On-demand payment management software is integrated into security technology.
Symantec is managing the subscription renewal process for its Norton security products with the Vindicia CashBox hosted billing solution.
Announced June 23, the Symantec-Vindicia partnership is intended to support ongoing customer protection and retention.
"Subscription services are a win-win for everyone," said Gene Hoffman, chairman and CEO of Vindicia. "By outsourcing to a specialist in recurring billing, you can do the small things, like aggregate attempts to get a credit card through authorization."
Hoffman said that by incorporating CashBox into Norton, Symantec will also enhance management of expiration dates.
"People put a credit card on file because they don't want to think about it," he said.
Hoffman said CashBox will also allow Symantec to scale the management of Norton subscriptions to billions of dollars and manage diverse pricing and subscription plans.
"You can get into managing and maintaining multiple pricing tiers very quickly," he said. "As a SAAS [software-as-a-service offering], CashBox allows pieces to be managed in an intuitive way."
Hoffman said Symantec will be able to test price points and offerings the same way a Web site landing page would be tested.
He also cited the importance of CashBox's integrated fraud management capabilities to Norton users.
"People don't tend to steal credit card numbers to steal anti-virus software updates," he said. "You want to stop obvious fraud. Ironically, one way is to make sure you're getting enough chargebacks-if you don't, you're not doing enough marketing or positioning."
Nat Maple, vice president of consumer sales for Symantec, said the subscription renewal process for Norton software helps ensure that customers have the most up-to-date anti-virus protection available.
"Vindicia provides a fast and convenient way for our customers to stay protected without any gaps between expiration and renewal of products," Maple said.
Edward Kountz, an analyst with JupiterResearch, said e-commerce is evolving to a more flexible approach that provides more options to consumers.
"The online subscription model doesn't get a lot of attention, but for some businesses it makes a lot of sense," Kountz said. "Being able to automatically engage with consumers in a heavy volume of transactions in a way that effectively deals with issues such as globality of business, PCI compliance and options that deepen customer retention is an area where Vindicia is able to play."
Given Symantec's high volume of consumer transactions, he said the company is an ideal fit for Vindicia's subscription management services, even though digitized content providers deal with some separate issues from providers of physical products.
Dan Berthiaume covers the retail space for eWEEK. For more industry news, check out eWEEK.com's Retail Site.