ChargeBee – the affordable SAAS based subscription billing platform for SMEs

The biggest challenge that startups feel in the stage when they just begin to monetize and look towards a global footprint is ironically the hassles of the payment and the billing systems.

And this is where another startup, ChargeBee comes to the rescue. It provides small and emerging businesses to automate the entire billing process to run subscription services. With added features like flexibility to change pricing, offer discounts and run promotions without the need of a developer makes this an attractive proposition for startups looking for automation in subscription billing.chargebee

ChargeBee’s pricing module is made of two parts, a fixed monthly payment and a charge per transaction, both of which vary depending upon the plan. The plans are designed keeping three groups in minds, companies which are starting up, companies which are growing and those that are scaling. They promise to keep prices stable for atleast 24months, for the plan a company has signed up for.

ChargeBee automates most of the back-end operational grunt work by optimizing or automating the workflow for invoice generation, payments collection and follow-ups including discount management for sales and marketing teams. All this is delivered as a SAAS plug & play solution delivered on the cloud. This helps businesses to focus their effort on their core functions. 

A typical SAAS business with 1000 transactions would need to raise invoice for the same set of customer monthly based on usage and need to send regular followups till customer makes the payment online or offline. Having an automated solution like ChargeBee that ties up the different pieces together could make the whole process lot more easier to manage. ChargeBee delivers a much more seamless solution for subscription businesses globally, where they can store credit card and charge the card based on usage automatically month-on-month. The retry management feature of ChargeBee helps reduce churn due to soft errors in credit card like expiring cards, credit limit exceeded etc.  ChargeBee has plans to deliver much more detailed reports on transaction management, subscription details and identifying your high value customers as part of product roadmap.

The Chennai based startup currently has customers across four countries and is focused on acquiring customers in India, USA and UK and have plans to expand globally. Demoed at UnPluggd, they are currently in private beta and are planning to release product for general availability from August.

ChargeBee has a number of payment gateway partners(Braintree, Samurai and Zaakpay), for merchants looking for multiple channels. This essentially translates into the fact that ChargeBee can be used for processing billing subscription both in India and abroad. And in case a merchant has a preferred gateway partner not listed, ChargeBee offers the ability integrate to make it easy for the merchants.

ChargeBee gets a number of its users from US and Singapore apart from India and offers some extra benefits to its merchants based abroad, which could not be done in India due to RBI’s policies.

Apart from competitive pricing and an intuitive interface, that is adaptable to the merchant’s needs. ChargeBee provides a fully rich API for the merchants along with analytics features that work across all price points and thus provide merchants with detailed report about their customers’ purchasing habits.

Currently operating under closed beta, the ChargeBee team is working hard to launch their service publicly by the end of this month along with launching of a dedicated India sections. Also coming with that is ability to integrate with CRM (customer relationship management) and accounting systems to make the billing process simpler for the merchants and in process they are changing the subscription billing model in India.

[ChargeBee demoed @UnPluggd, India’s Biggest Startup Event.  Do check out the 10 startups that demoed @UnPluggd 5th edition.]

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