5 PayWhirl Alternatives For Accepting Recurring Payments

Founded in 2013, PayWhirl has been around for a good while and is a solid choice for accepting recurring payments. Notwithstanding their pie-in-the-sky tagline of being “the most flexible subscription payment software on earth,” the tool does offer a number of useful features:

  • Embeddable payment pages
  • Both credit card and bank payments
  • Support for different payment processors
  • An API
  • A payer portal

Maybe because it’s been around for almost 10 years, it does have a bit of a learning curve and it has more features then you’re really going to use.

Cons: The look and feel of Paywhirl is a bit limited for my taste. Changing basic things like font, picture size, and color schemes is much more laborious than it out to be: The look and feel of Paywhirl is a bit limited for my taste. Changing basic things like font, picture size, and color schemes is much more laborious than it out to be. – Capterra Review

Some customers have also complained that their checkout pages are slow to load, a big problem if you want to capture the maximum number of conversions possible.

Cons: SLOW! PayWhirl does not load quickly. Many of my customers have dropped out of checkout as either it doesn’t load or they get frustrated and quit. PayWhirl tracks all this as “abandoned carts”. – Capterra Review

But perhaps the biggest problem with PayWhirl is that it charges a transaction fee of 0.5% – 2.0%. We hate, hate transaction fees. They penalize you for growing your business and can significantly eat into your revenues.

With these limitations in mind, here are 5 PayWhirl alternatives:

MoonClerk

MoonClerk, our first alternative, like PayWhirl, has been around for a long time. It offers a full feature set including, most recently, the ability to sell and deliver digital products, and is primarily geared towards recurring transactions.

Unfortunately, the other characteristic it shares with PayWhirl is that the interface is a bit dated (think early 2000s web design) and while the team has made updates over the years, the overlook look and feel of the product hasn’t kept up with current times.

Cons: The interface is a little outdated looking, and the features may be too simple for some. – Capterra Review

It’s also a very US-centric product, with support for transactions in US Dollars only and it’s payment forms are only available in English.

Having said that, because the product is so mature, it has a lot of functionality. There’s support for both one-time and recurring payments, coupons and trials, a customer portal, and the ability to collect both credit card and bank payments (US only).

Of course, those privileges come with a cost. While MoonClerk does not charge a transaction fee, they charge you more per month based on your payment volume (more on that below).

Top 3 Pros

  • Credit card and ACH payments
  • Services and digital products
  • Stable platform

Top 3 Cons

  • High cost
  • US-centric
  • Outdated interface

What does it cost?

MoonClerk is expensive. The basic $15 per month package gets you most functionality, but as soon as you process more than $2000 in payments, the price rises significantly, going up to $500 per month.

MoonClerk also charges $15/month extra for the “pro” Mailchimp integration and $15/month to sell and deliver digital products.

ChargeKeep

ChargeKeep, our own tool, is probably the closest you’ll get to having the same functionality as PayWhirl (and a few extras…) at a fraction of the cost. We don’t believe in charging you for growing your business so we have no volume or transaction fees and our Basic plan starts at just $15 per month.

I have used MoonClerk and a few other tools… I love how simple and clean ChargeKeeep is, with the styling ability with CSS. Everything out there is so big and feature-packed when I think there are a lot of people who want that simple recurring model with a way to update cards. – MARROW MARKETING

Inside, you’ll find ChargeKeep super easy to use. In 5 min flat, you can create a payment form, style it to match your brand, and embed it in your website (or send a link to your customer). It’s honestly the simplest way to integrate Stripe into your business.

And once you start receiving payments, you can manage your customers inside ChargeKeep or send them to a customer portal where they can update their credit card or plan. And if a payment fails, ChargeKeep has built-in subscription saver (dunning) functionality that works around the clock to prevent and manage failed payments.

Want to skip ahead and give ChargeKeep a try?

Our Basic plan is just $15/month, with no transaction fees.

Yes, Let’s Do It

Top 3 Pros

  • Great interface and simple to use and set up
  • No extra fees aside from the monthly subscription
  • Nearly all MoonClerk features including a customer portal

Top 3 Cons

  • No Mailchimp integration
  • No hosting of digital products
  • No bank payments

What does it cost?

ChargeKeep is a monthly subscription (with no extra transaction or volume fees) and starts at $15/month.

Pabbly

Pabbly is an interesting alternative to PayWhirl. Instead of doing one thing well – recurring payments – Pabbly has a number of different businesses rolled into one: email marketing, a form building, subscription billing, and email verification.

All these tools can be purchased separately or through a subscription to “Pabbly Plus,” which starts at $29/month.

