January 14

Stripe Billing Alternative – Cheddar vs. Stripe Billing

Looking for a Stripe Billing Alternative?

We like Stripe.  As a payment processor.  They power several Cheddar customers.  They were a first mover and highly disruptive. They are easy to use and to get set up quickly.

But today’s startups are looking for more flexible cloud billing solutions to help their businesses scale.

Good cloud subscription billing solutions include:

  • Subscription management
  • Payment Gateways (At Cheddar we integrate with multiple gateways)
  • Support for multiple payment methods (Credit cards, Debit cards, ACH, PayPal, etc)
  • Customer Communications
  • Dunning (Dunning essentially means automatic customer credit card retries when payments fail)
  • Basic Reporting

Cheddar offers all the basics of a subscription billing solution, plus:

Data portability – We don’t hold your customer’s credit card data hostage and we help make your move efficient.

Advanced SaaS Metrics reporting – Cheddar’s dashboard allows you to track key SaaS metrics, like MRR, Churn, Lifetime Value.

Flexible billing models – Cheddar allows you to create highly flexible billing models.  Many of our customers come to us because they recognize how flexible Cheddar is.  In less than one day, you can be up and running with a billing model that includes:

  • One-time
  • Tiered
  • Flat subscription
  • Flat subscription + overage
  • Flat subscription + usage
  • Linear

…and more subscription and recurring billing models can be integrated into our api quickly and effectively.  And, you can iterate pricing plans and models within Cheddar much much more quickly than you can with other systems, which is one of the reasons Cheddar makes a great Stripe Billing alternative.  Other models lock you in and you have to mess with code to make changes.  Not with Cheddar.  Once you are set up, you are able to iterate quickly.

You also have the ability to change plans, create promotions, add one-time charges, upgrade, downgrade, and so on.

Integration and Webhooks – We believe that you know your business better than anyone and you desire full control and flexibility over your integrations.  Does Cheddar integrate with accounting systems like Quickbooks and Xero?  Yes, our customers use Zapier for quick and easy integrations.  If we built you a custom integration, you’d change it anyway.  So we integrated with Zapier to allow you to integrate with over 1,000 other applications.

Usage Tracking – this is the core of Cheddar.  We aren’t just a usage-based billing solution by any means.  However, Cheddar was built in such a way that usage tracking was a forethought and not an afterthought.  Highly powerful and flexible, Cheddar is the only billing solution that starts with usage tracking.  Each pricing plan has what we call Tracked Items that you can attach to each individual plan or globally across all plans.

Even better with Cheddar, outside of our core features, here’s are some of our core values and how we differentiate ourselves from the flock.

Cheddar as a Stripe Billing alternative and how we are different from Stripe and other subscription billing solutions  

Quick to implement:  With Cheddar, you can get up and running in as little as one day.  Because of our architecture, briefly mentioned above, Cheddar is highly flexible and easy to implement.  

Fast to iterate:  What’s better than being quick to implement is that making changes within Cheddar is where we really stand out.  No touching code to make pricing changes!  Pricing is isolated from the codebase.  This means less time sitting in pricing meetings and more time spent making cool products.  Anyone can make pricing changes – including adding or editing pricing plans – from within the dashboard, implementing immediately.


Transparent pricing with no lock-inCheddar is on your team.  We’re here to help you scale your businesses.  Some of the other subscription billing solutions take a percentage of revenue as you scale.  It’s our promise at Cheddar that we will never take a percentage of your revenue because it’s against our philosophy.  We charge a flat per-transaction fee plus monthly so you can keep your hard-earned revenue.  At Cheddar, simple, transparent pricing is one of our core values. 


Swap out payments processors.  We just mentioned no lock in.  In line with being highly flexible and on your team to help you scale, Cheddar doesn’t play favorites when it comes to payment processors.  We do have our own payment processor (CheddarPay), but we don’t tell you which payment processor you can use.  Like we said – we like Stripe for payment processing and believe that Cheddar and Stripe can work well together.  But what happens if you get accused of fraud, for example, and you need to move away from Stripe? (which we hear often from customers that switched to Cheddar that Stripe may have a lot of false positives and can shut you down – yikes)

When you use Stripe Billing, you are always locked in to Stripe, and you can’t change that.  This lack of flexibility could be catastrophic to your business.  Cheddar allows you to change payment processors at any time.  You can use Stripe, or any other payment processor, and switch when you need or if you’re shut down, which is one of the primary reasons Cheddar is such a great Stripe Billing alternative.

Usage based billing.  We mentioned this already.  In case you didn’t notice, we’re passionate about tracking usage.  Why usage-based billing?  Because we believe that’s the way SaaS and online businesses are headed in general, along with Uber X businesses and Internet of Things (IoT).  Customers expect you to track usage and only bill for what they use, and you are leaving money on the table as a business if you aren’t charging for what is being used.  Having a flat recurring model is old SaaS; modern SaaS includes usage tracking and more flexible billing models.  Cheddar was built from the ground up to allow customers to track usage abstractly, on products, plans, and items, and not just on users and products.  We’ve decoupled tracking and billing.  If you’re interested in a more detailed comparison of Stripe Billing architecture compared to Cheddar’s, please feel free to reach out for a demo.    

Support.  Real support from real humans.  Everyone can claim they have good support.  But can they claim stellar support.  Our reviews from our customers speak for themselves.  Check us out on Capterra and G2Crowd.  We aren’t just a black hole.  We give you multiple ways to contact us – in your way and on your time.  We are real people who are genuinely interested in helping your business grow.  Seriously – try us out.

Grandfather clause.  Cheddar never raises your plan’s price.  We’ve had customers who’ve never left Cheddar because of our philosophy of grandfathering you in.  Maybe it’s because of our Midwest values, but we don’t like to surprise you with a sudden increase in rates.  Cheddar is your partner for the long term.

Culture. Cheddar is a small team from the Midwest, which means we have strong values and a solid work ethic.  This is normal as large companies scale, but working with an industry player who can give you personalized support and has a great team culture and ethic is, in our opinion, highly valuable.