Guide

Guide

Guide

Web3 Billing - The Most Important Category in Crypto

Web3 Billing - The Most Important Category in Crypto

Web3 Billing - The Most Important Category in Crypto

Web3 billing is quickly emerging as the most important category in crypto. It serves a critical need that web3 merchants have in order to adopt cryptocurrencies as a method of payment.

Web3 billing is quickly emerging as the most important category in crypto. It serves a critical need that web3 merchants have in order to adopt cryptocurrencies as a method of payment.

Web3 billing is quickly emerging as the most important category in crypto. It serves a critical need that web3 merchants have in order to adopt cryptocurrencies as a method of payment.

Bisola Asolo

Bisola Asolo

·

22 Aug 2023

Bisola Asolo

Bisola Asolo

·

22 Aug 2023

Bisola Asolo

Bisola Asolo

·

22 Aug 2023

Web3 Billing Image
Web3 Billing Image
Web3 Billing Image

It was the middle of 2017, and the early rumblings of what would come to be known as the “ICO craze” was just beginning. I was a newcomer to the space, having only been involved in crypto for 8 months up until that point, but still eager to learn as much as possible.

Being more interested in the underlying technology of crypto, topics such as merkle trees and hashing algorithms were what really captured my interest in the space. But getting access to well-written technical content was tough - most crypto publications at the time were predominantly focused on trading-related news. So I decided to start my own.

What began as a side-project, accidentally turned into a fast-growing crypto media publication, who’s readership would jump from 0 to 40,000 in the first three months. And along with it, its revenue.

As we scaled and monetised - selling everything from advertising to recurring subscriptions - a single phrase I would say again and again when winning new business, is etched in my memory:

Any web3 merchant can identify with this phrase and what it represents. Unlike with our web2 counterparts, it means giving your customer the option to pay you on-chain. Which as a business serving web3 customers, feels like the right thing to do.

But what the customer doesn’t see, is the pain we as merchants experience behind the scenes. Pains such as manual workarounds to unify our fiat & crypto payment data, manually off-ramping our payments and more.

These set of pains that web3 merchants are facing today are entirely unique, and distinct from those faced by web2 merchants. And as such, require its own language, its own category.

The nature of these problems at their core is one of billing - with an increasing number of web3 businesses entering a crisis.

This piece is my attempt to define what is quickly becoming the most important, but least understood, category in the entirety of crypto today - Web3 Billing.

Web2 Billing vs Web3 Billing

Web2 Billing
At the most basic level, billing, refers to the act of a merchant sending an invoice requesting payment for products or services provided. For example, in the context of one-time billing, this would be a simple one-off invoice sent by a merchant to their customer.

However, the explosion of internet-native companies has resulted in the advent of more complex ways of billing to include recurring models such as, flat-based, per-seat, usage-based and more.

To help these online-first companies navigate this labyrinth of billing complexity, the mid-to-late 2000s saw the ascendance of startups such as Zuora and Chargebee. Companies which have since gone on to IPO and hit unicorn status respectively.

The two core problems these billing platforms solve for web2 merchants include: (i) consolidation of payments across multiple gateways and (ii) billing management of customers.

Unified Payments - Most merchants are familiar with Stripe when deciding to accept card payments online for the first time. However, as a merchant scales and looks to offer alternative gateways such as Adyen, managing payments across several providers in a fragmented manner creates complexity that can be deadly to a business.

In response, billing platforms enable integrations across multiple gateways and feed payment data into one dashboard, to which a merchant can use as their single source of truth.

Billing Management - As mentioned previously, billing can quickly become complex, going from one-time, to recurring. This complexity is further heightened when additional billing logic is layered on top to include customer upgrades / downgrades, contract terms, dunning and more.

Variability in the demands by companies to be able to bill in ways that suit them, necessitates dedicated billing software that is flexible enough to meet their requirements.

