The Pending Convergence of Commerce and Apps (oh, and also the launch of Zuora's 2nd product)

by Tien Tzuo


We’ve had a busy summer here at Zuora. In May, we launched our first product, Billing. In July, we announced that Z-billing had been deployed to 17 customers in just 2 months since launch. In August, we announced our advisory board, and in September, we announced that Scott Thompson, President of PayPal, had joined our board of directors, and we were named Startup of the Week by InformationWeek.


Today marks another major milestone for Zuora. Today we announce our second product, Z-Payments, along with a partnership with online payment giant, PayPal. By teaming up with PayPal, we were able to build the first complete payment solution for subscription businesses.


As it turns out, collecting payments is a pain for subscription business, as big a pain as billing. Lots of things can go wrong when you need to collect every month. Transactions fail, due to expired credit cards, credit limits being reached, or cancelled credit cards. Some customers want to pay by checks, others by credit cards, and others by PayPal. Some customers demand payment terms, such as Net 30, or a Net 60. Some customers want to be put on an auto pay plan, so that they are never late in their payments, and other customers want a big Pay Now button on the invoice so that they can control the payment process.


That’s where Z-Payments come in. Z-Payments takes the pain out of recurring payments, so you can set up workflow and notification rules to automate your payment process, offer your customers multiple payment options, and ultimately get paid faster. And through our partnership with PayPal, Z-Payments comes pre-bundled with PayPal, so you can use PayPal’s award winning service to accept credit card, debit card, ACH and, of course, PayPal itself, all in an easy and secure way.


But we think this is bigger than us. We think Z-Payments is an early example of the coming convergence between commerce and applications. Traditionally, we’ve always thought of commerce and applications as separate, but when both are transformed as services living in the cloud, as they are today, why should they continue living in their separate worlds? Shouldn’t the services that you use to manage your business be the same as you use to conduct commerce, e.g. acquire customers, send invoices, and receive payments?


Let us know what you think.


And here are a few good articles on Z-Payments that hit today:


CNET News – If the Economy Tanks, will Subscriptions Become a Panacea?


SFGate – Helping Companies Make Money Online


VentureBeat – Zuora’s New Product Helps Companies Collect from Customers

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