Top 6 Recurly Competitors and Alternatives: An In-Depth Review

EJ Brown
EJ Brown
February 8th, 2023
Estimated read time: 13 minutes, 2 seconds

In this guide, we compare six Recurly competitors and alternatives according to several categories: 

  • Subscription management and recurring billing 
  • Checkout 
  • Global payment processing
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Pricing
  • Customer reviews

We’ll start with a deep dive into FastSpring — our end-to-end payment solution (i.e., subscription management, payment processing, and more) for SaaS companies. Then, we’ll cover five more Recurly alternatives for companies in all industries. 

In this guide: 

  1. FastSpring: Subscription Management, Payment Processing, and Much More for SaaS and Software Companies
  2. Chargebee: Robust Subscription Management Software
  3. Chargify: Subscription Billing Solution for B2B SaaS
  4. Zuora: Monetization Platform for Any Business
  5. Stax Bill: Recurring Billing for Small Businesses
  6. Zoho Subscriptions: Online Subscription Billing Software

FastSpring does more than just process payments and help you manage subscriptions. We also take on transaction liability for you. Request a demo or sign up for a free account to learn more.

FastSpring: Subscription Management, Payment Processing, and Much More for SaaS and Software Companies

FastSpring homepage: The Leading Merchant of Record Payment Platform for SaaS and Software Companies

FastSpring helps SaaS companies (and companies selling digital goods and one-time downloads) manage the entire payment lifecycle, from subscription management to remitting end-of-year taxes. 

Beyond just providing the necessary software, we’re your Merchant of Record (MoR). As your MoR, we take on transaction liability for you which means we take the lead on compliance, audits, chargebacks, and more. 

Create Custom Trial, Subscription, and Recurring Billing Models That Are Fully Compliant with Transaction Laws and Regulations

When setting up subscription plans and recurring billing models, one point that’s often overlooked is whether or not each plan is compliant with transaction laws and regulations. Most companies are aware of regulations such as GDPR and other consumer privacy laws. However, many companies are unaware of the transaction laws of each location where they do business. 

For example, in some countries (e.g., Canada and Korea) customers are eligible by law for a prorated refund if they cancel their subscription before the end of the payment period. Another example is that the Reserve Bank of India limits automatic payments to ₹15,000 (approximately $180) — anything over that amount has to be manually approved by the customer. 

These are just two examples. Considering the laws are constantly changing, it’s understandable that many companies have a hard time staying up-to-date with them. However, you could face heavy fines or be banned from transacting in a specific region if you don’t comply with these laws.

Some subscription management platforms will send out mass updates when they learn about new laws and regulations, but ultimately, your company will be held liable. 

Unlike most subscription management companies, FastSpring takes on transaction liability for you, which means our team: 

  • Stays up-to-date on the transaction laws and regulations of every jurisdiction you transact in.
  • Makes sure your billing models are compliant with each jurisdiction.
  • Takes the lead on audits. 

In addition to helping you stay compliant, FastSpring provides flexibility for setting up trials, subscriptions, and recurring billing models. For example, you can set up: 

  • Free, paid, or discounted trials of any length (with or without collecting payment details).
  • Fixed, per seat, metered, tiered, and bundled billing.
  • Prorated billing to accommodate upgrades and downgrades mid-cycle.
  • Automatic or manual renewal.
  • Upsells, cross-sells, one-time fees, discounts, and gifts.
  • And much more …

Related: Manage B2B Orders in One Place with Digital Invoicing

Most pricing and billing models can be set up without code but you’ll also have access to our API and webhooks library for unique models. Our developers are also available to help you build the perfect solution and answer any questions. 

Edit Subscription Pricing: Standard or Managed

Related: An In-Depth Guide to Subscription Billing Platforms (+ 5 Options)

Customer Portal

With FastSpring, your customers will have access to a self-serve portal where they can manage their payment details and plans (e.g., upgrade, downgrade, add users, and more). 

The portal is fully customizable so it can match your visual brand, but it’s managed by FastSpring, so that your team can focus on more strategic tasks. 

Your Example Store: Manage Active and Inactive Subscriptions

Have Complete Control over Every Aspect of Checkout

FastSpring offers advanced checkout customization options so you can create a modern, intuitive, branded checkout experience that drives conversions. Here’s an overview of those options: 

  • Three versions of checkout: You can choose to embed checkout directly on your webpage, have a checkout popup over your webpage, or send your customers to a fully branded web storefront hosted by FastSpring. Both Embedded Checkout and Popup Checkout are easily implemented with just a few lines of pre-written code. The Web Storefront is hosted on a FastSpring webpage (so your team doesn’t have to build everything from scratch) but you’ll have several options to customize the page.
Embedded Checkout with FastSpring
  • Customization tools: To change the color, font, and more of the checkout, you can use FastSpring branding tools or CSS overrides. To customize the buyer journey leading up to the checkout, you can use FastSpring’s JavaScript Store Builder Library (SBL). The JavaScript SBL lets you add FastSpring elements to create upsell funnels, a dynamic pricing slider, and more to optimize each purchase.
  • Localization features: FastSpring supports dozens of languages and currencies around the world. You can let your customers choose their preferred language and currency or let FastSpring make the appropriate selection based on their location.
Choose Country/Language: With FastSpring, you can translate your shopping in cart into different languages and automatically convert the customer facing price to local currencies.
  • Personalized developer support: Many payment solutions offer personalized support to their bigger clients and leave the smaller companies to fend for themselves. At FastSpring, our developers (and our entire staff) are happy to help you build the right payment solution and answer any questions you may have, regardless of your monthly revenue. 

