.  Accurately track accounting ledgers.  Track Revenue and deferred revenue.  Executive Dashboard provides real time visibility to key metrics.
    19. 19. Integrations Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved Salesforce CRM 2 Way Integration  Create accounts  Manage subscriptions  View customer information Without leaving Salesforce CRM! Webhooks An HTTP Post callback request sent to a URL in response to an event.  An easy to use integration point.  ‘Publish’ or ‘notify’ other systems of changes.  Typically a system-system integration.  Used to determine whether service needs to be started or stopped. Web orders Orders Updates Status
    20. 20. Mobile Payment Application Friday, July 12, 2013 Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved Fusebill Secure  The first mobile credit card acceptance solution for subscription and other recurring payment based businesses.  Enables secure payment and commerce functionality - to help you sell more, faster, easier!  Securely accept credit card data whenever and wherever you are.  Capture customer data.  Automatically create customers in Fusebill.  Works with your iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch.
    21. 21. Security, Reliability & Scalability 21 1. Security: A. PCI , SAS70 B. Round-the-clock protection of data and systems. C. Secure credit card vault. 2. Reliability: A. 24/7/365 Service availability. B. SLA’s – 99.5% uptime (actual 99.9%.) C. Fully redundant. D. Multiple Data Centers – separate grids. 3. Scalability: A. Cloud based. B. Unlimited capacity. C. Capacity on demand. Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved
    22. 22. High Availability 22 Service availability is key Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved Availability is published for our: • Main website • Fusebill APP • Fusebill API
    23. 23. Service & Support Structure Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved
    24. 24. The Fusebill Difference 24 Experience counts: Vision – automate billing for all subscription businesses. People – we know how to run and scale subscription businesses. Technology - scale, reliability, quality. Product : Breadth – supports the entire organization from accounting and billing operations , through sales, marketing and management. Flexibility – we can tailor to meet your needs. Easy to use – Intuitive UI, no technical expertise required. Commitment to service: Available - Product experts available at all stages of implementation. Responsive – 24/7 phone, and email support as well as Twitter and Facebook Friendly – Your success is our success. We take the time to help you succeed. Call Us at: 1-888-519-1425 Copyright Fusebill Inc. 2013. All rights reserved
    25. 25. 25 Thank You! 1-888-519-1425 Twitter: @fusebill