by Rakesh Sharma
Published on 24 April 2013
Typically, billing customers can be a mix of homegrown systems, spreadsheets and paperwork for small-medium businesses.
This week, we look at Fusebill a recurring billing and payments solution that simplifies all your billing. In this Fusebill review we will look at its features, interface, and see how it can be of use to you.
According to Steve Adams, CEO at Fusebill, customers use the solution to grow their business. "Fusebill helps businesses automate billing and provide a better experience to their customers, managing the complete customer lifecycle and providing real-time visibility to the health of their business," he says. In simple words, this means that you can bill your customers on time and with the correct amount. Better billing practices, in this case, can lead to better customer experiences.
Adams says the solution was born out of their founder's experiences. "We've experienced the pain of billing and managing a large subscriber customer base in previous companies and - like many others - made do with a combination of home-grown software and manual processes," he says.
While Fusebill provides comprehensive functionality, it can also be used in conjunction with other, popular accounting software such as Quickbooks. "Our free API is typically used to integrate Fusebill into our customer's ordering and provisioning systems," says Adams.
In fact, integration is big on Fusebill's future plans. Adams says upcoming releases include an integration with Salesforce CRM and mobile purchasing software, thus expanding the scope of the solution.
To understand Fusebill, it is important to understand the solution's role in the billing ecosystem. It automates recurring billing, invoicing, and credit card collections for subscription businesses and offers a complete billing and subscriber management system that meets a broad range of needs. Fusebill lets you implement pricing and discounting schemes, from simple to complex; and manage the subscriber life-cycle from sign-up until cancellation. You can also created a customer portal and hosted checkout pages.
You need to enter your merchant account details as a prerequisite to billing through Fusebill if billing via credit card. Besides automated billing, you can perform a variety of transactions once you are setup. This includes reversing transactions or generating reports on key subscription metrics like MRR, ARPU, cash flow, churn, etc. .
You can view a snapshot of your billing details for the month on the main screen, which consists of an executive overview. This screen details important and useful details such as your product mix, monthly recurring revenue, and average revenue per user (always an important and useful metric for your business).
Fusebill's main utility lies in its ability to match your pricing plans. Thus, you can see how much each customer segment is contributing to your business's bottom line. There are five components within Fusebill: Core Plans (or plans that are important and integral to your business operations), Add-ons (or recurring pricing models), One-time (or billing plans that are for one-time transactions), Metered (or billing plans that measure utility use such as seats and electricity consumption), and coupons.
According to Adams, the pricing components are designed to match customer pricing models, from the simplest monthly recurring plans to more complicated models including optional packages and usage billing. For example, the recurring add-on model can tacked onto a regular transaction later during an up-sell.
Because billing data is valuable data, you can view a wide array of analytics using the Reports tab. I was quite impressed by the solution's reporting features. For example, you can view revenue split derived from each customer segment for your business. Thus, you can see the revenues derived from free trials (or, conversion rates) or small businesses. You can also see breakdown by state tax or enterprise and corporate.
The greatest benefit to using Fusebill lies in its analytics. It provides a wealth of customer data that would, otherwise, be unavailable. For example, you can view monthly sign-ups or churn rates and active subscriptions over a period of time. In addition, the solution takes the hassle out of payments in several, other ways. For example, it enables you to build a payments page within minutes. It also centralizes vital customer information such as subscription and transaction details within a single repository.
The interface is simple and clean. Five tabs on the main panel enable you to perform an assortment of tasks. Each tab contains options to view analytics or lists and creates new work items. The latter task is fairly easy and, for most actions within the system, can be completed within two clicks.
Much like the platform itself, Fusebill has a simple and convenient pricing plan. The application's pricing plan has two components: platform and transaction. While platform relates to use of Fusebill as a hosted solution to automate your billing needs and is fixed, the transaction fee is a fixed feed that decreases with the volume of transactions. Notably, Fusebill doesn't charge a percentage of revenue - pricing is very accessible compared to high end solutions.
Fusebill is an innovative concept, one that solves an important problem in the billing space. In addition to simplifying your billing needs, it also provides a wealth of customer-related data. I would highly recommend this solution for businesses interested in reducing the effort and complexity of their billing processes.
Ratings: ease of use 4/5, features 5/5, value 5/5 and ease of deployment 4/5