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Subscription Payments4 min read

What to look for in your subscription payment processes

The nuances of subscription payments

Maximize revenue with the right payment strategies

Payments are an essential part of a subscription business, having a direct impact on revenue and providing a pivotal point of contact between the customer and the company. 

As a result, the payment processes you put in place are an important part of your strategy as well as your functionality as an organization. So, what do you need to include? 

We have previously written about subscription payments and how they're different to those in other businesses. In this article, we look specifically at the most important features it’s best to include in your payment processes to optimize your success.


Seamlessly integrated subscription platforms and payment services
are crucial for enhancing customer experience, increasing retention,
preventing revenue loss, and streamlining financial operations.



Building relationships through subscription payments

Payment solution providers vs. subscription solutions

The difference between general payment solutions and subscription platforms is that the former are merely transactional, while the latter are also instrumental in relationship building. These mechanisms need to not only facilitate recurring payments but also manage the logic for billing customers, especially during subscription activities such as contract upgrades, downgrades, co-terming, or prorations. This ensures that every transaction is an easy, reassuring, and positive experience, incentivizing customers to retain their subscription going forward.

Key requirements for successful subscription payment processes

The essentials for a successful payment strategy

There are lots of things that go into creating a seamless payment process that is effective for the company, reliable over time and that supports the customer. These are our top five things to look out for:

Payment methods for global coverage

Make sure your payment provider has the capacity to offer a diverse range of payment methods that enables global coverage. Different payment services have different capabilities but only some offer global gateways that facilitate cross-border transactions. Most subscription businesses grow by expanding into different global territories at some stage, where different payment types, from credit cards to Apple Pay or direct debit are the preference. Equally, different industries might prefer specific payment solutions designed for certain transaction volumes and fees. It's important not to limit your market by not being able to accommodate certain payment methods.

Account reminders

Credit cards expire and payment methods often need reauthorizing for the purposes of security. To maintain a seamless, positive and up-to-date relationship between you and the customer, and to help prevent any involuntary churn, anticipating those updates and authorisations is imperative. That's why a payment service provider that holds information, knowing when a card is about to expire and with the capacity to send a reminder email to the account holder, is a powerful asset for your subscription business.

Logic to define how failed payments should be retried

Sometimes payments do fail. Perhaps there weren't enough funds in the required account at that moment. Perhaps the account holder forgot to update the payment method. For lots of reasons, payments can fail unintentionally, so it's important to have a subscription system with payment logic that allow your business to define how many times and when failed payments should be retried.


Recurring payment reminders

When you have recurring payments, especially when they're long distances apart, payment reminders (such as subscription payment reminder emails) are an important part of the customer experience. They are also important for ensuring that payments go through, perhaps because a payment method needs updating or re-approving for example. This is part of a wider communications flow between the company, the system and the customer surrounding invoices and payments. Those communications need to be streamlined in order to provide a supportive, connected service, helping customers to feel secure, knowing they will be reminded if or when they need to take action. At keylight we don't just enable emails, but other helpful resources, including SMS reminders to enable better customer relationships and experience.


Payment reconciliation 

Some payments may experience delays in processing, but this does not imply that they have not been completed. It is crucial to stay informed about payment statuses to ensure customer and business user experience. To achieve this, a subscription platform that integrates seamlessly with payment solutions comes into play. Such a platform should provide real-time updates on payment statuses and automate tasks such as marking invoices as paid or initiating payment retries and dunning procedures if initial attempts are unsuccessful. By implementing such a system, you not only enhance the customer experience but also improve internal efficiency and mitigate revenue loss resulting from manual errors.

How keylight can optimize your subscription payment processes

Streamline customer journeys, payment experiences, billing, and financial operations

keylight delivers an end-to-end subscription business platform built around user experience. 

Everything we have put in place has been designed to create the most positive experience for all involved. For businesses and their teams, each flexible feature has been created to overcome any challenges that subscription businesses have faced with traditional systems, while for customers those same solutions ensure they feel safe, supported and positively engaged with their subscription service. 

For example, we provide native integration of global payment partners, offering secure and compliant gateways for both non-electronic payment methods, pay-per-link, and popular electronic payment methods in some countries. We also connect with multiple payment service providers to cover the global market and enable the best payment solution for each customer. That's combined with pre-built customer journeys so all you need to do is choose a subscription partner and get started.