This story started as an employee and eventual owner of WebAlive, a website services company that had products that were typically provided on a subscription basis, meaning customers paid a certain amount on a recurring basis (mostly monthly) for the use of a range of web related services and solutions. That ranged from Domain Names, Web Content and E-Commerce solutions and Websites in general.
The process to support the billing (invoice and receipt of payment) was a huge challenge! Yes there were products out there that automated that recurring payment, but they often caused more problems than they were worth:
- Poor functions to support the management of customers and their related recurring products
- Poor functions to provide visibility of the billing cycle, resulting in a black hole of billing
- Limited options in the type of payments options, especially in support of key regional Direct Debit needs.
- Poor self-service options for the customer, meaning customer queries required a human touch point, rather than the Customer being able to Self-Serve
- Limited integration options to integrate into key Accounting, CRM and Ticket Management system (especially local Australian Accounting products like MYOB and Xero)
- Poor support for all types of Billing, requiring separate systems to support one-off Billing (vs. Recurring), creating fragmented Customer Management, Invoice and Reporting.
So with limited options in the market, WebAlive set off to build the ultimate Billing system, working to fix all the problems above and thus AutoBill was born!
The Rise of Subscription Billing
As AutoBill took shape, business need for recurring billing was on the increase.
The provision of products and services over the last decade has been changing. New models of personal ownership are gaining attention in many industries, based on the idea that individuals and businesses are increasingly interested in consuming and paying for temporary or limited access to goods and services, rather than purchasing them outright.
Given that rise in subscription billing, the business you are in is likely to or about to offer services. Just think about all the goods and services you pay for on a recurring basis (for example every Month). Software Subscriptions, Gym Memberships, Personal Training, Sporting Club Memberships, Child Card, Education Services, Legal Services, Security, Goods Hire, Financing, Real Estate Services. Media Subscriptions and Accountant and Bookkeeper Fees.
Accountant and Bookkeeper Fees are a classic example of a generational change, with the move from one off billing to recurring billing. A profession that just a few years all about billing for time, now one that bills based on services provided for a fixed recurring fee.
AutoBill Ready to Go
In March 2014 AutoBill will come out of Beta ready to support the needs of the growing army of subscription bases businesses. We already have customers using for wide variety of billing and invoicing needs including software usage, web based services, finance payments and royalties for web advertising. Not only does AutoBill provide best of breed functions for billing, it’s fully featured for the Australian market supporting all the major Card and EFT payment providers and integration into popular local Accounting systems like Xero and MYOB.
AutoBill is “powered” by a dedicated team from WebAlive with a combined 40+ years in the Australian business software and online solution space.
by Ashiq Rahman