Add-ons are fixed recurring fees determined in advance. In contrast, allowances are metered fees determined in arrears - although you can give an allowance an inclusive and overage element. You can make add-ons and allowances optional or bundle them with specific plans.
With Billsby you can create unlimited add-ons and allowances and link them to your core plans.
You can now use our new usage counters API when you're reporting usage for allowances, which allows you to report your usage to us in real-time without the need to count it yourself, or wait until the end of your cycle. You can also source usage information from the API in real-time too.
If you make a mistake you can decrement the usage as well, and if you have very high usage reporting needs, you can choose to count it yourself instead of using the API. Simply give us the updates and we will replace the previous value every hour, every day, or every few days - however often you'd like.
If you want to do this simply navigate to Configuration > Checkout and Account Management > Self-Service, and then switch on the toggle called 'Manage Allowances'. The choice is yours.
If you choose to pro-rate your plan then when a customer signs up, the add-on price and the included units of allowance will be pro-rated during checkout.
For example, if you charge your customers on the 1st of every month and a customer decides to join on the 15th, the number of units included in the allowance would be pro-rated based on how many units the customer was due to receive each cycle, alongside how many days they have left in their current cycle. So, if the customer was due to receive 10 units each full cycle, but they joined at exactly halfway through, then they'd only receive 5 units to use until the end of the billing cycle.
On their next bill date, however, they would be charged the full amount and receive all the included allowances for the next cycle.
Note: whether the allowance has included units or not, it will be added to the customers subscription immediately, once the customer has confirmed its addition. The same is true for add-ons.
What is the difference between add-ons and allowances?
The most prominent difference between add-ons and allowances is the way that your customers pay for them. Allowances, unlike add-ons, are billed in arrears based on how much of the feature was used in the previous billing cycle. This is different from add-ons, which are paid for in advance and are fixed.
If you open the Add-ons/Allowances pages on Billsby, (Under products, plans and cycles) we have outlined some great examples of how subscription companies utilise add-ons and allowances.
Updated 8 months ago