Recurring billing · Cloud accounting

Experience with cloud billing platforms?

Joe Monastiero CEO, Founder nFlate

December 18th, 2014

I'm just starting to look for a cloud-billing solution that will allow me to charge based on events that occur (conceptually, but not exactly, CPM). Anyone have any recommendations? Just need to be able to log events against the billing system on a per customer basis and bill monthly. So far everything I've seen looks like brain surgery required.


Mike Web Developer

December 18th, 2014

Stripe is pretty awesome from a developer's perspective. So, while you have probably seen it and might think it appears to be brain surgery, you could consider contracting with a developer who is familiar with Stripe to implement payments. Depending on your platform or existing codebase, it should be relatively easy to bill against events. The service's cost is also a relatively low, flat rate.

Even if Stripe itself is not quite what you're looking for, there are many services built to work with Stripe (including Zuora), and you might be able to find one that fits your needs. Check them out here:https://stripe.com/docs/integrations .

Depending on your needs you might want/need to mix and match services. And it's possible you could develop your own custom payment needs with Stripe at a later date, and just use the services (integrations) to get you off the ground.



Taylor Dondich Vice President of Engineering at MaxCDN

December 18th, 2014

Wow, surprised nobody has responded to you yet.

What you are looking for is usage based billing.  Zuora has a solid hold in this space and from what I understand, implementation can be somewhat simple.  Beyond that, remember what you are looking for is usage based billing.  This usually is some resource that is consumed over time such as bandwidth, disk space, etc.  However, you can utilize usage based billing for CPM/events.

If you want to track everything internally and simply use a billing/payment platform, I would recommend Braintree.  Instant integration with PayPal and credit card payments with almost NO implementation hassles.  They'll keep track of transactions, vault your customers and give you peace of mind with your PCI compliance.

So, Zuora if you need an entire platform for doing the usage based billing.  If you have a unique internal process and you have a small devteam capable of javascript, you can use Braintree to handle the payment gateway.

Perri Gorman Founder of Archively & UnrollMe

December 23rd, 2014

We use Stripe.

Lee Stecklov Founder and CEO at MediaCoin.io

December 19th, 2014

We used Stripe to handle the payments, and although it required some development it was worth it. I really like the way Stripe handles the process of integration, as Mike said, its impressive. Just looking at nFlate briefly, it appears that you would benefit from some custom integration. 

Joe Monastiero CEO, Founder nFlate

December 18th, 2014

I looked at Stripe and Recurly. One is 2.9% plus $.30 per and the other is 1.25% plus $.10 per. Any idea what the justification is for the delta? Recurly also charges $99/mo if you use credit cards only, so I assume that is part of the difference, of course ($99 is 300 transactions at $.30). But the 2.9% is steep. Of course, braintree looks exactly the same as Stripe. Any downsides know to recurly?

We own the data feed so with a good API, we could integrate our data with the billing system to create the monthly bills.

Jessica Alter Entrepreneur & Advisor

December 18th, 2014

There's also several good discussion already covering this if you do a search http://members.founderdating.com/discuss/575/Subscription-based-billing-SAAS-solution and http://members.founderdating.com/discuss/398/Solutions-for-recurring-payments as examples.

Joe Monastiero CEO, Founder nFlate

December 18th, 2014

I forgot that with Recurly you need a merchant account, extra cost. I believe both Braintree and Stripe are merchant accounts also, correct?

Mike Web Developer

December 18th, 2014

That appears correct.  As they state in their FAQ section's, Stripe includes the merchant account, so as far as I know, you don't have to think twice about merchant accounts when working with Stripe.  With Recurly, you'll have to set up the merchant account and pay its fees separately.

I know I'm sounding like a Stripe salesman, but I've just been impressed with its features while integrating into an app.  I'm curious about others' experience using other platforms as well.

Jon Gettinger Interested in moving to Seattle? We are hiring!

December 23rd, 2014

There are many types of solutions in the market at a variety of price points. i would say the big differentiators are:

1. Methods of payment - Are you focused on accepting credit cards or do you need to generate invoices against POs - or both? 

2. Degree of Automation - Are you simply trying to make life easier for your finance team or create a "touchless" end to end process?

3. Degree of Integration - Similarly to #2. Do you need integration with CRM? What about your other financial systems?  Most importantly how does billing and charging need to interact with your service enablement model?  What do you want to happen when a customer changes service parameters or upgrades/downgrades service? For example an "instant on" service once an account is established is a very different integration challenge than delivering a box of candy once a month.

My company Aria Systems provides a monetization platform that supports a variety of monetization models and includes customer management and financial operations support sitting on an advanced integration architecture. We tend to focus on bigger businesses but do work with select emerging leaders like New Relic and others.  We recentlu published an ebook on automating recurring revenue http://info.ariasystems.com/recurring-revenue-nobs-guide.html#sthash.MfiS0IDk.dpbs