Accept Dozens of Preferred Payment Methods Around the World

Many SaaS companies try to increase conversion rates by offering more payment methods. However, adding new payment methods is more complicated than simply adding the logo of the payment networks to your checkout screen. Each payment provider will have different regulations regarding fraud, chargebacks, privacy protection, and more before they’re willing to approve transactions with your business. 

If you’re working with international card networks and issuing banks, it gets even more complicated. For example, credit card networks are more likely to approve transactions where the payment gateway is in the same location as the buyer, which means you’ll need to work with multiple payment gateways to maintain high conversion rates. 

Most recurring billing platforms offer pre-built integrations with various payment processors, however, you’ll still have to pay for and manage each of these payment processors separately. 

With FastSpring, you automatically have access to multiple payment processors that specialize in global transactions — without any additional fees. 

You can easily start accepting dozens of payment methods within the first day of working with us. FastSpring automatically routes each payment through the payment gateway with the highest authorization rates for that location and retries failed payments using a secondary gateway. 

Payment Methods around the world

Related: Top 10 International Payment Gateways: An In-Depth Guide

Plus, we take the lead on: 

  • Compliance with card networks and issuing banks.
  • Fraud detection.
  • Chargebacks.

Bonus: Let FastSpring Handle Sales Tax, VAT, and GST for You

SaaS and software companies didn’t always have to gather and remit sales tax or VAT. However, more states, countries, and other jurisdictions are writing new laws that change that. Now, SaaS and software companies have to file and remit sales tax or VAT in many jurisdictions — and many jurisdictions are enforcing these laws more strongly than before. 

Learn more: Can SaaS Companies Afford to Ignore Sales Taxes and VAT?

Some online payment processors will help you gather sales tax or VAT, however, few of them will support all the forms of consumption tax SaaS businesses run into when transacting globally. Plus, you’ll be on your own to file and remit those taxes. If you don’t file them in the correct way, at the correct time, or in the correct amount, you could face heavy penalties. 

FastSpring customers don’t have to worry about any of this because FastSpring takes the lead on calculating, gathering, filing and remitting sales tax, VAT, and GST for you. We also take the lead on any tax-related audits. 

Drill Into What Is and Isn’t Working with Built-in Reporting

FastSpring Analytics and Reporting automatically tracks key metrics regarding your subscriptions and revenue, such as monthly recurring revenue (MRR), net sales by product and region, refund rates, and much more.

FastSpring takes these metrics and displays them in meaningful reports so you always have the information you need at your fingertips. These reports are divided into two main dashboards: Revenue Overview and Subscription Overview

FastSpring's Revenue Overview Dashboard
FastSpring's Subscription Overview Dashboard

If you don’t find the report you need, you can create (and save) custom reports. Our team is also available to help you design the right report and answer any questions you may have. 

Transactions, Transaction Currencies, Net Sales and Net Sales by Country in FastSpring

Finally, any report can be downloaded as a CSV, PNG, or XLSX file. 

Related: SaaS Billing Software: 7 Tools in 3 Categories & How to Choose – FastSpring

All Features for One Flat Rate Fee

The entire FastSpring platform is available for one flat-rate fee based on the volume of transactions you move through FastSpring. Plus, you’ll only be charged when a transaction takes place.

Reach out to our team to find the price that works for you (or sign up for a free account). 

FastSpring Customer Reviews

FastSpring currently has 4.5 stars on G2 with over 184 reviews. 

Here’s what some of our customers had to say:

FastSpring review on G2: FastSpring is an all-in-solution for software vendor
FastSpring review on G2: Good features and excellent and quick support team
FastSpring review on G2: Automated the entire sales process with FastSpring, simply awesome
FastSpring review on G2: FastSpring - A Pleasure Doing Business

If you think FastSpring could be the right Recurly alternative for your business, sign up for a free account or request a demo today.

Five More Recurly Competitors

Here are five more Recurly competitors that compare according to the following categories: subscription management and recurring billing, checkout, global payment processing, reporting and analytics, pricing, and customer reviews.

Chargebee: Popular Subscription Management Software

Chargebee homepage: The revenue engine that powered MakeSpace to launch a B2B model overnight.

Chargebee is a popular choice for setting up customer subscription plans. Chargebee offers built-in integrations with many different types of software including ERPs, accounting software such as QuickBooks, and more. 

