Recurly subscription service review

Call on Recurly to help boost your subscription-based business

(Image: © Recurly)

TechRadar Verdict

Simple to use, but highly automated, Recurly comes with everything you need to get on top of subscription management duties.


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    Lots of features

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    Reasonably priced

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    Combines lots of Zoho software


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    Potential high cost

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Recurly is a software package that’s aimed at businesses offering subscription-based products or SaaS services. It's been designed to smooth out the process of collecting payments by providing a recurring billing solution. Recurly has variations on its theme that are suitable for everyone, from small businesses through to large corporates with thousands of customers to process.

There are three different packages currently, with only one of these featuring an off-the-shelf price, which is largely due to the customizable appeal of Recurly. Formed back in 2009, the company aims to offer a simple yet powerful option for businesses and Recurly already counts many large corporates among its current client base.


Recurly has three different package options to choose from (Image credit: Recurly)


There are currently three different plans available for anyone after a subscription management package from Recurly. First up is Core, which is an easy to set up and manage option that costs $149 per month plus 0.9% of revenue. This one is suitable for anyone who needs to have up to 5 users of the system and lets you process payments using one gateway. 

Next is the Professional package, which is just that as it is aimed at customers who handle up to $10 million in annual subscription billing. It’s ideal for a business that needs more users, up to 20 in this case, and lets you process transactions with up to 2 payment gateways. 

An Elite package rounds out the selection, which is a much beefier alternative with the capacity to handle over $10 million in annual subscription billing transactions. It’s suitable for businesses that need to have over 20 users enrolled and can be integrated with over 20 supported payment gateways. 

The latter two packages don't have specific price tags as they are very much tailored to individual needs, so a call to the sales department is needed.


The Recurly interface is simple to use but very powerful (Image credit: Recurly)


As you’d expect from a business that deals with subscription management there’s plenty of scalability on offer from Recurly. Even the entry-level Core package comes with plenty to offer the smaller business. It’s ideal for companies with less need to have multiple users, up to 5 can be registered, while customer transactions can be easily processed via one payment gateway

Core lets you produce your own hosted payment pages, plus there’s a good level of automation on offer, from customer comms through to invoicing. Add on credit card support and a powerful reporting capability and the feature set at this level is impressive. The coupon and discounting tools add further appeal for businesses that need to adapt to changing requirements from their customers. 

Recurly’s Professional and Elite packages essentially take what’s on offer at the lower-end of the scale and multiply the appeal for larger companies that need to have larger numbers of users and a beefier way of dealing with high volumes of customers. Professional, for example, also offers access to the Recurly.js feature, which lets you accept credit card and other payment data within your own branded checkout process and allows integration with other software packages, including QuickBooks and Xero

There’s also a powerful level of manual input on offer that allows manual payments, invoicing and precise calendar management too. This is echoed with the Elite package, which carries all of the aforementioned features and adds on even more capability, including advanced analytics, multi-currency support and integration with CRM, accounting software and more besides.


The package is scalable and also integrates with the likes of Stripe (Image credit: Recurly)


With increasing numbers of customers choosing to use mobile websites the good news is that Recurly has done a lot of development work with its hosted payment pages. 

That means you can tailor your own customized offerings that are PCI-DSS Level 1 compliant, which allows for straightforward online transactions to take place. Backing up the robust performance characteristic is the way that Recurly is secure as it offers data encryption for customers.


Another benefit is that Recurly can work with the likes of Xero accounting software (Image credit: Recurly)

Ease of use

Managing subscriptions efficiently can be a challenge, but Recurly has been designed to offer a simple-but-effective way of staying on top of the process. The package proves to be very intuitive and can be configured with relative ease if you’re using the entry-level option. 

At the other end of the scale customers get a dedicated staff member to help guide them through configuration and the subsequent management of everyday tasks. Of course, a big part of the subscription-processing picture is handling the financial transactions. 

Luckily the software works with a wealth of card processors and payment gateways, depending on the package you’ve signed up for. At its most versatile, Recurly systems can work with everything from PayPal and Stripe through to WorldPay, Authorize.Net and Amazon Payments.


There are plenty of options on the support front with all of the Recurly packages (Image credit: Recurly)


Recurly regularly gets praised for its solid levels of customer support, which consists of all the usual channels. There’s a help hub, which can sort out many of those common everyday queries, while the 24/7 online chat-based support route is another way of getting help at any time.


Recurly also comes with numerous reporting and analytics tools (Image credit: Recurly)

The knowledge base is actually a mine of useful information, which also has official documentation. At the same location you can create a support ticket too, which allows you to engage with support staff for more specific enquiries.

Final verdict

Recurly is an impressive subscription management package that comes with all of the tools any business will need to get more organized, especially when handling high volumes of customers. All three of the different package options have appeal, and there’s something here for any size of venture. 

The bonus is that if you opt for the more premium packages they can be scaled up as and when your business requires it. Add in the high level of customization that’s on offer, along with the ability to create your own bespoke subscription pages and Recurly gets even more interesting. 

We also like the way that the software can be easily integrated with other packages, including the likes of QuickBooks and Xero. On top of that, there’s lots of flexibility in being able to use Recurly with numerous merchant providers, which delivers plenty of freedom when it comes to choosing the right payment gateway.

Other business software options worth looking at include Sage Business Cloud Accounting, QuickBooks, Xero, FreshBooks, Freeagent, GoSimpleTax, TaxCalc, Nomisma, ABC Self-Assessment or Crunch.

Rob Clymo

Rob Clymo has been a tech journalist for more years than he can actually remember, having started out in the wacky world of print magazines before discovering the power of the internet. Since he's been all-digital he has run the Innovation channel during a few years at Microsoft as well as turning out regular news, reviews, features and other content for the likes of TechRadar, TechRadar Pro, Tom's Guide, Fit&Well, Gizmodo, Shortlist, Automotive Interiors World, Automotive Testing Technology International, Future of Transportation and Electric & Hybrid Vehicle Technology International. In the rare moments he's not working he's usually out and about on one of numerous e-bikes in his collection.