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Chargify News: New Pricing, Features & More

UPDATE

Over the last few hours we’ve received a ton of feedback from our merchants based on the Chargify pricing announcement.

We want you to know that it has not gone unheard.

As an existing Chargify merchant, we appreciate your support over the past year and we want to continue to see you grow with us.

To meet your needs when you’re starting out, we’re offering our existing merchants the Bootstrapper Plan for $39/month. It allows you to manage up to 100 customers.

To signup for the plan, login to your account, go to My Account >> Manage Your Plans, and choose Bootstrapper.

We know that this is still an increase, but we hope you see the added value in our :
* 24/7 U.S. based phone and technical support
* Level 1 PCI compliance in a few weeks
* fully coming out of beta in order to serve you better
* and listening to your Uservoice feedback to develop Spreadable

Please feel free to reach out to us at 800-401-2414 with any questions or concerns. Thanks

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ORIGINAL POST

Over the past year, Chargify has grown as merchants sign up and grow their businesses. We definitely appreciate everyone’s business and support.

But the needs of our merchants and the economics of our business and market have shifted from what we projected when we set pricing in 2009.

A key concern among merchants is knowing that they’re depending on a long-term vendor for their billing provider. As part of Grasshopper Group, we have a lot of advantages, but we’ve also done a lot of work to specifically meet concerns of Chargify merchants, such as moving our processing to one of the top facilities for financial companies in the USA, as well as bringing US-based teams online for 24/7 L1 support and network operations. And two weeks ago, we added our first L2 tech support person who’s a serious developer himself.

One specific thing we’ve noticed about pricing is that relatively few merchants make use of the distinction between free Users and paid Customers. But our support costs are affected because businesses that have a lot of users generate more business activity, even if it’s free activity. More users just means more activity. In addition, the distinction between free Users and paid Customers generated a fair amount of confusion. So, we decided to just count everyone you manage through Chargify as a “Customer”.

Now, having said all this, I’ve communicated with merchants who asked about the new pricing and I let them know that while we do need to migrate everyone to the new pricing, we also understand that some merchants who came on-board recently may have a more difficult time due to the new pricing and the timing of it relative to their business.

We’ll work with everyone to make sure we remain affordable for your business, but we are moving away from free Production accounts. As one merchant said, as long as we remain a “reasonable business infrastructure cost”, then he’s happy.

Here are the new pricing plans. The new pricing plans include four plans and are based on the total number of customers (paying and non-paying combined) you have in your account. The new plans look like this:

image

Why we’re changing our pricing

  • Supporting a large number of free merchants doesn’t pencil outIn a large, consumer-oriented market, the model can work, but as other famous Freemium bloggers have written, it doesn’t work well for B2B services, and we’ve found that out in the past year with 3,000 merchants on board. The number of SMBs who need our services represent a relatively small market; it takes a long time for most of these businesses to grow; and those that do make it to 100+ paying customers realize that they really want a solid organization in Chargify – 24/7 people working in Support, Network Ops, Data Center, etc. These forces mean we have to raise prices to run an effective and long-term sustainable business.
  • 24/7 US-Based StaffAs mentioned above, Chargify is much more than software. It’s a lot of dedicated people here to help our merchants anytime, and to keep our service moving forward with new capabilities.
  • Level 1 PCI ComplianceWe are working toward Level 1 PCI Compliance – the highest level of compliance a business or financial institution can achieve. It’s a process that started early this year and will continue toward the end of 2010. Level 1 gets deeply into our business processes. For instance, it requires us to have records of management sign-off for software changes, etc. It’s burdensome in some respects, but makes Chargify a tighter organization and is required by some of our merchants and partners.

Again, please note that we will work with our merchants to make these changes work for your business. We are shifting away from free Production accounts (those processing real money), but we will be flexible in working with our merchants. And test accounts are still free.

If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to call our support team at 800-401-2412.