Pabbly is a tool developed in India and while that’s neither good or bad, it does lend the whole platform a unique “flavor” that you can’t quite put your finger on. Just take a look at this recent Capterra review and the response from the Pabbly team:

Cons: Pretty much everything. This software is broken and full of bugs. Basic things like coupon codes and refunding don’t even work. Furthermore, the company is run by thieves.

Pabbly Response (February 7, 2020):
“Hey Jason, Sorry if we have caused you some inconvenience. The reason for banning your account is the pending payment for coupon testing. As agreed over email conversation the Pabbly support team has made you a payment of $49 in your PayPal account. Because you wanted us to test the coupon feature. In order to maintain a good relationship with you, our team has tested your Pabbly Subscriptions account by making a live payment. Everything goes well and the same is notified to you, then the team has asked for a refund of the testing amount. This request is ignored from your end and after multiple emails and messages, we have decided to BAN your account. Still, we do apologize for the disruption. But enlightening the complete case is also important here.”

The review itself is troubling, but the response from the Pabbly is even a bit more bizarre.

Having said that, Pabby Subscriptions is a full-featured product. If you can overlook the quirkiness of the team and the product, it may very well be a good fit.

Top 3 Pros

  • Support for different payment processors
  • API and good integrations
  • Tax management

Top 3 Cons

  • Confusing interface
  • Spotty customer service
  • Plans limited by # of customers

What does it cost?

Pabbly Subscriptions by itself is a $19/month product. That gets you support for up to 50 customers. If you’re a larger business and have, say, 500 customers, the subscription goes up to $97/month. Because the subscription price goes up as you gain more customers, it can go up as high as $3000/month. Wow, that’s quite a bit!

Pabbly pricing

Subbly

Subbly, coming to you by way of Scotland, is another quirky tool with its own personality and marketing spin (check out the founder’s vlog here). I don’t know about you, but we have a heck of a time remembering the name. We keep calling it Snubbly or Snubby or Subby. Subbly is definitely a hard one to remember and spell correctly.

Funny name notwithstanding, this is a tool that is worth your time, especially if you’re building a subscription box business. Even though Subbly’s tagline is “start & grow your subscription business,” the tool caters primarily to those growing that one type of business in particular.

Its feature set has tools for managing logistics, inventory, and fulfillment, for example, in addition to the standard recurring payment features you’ll find in a product like PayWhirl.

One interesting thing about Subbly is that unlike any other tool on this list, it also offers a website-builder in addition to a checkout-page builder.

Top 3 Pros

  • Website builder
  • Onboarding surveys
  • Automations

Top 3 Cons

  • Best for subscription-box businesses
  • No trial management
  • 1% transaction fee

What does it cost?

Subbly starts at $19/month. If you want the website builder, that plan is $39/month. But, as with PayWhirl, Subbly does charge a transaction fee of 1%. That can significantly eat into your revenues. Stripe’s minimal fee is 2.9%, so in total, you’ll be shelling out 3.9% + $0.30 for each transaction you process.

Also, while their pricing page indicates no other charges, they do charge an extra $29/month for automations and $19/month for cart abandonment.

Subbly pricing

Would you rather not pay transaction fees?

Plans start at $15/month (with no extra fees).

Sounds Good, I’m In

Zoho Subscriptions

Zoho has a few different products that cater to different demographics, but the one most applicable to consultants and coaches is Zoho Subscriptions.

Like PayWhirl, it’s a full-featured product. It has dunning management, versatile design options, and even Apple and Android apps, which is very unusual for a recurring billing software product.

To access all the features, you will need to pay a bit more, however. And if you can get over the fact that Zoho is not exactly a forward-thinking sort of a company – think PayPal, not Stripe – they may be a good fit for you.

But if you need to send out the occasional one-time payment request, Zoho Subscriptions is not a good fit.

Cons: The only thing I didn’t like was that I couldn’t do a one-time payment easily. Sometimes we have one time jobs such as web development or consulting, and it makes it kind of hard to use just this one system. We had to also get Zoho Invoice to complement what we were doing. So unless you are doing just recurring subscriptions you’ll need to get an invoicing tool as well. – Capterra Reviewer

Top 3 Pros

  • Webhooks and API
  • Apple and Android apps
  • Good payment form designer

Top 3 Cons

  • Usage limits
  • Outdated design
  • Caters to all small businesses

What does it cost?

Zoho Subscriptions starts at $39/month and goes up to $199/month. The good news is that it doesn’t charge transition fees. Now, they do limit the number of customers you can have on each plan, but the 500-customer limit on the lowest $39/month plan is pretty generous. It gives you plenty of room to grow.

Zoho Subscriptions pricing

We hope you enjoyed this quick overview of some PayWhirl alternatives. Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Now that you’re here…

ChargeKeep is a super simple way to implement recurring payments in your business. If you liked this blog post, you’ll probably love ChargeKeep too.

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