We have a niche Saas product that is essentially a very specific ecommerce portal and management system to allow businesses to sell memberships to their customers. Currently, pricing is based on the number of memberships that the business manages on their account.. ie $30/month for 50 members or less and up from there.
We are considering allowing businesses to pass on the cost of our service directly to their customers, so a 'technology fee' of say 2% would be added to each invoice that goes through the system and then we would collect that fee at the end of every month. Essentially, the marketing angle would be that our service is FREE to businesses and the end customer pays the fee. This is the model for ticketing agencies like TicketMaster or ShowClix: you are buying $40 concert tickets + $7.50 in fees, so you really pay $47.50 for your tickets.
I think we would still allow the monthly fee that is charged directly to our customers, but allow the 'technology fee' percentage as an option. Most likely, the 'technology fee' option would end up bringing more revenue back to us because we would engineer it to charge about double if our businesses wanted to do it this way.
I don't love this option because it feels like a bait and switch to our customer's customer. However, I can see it being a really smart marketing move because the perception of the cost is different. I can see our businesses appreciating this model even if it means they end up spending more in the long run -- they could perceive of the service as 'free'. This would be the business' choice for how they want to pay the fee, so if they choose this 'technology fee' model they would be comfortable with passing on the costs like that.
I am also leery of making the pricing options too complex because it is just one more aspect of the service for prospective customers to understand. The monthly plan we have right now is nice and simple.
Anyway.. I would love to hear thoughts!?