Web3 Billing
However, blockchains have emerged as an alternative method of moving value, namely crypto; precipitating an explosion of on-chain activity by consumers and businesses alike.

But, web3 merchants of today are ill-equipped to accept crypto payments, along with the fiat payments they’ve become accustomed to accepting.

This is because web2 payment tools, such as Stripe, do not communicate with web3 payment & billing tools. As a result, merchants are currently bridging this gap with manual work.

As the merchant scales to processing a larger number of fiat & crypto payments, this creates an increasing amount of manual work, such that the merchant is overwhelmed and left at a loss in how best to deal with the problem.

This is the root of the billing crisis that web3 merchants are facing today.

Emergence of a New Category

Just as a slate web2 billing tools emerged as a category in the mid-to-late 2000s to help web2 merchants navigate an increasingly complex payments landscape, we are seeing history repeat itself.

Merchants that are leaning into the future by accepting crypto payments, in addition to fiat, need help. In response, we are starting to see the beginnings of a new category being born to help these merchants navigate an equally complex payments labyrinth. This new category is Web3 Billing.

The fundamental characteristic of web3 billing as a category, is rooted in the simple truth that these new era of tools are designed to be a bridge that link a merchant’s fiat and crypto payments.

There are two key use-cases we are seeing this category break down into:

  • One-time Billing

  • Subscription Billing

One-time Billing - A tell-tale sign that a web3 merchant needs help with their one-time billing, is the of use a wallet address, combined with tools such as a PDF document, QuickBooks or Xero, to deliver an invoice.

Subscription Billing - Similarly, a tell-tale sign that a web3 merchant needs help with their subscription billing, is the use of a fiat gateway such as Stripe to accept fiat payments, and a crypto gateway such as Coinbase Commerce to accept crypto payments.

In either scenario, the merchant is left with the prospect of engaging in manual work to connect both sides of their payment stack. With the core value proposition of a web3 billing tool being to automate that manual work.

The benefits of such a tool immediately becomes clear to the merchant. A promise of complete automation that will enable them to scale and process more fiat & crypto payments, without also scaling the associated manual work.

This strikingly rare win-win scenario is the emotional anchor that has enabled web3 billing as a category to take root and flourish. And as more web3 merchants take notice and adopt these tools, we estimate it will quickly become the fastest growing sub-segment in entirety of crypto.

Web3 Billing - Super's Role

Whilst web3 billing is still a nascent, but fast-growing category, I'm thrilled to be able to contribute to its evolution through the work that I do with Super.

We are the first platform to offer merchants a bridge between their fiat & crypto payments, and as a result, are thrilled to be powering the billing of some of the largest web3 companies in the world.

Part of how we see our role in leading the continued growth of this category takes the following themes:

  • Complete dedication to being a bridge between fiat & crypto payments

  • Ground breaking innovation in billing management

  • Production of educational & thought leadership content

Bridge - We believe that the foundation of web3 billing as a category rests upon being a bridge between fiat & crypto payments. Part of how Super stays dedicated to this mission is to provide merchants with the largest number of available integrations across web2 and web3 payment tools. From Stripe, to Coinbase Commerce and more, Super has the deepest library of available integrations.

Billing Management Innovation - As well as being a bridge, Super is also innovating on billing software in new ways. As a testament to our focus on innovation, we’re seeing teams switch from legacy providers such as Chargebee, Zuora and Stripe Billing, and opt to use Super instead. These teams are not only managing their crypto billing data in Super, but their fiat billing data also. We can’t wait to share more.

Content - As former merchants ourselves, there were no guides or thought pieces that identified and suggested solutions to our billing struggles - we’re dedicated to changing this. Super’s Blog will be where web3 merchants come to feel at home.

Myself, and the rest of the team here at Super, are excited to continue contributing to the growth of web3 billing as a category.

Web2 versus Web3 billing

The Future of Web3 Billing

The explosion of online commerce enabled by the internet has forever changed how consumers and merchants transact.

