June 10, 2010

Recurly – Automated Subscription Billing

Managing recurring payments can be a pain, especially when you’re working with multiple clients with different billing cycles and subscription rates. Recurly is an application that can make it easier to handle monthly payments in a professional manner, by taking over control of your entire subscription process and automating your billing procedures once and for all. Once you input your company’s pricing and billing plans into the Recurly system, the application gives you a link to add to your site that clients can click on to manage their subscription and payment plan from that day forward.

Once you sign up with Recurly, you can start accepting payments in as little as 30 minutes. Enter some information about your company and create a Recurly subdomain address, then include the provided link on the pricing page of your website. New visitors who wish to subscribe to your site will be taken to a signup page hosted by Recurly, where they can read about the rates and input their credit card information into a secure system. From that point on, subscribers will be automatically billed on the same day each month, without any programming or invoicing on your behalf. Even better, Recurly will let you know whenever new subscribers and joined or ended their accounts.

Recurly requires businesses to setup payments through a separate payment gateway—such as or PayPal—and sends push notifications whenever any subscriber information has changed. Among the notable features the application offers is full CSS customization to give your Recurly payment pages a company-branded look. For online businesses looking for an easy way to manage subscribers and handle monthly billing, Recurly is a flexible application that offers all the features a business could need.

Practical Uses:

  • Bill your subscribers on a monthly basis
  • Allow clients to choose from different subscription plans
  • Receive notice when new subscribers have joined or quit your service
  • Send automated invoices when payments are due

Insider Tips:

  • Use custom CSS to give your payment pages a unique look
  • Recurly API lets businesses integrate invoicing into their own applications
  • Use push notifications to sync Recurly information with your website
  • Recurly supports a number of different payment gateways, such as, Braintree, and PayPal

What we liked:

  • Start accepting subscription payments in just 30 minutes
  • Automated invoicing lets you spend more time on building your company, and less time on billing
  • Accept payments through whichever payment gateway you already have set up
  • Recurly lets you customize the invoices and emails to reflect your company brand

What we didn’t like:

  • Recurly doesn’t work as well for companies that need both one-time and subscription billing


Company Info:

  • Launched: November 2009
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: Isaac Hall and Tim Van Loan
  • Web site:


  • Free trial
  • Weekend Project plan is $49/month
  • Bootstrap plan is $99/month
  • Early Stage plan is $199/month


  1. David E

    Recurly is junk. No customer service. Great until you need to pull a report or just talk to someone at the company.

    Not recommended.

  2. I think one software has been unnoticed in the ‘Alternative’ section and that is Cerillion Skyline. It is emerging as the leader in subscription management software and is a tough contender to already established players like Recurly. It is evolved from 20 years of experience, I think one should consider it before finalising any billing software.

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