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Recurring billing with multiple payment providers?


#1

I’ve been running a small SaaS product for a couple of years. It’s not making much, but it covers the hosting costs and service fees, and requires very little effort on my part - so I consider it as a success!

The pricing is a standard monthly fee with a four tiers. As I’m based in Europe I need to take into account VAT MOSS. When I started there weren’t many services that took that into account (especially as I charge the same price to all customers, and eat the VAT myself), so I used Stripe subscriptions and built my own system for calculating the VAT correctly.

I’ve had a couple of customers ask if I can add PayPal as an option for billing. I’ve just replied saying ‘credit card only’, but a lot of my traffic comes from Russia, India, and other countries where credit cards aren’t so popular, so I’m thinking it would be a good idea to add another payment option.

Yesterday I spent the afternoon looking into Chargebee, but I really don’t like their checkout. Although they say that they are designed to be used for recurring payments, the wording on their checkout pages doesn’t really feel right. This is the flow for subscribing to a plan with a 30 day free trial. It feels more like you are buying a product, and on the last page it suggests you will be charged now, instead of at the end of the trial:

For comparison, this is what the checkout I currently have looks like:

I’d really like to use an third party service to handle this, as I’d like more features like dunning without having to build them myself, and I’d like to focus on the product and forget about billing :smiley: I haven’t really looked at Recurley or Chargify as their monthly fees are too expensive for what I’m earning (my average customer MRR is around $10, and I have under 50 paying customers).

Another option would be to leave Stripe and switch to Braintree, but I’d prefer to keep my options open (I like the idea of using GoCardless to handle EU bank payments), and migrating customers would take a bit of work.

What do you guys think?


#2

We are using Paywhril. Paid plans start from $49.99 and allow multiple payment gateways, including Paypal. They are currently running a promotion (you will need to contact a support and ask for it), which cuts processing fee in half. For example, their default fee for $49.99 plan is 2%, which would be 1% with a promotion.


#3

As you are in the EU, I’d suggest you look into paddle.com of fastspring.com. They both handle EU VAT and other taxes, and at least fastspring allows for invoices and some local payment methods.
I’d recommend to contact support of both with specific questions, as their websites are quite vague in terms of pricing and exact feature information.


#4

FastSpring used to show prices on their “Plans” page. It was around 8% per transaction. By the way, their service and customer support is good - I strongly recommend using them.


#5

I was also just looking into Chargebee by chance and I’m positively surprised by their product.

They do let you customize the text on the buttons in your checkout:


#6

I’m not sure why you don’t like Chargebee checkout, they are pretty solid and recently got 18 mil in funding. If it’s just a personal thing, I understand, if not you should give chargebee a try, I’m pretty impressed by the product.

However, as a company from EU, I’m using Paddle.com. They are ok, but they lack a lot of stuff on managing subscriptions(like you can’t resume a cancelled subscription from their dashboard and a few more) and respond pretty late after they got you as customer, 3 times happened to me to not respond at all and if I insist, they say I was issue with Intercom routing(which I don’t buy, I’m using Intercom as well).

Anyway, they are better overall than Fastspring. I really hope that more companies like Fastspring or Paddle emerge, their biggest selling point is the VAT handling.


#7

Curious, how are they better? Have you had any issues charging US credit cards via Paddle?


#8

They are better because their UI and integration is a lot easier and more intuitive. I also don’t like their checkout form. Moreover, they are more expensive.

However, Fastspring has much better support.