The 5 Best Chargebee Alternatives and Competitors in 2024

Looking for alternatives to Chargebee in 2024? As the billing landscape moves towards usage-based pricing models, we explore five great options. These alternatives cater to growing businesses, offering dynamic pricing models and subscription options that align with modern business needs.
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In the early 2000s, software pricing resembled traditional investments — upfront payments for licenses similar to buying a fixed asset.

However, today, the billing landscape has swiftly advanced towards usage-based pricing structures, much like Uber's, where you pick your features, usage levels, and add-ons as if you're customizing your ride — paying only for what you use. 

Instead of forcing upfront payments, it puts buyers back in control, allowing them to personalize their subscriptions and optimize their software spending. This paradigm shift reflects the widespread adoption of usage-based pricing models by SaaS companies.

According to a survey by Openview, there has been a rapid surge in SaaS companies adopting usage-based pricing models, from 27% in 2018 to more than 61% in 2023.

There are many factors that are contributing to this shift, but the two main ones that are driving it forward are:

  • Automation and AI are creating thousands of man-on-the-moon moments for businesses around the world. Businesses care more about what they can automate and how they can leverage AI - which implies software pricing can no longer simply be tied to the number of users. There are more meaningful and advanced factors to take into account.
  • The current economic climate is marked by all kinds of uncertainties, making businesses more cost-conscious and judicious in their software expenditures. As a result, they are looking for software that is easy to justify, with customizable pricing plans and subscription options that align with their usage patterns, budget constraints, and value perception.

Chargebee for subscription billing

Chargebee has been a powerful player in the billing software league for over a decade. Their subscription billing and management software has helped hundreds of businesses streamline billing processes and deliver smooth customer subscription experiences. While there is no question about its efficiency in handling flat pricing models, the truth is that it hasn't kept pace with the new-age demands of the billing space, making a compelling case for growing businesses to pick an alternative. We will shortly see why. 

The need for a Chargebee alternative

Chargebee's software capabilities are limited to supporting simple pricing models like flat fees and tiered, failing to flex with the shifting tides of modern billing practices. So, one of the biggest drawbacks Chargebee users face is the inability to efficiently accommodate usage-based pricing models such as pay-as-you-go, metered pricing, event-based pricing, or hybrid pricing. 

Take Zoom, for example; they offer a hybrid pricing model, a part of which is usage-based pricing. While Zoom Meetings is primarily sold as a subscription, customers can purchase add-ons such as Zoom Webinars and Zoom Rooms, where pricing is based on the number of attendees, rooms, or the frequency of events.   

To implement a similar pricing model with Chargebee, you'll need engineering bandwidth to deploy tracking mechanisms that capture usage data relevant to both the base plans and any add-ons. This data then has to be pushed to Chargebee through APIs to start setting up the pricing plan.

This approach isn't ideal for many reasons. 

  • It's cumbersome to scale. 
  • Ensuring data accuracy can be perplexing.
  • Any modifications to pricing or product features require repetitive adjustments to product tracking and Chargebee integration. 

On the other hand, it's interesting that three out of five SaaS companies are adopting usage-based pricing. The trend emphasizes the need for modern billing software that offers more intelligent and scalable ways to handle usage-based pricing.

This article explores five new-age Chargebee alternatives to suit forward-thinking businesses like yours.

Choosing the best Chargebee alternative 

While it may sound cliché, the first step in identifying the ideal Chargebee alternative is to assess your subscription and billing needs and business objectives. This clarifies what you're scouting for and helps compare billing software for your unique business context.

Here are five key aspects you should diligently examine to choose the best billing software:

Features and functionalities: 

Carefully understand your current and upcoming billing needs, such as the complexity of your billing cycles, the volume of transactions in a month, and the features you will need. List all the capabilities you need in your billing subscription software and compare them thoroughly against the products you are considering to see which option is best for you. 

Some core capabilities to look for are:

  • Ability to support hybrid and new-age pricing models
  • Revenue recognition and subscription management
  • Automation for financial processes
  • Swift invoicing and payment processing
  • Actionable reports and insights
  • Integration capabilities

Pricing: 

Thoroughly compare upfront costs, scalability, hidden fees, and the value of features offered. Assess potential ROI and explore any negotiation opportunities. Take into account any costs associated with implementation assistance, support, or additional integrations. 

Support:

Assess the support team for availability, expertise, and responsiveness during your evaluation. Inquire about communication channels, potential additional costs, and other relevant details to ensure you have adequate assistance when you need it.

Integrations: 

Look for billing software that seamlessly integrates with other pieces of your tech stack, such as CRM or ERP systems. Tight integrations are crucial for ensuring consistency and accuracy of financial data across the company, eliminating all possible data discrepancies.  

Take advantage of demos and free trials:

Shoot every question you have. Set up and try the product, and onboard your team to evaluate it from different perspectives. Don't buy until you are completely sold. Demos and free trials are an opportunity for you to try the product firsthand, so make the most of it. It's a great way to ensure that the product meets all your requirements before you make an investment.

The Top 5 Chargebee Alternatives in 2024 

Here's a list of five modern Chargebee alternatives you can choose from.

  • Zenskar - Best for implementing flexible, usage-based pricing models.
  • Stripe - Best for businesses looking for hassle-free global payment options
  • Recurly - Best for small businesses looking to optimize recurring billing
  • Lago - Best for businesses looking to take the open-source approach
  • Zoho Billing - Best for small businesses (especially those using products from Zoho’s finance suite)

Zenskar 

Zenskar is a flexible subscription billing software designed for businesses with intricate pricing structures and custom billing requirements. The platform empowers you to implement pricing models of any complexity, including usage-based pricing, hybrid pricing, prepaid subscriptions, part prepaid-part postpaid contracts, ramp deals, product bundles, and contract-level discounts. It not only simplifies managing complex pricing models but also helps you astutely leverage them for revenue maximization.