Billing platforms such as Chargebee and Zuora emerged to help web2 merchants navigate the resultant complex payments landscape; producing one of the most valuable categories in history, web2 billing.

We are in the early innings of a similar phenomena with the rise of on-chain commerce, precipitated by blockchains. However, web3 merchants lack the equivalent tools necessary - leaving them in a state of crisis.

The birth of a new category, Web3 Billing, is the undeniable response to this crisis, which we expect will become the fastest growing category in crypto.

Let’s Talk

We’re excited to contribute to the growth of this nascent category. If you’re a merchant that resonated with this piece, then please feel free to reach out.

It was the middle of 2017, and the early rumblings of what would come to be known as the “ICO craze” was just beginning. I was a newcomer to the space, having only been involved in crypto for 8 months up until that point, but still eager to learn as much as possible.

Being more interested in the underlying technology of crypto, topics such as merkle trees and hashing algorithms were what really captured my interest in the space. But getting access to well-written technical content was tough - most crypto publications at the time were predominantly focused on trading-related news. So I decided to start my own.

What began as a side-project, accidentally turned into a fast-growing crypto media publication, who’s readership would jump from 0 to 40,000 in the first three months. And along with it, its revenue.

As we scaled and monetised - selling everything from advertising to recurring subscriptions - a single phrase I would say again and again when winning new business, is etched in my memory:

Any web3 merchant can identify with this phrase and what it represents. Unlike with our web2 counterparts, it means giving your customer the option to pay you on-chain. Which as a business serving web3 customers, feels like the right thing to do.

But what the customer doesn’t see, is the pain we as merchants experience behind the scenes. Pains such as manual workarounds to unify our fiat & crypto payment data, manually off-ramping our payments and more.

These set of pains that web3 merchants are facing today are entirely unique, and distinct from those faced by web2 merchants. And as such, require its own language, its own category.

The nature of these problems at their core is one of billing - with an increasing number of web3 businesses entering a crisis.

This piece is my attempt to define what is quickly becoming the most important, but least understood, category in the entirety of crypto today - Web3 Billing.

Web2 Billing vs Web3 Billing

Web2 Billing
At the most basic level, billing, refers to the act of a merchant sending an invoice requesting payment for products or services provided. For example, in the context of one-time billing, this would be a simple one-off invoice sent by a merchant to their customer.

However, the explosion of internet-native companies has resulted in the advent of more complex ways of billing to include recurring models such as, flat-based, per-seat, usage-based and more.

To help these online-first companies navigate this labyrinth of billing complexity, the mid-to-late 2000s saw the ascendance of startups such as Zuora and Chargebee. Companies which have since gone on to IPO and hit unicorn status respectively.

The two core problems these billing platforms solve for web2 merchants include: (i) consolidation of payments across multiple gateways and (ii) billing management of customers.

Unified Payments - Most merchants are familiar with Stripe when deciding to accept card payments online for the first time. However, as a merchant scales and looks to offer alternative gateways such as Adyen, managing payments across several providers in a fragmented manner creates complexity that can be deadly to a business.

In response, billing platforms enable integrations across multiple gateways and feed payment data into one dashboard, to which a merchant can use as their single source of truth.

Billing Management - As mentioned previously, billing can quickly become complex, going from one-time, to recurring. This complexity is further heightened when additional billing logic is layered on top to include customer upgrades / downgrades, contract terms, dunning and more.

Variability in the demands by companies to be able to bill in ways that suit them, necessitates dedicated billing software that is flexible enough to meet their requirements.

Web3 Billing
However, blockchains have emerged as an alternative method of moving value, namely crypto; precipitating an explosion of on-chain activity by consumers and businesses alike.

But, web3 merchants of today are ill-equipped to accept crypto payments, along with the fiat payments they’ve become accustomed to accepting.

This is because web2 payment tools, such as Stripe, do not communicate with web3 payment & billing tools. As a result, merchants are currently bridging this gap with manual work.

