How to Find the Best SaaS Billing Platform: A Complete Guide

As a SaaS business, you need to be constantly evolving your offerings to stay fresh and relevant (and yes, it is as hard as it sounds).

But if you’re a B2B solution, there’s a high likelihood that businesses will be interested in being able to accept payments from their customers, rather than just sending them a PayPal link or to a generic payment gateway.

By offering a payment solution that’s integrated with the rest of your service, you can streamline this process and offer increased convenience. How do you add payment processing capabilities to your software? By partnering with a SaaS billing platform.

In this guide, we’re going to cover what companies need to consider when choosing a SaaS billing platform—and how Stax Connect makes this process simple.

TL;DR

  • A SaaS billing platform is a digital solution that allows SaaS companies to process payments and manage the overall transaction lifecycle. This includes subscription management, revenue recognition, dunning management, integrations with other business systems, fraud prevention, and more.
  • Some of the features to look for in a SaaS billing platform include subscription billing management, payment analytics, dunning management, and fraud prevention. 
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What is a SaaS Billing Platform?

A SaaS billing platform is a digital solution that allows companies to process payments and manage the overall transaction lifecycle. This includes subscription management, revenue recognition, dunning management, integrations with other business systems, fraud prevention, and more.

SaaS billing solutions are usually talked about within the context of B2C payment processing. But this isn’t sufficient for enterprise-level SaaS companies that want to offer payment processing to their own customers as a value-added service. This is where an advanced B2B subscription management platform comes in.

Why Should SaaS Companies Consider Offering Payment Processing Services As Part Of Their Software?

Not every enterprise-level SaaS company or subscription business considers adding online payment collection into their software solution. This is often due to misconceptions that they will have to develop this functionality from scratch (more on this later). But there are some pretty compelling reasons why it’s worth integrating payment processing into your SaaS platform:

Payments present an additional revenue stream to your business

Although the world of SaaS management tools can be highly lucrative, it’s also unstable. Long-term customer retention is a major challenge, and the high churn rates of this business model can make it difficult for companies to build stable revenue.

For this reason, all of the best SaaS startups embrace careful revenue management and look for opportunities to upsell customers and broaden their sources of revenue.

Payment processing can be included within your pricing plans in several different ways. For example, you could include billing software within a certain tier of your SaaS subscription, or offer it as an optional add-on or upgrade that subscribers can access for a fixed monthly rate or usage-based pricing.

Full control over the payment process

Although subscribing to an existing payment processor is convenient, you have very limited control over how the payment process works. There’s little transparency over what fees are charged or how issues such as chargebacks are handled—all of which can hurt the customer experience.

By becoming the payment facilitator, it’s entirely up to your business to decide what payment methods you want to accept or what schedule you use for transferring funds. This means more flexibility in designing a system that works for your customers.

Stand out from competitors by offering increased convenience

As competition grows in the eCommerce space, many companies are looking for additional cloud-based services they can integrate into their technology stack. This allows customers to run more workflows through one system, rather than trying to integrate several systems together.

Integrated payment processing is an especially valuable service because it since neatly alongside a whole host of other professional services, including accounting, CRM, SaaS subscription billing, scheduling, and more.

4 Steps To Find the Right SaaS Payments Partner

Finding the right payment software for your needs can be an overwhelming process for businesses to navigate. With so many options on the market, it can be difficult to know what to prioritize in your search. Here are 4 steps to find a payment partner who ticks the right boxes:

Compare pricing models

This might seem obvious, but the pricing model used by different software solutions will vary. Depending on your payment volumes, you may be able to access enterprise-level pricing that is fully customizable to your needs, i.e. whether you plan on processing multiple currencies. Alternatively, they may apply usage-based pricing or a fixed monthly or annual fee. Be sure to check what is included in these fees as certain services, such as a subscription management system, may come as an additional add-on.

Check where a partner is licensed to operate

While many billing systems operate globally, some may be restricted to processing payments made in specific regions or countries. If your company has customers around the world or plans to expand internationally, it’s important to check where a potential billing solution is licensed to operate. Otherwise, you may find yourself needing to switch providers again in the not-too-distant future, which can hamper business growth.