Source: Zenskar

SquadStack, the AI-driven sales outsourcing platform, encountered difficulties managing billing with its internal system. They signed up for Zenskar to manage their intricate pricing models, decrease engineering reliance, and automate financial operations. The outcome – FinOps saved 180 hours, engineering reclaimed 120 hours, and revenue saw a rapid 2% increase. Read the whole story here  - See how SquadStack Simplifies Complex Billing with Zenskar

Like to see a more detailed comparison of Chargebee vs Zenskar? View Detailed Comparison.

Stripe 

Stripe is a payment processing platform that enables businesses of all sizes to accept payments, send payouts, and automate financial processes effortlessly. It was originally designed for e-commerce platforms and B2C. So users might still experience some contextual limitations when trying to represent their B2B pricing or business operations on Stripe.

Source: Stripe

Features:

  • Subscription management
  • Flexible subscription models
  • Customer portal for self-service
  • Recovery and retention automation
  • Trial management
  • Analytics and Reporting

Pricing:

Stripe's pricing is determined by the features you use and the volume of transactions you process, starting at 2.9%+30 cents for every transaction. However, as your business scales, the number of transactions rises, quickly inflating costs. Moreover, limitations in Stripe's integrations may compel you to purchase additional products from their ecosystem, which can lead to further expenses.

Note: Zenskar is a competitor to the Stripe Billing product. We do not work with Stripe in any form, other than our integration with Stripe Payments, which is usually referred to as Stripe.

Recurly 

Recurly is an easy-to-use subscription management and recurring billing platform. It offers automated billing, revenue recognition tools, subscription management tools, and more to help businesses grow faster.

Source: Recurly

Features:

  • Subscription management 
  • Recurring billing
  • Usage-based billing
  • Customer portal
  • Revenue recognition
  • Recovery and retention automation
  • Reporting and analytics

Pricing:

Recurly has a free-for-12-months plan for new users with some feature limitations. They start charging you $249 once the 12-month period is over. Their prices for other plans change based on transaction volume and may not be straightforward, you have to watch out for the subtext diligently.

Lago

Lago is another powerful alternative to Chargebee. It comes as an open-source version or a cloud or self-hosted version.

Source: Lago

Features:

  • Subscription plans 
  • Usage-based charges with price caps/minimums
  • Customer portals for customers to track usage 
  • Revenue analytics
  • Credit management 
  • Invoices management 
  • Flexible pricing controls 
  • Real-Time revenue analytics

Lago supports its free users through a Slack community. The other support channels, training, and dedicated assistance are reserved for the premium plan users. 

Pricing: 

Lago offers free and open-source billing subscription software. The pricing for the cloud or self-hosted versions depends on the number of licenses purchased and usage-based components such as generated invoices or active customers.

Zoho billing

Zoho Billing provides an end-to-end billing and subscription management solution. It automates and streamlines the recurring billing process and optimizes revenue operations. If you are already using Zoho products, Zoho Billing may be a good Chargebee alternative, seamlessly integrating with other products in the Zoho ecosystem.

Source: Zoho Billing

Features:

  • Detailed product catalogs
  • Flexible pricing models
  • Dunning Management
  • Business Analytics
  • Personalized customer portals
  • Trial management
  • Secure, hosted payment pages

Pricing:

Zoho Billing offers four different pricing plans, with the standard plan starting at $15 per month. You can pick what fits you right and then pay as you grow. Pricing is based on the features you select and the number of customer invoices generated each month.

Why companies choose Zenskar over Chargebee

Zenskar is an exceptional alternative to Chargebee, especially for businesses focusing on usage-based billing. It offers endless flexibility, scalability, and customization options that fit your unique business needs impeccably.

Intelligent and new-age product capabilities

Zenskar understands that your pricing models can be complex, but handling them doesn't have to be. While Chargebee is good enough for companies using basic pricing models, the minute you add a few layers, it loses its luster. It lacks the inherent metering abilities needed to support complex pricing models like the usage-based pricing model. In this aspect, Zenskar offers everything Chargebee lacks, becoming an obvious choice for any ambitious business.

Straightforward pricing 

There are no hidden costs. There is no giving you the cake and charging you for the cherry. Zenskar's pricing is based on the complexity of your billing needs and the scale of your business operations. All implementation, migration support, and customer success assistance come at no cost.

Responsive and resourceful support

On a rainy day, they are only a call away. A team of CX champs makes it their mission to ensure you have all the help and expertise you need to overcome any challenges you face and keep your business moving forward, uninterrupted.

Experience firsthand why companies prefer Zenskar over Chargebee. Schedule a demo with us today!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Who are the competitors of Chargebee?

The top competitors of Chargebee billing and subscription management software include Zenskar, Stripe, Recurly, Lago, and Zoho Billing. Each of these platforms offers unique strengths and capabilities for handling modern billing and subscription challenges that come with complex pricing models like usage-based or hybrid pricing. Businesses should carefully evaluate their features and functionalities before choosing the right platform for their billing needs.

2. Why is Zenskar better than Chargebee?

Zenskar is better than Chargebee mainly because of its usage-based pricing capabilities, making it easy for businesses to implement complex and dynamic pricing models like pay-as-you-go, hybrid pricing,value-based pricing, subscription-based pricing, bundle pricing, and more. Chargebee can only attempt to achieve these with extensive engineering involvement and APIs, with no guarantee of smooth functioning or scalability.

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