As the merchant scales to processing a larger number of fiat & crypto payments, this creates an increasing amount of manual work, such that the merchant is overwhelmed and left at a loss in how best to deal with the problem.

This is the root of the billing crisis that web3 merchants are facing today.

Emergence of a New Category

Just as a slate web2 billing tools emerged as a category in the mid-to-late 2000s to help web2 merchants navigate an increasingly complex payments landscape, we are seeing history repeat itself.

Merchants that are leaning into the future by accepting crypto payments, in addition to fiat, need help. In response, we are starting to see the beginnings of a new category being born to help these merchants navigate an equally complex payments labyrinth. This new category is Web3 Billing.

The fundamental characteristic of web3 billing as a category, is rooted in the simple truth that these new era of tools are designed to be a bridge that link a merchant’s fiat and crypto payments.

There are two key use-cases we are seeing this category break down into:

  • One-time Billing

  • Subscription Billing

One-time Billing - A tell-tale sign that a web3 merchant needs help with their one-time billing, is the of use a wallet address, combined with tools such as a PDF document, QuickBooks or Xero, to deliver an invoice.

Subscription Billing - Similarly, a tell-tale sign that a web3 merchant needs help with their subscription billing, is the use of a fiat gateway such as Stripe to accept fiat payments, and a crypto gateway such as Coinbase Commerce to accept crypto payments.

In either scenario, the merchant is left with the prospect of engaging in manual work to connect both sides of their payment stack. With the core value proposition of a web3 billing tool being to automate that manual work.

The benefits of such a tool immediately becomes clear to the merchant. A promise of complete automation that will enable them to scale and process more fiat & crypto payments, without also scaling the associated manual work.

This strikingly rare win-win scenario is the emotional anchor that has enabled web3 billing as a category to take root and flourish. And as more web3 merchants take notice and adopt these tools, we estimate it will quickly become the fastest growing sub-segment in entirety of crypto.

Web3 Billing - Super's Role

Whilst web3 billing is still a nascent, but fast-growing category, I'm thrilled to be able to contribute to its evolution through the work that I do with Super.

We are the first platform to offer merchants a bridge between their fiat & crypto payments, and as a result, are thrilled to be powering the billing of some of the largest web3 companies in the world.

Part of how we see our role in leading the continued growth of this category takes the following themes:

  • Complete dedication to being a bridge between fiat & crypto payments

  • Ground breaking innovation in billing management

  • Production of educational & thought leadership content

Bridge - We believe that the foundation of web3 billing as a category rests upon being a bridge between fiat & crypto payments. Part of how Super stays dedicated to this mission is to provide merchants with the largest number of available integrations across web2 and web3 payment tools. From Stripe, to Coinbase Commerce and more, Super has the deepest library of available integrations.

Billing Management Innovation - As well as being a bridge, Super is also innovating on billing software in new ways. As a testament to our focus on innovation, we’re seeing teams switch from legacy providers such as Chargebee, Zuora and Stripe Billing, and opt to use Super instead. These teams are not only managing their crypto billing data in Super, but their fiat billing data also. We can’t wait to share more.

Content - As former merchants ourselves, there were no guides or thought pieces that identified and suggested solutions to our billing struggles - we’re dedicated to changing this. Super’s Blog will be where web3 merchants come to feel at home.

Myself, and the rest of the team here at Super, are excited to continue contributing to the growth of web3 billing as a category.

Web2 versus Web3 billing

The Future of Web3 Billing

The explosion of online commerce enabled by the internet has forever changed how consumers and merchants transact.

Billing platforms such as Chargebee and Zuora emerged to help web2 merchants navigate the resultant complex payments landscape; producing one of the most valuable categories in history, web2 billing.

We are in the early innings of a similar phenomena with the rise of on-chain commerce, precipitated by blockchains. However, web3 merchants lack the equivalent tools necessary - leaving them in a state of crisis.