Review API documentation to see how easy it is to integrate

API (Application Programming Interface) is what allows your software to integrate with your billing platform. An open API means that a SaaS provider has made its code available via documentation so your team can offer different features and services, such as recurring billing or invoicing. The strain of this process can vary between payment partners, so it’s important to review any API documentation to understand how long it will take to get key systems set up.

Understand what level of customer support a partner will provide

24/7 customer support is a vital offering for any payment partner when you are responsible for processing payments on behalf of other merchants. If there is an outage, your customers are going to turn to you for an explanation. Being able to speak to a support team across multiple channels, including email, live chat, or phone, is essential to resolve problems in a timely manner. It’s a good idea to also ask what resources a potential partner has to assist with troubleshooting, such as webinars, guides, and video tutorials.

What Features Should You Look For in a Billing Platform?

Ready to explore billing platforms for your SaaS company? Consider the following features. 

1. Customizable onboarding

When offering payment processing services, you want to make it easy as possible for your customers to begin accepting payments. If the process is complex or requires signing up through another app or checkout, this might push subscribers to opt for another solution.

To avoid this, look for a billing solution that offers fully-customizable onboarding workflows and tracking. This way, you can see how customers are progressing and whether they may need some additional support.

2. Subscription billing management

If you’re wanting to meet the payment needs of SaaS businesses, you must meet the needs of their billing model. In addition to recurring billing, subscription management involves setup fees, renewal automation, Card Not Present transactions, and more. Being able to offer these high-powered features to your customers will allow you to compete more effectively with other B2B payment processing solutions, such as Chargify and Chargebee.

3. Built-in payment analytics

When you’re in charge of processing payments, there are several KPIs you need to keep track of in real-time to identify areas that may require optimization. This means you need a SaaS billing platform capable of tracking a range of important metrics, including:

Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR). Monthly Recurring Revenue is a measure of what revenue a SaaS company expects to receive every month from offering payment processing as a service. MRR is essential to help you project earnings, as a decline in recurring revenue could indicate you’re experiencing an increase in customer churn or downgrades in subscriptions.

Attachment Rate. This is what proportion of your total customers have signed up for your payment processing service. This is a useful measure of how many customers are utilizing payments in addition to your other offerings, and how successful your sales and marketing efforts are at attracting new subscribers. If your attachment rate has plateaued, this could be an indication that you need to spotlight payment processing more heavily on your channels.

Payment Processing Velocity. It’s not only important to look at how many businesses are subscribed to payment processing, but how many payments they are accepting on a weekly or monthly basis. Keeping track of velocity enables you to identify which customers are undergoing fast growth, and may benefit from other services in your portfolio.

4. Dunning management

Involuntary churn is a huge problem within the SaaS space, making up between 20-40% of overall customer churn. This makes smart dunning management a key part of any subscription billing software.  Credit card retries and notifications to update card details assist SaaS brands in recapturing revenue and preventing subscribers from falling out of the sales funnel. For best results, pick a billing platform that offers businesses customized dunning management.

5. Fraud prevention

As the provider of payment processing services, your company faces a lot of liability if customers experience a leak of sensitive data, such as credit card details or personal information. Make sure that your SaaS billing platform is fully compliant with PCI DSS security regulations and can securely store credit card data on file via payment tokenization. This gives both you and your customers confidence that data breaches can be avoided.

Stax Connect: The Ultimate Platform to Monetize Payments

At Stax Connect, we understand the complex and varied needs of SaaS companies adding payment processing to their suite of services. Our end-to-end payment ecosystem offers easy integration and a full suite of payment services including recurring billing, ACH processing, hosted payments, data analytics, and more. Our system is 100% PCI DSS compliant, while our in-house risk team monitors all transactions processed via your software platform to mitigate risk. Access our enrollment toolkit to monitor your entire pipeline and track onboarding from start to finish, ensuring a seamless customer experience for your subscribers.

Want to learn more? Get in touch with our SaaS payment experts today!