Published on 01.11.2016

Want to tell your invoices “go send yourselves”? Now you can.

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You know how it feels: billing clients monthly, using the same invoice template again and again. Often, even the same sum. Wish these invoices could just go send themselves? Now they can.

If you are selling gym memberships, app subscriptions or any other service billed regularly, you know the story. Swipe can make your recurring payments painless with automated subscriptions.

Subscriptions still have all the functions of Swipe invoices, but they don’t stop there. After receiving payment, subscriptions remain active, automatically charging your client again at your specified date and time.

Set up subscriptions in 3 easy steps:

Open your Swipe account and go to Subscriptions. Press the green button and follow the steps below.

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Step 1: Create your subscription

You only do this once. This step sets parameters for recurring invoices that your clients will receive.

Name your subscription. We suggest you use identifying information in the name, e.g. “Monthly all day gym pass €70/month”, not “Gym pass 1” and “Gym pass 2”. We have noticed that clients who do this spend less time managing subscriptions and make fewer mistakes when adding clients.

Set billing frequency. Decide if you will charge for this service daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. We advise to include frequency in your subscription’s name for easier management.

Tick “Pre-pay” or “Post-Pay”. Depending on your service, you either charge clients in advance or after receiving the service. Pre-pay is good for clients who have already committed, e.g. gym memberships, grocery delivery or tenancy agreements. Post-pay is handy for automatically converting leads that do not opt out after free trial.

Set a start date. By default, your billing cycle will start from the day you create the subscription. If needed, you can change it here.

Step 2: Set up your invoice

You only do this once, too. Once the system knows what information to request, it will onboard new clients itself.

Specify client information. Tick the items you need from your clients for accounting purposes. Once this is done, you will only need to provide client’s email and they will receive a request to fill out the information.

Set payment period. We recommend setting the period shorter than your expected payment date whenever possible. This allows keeping your cash flow healthy even if some clients pay late.

Add products. Only add products that you will be charging for on regular basis. If you are sometimes selling additional products, e.g. a protein shake in addition to gym membership, add them under “personal invoice” in step 3.

Add notes. Add additional information about payment or service. For example, add a reminder to set up automatic payments, a link to their favourite personal trainer’s timetable or special discount code for referring your service to friends. Keep this section short to ensure people read it.

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Step 3: Add subscribers

Add existing clients. Simply start typing your client’s name or email and suggestions will appear in the drop-down box.

Add new clients. Type your new client’s email and it will be added to your clients’ database. Next time you want to create an invoice for them, they will appear in suggestions.

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Manage your subscribers. Now you will see a list of clients added to the subscription. If first two icons are highlighted in blue like in the example below, it means that your client has email and phone notifications enabled for your subscription. The third icon will turn blue if the client’s subscription was paused. The last icon will turn blue if the client has enabled automatic payments.

View invoice and payment history. The rectangle next to client’s’ entry only shows the status of his last invoice. To see all invoices issued to this client and their payment status, press on the number of invoices (1 invoices in the example below).

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Send a personal invoice. If one of your subscription clients has bought a one-off additional product or service, you can bill them for it without interrupting the subscription. Click on the settings icon and choose “Personal invoice” it will let you add a product to their next invoice and continue the subscription uninterrupted.

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You are all set to go! How fast was that? We actually ran a small competition in our office: the record is currently held by Jevgenijs who has set up a subscription in 6.58 seconds. Can you beat this? Try here.

P.S. We have also thought about your clients: they have the option to pay your subscriptions automatically. And if at some point there is not enough cash in their account, the subscription will not lapse: Swipe will treat it as any other unpaid invoice, with concise & timely friendly reminders, and a 70% instant payment rate.

Curious to try? Set up automatic payments for your Swipe gateway subscription here.

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