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How to drive revenue in the subscription economy

Top tips for maximising payment success and minimising customer churn for subscription businesses.

From movies, music and meal kits to razor blades and vitamins, the subscription economy has really taken off. 15% of online shoppers have signed up for one or more subscriptions to receive products regularly, frequently through monthly boxes, according to McKinsey research. 

More people are living faster paced, on-the-go lives. As time becomes more precious, they’re looking for ways to save or regain time. Frequently that means doing tasks more quickly or outsourcing them.

Subscription services are the convenient antidote to a busy lifestyle. It’s one less thing to remember or worry about. And a simple way to order and pay that’s low on fuss and big on value.

So, it’s no surprise that the e-commerce subscription market has grown by more than 100% a year over the past five years. And the largest such retailers had more than $2.6 billion in sales in 2016, up from $57 million in 2011. 

Here are five top tips for maximising payment success and minimising customer churn in your subscription business.

1.    Keep billing details up to date
Having the most up-to-date billing details is essential for regular, recurring or subscription businesses. Both Mastercard and Visa refresh details if cards expire, are lost, stolen or upgraded. Cashflows’ Account Updater integrates with them both. 

It’s a timely, efficient and cost-effective solution to decrease card declines and boost revenue. You make a payment request, we update the card information from Mastercard and Visa, then make a request to the customer’s card provider. No bother.
 
2.    Bill to maximise success
People can be paid monthly, weekly or daily at the end of job or shift, particularly with the increase in freelance and gig economy work. Paydays also differ between countries and companies, so bill to maximise your chances of success.

Our analytics suite and experience with consumer lending clients can help you identify the best time to bill subscribers. And maximise retries when there are mostly likely to be funds on the account. This helps prevent declines and outbound customer contact to ask for alternative payment details.

3.    Simplify the move from freemium to premium 
If you offer free trial subscriptions followed by upgrades to a paid model, make this as easy as possible. New strong customer authentication requirements for remote card payments come into effect from 31 December 2020 in Europe and from 14 September 2021 in the UK.

Cashflows can help you with zero-value authorisations, storing card credentials on file and setting up a mandate for subsequent merchant-initiated transactions to boost authorisation success. We can also advise on the latest cardholder disclosure requirements to be compliant with card scheme rules on free trial offers and subscription payments.

4.    Offer multiple ways to pay
There’s not just one way to pay. The more digital payment becomes, the more different options there are. These range from international to domestic card schemes, direct debit, mobile wallets and bank account-funded payments, such as iDEAL in the Netherlands and Sofort in Germany.

Cashflows can offer a variety of ways to pay, helping you convert more sales from more customers more of the time. That’s everything from traditional cards to local alternatives and sector-specific options. We simplify integration and also offer advice on best alternative payment methods bundles.

5.    Minimise churn rates
Acquiring a new customer can be anywhere between five and 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one, depending on which study you believe and what industry you’re in . 

Cashflows can help you with all kinds of hints and tips to maximise customer retention and minimise attrition and churn. For example, using clear billing descriptors so customer can identify payments on their statements. Also, coding and flagging transactions correctly to improve authorisation rates.

For more information

To find out more about payment acceptance with Cashflows, contact us today.