Subscription Management Software

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Subscription Management Software

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Subscription Management Software

Customer-focused subscription is an incredible business model that can help businesses in retaining customers and creating brand loyalty. It requires customers to pay recurring costs to access a service or a product. Subscription service process creates recurring revenue for businesses of all types. Earlier people used subscription payment options only for newspapers, books, and magazines. Currently, many businesses into entertainment, healthcare, salons, IT, and many other sectors are taking advantage of this subscription-based system. Some of the best examples using subscription business models are Netflix, Amazon Prime, Udemy, and all SaaS companies, wherein the customers pay a subscription fee on a weekly/monthly/yearly basis to continue their access to the particular platform, service or product.

Having a subscription-based business proves to be profitable and resilient. But, the method is volatile as there are certain challenges subscription-based businesses face like -

Challenges Faced By Subscription Based Businesses

Thus, in order to create, build, and scale your subscription business, it is essential to use the best subscription management software. So, let's look at what exactly is subscription management software, why it is required, and the features to look for while selecting one.  

What Is Subscription Management Software?

Subscription management software, also known as recurring billing software or subscription manager, is used to automate all the tasks required to manage subscription plans offered by the businesses to the customers. It is also used to streamline the subscribers' accounts and monitor recurring revenue generated by the business. Precisely, a subscription management software automates the entire processes connected with the subscription services and handles the subscribers' important data.

What Does a Subscription Management Software Do?

What Does A Subscription Management Software Do?

Why Do Businesses Need Subscription Management Software?

The subscription-based businesses need tools to support their sales and billing of products/services offered on a recurring basis. There are a plethora of subscription plans and customers that a business needs to manage flawlessly. A single mistake while managing a subscription, collecting payment, or renewing a subscription can prove expensive for the business in the long run. A subscription management system can help eliminate all the flaws and quicken all the processes of a subscription-based business. 

So, let's go through some prominent benefits of subscription management software.

Benefits of Subscription Management Software

Due to these benefits, the businesses have started adopting the subscription software at an exponential rate. As per a recent report, the subscription and billing management market value is expected to reach US$ 10.5 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 15.5% between 2019 and 2025.

The question remains on how to pick the best subscription management software so that you can make the most out of it? Below, we have short- listed some common features of a subscription management software that you need to consider while selecting the best subscription management software that suits your business workflow.

Features to Look for in a Subscription Management Software

There are certain key parameters that contribute towards a successful subscription process like pricing, invoicing, collecting, nurturing, measuring, and scaling. To get these keys rolling smoothly one should invest in a subscription management software including below-mentioned features that will allow one to meet these requirements.

Creating & Managing Subscriptions

There are multiple editions available for the same product or service that customers opt for. The subscription management software you choose should allow you to create weekly/monthly/yearly depending on your business logic. It should also enable you to add and delete the features and functionality provided in each subscription plan seamlessly. This feature helps in tweaking the plans individually and that is useful for business owners and customers both.

Customer Data Management

When it comes to a subscription-based business, you need to deal with a lot of customer data. The customers have unique requirements and opt for different subscription packages. The subscription management software should allow you to manage the customer data and filter that data based on the customers' preferences, pricing package they have opted for, the functionality they require, etc. This would help you in providing the best services to your customers and win their loyalty.  

Customer Portal

Transparency is the key requirement when it comes to running a subscription-based business. Your customers should be able to have access to all the important information relating to their subscription plans. Giving access to the customer portal would be extremely useful for the customers to directly login and check out their current subscription, past payments, current charges, billing information, usage, and other important details. The customer portal should also allow the customers to change their subscription plan as that would save their time and improve the level of your services.

Tax/Discount Support

To attract new customers, you need to provide discounts, free trials, etc. The subscription management software you choose should allow you to configure the discounts in your pricing system. Similarly, taxes can vary depending on the location of your business. The subscription management tool should allow you to set up the tax option in invoicing so that you stay compliant with your local taxation policies.

Billing Model

There are prepaid and postpaid billing models that subscription-based businesses follow. You need to ensure that the subscription management system you have chosen allows you to configure the billing model your business follows. It should help you in configuring the customized billing system depending on the period of subscriptions you provide to your customers.

Notifications

Notifications enable instant communication with customers. The subscription management software you choose should enable you to send notifications to your customers informing them about every minute detail about the subscriptions they have availed. Starting from signing up for the subscription until the end of their subscription, they should be able to receive notifications about the payments, usage, invoices, updates, etc.

Billing & Invoicing

The billing & invoicing module of your subscription management software should be able to automatically generate the invoices based on the subscription plan and send them to the customers on the scheduled date & time. This would help you eliminate all the flaws in collecting payments from your customers. Moreover, it will also save your time spent on generating the invoices individually for each customer.

