posted this on May 10, 2011 08:41 PM
PayPal, the defacto standard in online payment services, offers a wide variety of tools for merchants running subscription based sites. PayPal has two primary products for Web 2.0 and SaaS companies: Website Payments Standard and Website Payments Pro. They both offer similar functionality except for the fact that the Standard Version requires your customers to check out on a PayPal branded payment page, with limited opportunity for customization. In addition, the Pro service costs an extra monthly fee on top of PayPal’s tiered percentage fee structure.
PayPal offers its users limited analysis or business intelligence tools. At most, you can download a historical log of your transactions, but you can’t see how those trends are changing over time. Are you interested in how your marketing efforts correlate with sign ups? Or how your dunning strategy (how you handle declined credit cards) effects retention? That insight simply isn’t built into PayPal.
Another major headache for subscription based companies is how to handle declined credit cards. From our experience; about 50% of lost customers are due to declined or expired cards. PayPal doesn’t give you a proactive means to address these credit card issues.
Chargify gives you a powerful set of dunning management tools so you can proactively address credit card issues before they happen. If one of your customer’s credit cards is set to expire, you can set up custom notifications to help them remember to renew. This helps your business retain more customers. In addition, you can set up custom email notifications for all of the possible credit card failure reasons. You control how your customers get contacted and the messaging around how payments are collected.
PayPal uses a tiered percentage fee structure plus a fixed monthly fee for use of its recurring billing features. They take a tiered percentage of each transaction and a flat rate of 30 cents on top of that (for every transaction). They base the percentage on how much revenue your application is generating. The lower your revenue, the higher the percentage they take.
How Chargify is different:
Works with a variety of merchant gateways so you can find the best rate for you
Provides robust reporting tools that help you analyze your billing data and learn from it
Merchants have the choice of either integrating our API or sending customers to a custom-branded payment page. Customers will never feel like they’re leaving your site.
Chargify never charges transaction fees or setup fees and has simple flat-rate billing plans. Chargify also supports billing an unlimited number of customers.
Chargify customers can setup and test different freemium pricing models and make changes without affecting customers who’ve already signed up.