Balance Management: Adding a new dimension to your subscription services

Balance Management: Adding a new dimension to your subscription services The latest release of Cerillion Skyline, our subscription billing platform, introduces powerful balance management features, extending the monetisation capabilities of your usage-based services with the addition of flexible unit and money-based allowances.

As more and more subscription providers seek to extend and augment the potential of their service offerings, many are increasingly seeking to monetise the usage element – selling fixed quantities of transactions, such as calls, emails or downloads – to increase customer value and engagement. Rather than pricing their offering based on the number of features or licenses, the allowance usage model, combined with other subscription plans, creates different pricing options suited to the diverse and distinct requirements of a broader set of customers.

To help subscription businesses take advantage of this trend, among the trove of new and improved features being rolled out in our regular Cerillion Skyline releases is balance management, granting users an expanded range of usage-based pricing options for packaging and promoting their products and services.

Thanks to balance management, an account can have multiple associated allowances which can be used to track either monetary credit or non-monetary units, such as minutes, clicks, API calls or any other measurable activity. If a customer exceeds their allowance, they will enter an overage phase with additional usage priced at a standard tariff rate until they enter the next period or purchase more allowance.

For customers unready or unable to commit to a recurring subscription, a set amount of credits can be purchased in advance using this “prepaid” model, based on what they want to spend. With a prepaid allowance, customers have greater financial control and visibility over their outgoings.

And for companies selling highly transactional digital products, the prepaid allowance model is critical in expanding the monetisation opportunities through usage-based services, with flexible unit and money-based allowances added to the pricing toolkit. As an increasing number of companies seek to monetise goods and services not suited to a typical “postpaid” model, the prepaid approach opens up the potential of recurring subscriptions to a raft of new businesses and customer segments. It also makes it easier to predict revenue and improve cash-flow since customers will be paying in advance.

When defining a product in Skyline, users are now presented with three allowance settings:
 

Unitary Allowance:
With this option, users can configure a product allowance that will be tracked and consumed based on the corresponding usage records for this subscription. Whether you want to define a unit as an email, a gigabyte, an hour or whatever you wish, these can be defined by the user based on the value proposition and characteristics of the product.

Monetary Allowance:
Using monetary allowances, a priced amount is assigned based on a tariff rate, rather than a simple number of units. In this model, multiple usage types can, using different tariff rates, share the same monetary allowance. Compared with abstract units, a monetary balance representing how much is being spent may be more easily understood by customers.

No Allowance:
The standard postpaid option, with usage priced according to tariff rates and charges posted on the next available invoice.


For example, a company could employ a tiered product catalogue of multiple packages containing varying features, with a number of credits sold at different prices, so that their customers can choose their preferred plan and then use credits until they are depleted or expired. Alternatively, this same company could sell a range of monetary allowances, using tariff rates per unit to update the remaining balance.
 
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While many of the larger subscription service providers insist on rigid one-size-fits-all subscription plans, a growing number of startups and disruptors are realising the benefits of offering usage-based and prepaid packages in or as a part of their offerings. The prepaid balance management model is a boon for transactional subscription businesses looking to generate a secure, upfront income, while increasing payment options and ease of use for customers.

Try the latest release of Cerillion Skyline for yourself to see how balance management can enhance your subscription offering.