The birth of a new category, Web3 Billing, is the undeniable response to this crisis, which we expect will become the fastest growing category in crypto.

Let’s Talk

We’re excited to contribute to the growth of this nascent category. If you’re a merchant that resonated with this piece, then please feel free to reach out.

It was the middle of 2017, and the early rumblings of what would come to be known as the “ICO craze” was just beginning. I was a newcomer to the space, having only been involved in crypto for 8 months up until that point, but still eager to learn as much as possible.

Being more interested in the underlying technology of crypto, topics such as merkle trees and hashing algorithms were what really captured my interest in the space. But getting access to well-written technical content was tough - most crypto publications at the time were predominantly focused on trading-related news. So I decided to start my own.

What began as a side-project, accidentally turned into a fast-growing crypto media publication, who’s readership would jump from 0 to 40,000 in the first three months. And along with it, its revenue.

As we scaled and monetised - selling everything from advertising to recurring subscriptions - a single phrase I would say again and again when winning new business, is etched in my memory:

Any web3 merchant can identify with this phrase and what it represents. Unlike with our web2 counterparts, it means giving your customer the option to pay you on-chain. Which as a business serving web3 customers, feels like the right thing to do.

But what the customer doesn’t see, is the pain we as merchants experience behind the scenes. Pains such as manual workarounds to unify our fiat & crypto payment data, manually off-ramping our payments and more.

These set of pains that web3 merchants are facing today are entirely unique, and distinct from those faced by web2 merchants. And as such, require its own language, its own category.

The nature of these problems at their core is one of billing - with an increasing number of web3 businesses entering a crisis.

This piece is my attempt to define what is quickly becoming the most important, but least understood, category in the entirety of crypto today - Web3 Billing.

Web2 Billing vs Web3 Billing

Web2 Billing
At the most basic level, billing, refers to the act of a merchant sending an invoice requesting payment for products or services provided. For example, in the context of one-time billing, this would be a simple one-off invoice sent by a merchant to their customer.

However, the explosion of internet-native companies has resulted in the advent of more complex ways of billing to include recurring models such as, flat-based, per-seat, usage-based and more.

To help these online-first companies navigate this labyrinth of billing complexity, the mid-to-late 2000s saw the ascendance of startups such as Zuora and Chargebee. Companies which have since gone on to IPO and hit unicorn status respectively.

The two core problems these billing platforms solve for web2 merchants include: (i) consolidation of payments across multiple gateways and (ii) billing management of customers.

Unified Payments - Most merchants are familiar with Stripe when deciding to accept card payments online for the first time. However, as a merchant scales and looks to offer alternative gateways such as Adyen, managing payments across several providers in a fragmented manner creates complexity that can be deadly to a business.

In response, billing platforms enable integrations across multiple gateways and feed payment data into one dashboard, to which a merchant can use as their single source of truth.

Billing Management - As mentioned previously, billing can quickly become complex, going from one-time, to recurring. This complexity is further heightened when additional billing logic is layered on top to include customer upgrades / downgrades, contract terms, dunning and more.

Variability in the demands by companies to be able to bill in ways that suit them, necessitates dedicated billing software that is flexible enough to meet their requirements.

Web3 Billing
However, blockchains have emerged as an alternative method of moving value, namely crypto; precipitating an explosion of on-chain activity by consumers and businesses alike.

But, web3 merchants of today are ill-equipped to accept crypto payments, along with the fiat payments they’ve become accustomed to accepting.

This is because web2 payment tools, such as Stripe, do not communicate with web3 payment & billing tools. As a result, merchants are currently bridging this gap with manual work.

As the merchant scales to processing a larger number of fiat & crypto payments, this creates an increasing amount of manual work, such that the merchant is overwhelmed and left at a loss in how best to deal with the problem.

This is the root of the billing crisis that web3 merchants are facing today.

