Billing concepts

Fleio billing combines the traditional billing seen in the web hosting industry and the new, more dynamic, billing, seen mostly with cloud services providers.

With a traditional billing approach, as a provider of services you assume a product has a fixed price during the entire billing period, monthly or similar (every 3 months, or 6 months, yearly a.s.o.). The price being fixed, it’s easy to issue invoices in advance, since you and the customer know what the price at the end of the month or period is at any given time. Addons and/or additional configurations allow for price modifications during the billing period, however, the price is mostly fixed and known in advance.

The new way of doing billing for services doesn’t make an assumption about the price related to the billing period. Instead, a fixed price is added for a small amount of time, say 1 hour or even 1 second. This way, the provider is able to charge only for the period the resources were used.

As an example, let’s assume a customer buys a server that costs 5 USD Monthly. With the traditional billing approach, he is charged the entire amount upfront or at the end of the month even if he terminated the server 15 days after it was bought. A provider may decide to issue partial refunds if the customer asks and as long as the number of customers is small. Imagining an entire cluster for a single large application, constantly bringing servers up and down during different periods when resources are needed more or less, it’s clear that manually handling billing with a monthly fixed price is cumbersome.

The above case fits perfectly with the dynamic resource billing where a price is set for a second of usage of a given resource.

Of course, each billing type has its own applications and one is not actually better than the other.

As a second example, a customer having a single shared hosting account for his website, will not delete and create his account during a month.