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Recurring billing software is used by many subscription-based businesses to assist with the management of recurring invoices and payments. Companies that use recurring billing software might include gyms and fitness studios, monthly gift boxes, or streaming services.
When choosing recurring billing software, make sure you consider the specific needs of your company and your customers. Think about whether or not you will be processing international payments, how many transactions you will perform each month, and the types of payment methods that you need to support.
Read on to see the results of our recurring billing software review. We considered 19 different software options and compared them on a variety of features, including pricing, services provided, and ability to integrate. You can use this information to help you decide which recurring billing software is the best fit for your business.
Best Overall : Chargebee
Chargebee is our best overall selection because of the wide number of products, features, and customizations it offers its customers. The platform is simple and easy to use and provides both free and paid plans, making it accessible to all.
Easy to use
Customize payment options (flat fee, usage, custom)
100 different currencies and payment options
Paid plans are expensive (starting at $249/month)
Chargebee takes the top spot as best overall recurring billing software due to its exceptional usability and broad range of products and features. Chargebee offers subscription billing and revenue operations services to B2B SaaS customers. It was started by four friends in India in 2011. Today, Chargebee employs people of more than 17 nationalities who work in 21 different timezones.
With Chargebee, customers have access to many different billing scenarios that automate the entire billing process. For those who are working with international customers, Chargebee offers over 100 local currencies and payment methods. If there is a currency that you need that’s not available, you can contact Chargebee and it will look into supporting it.
Chargebee is also incredibly easy to use, it provides plug-and-play integration with over 23 payment gateways. Chargebee also offers an easy-to-use customer portal feature so your clients can go in and make changes to their subscriptions and account information. You can use Chargebee to find new revenue opportunities by experimenting with different pricing plans including flat pricing, usage, or a customized option. Chargebee can also help to reduce customer churn by providing notifications and reports with actionable data that allow you to stay on top of your business.
If you’re interested in Chargebee but not ready to commit to a paid plan, you can schedule a demo or sign up for free. There are three different paid plans to choose from. The Rise plan is billed annually at $249 per month, the Scale plan at $549 per month, and you can also speak to a Chargebee expert to develop a customized plan for your business needs. Chargebee also offers a free Launch plan for early-stage startups. This is for newly launched businesses that make less than $100,000 in revenue.
- Subscription management
- Recurring billing and invoicing
- Recurring payments
- Accounting and taxes
- SaaS reporting
- Enterprise billing
Best Free Option : Wave
We chose Wave as the best free recurring billing software option because it is completely free. It’s not a trial, there are no limitations, and you don’t need a credit card to sign up. Wave’s free software includes invoicing, accounting software, and receipt scanning. Wave is a cost-effective option for small businesses and freelancers who don’t require extensive billing features.
Reporting is easy to create, with many options
Easy to use
Not appropriate for large enterprises
Limited third-party integrations
Wave was founded in 2009 with the goal of providing a simple, all-in-one financial management tool for small business owners. Wave provides a suite of products that work seamlessly together, helping its clients save time.
Wave software wins as our choice for best free online billing software because it is easy to use and completely free. There is no paid version of its accounting and invoicing software service. Instead, Wave makes money from financial service providers. Its platform allows businesses to accept online payments to make the invoicing process as efficient as possible. This service costs 2.9% plus $0.30 fee to process most credit cards and 1% for available bank payments. Wave also offers a monthly fee-based payroll service to clients in Canada and the U.S.
To get started with Wave, simply sign up for an account—no credit card is necessary. You also don’t need to install any software, as Wave is completely web-based. All you need is an internet connection and browser. Wave also offers a mobile invoicing and receipt scanning app, which you can download and install on your iOS or Android device.
With Wave’s recurring billing software, you can switch between automatic and manual billing, send customized recurring invoices at any frequency, choose your preferred payment method, and automatically send invoices to multiple recipients. While Wave might not be right for a high-revenue enterprise company, it is a solid option for a startup or freelancer.
Best for High Revenue : Zuora
We chose Zuora as the best recurring billing software for high-revenue companies because it offers sophisticated features that are suitable for high-revenue subscription-based companies. Zuora Billing powers many Fortune 100 companies including Zoom, CAT, Toyota, and NBC Universal.