Payment Gateway Integration

The subscription management software you select should allow you to collect payment from your customers using different payment modes like credit/debit cards, net banking, PayPal, and other digital wallets. This would help the customers to pay you through their choice of payment mode, and you ultimately win customer loyalty. 

Fraud Prevention

When your customers pay online for your products/services they have subscribed for, they expect high-end security as they are giving away crucial information like credit/debit card details, net banking credentials, etc. Thus, you need to ensure that this information submitted by your customers is safe and secure to prevent fraud and financial loss.

Reporting & Analytics

The subscription management software should be able to generate customized reports based on your business logic so that you have complete information about the members added; payments received/pending, revenue generated, etc. This real-time information would allow you to measure your business progress and design the right business strategies helping to make informed decisions at the right time.

Helping you further to make the right selection, we have come up with some of the best free and open source subscription management software that you can consider adopting without a huge investment.

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Subscription Management Software

#1 Chargebee

Chargebee is a free and open source subscription management software that can streamline all the processes relating to a subscription-based business, including recurring billing, invoicing, and customer lifecycle management. It can also integrate with some of the popular payment gateways like PayPal, Braintree, Stripe, etc. Being an open source subscription management software provides you with the flexibility of adding any feature you prefer and taking over the control over the entire system.  

Chargebee
(chargebee.com)

Key Features

  • Allows scheduling bills & invoices
  • Includes tax management
  • Compatible with different payment methods
  • Can customize pricing models
  • Includes trial management
  • Automates customer lifecycle processes
  • Allows product catalog preparation
  • Includes customized reporting functionality
If you have already used Chargebee, please feel free to share your reviews here.

#2 Odoo Subscriptions

Odoo is a free and open source subscription management software that can help you create flawless contracts & invoices, manage taxation, and deal with recurring payments without any stress. It also includes a user-friendly customer portal that would allow your customers to manage their accounts, make payments, and view their subscription details easily. It helps your sales team reach out to the customers in a much more effective manner and meet their predetermined sales goals.

Odoo Subscriptions
(odoo.com)

Key Features

  • Includes contract templates that make easy and quick to create contracts
  • Automated tax and payments handling
  • Allows scheduling the date and time to send invoices to the customers
  • Includes a customer portal that allows customers to close contracts, make payments, access their subscriptions, invoices, etc.
  • Generates reports that help analyze the past and current financial condition of the organization and forecast the future customer retention rate
  • It allows you to analyze the salesperson's performance to delegate the tasks accordingly to achieve maximum productivity and effectiveness in the business workflow
If you have already used Odoo Subscriptions, please feel free to share your reviews here.

#3 Kill Bill

Kill Bill is a free and open source billing and payment platform that supports subscription-based businesses' unique requirements. From startups to public companies, business organizations of all sizes and types trust Kill Bill for invoicing their customers. It can also integrate Java and Ruby plugins allowing the users to accomplish their requirements relating to subscription management from a single interface. Kill Bill is a highly versatile subscription management software that supports multiple stores, locations, and business environments.

Kill Bill
(killbill.io)

Key Features

  • Allows creating, upgrading, downgrading, pausing, canceling, resuming, renewing, and suspending the subscriptions
  • Includes flexibility in pricing plan management
  • Supports multiple billing scenarios
  • Allows transition of the customer from one subscription plan to another
  • Supports adding and modifying subscription-based products and services catalog
  • Can generate real-time reports showing different metrics of your subscription-based business like CAC, LTV, MRR, and Churn
  • Supports multiple currencies and worldwide locations
If you have already used Kill Bill, please feel free to share your reviews here.

#4 OpenBRM

OpenBRM is a free and open source billing solution that can integrate with your eCommerce store and help you manage your subscription-based product catalog, billing and invoicing, discounts, bundling, taxation, etc. It is one of the most flexible subscription management software that can help you manage your entire subscription-based business. Starting from when the customer subscribes to your product/service until their subscription expires, OpenBRM can automate all the processes seamlessly, helping you achieve efficiency and improve your business profitability.

OpenBRM
(openbrm.com)

Key Features

  • Allows creating subscription-based products/services catalog and start selling online immediately
  • Enables you to prepare product bundles and provide attractive offers to your customers
  • Includes inventory management features
  • Supports multiple payment gateways
  • Manages all the processes relating to including upgrading, and modifying pricing packages and features of subscription plans
  • Includes built-in CRM for managing subscribers' preferences
  • Can integrate with APIs for advanced functionality
If you have already used OpenBRM, please feel free to share your reviews here.

#5 CitrusDB

CitrusDB is a free and open source customer service and billing software used by several companies into internet services, consulting, and telecommunications using subscription as their business model. Being an open source subscription management software allows you to customize the system according to your service types and attributes. It is licensed under GPL version 2 and requires PHP 5.2 and recommends MySQL 5 or later.

