The need for a future-proof global payments infrastructure has become paramount–especially in the subscription space. As technology evolves and consumer expectations shift, businesses must adapt and be a step ahead to stay competitive and relevant.

Recurly CTO Tony Allen, Worldpay Strategy Manager Ben Bello, The New York Times Payment Operations and Strategy Lead Gus Jacobs, and Newfold Digital Payments Systems and Processing Sr. Manager Ryan Konop delve into the components of building a resilient payments network in our latest webinar with TechCrunch

Let’s dive into the key highlights you should consider when thinking about your payment strategy. 

You can watch the on-demand recording here.

Attract more subscribers: The power of personalization

Consumers have growing expectations, and finding new ways to delight and engage with them is crucial. Here’s where personalization plays a key role in your product offerings. 

How can your business stay ahead? 

  • Identify and anticipate consumer trends: Subscribers hold power—they control what they want, how they want it, and, to some level, what price they want to pay.

  • Make data-driven decisions that tilt acquisition efforts in your favor: Consumers value the freedom to create their ideal subscription experience–easy pauses or cancelations, choosing their preferred payment method, and starting with a free trial.

  • Focus on retention strategies that build stronger relationships: Subscriber retention is an art, and subscribers feel more valued when they receive benefits for their loyalty–reward programs are now a must.

Make your payment providers strategic partners

Payment providers play a major role in your tech stack. Working with the right partners will allow you to ensure transaction success, a streamlined experience for your subscribers, and, eventually, a scalable infrastructure that grows with you. 

There are four steps to creating scalable payments:

  1. Commitment and mindset: Leadership and technical teams must recognize and agree that payment scalability is the right approach. 

  2. Integrated assessments: Evaluate the technical stack and functionality of each payment option and prioritize. 

  3. Workload distribution: Implement clear expectations for accountability and responsibility for workload distribution across multiple payment types. 

  4. Implement and evaluate: Create a culture that is constantly evaluating, testing, and refining payment scalability tactics and tools. 

Stay relevant: Subscription payment preferences

The subscriber experience is the heart of customer relationships. It all boils down to understanding their expectations and behaviors, especially when paying for a recurring service. According to our recent survey, the top five preferred payments from our survey respondents were: 

  • 45%, PayPal

  • 39%, credit card

  • 23%, ACH / Debit / Checking account withdrawal

  • 18%, digital wallet–Apple Pay, Google Pay 

  • 16%, in-app payments

While we see an exponential increase in digital wallet use, this is just a trend in the younger generations–the older the demographic, the less preference for using them:

  • 21%, Gen Z 

  • 21%, Millennials

  • 12%, Gen X​​

  • 8%, Boomers

Identifying your ideal customer persona and analyzing their purchasing process and preferences, is key to developing a strategy that caters to subscription growth. 

Convert more customers: Why localization matters

Besides learning about your customers on a generational approach, you also need to dive deeper into their demands based on location. Tailoring your services to align with local customs, language, and user preferences is essential for building trust and engagement.

There are many reasons to evaluate and consider regional preferences. For example, the recent subscriber survey found that: 

  • More U.S. subscribers (70%) are looking for exclusive products than Germans and Norwegians (53%)

  • Price increases were more impactful in Spain (41%)  than Germany (25%) for a cancellation consideration

  • Spaniards (65%) will cancel with price increases if the services remain the same, more often than Germans (48%)

Every market has its competitive landscape and established payment solutions. Understanding the market dynamics, identifying key competitors, and differentiating our offerings require thorough market research and strategic positioning.

Benchmark, innovate, grow–learn what subscribers really want

Payments matter. In fact, 42% of U.S. customers abandon their cart if their preferred payment method isn’t available and 53% of customers are more likely to unsubscribe if a payment decline causes a disruption in their subscription service. 

With half of your audience focused on payments, it’s crucial to offer the alternatives and security protocols that win their business–and trust. But payments are just one part of the subscriber experience. 

Learn what customers prefer from their subscription service in our latest survey report, The State of Subscriptions: What consumers want. We’ve surveyed over 6,000 subscribers in 6 different countries to identify the key factors driving acquisition, engagement, retention, and loyalty.

Get the actionable insights you need to delight your subscribers and thrive in the competitive subscription landscape–from payments to promotions to pricing strategies. Download the report to learn how:

  • Tailored experiences create an ideal journey that keeps subscribers engaged and satisfied.

  • Powerful strategies like payment options, flexible plans, and captivating free trials attract new subscribers and turn them into loyal customers.

  • Loyalty rewards and intentional communication can build lasting relationships that maximize subscriber lifetime value.