Here’s how Chargebee compares in each category: 

  • Subscription management and recurring billing: This is what Chargebee is best known for. They offer a lot of different pricing and billing options, and customers report that the platform is easy to use.
  • Checkout: Chargebee offers two versions of checkout — in-app (their version of popup checkout) and full web page. The full web page is still in beta. 
  • Global payment processing: Chargebee only deals with subscriptions and recurring billing, which means you’ll need additional software for payment processing, taxes, revenue management, and more.
  • Reporting and analytics: Chargebee offers a built-in reporting feature with filters to help you find the report you need. 
  • Pricing: You can use the Chargebee platform for free for the first $100k in revenue you earn. After that, they offer three plans ranging from $249/month to $549+/month. 
  • Customer Reviews: Chargebee has 4.6 stars on G2 with over 560 reviews. You can read those reviews here.

Learn more: 8 Best Chargebee Alternatives and Competitors (And How They’re Different)

Chargify: Subscription Billing Solution for B2B SaaS

Chargify homepage: Subscription Billing for B2B SaaS

Chargify is in the process of merging with SaaSOptics to help you automate subscription management, revenue and expense recognition, and SaaS metric tracking all from one platform. 

Here’s how Chargify addresses each category: 

  • Subscription management and recurring billing: Chargify focuses more heavily on recurring billing for B2B SaaS companies, however, they do offer several options for subscription management. They advertise the ability to support any ecommerce go-to-market strategy. 
  • Checkout and global payment processing: Chargify integrates with Stripe Billing for checkout and payment processing. 
  • Reporting and analytics: When Chargify and SaaSOptics complete the merger, you will have access to a full suite of reporting and analytics tools. 
  • Pricing: Chargify’s pricing plans start at $599/month for companies earning $75k per month in billings. If you earn more revenue or want access to all features, you’ll have to contact their team.
  • Customer Reviews: Chargify and SaaSOptics as Maxio has 4.2 stars on G2 with over 288 reviews. You can read those reviews here.

Zuora: Monetization Platform for Any Business

Zuora homepage: Subscriptions are just the beginning

Zuora supports in-person and online subscription businesses. While they can support B2B and B2C transactions, customers suggest that they’re better suited for monthly rather than annual billing models. 

Here’s an overview of Zuora’s services: 

  • Subscription management and recurring billing: Zuora offers 50+ pricing models for subscriptions, products, and services. They also offer custom invoicing features for B2B transactions. 
  • Checkout: Zuora partners with to provide secure payment collection. 
  • Global payment processing: Zuora offers 35+ prebuilt payment gateways. 
  • Reporting and analytics: Zuora offers a library of pre-built financial reports and a report builder where you can customize reports.
  • Pricing: You can reach out to their team for pricing details.
  • Customer Reviews: Zuora has 3.9 stars on G2 with over 258 reviews. You can read those reviews here.

Stax Bill: Recurring Billing for Small Businesses

Stax Bill homepage: Do Billing Better.

Stax Bill (formerly Fusebill) is one piece of the Stax Payment solution. Stax Bill offers simple automation for recurring billing and invoicing. They integrate with popular CRMs including Salesforce and HubSpot, so you can manage payments from either place. 

Here’s how Stax Bill measures up in each category: 

  • Subscription management and recurring billing: Stax Bill offers many of the common recurring billing model options, however, they emphasize flexible catalog management and their self-serve customer portal. 
  • Checkout: Stax Payments includes a pre-built shopping cart and options for creating your own.
  • Global payment processing: Stax Bill offers payment gateway integrations with multiple global payment processors, however, you’ll be charged extra for these services. 
  • Reporting and analytics: Stax Bill provides 40+ pre-built reports that automatically update in real-time. 
  • Pricing: Stax Payment pricing starts at $99/month for small businesses. 
  • Customer Reviews: Stax Bill has 4.2 stars on G2 with over 90 reviews. You can read those reviews here.

Zoho Subscriptions: Online Subscription Billing Software

Zoho Subscriptions: Subscription billing software, crafted for growing businesses

Zoho Subscriptions is one part of the Zoho platform. If you’re already using the Zoho platform, this could be a good option. However, users who are new to the platform often find it difficult to navigate. 

Here’s how Zoho Subscription compares in each category: 

  • Subscription management and recurring billing: Zoho Subscriptions offers more flexibility than many solutions when it comes to how you set up your free trials. For example, like FastSpring, you won’t have to collect payment details. In regards to subscription and recurring billing models, Zoho offers many of the same options as other tools.
  • Checkout: Zoho Checkout is another part of the Zoho ecosystem. Depending on the plan you choose, these two services may be priced separately.
  • Global payment processing: Payment processing is also offered through Zoho Checkout. 
  • Reporting and analytics: Zoho Subscriptions comes with a built-in reporting tool that shows you key metrics such as total subscribers or total churn. You can also view financial reports such as a break-even sheet. 
  • Pricing: Zoho Subscriptions is free for the first 20 subscriptions, then it starts at $49/month. However, you’ll need to keep in mind that any additional services you need, such as Zoho Checkout, are priced separately. 
  • Customer Reviews: Zoho Subscriptions has 4.4 stars on G2 with over 42 reviews. You can read those reviews here.

Instead of managing a large software stack, let FastSpring handle the entire payment lifecycle for you. If you think FastSpring could be the right Recurly alternative for your business, sign up for a free account or request a demo today.

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