Pricing not available on the website
Complex and can be difficult to use
Not for startups or small companies
We chose Zuora as our top pick for best high-revenue recurring billing software because it offers flexible and sophisticated billing features that are required by high-revenue companies. Zuora touts itself as the “leading Subscription Economy evangelist.” Zuora was founded in 2007 and has since become a leader in subscription services. Today Zuora works with over 1,000 companies from around the world.
Instead of offering a single package, Zuora allows its customers to choose from a collection of features. Companies can tailor a package that best fits their precise needs. Zuora can help your subscription-based company to launch, manage, and optimize subscription billing with its cloud-based software.
Specific to billing, Zuora supports over 50 charge models and 180 currencies. It is capable of capturing orders across all sales channels and can adapt to every change that may occur in the subscription lifecycle, from upgrades to downgrades, suspends, resumes, and more. Zuora can take on even the most complex billing needs with the ability to monetize any model at a high scale. Zuora is also a good choice for companies looking to expand globally, with 15 payment methods and 30+ payment gateways. It also offers intelligent payment retries and dunning to prevent involuntary churn.
If you’re not ready to commit to Zuora, you can take it for a free test drive by signing up for a trial. For details on cost, you will have to contact a Zuora representative as there is no pricing information available on its website.
- Configure, price, quote (CPQ)
Best for B2B : Chargify
Chargify is our pick for best recurring billing software for B2B companies because that is precisely what it was built for. Chargify describes itself as a billing and subscription management solution built for B2B SaaS. It was developed by the team behind Grasshopper.com and EngineYard.com, both companies that target small businesses and entrepreneurs that operate on recurring, subscription-based billing models.
Month-to-month subscription—no commitment
Easy-to-use dunning system
Tons of options and features can be overwhelming
Chargify was created in 2009 and has since become a leader in the recurring billing and subscription management space. Chargify offers services to address customer needs across the entire subscription lifestyle, including recurring billing, subscription management, revenue retention, business analytics, and revenue operations. All of these features factored into our decision to select Chargify as our choice for best recurring billing software for B2B.
If you’re not ready to commit, you can try Chargify’s free test account which allows you to try out all of the features. This will help determine if Chargify will work for you before purchasing an active merchant account and payment gateway.
When it comes to pricing, Chargify offers a variety of pricing options. Its Essential package starts at $599 per month plus 0.9% of revenue overages and includes $75,000 in revenue per month. The Standard package starts at $1,499 per month plus 0.7% of revenue on overages and uses a customized revenue threshold. The Specialized plan starts as $3,499 per month plus 0.5% of revenues on overages with a customized threshold. Finally, Chargify offers a Custom plan with pricing that is based on your specific needs. You will need to speak with an expert to work out the details.
- Subscription management
- Data and analytics
Best for Small Businesses and Freelancers : Zoho
We chose Zoho as the best recurring billing software for small businesses and freelancers because it offers free and cost-effective options that are perfect for those who are just starting and don’t require a complex and expensive system.
Free and cost-effective pricing options
Wide list of integration options
Integration is not always seamless
Zoho is our choice for best recurring billing software for small businesses and freelancers because it is specifically focused on small and growing businesses. Zoho is equipped to help small business owners handle all of their customer subscription needs from beginning to end.
When it comes to recurring billing and invoicing, Zoho offers many features including tailored invoicing, automated invoicing, prorated billing, as well as flexible and customizable billing cycles. Zoho also offers subscription management services so you can create products, plans, add-ons, and manage your customers' subscriptions from beginning to end.
For those who work with international clients, Zoho supports multiple currencies and offers multiple payment methods including cash, check, online banking, credit cards, and ACH.
Zoho also has a ton of integration and add-on options to help you manage every aspect of your subscription business. Some of their integrations and add-ons include Zoho apps, mobile apps, cloud integrators, documents, G Suite, payment gateways, and content management systems.
There are five different subscriptions offered by Zoho including a free option, its Basic option at $49 per month, the Standard option at $99 per month, the Professional option at $249 per month, and an Enterprise option with custom pricing. If you’re interested in Zoho, you can try it for free or schedule a demo by visiting the website.
- Recurring billing
- Subscription management
- Recurring payments
- Subscription metrics
- Subscription automation
- Developer API
- Usage based metered billing
- Dunning management
- Hosted payment pages
Best for Profit-Maximizing Features : Recurly
Recurly is a subscription management platform that is dedicated to delivering results to brands around the world. Recurly uses its Revenue Optimization Engine to improve billing continuity and is focused on helping you maximize revenue. For these reasons, we chose Recurly as our best recurring billing software for profit-maximizing features.
