Setting up a credit based billing system

Michael Heinz's Avatar

Michael Heinz

14 Jan, 2016 09:19 PM

I have a question as to the best way to setup a credit (usage) based system for our product.
We have a software suite (SaaS) that is based on a credit system - for example, each action within our suite costs X credits.

When a user is out of credits, they can purchase predefined packs of credits (for example; 100 Credits / 200 Credits).

When the customer creates their account, we give them 20 free credits to start with - so we do not collect credit card on sign up. The customer puts in their credit card when they want to recharge their account for the first time. When a customer puts in their credit card, we want them to have the option to auto-recharge their account if it falls under a certain threshold limit.

I'm trying to figure out the best way to setup this type of billing model so that we can take advantage of the CheddarGetter reporting to show us the number of credits packs purchased, the type of credit packs purchased, number of recharges .. things of that nature.

I'm not sure if it's best to create one Free Package for our suite to create the users account and have the credit packs as add-ons or if its best to create different packages for each credit back.
 If anyone could point me in the right direction, that would be really helpful.

  1. 1 Posted by Drew Songer on 15 Jan, 2016 03:22 PM

    Drew Songer's Avatar

    Hi Michael,

    If you business is totally based on a prepaid credit system you will want to create a plan with no base recurring value. You would then want to use one-time invoices to charge for the credits that will be allotted with a tracked item. Much of this is explained in the Prepaid Credits example found here.

    Our system doesn't have a native way to automatically bill when the amount get low, but you could still use our tools to make this happen. It would likely work as follows:

    When you decrement the quantity of the credits that have been used you would use the returned quantity to determine how many credits are left. You would write a script that performs some simple logic. If quantity greater than x -> do nothing. If quantity less than x -> issue one time invoice for a new credit package and increase quantity to new amount when payment is made.

    Does all this make sense?

    -Drew

  2. 2 Posted by Michael Heinz on 15 Jan, 2016 10:54 PM

    Michael Heinz's Avatar

    Hi Drew,

     

    So let’s say we wanted to let users buy credit in predefined amounts. For example;

    20 Credits for $60

    50 Credits for $150

    100 Credit for $300

     

    In order to get that to track in the Plans by Revenue on the Dashboard, would we setup each credit pack as its own package?

    Could the customer be billed for different Plans when they recharge their credits? IE; this month they purchased the 20 Credits pack and next month they purchase the 50 Credits pack.

     

    For reporting on the dashboard, I’m trying to figure out if it we would get more data breaking up the credits into their own packages or having them as “Tracked Items” within one package.

  3. 3 Posted by Drew Songer on 18 Jan, 2016 02:48 PM

    Drew Songer's Avatar

    The following configuration may be a good solution.

    Pre-Paid Plan

    • Bulk Credits( just used to track usage) | Quantity included: 0 | Overage: 0 | Reset: No
    • 20 Credit Package( just used to drive billed amount) | Quantity Included: 0 | Overage: $60 | Reset: Yes
    • 50 Credit Package( just used to drive billed amount) | Quantity Included: 0 | Overage: $150 | Reset: Yes
    • 100 Credit Package( just used to drive billed amount) | Quantity Included: 0 | Overage: $300 | Reset: Yes

    When a customer needs more credits just increase the appropriate tracked item and increment the Bulk Credits item to reflect the purchase. As they use credits, decrement from the Bulk Credits. They will be billed on the upcoming billing date for what they have added. This solution assumes your plan has a recurring frequency. If a customer hasn't purchased more credits during a billing period, then their invoice should reflect a zero dollar amount and they will not be billed.

    Does this plan make sense to you?

    Best,
    Drew

  4. Drew Songer closed this discussion on 22 Feb, 2016 03:12 PM.

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