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The Best Recurring Payment Systems

by Jerusha Songate. Last updated on March 07, 2024

Finding the right recurring payment system to process recurring invoices for your subscription-based business isn’t easy.  

Aside from there being a multitude of options in the market, SaaS and subscription businesses often have a diverse and complex set of items that they need their chosen platform to check-off the list.

If you’re currently looking for the right recurring payment system, this guide will help you. 

When it comes to tracking your metrics — like trial insights and retention — you can also turn to Baremetrics for a solution. 

Interested in a demo? Click here to start your free Baremetrics trial. 


Payments providers vs. Merchant accounts

Not all payment systems work the same. Most small businesses, especially those conducting services primarily online, will opt for a third-party payment provider. Meanwhile, those who handle a lot of in-person transactions and growing startups are more likely to opt for a dedicated merchant account provider.

Here’s what makes them different:

  • Third-party payment providers accept payments on your behalf and later deposit the money into your bank account (generally 2 business days after the transaction).
  • Dedicated merchant account providers give you your merchant account so that you can process payments on your own with the money going directly into your account.

The latter is beneficial for companies with a high volume of transactions. However, there’s an underwriting process involved, so getting approved for a dedicated merchant account could take a few weeks.

On the other hand, you can get set up with a third-party payment provider in as little as a few hours.

With these details in mind, let’s review some of the most popular payment systems. Also, be sure to check out Baremetrics using our 14-day free trial and a live demo to see how our dedicated SaaS management system stacks up.


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  • Third-party payment processor
  • Easy-to-use recurring payment setup
  • Fixed pricing, starting at 2.9% and $0.30 per online payment
  • In-person PoS (Point of Sale) system available for $59 or $299
  • Accept wallet payments, credit card payments, and other payment methods

Stripe is, by far, one of the most popular payment providers in the market. With a fixed fee structure, you’ll know exactly how much you’ll be paying for each transaction while keeping fees relatively low. Plus, there are no minimums or monthly fees.



  • Dedicated merchant account provider
  • Simple recurring invoices with endless API customization available
  • Fixed pricing, starting at 2.9% and $0.30 for Square invoice payments
  • In-person PoS (Point of Sale) system available for free
  • Accept wallet payments, credit card payments, and other payment methods

Square is here to meet the needs of any business seeking a dedicated merchant account with a modern approach. It’s ideal for businesses that do a fair amount of business both online and in-person.

When it comes to managing recurring charges, Square allows you to build your solution with APIs and Software development kits (SDKs) for online and in-app payments.



  • Dedicated merchant account provider
  • Built for recurring invoices and subscriptions
  • Fees start at $99/month OR 2.9% per transaction
  • In-person PoS (Point of Sale) system available for a fee
  • Accept wallet payments, credit card payments, and other payment options

Fattmerchant is consistently recommended for businesses seeking a recurring payment system. Over 7,000 merchants trust it, and it is said that the average subscription-based business saves over $500 per month.



  • Dedicated merchant account provider
  • Built for recurring invoices and subscriptions
  • Fees starting at $149/month plus 0.90% of revenue
  • Accept wallet payments, credit card payments, and other payment methods

Recurly is another solution where the core focus is on subscription-based businesses.

With Recurly, you’ll need to choose one of the subscription plans, each of which has varying features and functionalities. Customized plans are available to fit the needs of larger businesses.

Grow Your Startup with Insightful Reporting

Figuring out how to automate your recurring billing and invoicing shouldn’t take forever. While this list only scratches the surface of payment gateways, choosing the right billing software ultimately comes down to your business’s unique needs.

To be successful, your subscription billing strategy can’t focus wholly on the checkout experience. Thriving businesses are also proactive in measuring and reducing churn rates alongside other metrics.

Ultimately, no billing system, subscription management service, or payment processing automation can do that for you. To take care of that part of the equation, you need a tool to better understand your customers.

With Baremetrics, you can take control of the billing cycle, gain insight into failed payments, and better address what your online business needs with the help of a powerful management platform.

Start your Baremetrics free trial today and see how it simplifies cash flow forecasting and puts the power back in your hands.

Jerusha Songate

Jerusha has a strong interest in SaaS and finding new business opportunities. She writes for Baremetrics as part of her passion for business journalism.