Month-to-month service without commitments
Machine learning to minimize churn and maximize revenue
Prices for Professional and Elite options not listed on the website
Interface isn’t intuitive
Recurly is our pick for best recurring billing software for maximizing profits because its machine learning technology helps clients minimize churn and maximize revenue. Recurly was founded in 2009 and is headquartered in San Francisco. Today, Recurly supports thousands of customers completing billions of credit card transactions and has helped to recover more than $610 million in revenue. Recurly is used and trusted by some of the largest brands in the world including Showtime, Speedo, and FitForMe, Twitch, and CBS.
If you’re looking for flexible subscription billing models, then Recurly has you covered. With Recurly, you can create and support any subscription combination you can think of, such as fixed recurring, quantity-based, usage-based, one-time charges, and hybrid options. If you work with international customers, Recurly makes it easy to accept global payment as it supports over 20 different payment gateways. Recurly also accepts a variety of payment methods including credit cards, ACH, invoicing, global payments, PayPal payment, Amazon Pay, and Apple Pay.
Recurly offers three flexible plans to scale any business. Its Core plan starts at $149 per month plus 0.9% of revenue. For pricing details on its Professional and Elite plans, you will have to contact a Recurly sales representative.
- Subscription management
- Recurring billing
- Recurring payments
- Intelligent retention
- Partners and integration
When choosing recurring billing software, you need to consider the specific needs of your company and your customers. Chargebee is a great all-around option, but it can be expensive for solopreneurs or small startups. Other options like Wave and Zoho offer free and cost-effective options for those who are just getting started. For high-revenue enterprises and companies looking to maximize profits, Recurly and Zuora offer the features necessary to best support these needs.
|Company||Why We Picked It||Price|
|Chargebee||Best Overall||Launch: free to $100K revenue Rise: $249 per month Scale: $549 per month Enterprise: custom|
|Wave||Best Free Option||Free|
|Zuora||Best for High Revenue||Not listed|
|Chargify||Best for B2B||Essential: $599+ per month Standard: $1,499+ per month Specialized: $3,499+ per month Custom: pricing based on needs|
|Zoho||Best for Small Businesses and Freelancers||Free Basic: $49 per month Standard: $99 per month Professional: $249 per month Enterprise: custom pricing|
|Recurly||Best for Profit-Maximizing Features||Core: $149 per month + 0.9% of revenue Professional: contact for pricing Elite: contact for pricing|
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is Recurring Billing Software?
Recurring billing is a payment structure that permits companies to invoice their customers (subscribers) a certain amount of money based on a predefined schedule (once per month, annually), for a specific product or service.
It is the job of recurring billing software to automatically invoice customers and handle the collection of payment.
Why Do Companies Use Recurring Billing Software?
Companies that use subscription or membership-based services use recurring billing software products to automate the invoice and payment process. Examples of companies that are likely to use recurring billing software include cell phone service companies, utility bills, streaming services, and gym membership fees.
What Are the Benefits Associated With Recurring Billing Software?
There are many benefits with using recurring billing software that include:
- Time-saving: The automation of invoicing can save merchants a significant amount of time. It can also save customers time as the automated process means they only have to enter their payment information once.
- Cost-saving: Automating the billing process reduces the time spent on these tasks resulting in reduced administration costs.
- Improved security: Many recurring billing software systems have layers of built-in security features to increase the safety and security of the payment process.
- Customer experience: A recurring billing system that is flexible and robust can help to create a seamless experience for your customers.
Does QuickBooks Offer Recurring Billing?
QuickBooks offers recurring sales transactions to its users. While you can set up recurring billing in QuickBooks, the features are limited and best used for small businesses with basic needs. If you are a larger company that requires more complex functionalities (editing subscription details, setting up one-time fees), you may want to find a system that is more robust.
What Is a Payment Gateway?
A payment gateway is a software service that processes payments for e-commerce sites and traditional retail stores. Payment gateways seamlessly integrate checkout carts with payment processors. Examples of popular payment gateways include PayPal, Stripe, and Square.
When determining the best recurring billing software, we reviewed 19 alternatives and considered several criteria including pricing, integration, flexibility, usability, support of multiple payment options and multiple currencies, as well as customer reviews from various websites. While this analysis is a great guide, we encourage you to shop around. The choice of recurring billing software that is best suited for you will depend on your specific wants, needs, and budget.