Citrusdb
(citrusdb.org)

Key Features

  • Includes CRM that helps in managing your customers including their important details, payment information, and purchase records
  • Allows assigning unlimited services or products to a customer record
  • Enables you to add custom fields for products and services information
  • Allows you to add and modify services easily
  • Allows managing custom billing cycles for each product
  • Automates sending notifications and reminders to the customers
  • Supports multiple languages

If you have already used CitrusDB, please feel free to share your reviews here.

#6 BillRun

BillRun is a free and open source subscription management software specially designed for digital service providers wanting to run their business operations in an efficient and effective manner at an affordable price. It can integrate OCS real-time engine and works on a solid foundation of open source billing, automated customer portal, and integrated CRM. It is a modular coupled platform enabling companies to manage their subscribers, pricing packages, invoicing, and payments.

Bill Run
(bill.run)

Key Features

  • Allows creating customized invoices
  • Can process online payments
  • Includes CRM to manage customers flawlessly
  • Supports multiple currencies
  • Includes customer portal
  • Allows managing discounts/trials/special offers
  • Facilitates usage-based billing
If you have already used BillRun, please feel free to share your reviews here.

#7 Zuora Billing

Zuora is an open source subscription management software that can support recurring revenue businesses. You can market your subscription-based products, bill your customers, and collect payments from a single interface. It includes a solid billing system that can be incorporated for different businesses, whether small, medium, or enterprise level. The best thing about Zuora is that it regularly gets updated and is considered one of the best subscription management software these days.

Zuora
(zuora.com)

Key Features

  • Allows creating subscriptions according to your business needs
  • Enables you to accept and store PIC-compliant payments
  • Allows automating billing and collections compatible with customer needs and your business both
  • Includes CRM that can store subscriber information and intuitive quoting capabilities
  • Integrates with your eCommerce store and also automatically updates it with the latest prices and packages
  • Manges revenue recognition and can integrate with accounting systems
If you have already used Zuora Billing, please feel free to share your reviews here.

Still, in a dilemma about which subscription software would be the right option for your business? The below comparison chart can help you view the features of these free and open source subscription software at a glance and make the smart decision.

The Best 7 Free and Open Source Subscription Management Software Comparison Chart

Free Open Source Subscription Management Software Comparison Chart

After going through the details of the best 7 free and open source subscription management software, if you are still looking for advanced features & functionality that are not available in these options, we would recommend you go through the details of one of the most popular subscription management software - Zoho as given below -

Zoho Subscriptions

Zoho Subscriptions can simplify the entire process of customer subscription management. Using this versatile subscription management software, you can send a consolidated invoice to the customer who has opted for multiple subscription plans and even adjust their credits. Precisely, it makes complex processes easy for you, saves time, and eliminates all the flaws occurring while managing your subscription-based business.

Zoho Subscriptions
(zoho.com)

Key Features

  • Allows you to add and manage different pricing plans of your subscription-based products & services
  • Enables you to configure free trials and that helps you to reach out to a wider range of audiences
  • Allows you to add, modify and manage discount coupons helping you to increase your sales revenue
  • Includes self-service customer portal, helping you to provide better customer experiences
  • Enables you to market your subscription-based products by scheduling emails and social media optimization
  • Has the ability to manage all the tasks relating to the entire customer lifecycle
  • Can integrate with different APIs to make it convenient for you to get all the tasks relating to subscription business done from a single interface
  • Being cloud-based software, the users can have access to it from anywhere and at anytime
  • Includes robust reporting & analytics features providing in-depth key insights helping to plan successful marketing strategies
If you have already used Zoho Subscriptions, please feel free to share your reviews here.

Conclusion

The details about subscription management software and different options in this facet indicate how it can help the companies manage their subscribers and collect recurring payments flawlessly. It can prove to be an excellent platform for managing all the processes relating to sales, marketing, and operations of your subscription-based business. Precisely, a subscription management software can help you track, monitor, and control every facet of your subscription services and ensure its high growth and profitability.

We hope that the list of free and open source subscription management software has helped you pick the right one for your business. In case you are looking for freemium or paid options; you can go through some subscription management solutions like FuseBill, Recurly, FastSpring, Chargify, and many more given in this complete list of subscription management software.

If you are looking for software used for other business sectors, just browse all software categories and get access to an unlimited number of latest tools, including detailed information and authentic customer reviews.

Also, we request you to leave your valuable feedback if you have used any of the software mentioned in this article, as it would help other users too in making the right selection.

Jemimah Rodriguez
Jemimah Rodriguez

Jemimah Rodriguez is a content marketing specialist having 8+ years of experience in content writing, SEO, and social media optimization. At present, she is working with GoodFirms – a reliable platform helping businesses in selecting right Software Companies & Products. For further information, you can get in touch with her on [email protected]

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