For most businesses, when you have a great product, the next highest priority is to monetise it as effectively as possible. That’s why billing is so close to the hearts of CEOs and Product Managers.

I’m sure, like many businesses, you work hard to differentiate yourselves and make your product unique. Having done some research you may have come to the conclusion that there is no billing platform that can sell your product the way you want to.

So – you are facing the dilemma – should you build a billing solution from scratch, which exactly meets your needs? Or is it more cost-effective to compromise and purchase an existing solution?

Whichever option you decide to choose, it’s essential your business features a flexible, agile, and efficient system when billing customers. Automated billing enhances the customer experience, improves efficiency, and allows you to scale.

So when it comes to your billing platform, which route is best to take? Build or buy? Let’s take a closer look at both options.


Building your platform: the pros and cons

The biggest advantage of building your own SaaS billing platform is undoubtedly that it will map exactly to your business model. For instance, you may look at the solutions currently available on the market, feel they’re all missing a certain feature, and choose to design your own based around that feature, integrating it into your own bespoke platform.

However, even if that extra feature is incorporated, it’s unlikely that your own in-house software is going to be able to do the things an off the shelf billing platform can do – like integrate into other platforms or produce the business reports and analytics you need.

Something else to consider it what happens if you business model or product evolves. Will you want to continue to run up costs continuing to develop your in-house billing platform to meet those needs?

Along with the complex nature of putting together the software in the first place, you also have to dedicate time and resources to testing, fixing any discovered bugs, ongoing security upgrades, backups, and more. This can cause quite a headache for some of your key employees in IT or product development – and it ties up resources on billing, when they could actually be working on areas much more profitable – like building your own product!


Buying your platform: the pros and cons

If you don’t fancy investing your own time, resources and finances to get your own billing platform off the ground, purchasing one ‘of the shelf’ is the ideal solution.

For a start, it makes life easier for any employees involved with your company’s billing and subscription management. Your IT team doesn’t have to worry about never-ending maintenance, product developers don’t have to reinvent the wheel, and marketers can continue to work as normal with your existing system, etc.

Regarding the latter point, Billforward’s billing platform is particularly developer-friendly. Billforward’s elegant REST-based API provides full access to the Billforward platform, which means you can seamlessly integrate it into your existing stack, eliminating any unnecessary headaches. Another advantage in its favour is the lack of risk involved. You don’t have to worry about aspects such as scaling up, security upgrades, and being PCI-compliant – all of these points are covered by your billing vendor of choice. In fact, if you pick the right one, it’s like having the luxury of your own billing software team – without having to actually hire one.

In summary, there’s no real long-term benefit to building your own billing platform. Speaking from experience, it could end up being a constant burden for your IT team, and always be trying to catch up with your core product.


The best of both worlds…

With Billforward, you get the best of both worlds. You have high-touch support and a highly flexible and configurable platform (just like you would get with your own platform and billing team). You have a platform that’s ready to go, right out of the box and will continue to evolve over time to meet your needs.

Its API technology means it can slot into your existing technology stack without any interruptions and its customisability also means it is easy to adjust the billing settings as you please.


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