Recurring billing engine that automates who you bill, when, and how

This article takes you through the process of streamlining how a recurring billing engine in Splynx can streamline your customer billing process.

1. What is recurring billing?

Recurring billing is a payment model that helps ISP businesses charge their customers for their services at regular time intervals: monthly, quarterly, annually, or even daily.

Recurring payments save time for internet service providers and customers as they simplify the customer’s experience and help them avoid missed payments. Automating payments also benefits a business by improving customer retention, making it easier to predict cash flow.

Based on the parameters you set in within the Splynx interface and integrations with major payment systems, the program helps streamline these operations minimizing human interaction. 

Take the list of payment systems: “Payment systems”.

Though the recurring type of billing is selected by default in the Splynx global configuration, it’s up to you to decide which billing type works best for your business — recurring or strict prepay, which suggests that the customer pays when the service is accessed or consumed.

1.1.What is pro-rated billing in Splynx?

Charging your customers only for the period they used your services is relevant for subscription-based businesses. Splynx automatically prorates the invoice in case you bring on a new customer during the mid-pay cycle, upgrade or downgrade them, or change services in any way.

Simply put, the pro-rated amount is calculated:

  • Based on the number of days between your client’s sign-up date and the billing cycle date.
  • When you change a plan in a billing cycle.
  • When you add, change, or remove any service, and they need to be aligned with the billing cycle.

1.2. Prepay or postpay?

In Splynx, issuing recurring invoices can be done in two ways:

  • As the name suggests, prepaid is the service the customer has to pay for before using a service. In this model, you generate invoices upfront. For example, on April 1, you create the invoice for April 1-31. It’s also possible to generate a batch of invoices even before a billing day.
  • In the postpay model, users are asked to pay the bill at the end of the billing cycle after using the services. Splynx will generate invoices on April 1st for April 1-30. 

1.3. How custom billing dates work

There are different approaches to setting the billing date in Splynx:

  • Based on the sign-up date: if a customer buys a monthly subscription on the 15th of April, they will first pay for that service on the 15th of April, then on the 15th of May, their subscription will renew, and again on the 15th of June, and so on.
  • Common billing date for all customers: If a customer signed up on the 20th of January, they will have the first subscription renewal processed on the 1st of February and their first payment will be prorated. With Splynx, configured to automatically charge clients, you can create a prorated invoice from January 20 to 31. Otherwise, the system will automatically do this on the 1st of February including days from the previous month.
  • Billing date set for a customer (based on demand)

1.4. Automated tariff plan upgrade/downgrade

If the customer switches between plans, it can be qualified as either upgrading or downgrading the subscription, depending upon the price difference between the two subscriptions. The good news about this is that Splynx automatically prorates the price, so you don’t have to crunch numbers.   

2. Customize recurring billing to fit your business model

We’ll take a step further and dig into different ways to set up recurring billing in Splynx. This is where you’re afforded plenty of elbow room when setting up the best billing scenario that suits your business model.

2.1. Charge customers on the same day each month

Say, you have a customer who signs up on February 5 for a subscription that renews on the 1st of every month. If it’s a monthly subscription, you should charge on a calendar month basis (the most common practice).

How to setup billing date in Splynx

2.2. Charge customers on the day they sign up

You can choose to have the billing cycle of a new plan start immediately when the customer signs up or on a future date. If you opt to begin the billing cycle immediately, the cycle will be based on the date the customer signed up.

How to setup billing cycle in Splynx

2.3. Set up an individual billing date for each customer

When creating a new subscription in a plan, you can override the plan’s billing date and specify a different one. In other words, every client can have an individual subscription. Of course, this presents pro-ration issues the company must address if it allows customers to change the billing cycle. But with Splynx, proration is done automatically, so you don’t have to worry about this added layer of complexity.

Client dashboard in Splynx

2.4. Сreate a batch of recurring invoices before a billing day 

For some companies, it’s a working scenario to send invoices before the billing day. This approach ensures that customers pay their invoices timely, and the due date starts from a billing day.

Create a batch of recurring invoices in Splynx

2.5. Charge customers according to the selected payment method

As an Internet Service Provider, it’s imperative that you’re vigilant in giving your clients an opportunity to choose a suitable payment method: credits card payments, cash payments, online payments, refill card payments, etc. 

Splynx empowers your business with omnichannel payment collection. The benefit of it is that it allows extending your payment offers list and improving the service. Through the Splynx interface, you’re able to filter all customers and charge them according to the selected payment method. 

How to charge invoices in Splynx

2.6. Custom billing settings for internet resellers 

Working with resellers, you can set up the reseller mode according to your business needs and configure custom billing settings for each partner. 

Read more about reseller modes in this article: “How to manage internet resellers in Splynx”

Suppose the reseller wants to run their own billing cycle and send the invoices to end-users. In that case, an ISP wholesaler can create a reseller’s account in the Splynx billing system and allow the reseller to charge their end-users using their invoices in a reseller mode. It means that the reseller can also manage and sell individual tariff plans.

This article in the user guide describes how to set up the reseller add-on: “Agents and resellers”.

2.7. Auto-charge customers’ credit cards that were saved on their accounts

Though there are potential hiccups, this approach can help you avoid negative side effects from the missed payments. To make this work, you just need to set up an auto-charge filter and make sure that the customer’s credit card is saved in the ‘Customer Portal’. This filter also allows you to configure automatic debit order submissions.

In Splynx, you can set up an auto-charge filter to adjust this action for most scenarios. To do so:

  1. Open “Finance → Invoices”. 
  2. Click on the “Charge” button and select the “Auto-charge filters” tab. 
  3. Hit the “Add” button.

How to auto-charge customers’ credit cards that were saved on their accountsTo learn more about configuring an auto-charge filter, navigate to the article in the user guide.

Watch this short demo and see how to set up recurring billing in Splynx.

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