A man enjoying the subscription based economy

Subscription Business Models have been on the rise for many years. The most obvious ones are probably found in the music and movie industries, but we also see major shifts in more traditional manufacturing industries like the car, gadget or health sectors. The reasons are simple; business owners and investors alike see great potential and security with a steady stream of recurring revenue.

What subscription based model that suits your business can vary, naturally. Unlocking certain features, pay by usage, access to content and memberships are all examples of potential setups. Need some inspiration? We’ve curated two great videos on the topic.

Why everything is a subscription and why investors and users love it.

6 types of Subscription business models.

Consider this when selecting recurring payment methods

There are nuances and different needs for each business setting up a subscription based model. Once you’ve decided what type of model would fit your business, a crucial step is to know how to get paid. In the end, providing value for your customers is just one part. Getting paid is and equally important part of the puzzle.

There are multiple options for recurring payments as we’ve written about before. Choosing between these can seem daunting at first, but to help you out we’ve created this list of variables to consider. Based on the needs of your business, some things are more important than others. Other things might be tightly connected to the type of subscription you’re aiming for.

Ready? Here we go!

Sign up date

What date a customer signs up on might have impact on the pay dates and the amount to be paid the first (partial) month.

Will you bill the client for a calendar month, or running 30 days? Running 30 days might mean that your income doesn’t resonate with monthly costs on your end, but calendar months might mean that the first month is not a full 30 days.

With the open banking solution, it’s possible to set up two separate payments in the same consent flow; one for the remaining days this month, and then the recurring payment for every subsequent month.

Autogiro has got a built-in cutoff date, so any new customers approving recurring payment after the 16th won’t be billed until the month after, and that payment will be bigger than the agreed amount, since it’s more than 30 days.

Trial period

On a similar note, you might want to offer new customers a free trial period for a set amount of time. With card or open banking payments you can then set up a delayed recurring payment that kicks in when and if your customer is still active after the trial period is over.

Geographic coverage

Need a solution that works globally? Then card payment is the only viable solution. If possible, you could also offer other solution in local markets.

Cost

With thousands of recurring payments happening every month, even relatively small fees can become a major liability for the bottom line. The potential extra work of offering open banking payments even in just some markets can pay off in the long run,

Usability

Literally no one wants to print out, sign and mail a form to initiate a recurring payment. Even if that might seem extreme, you neither want to lose a potential customer just because they can’t bring themselves to pick up their wallet. There’s a good reason to why mobile payments, digital wallets and direct payments are increasing in popularity.

Upgrading / Downgrading

Give the power to the customers to control their spending and usage of your service by letting them upgrade or downgrade their plans. What happens to their consent when the payment plan is changed? Card details can be saved, but users still needs to go through a secure consent management.

Open banking requires the a new payment plan to be setup. Luckily it’s as easy as one tap away. Finshark offers a One-touch payment for all subsequent payments, including changes to a recurring payment plan.

Contract length and churn

Churn is a natural part of any subscription economy. It still can give you chills down your neck. Some card payment methods have built in churn with expiring agreements or expiring cards. Avoid that at all costs!

Cancelling a subscription

What happens at cancellation? Users can keep access until the last day, or you payout whatever excess they’ve paid. With payments through open banking a closed loop means payouts are fast, cheap, or even free.

Start using Finshark’s modern Recurring payments

It should come as no surprise that recurring payments with Finshark are superior to any other payment methods available. For fixed recurring payments made within the Nordics, no other option is really needed.

Contact sales for setup or read our documentation on how to get started.

A perfect flow

When using Finsharks recurring payment, your business present a modern, mobile first Flows for payment initiation. The customer authenticates with an SCA like nemId, bankId or their bank login. They select what account to withdraw from and approves of the amount and dates displayed on a summary page.

That’s it! No more late payments, no expired cards and no more Jedi skills required for configuring a recurring payment.


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Sylvia Hölscher