Emergence of a New Category

Just as a slate web2 billing tools emerged as a category in the mid-to-late 2000s to help web2 merchants navigate an increasingly complex payments landscape, we are seeing history repeat itself.

Merchants that are leaning into the future by accepting crypto payments, in addition to fiat, need help. In response, we are starting to see the beginnings of a new category being born to help these merchants navigate an equally complex payments labyrinth. This new category is Web3 Billing.

The fundamental characteristic of web3 billing as a category, is rooted in the simple truth that these new era of tools are designed to be a bridge that link a merchant’s fiat and crypto payments.

There are two key use-cases we are seeing this category break down into:

  • One-time Billing

  • Subscription Billing

One-time Billing - A tell-tale sign that a web3 merchant needs help with their one-time billing, is the of use a wallet address, combined with tools such as a PDF document, QuickBooks or Xero, to deliver an invoice.

Subscription Billing - Similarly, a tell-tale sign that a web3 merchant needs help with their subscription billing, is the use of a fiat gateway such as Stripe to accept fiat payments, and a crypto gateway such as Coinbase Commerce to accept crypto payments.

In either scenario, the merchant is left with the prospect of engaging in manual work to connect both sides of their payment stack. With the core value proposition of a web3 billing tool being to automate that manual work.

The benefits of such a tool immediately becomes clear to the merchant. A promise of complete automation that will enable them to scale and process more fiat & crypto payments, without also scaling the associated manual work.

This strikingly rare win-win scenario is the emotional anchor that has enabled web3 billing as a category to take root and flourish. And as more web3 merchants take notice and adopt these tools, we estimate it will quickly become the fastest growing sub-segment in entirety of crypto.

Web3 Billing - Super's Role

Whilst web3 billing is still a nascent, but fast-growing category, I'm thrilled to be able to contribute to its evolution through the work that I do with Super.

We are the first platform to offer merchants a bridge between their fiat & crypto payments, and as a result, are thrilled to be powering the billing of some of the largest web3 companies in the world.

Part of how we see our role in leading the continued growth of this category takes the following themes:

  • Complete dedication to being a bridge between fiat & crypto payments

  • Ground breaking innovation in billing management

  • Production of educational & thought leadership content

Bridge - We believe that the foundation of web3 billing as a category rests upon being a bridge between fiat & crypto payments. Part of how Super stays dedicated to this mission is to provide merchants with the largest number of available integrations across web2 and web3 payment tools. From Stripe, to Coinbase Commerce and more, Super has the deepest library of available integrations.

Billing Management Innovation - As well as being a bridge, Super is also innovating on billing software in new ways. As a testament to our focus on innovation, we’re seeing teams switch from legacy providers such as Chargebee, Zuora and Stripe Billing, and opt to use Super instead. These teams are not only managing their crypto billing data in Super, but their fiat billing data also. We can’t wait to share more.

Content - As former merchants ourselves, there were no guides or thought pieces that identified and suggested solutions to our billing struggles - we’re dedicated to changing this. Super’s Blog will be where web3 merchants come to feel at home.

Myself, and the rest of the team here at Super, are excited to continue contributing to the growth of web3 billing as a category.

Web2 versus Web3 billing

The Future of Web3 Billing

The explosion of online commerce enabled by the internet has forever changed how consumers and merchants transact.

Billing platforms such as Chargebee and Zuora emerged to help web2 merchants navigate the resultant complex payments landscape; producing one of the most valuable categories in history, web2 billing.

We are in the early innings of a similar phenomena with the rise of on-chain commerce, precipitated by blockchains. However, web3 merchants lack the equivalent tools necessary - leaving them in a state of crisis.

The birth of a new category, Web3 Billing, is the undeniable response to this crisis, which we expect will become the fastest growing category in crypto.

Let’s Talk

We’re excited to contribute to the growth of this nascent category. If you’re a merchant that resonated with this piece, then please feel free to reach out.

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