A subscription invoice is a bill sent to active subscribers of a digital or product-related service during each billing cycle. Depending on the type of subscription, customers can be required to make weekly, monthly, or yearly payments.

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Understanding Subscription Invoices

Subscriptions are commonplace in modern society. Signing up for a subscription service paid for at regular intervals is now as simple as entering credit card or debit card information and then enjoying access to a service scheduled for regular, automatic renewal. Subscriptions are convenient and reduce time spent on accounting.

What Is the Subscription Invoice for?

Subscriptions can include digital services, in-person services, and product deliveries. Examples of digital services include online newspapers, music/video streaming services, video game networks, parking passes, cable (internet + TV), phone plans, and many other recreational and utility-type services. Apart from digital-based services, product subscriptions are also very common. These can come in the form of:

  • Scheduled food delivery
  • “Loot” boxes (assortment of random toys and merchandise relating to a topic of interest to the subscriber)
  • Print magazines

Subscriptions on the Rise

In previous decades, very few businesses used the subscription model. That has changed. According to a study conducted by McKinsey & Company, forty-six percent (46%) of survey respondents had at least one (1) subscription to a streaming service. The subscription economy existed before the novel coronavirus became a pandemic but boomed as people were quarantined inside their homes during the years of 2020 and 2021. The subscription economy is expected to more than double by 2025.

Creating a Subscription Invoice for Your Business

Before deciding whether to offer a subscription service for members who sign up for accounts, consider the nature of your business and what makes the most sense for your customers. Customers often decide against signing up for a year-long subscription because they are reluctant to commit to that period of time, so if your product is expensive you might consider another billing cycle or payment model.

Key Features of a Subscription Invoice

A subscription invoice will typically list the price of the subscription, the length of the subscription, and the date that the subscription will expire. It will also include contact information for both the company selling the subscription service and the customer. The subscription invoice may also include a description of the service, as well as the terms and conditions of the service and any taxes or discounts that applied to the service. It’s a good idea to state clearly on the invoice that if it goes unpaid for a certain number of days, the subscription will be canceled and the account placed on hold. Some businesses offer a seven-day grace period; others accept late payments for longer than that.

How to Pay a Subscription Invoice

Today, most subscription services are offered online. If this is the case, log into the customer portal of the app or website connected to the service and check on your billing and payments. From there, view and download the subscription invoice. If the service is not digital or does not have an online presence, the invoice is likely to be mailed and can be paid via check or money order, cash, credit card, debit card, automatic payment, or app-based services.