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How to handle online credit card transactions


I've been researching recently on how to handle credit card transactions via a web page.  I've looked  at info about merchant accounts, paypal, and payment gateways.

I don't like paypal because the purchaser has to be a member of paypal. I know the purchase can quite easily become a member of paypal.  But I think it's an unneccassary step to put off the purchase to completing the purchase.

Merchant accounts are too expensive for what I need.  I'm guessing I need to use a payment gateway.  I can't find any general info on how to use c# to connect to a payment gateway.  Or are there other services equivalent to paypal which you don't have be a member to use their service.

Anyone got any good recommendations on these types of services or a website/book on how to implement an online payment service?  All I generally come up with are sites that say your either need merchant account paypal type service etc.  But never go into the details.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005
> I don't like paypal because the purchaser has to be a member of paypal.

That's a rather strange reason, considering that the purchaser *doesn't* have to be a member of Paypal.  Anyone with a credit card can make payments via Paypal (to a holder of a Paypal business account) without having to sign up for a Paypal account at any point.

This has been the case for several years now.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
The credit card process process requires 3 things.

First, you need a bank account for the money/charges.
Then you need a payment gateway.
Finally you need a merchant account.

You have to have all three pieces.  I just set mine up about 6 weeks ago... shop around because the discount rate (% that they take) varies.  If you can get below 2%, it's ideal, but some go as high as 6%.

Then there are monthly fees on each step... and usually a per-transaction fee.
KC Send private email
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Great question. I've been wondering the same thing lately as I start my ISV.

KC, do you mind telling us who you went with?

My website is hosted at webhost4life, and they have an ecommerce service that you can add onto your site.  Anyone tried it, or am I better off going with a 3rd party solution?
Cowboy coder
Tuesday, March 01, 2005

We use them for our websites cc processing.  No merchant account needed, low prices, and the interface is pretty painless.  There are a few other companies like them around too.
Almost Anonymous Send private email
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Having asked the question.  I didn't think it wise to check if this question had been asked before.  A similar question had been asked.  Check out:

Cowboy coder, the link above, I rekon will definately help you.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
BTW, I've just started looking and here are a few:
Cost: 4% of sales price + $2.00 / sale

Cost: 5.5% of sales price + $0.45 / sale
Cost: 9% of sales price + $9.95 / month

Also, several have setup fees.

Webhost4life has a $9.95 setup fee for their ecommerce wizrd, but I don't see anything about their transaction costs.
Cowboy coder
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
I use Wachovia (aka Watch-over-ya) for my bank.
I use Wells Fargo as the gateway.
I use as the processor.

I'm *very* happy with Wachovia.  I walked into the manager's office about 2 months ago and said something along the lines of "I currently use [another bank] for all my personal accounts, but their customer service is terrible.  I'm giving you a six month trial run and if I'm satisfied, I will transfer all of my business to you."

The manager was shocked, but after I got my account set up, both her and the assistant manager called me within 2 weeks to make sure that everything had gone smoothly.  They've been great, so I'm going to transfer my accounts to them tomorrow.

Wells Fargo got me setup in about 24 hours.  I signed up with them, paid the $99 setup fee and I was accepting charges the next evening.  I believe that I pay $29/month, 0.50 + 2.19%/transaction.  And I got AmEx service free for the first year... it's normally $5/month.

I haven't had any problems yet, but I only do about 10% of my development work via credit card.

My master plan doesn't start for a while...
KC Send private email
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
You should talk to a guy named Rob Delzio.  I don't remember how I found his website back in 1996, but I went through all of this stuff with my first internet business, (also back in 1996).  I talked to Rob via voice telephone call, and he explained to me just how many different options were available as related to the credit card processor, and credit card processing software, etc.

I wound up getting my merchant account and payment software through him.  I had no problems doing transactions with it.  It was all pretty straightforward once everything was configured.

Well, that business that I started back in 1996 (a side business from my day job) didn't take off, so I cancelled my merchant account (it cost something like $25 a month + transaction charges back then) after about a year.

But, the thing is, at least back then, in my conversations with him, Rob came off as one of the most intelligent and knowledgeable people with respect to the issues/software/procedures surrounding credit card processing and getting a merchant account (not that they're rocket science by any stretch of the imagination), but he did know his stuff -- at least he gave me that impression, and I subsequently had no problem with the software and service he sold me.

I can't vouch for if he's any good these days, but he was great (at least with respect to me) nine years ago.

I Googled to get his site once again:
Peter Sherman Send private email
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
Anyone use
Dan G.
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
I've used LinkPoint Select API by Card Service International for over 3 years now, they give you a merchant account and gateway service combined into one system.

Technology-wise I believe they're the hands-down winner, they give you a C api that has wrappers in most web-application platforms, including PHP, ASP, java, etc.

I had a problem with their PHP wrapper once and got a quick response from the tech guys without having to deal with tier-1 tier-2 etc you see with the larger companies.

They also have a web app that lets you do point-of-sale transactions manually if you need to which is very convenient.

I'm very pleased with their service, they charge just $0.25 per transaction plus around 2% of the amount. The % is based on your credit but everyone I've recommended them to has ended up with less than 3%.

Best of all, though I haven't taken advantage of it yet, they have e-check capabilities as an add-on for accounts.

As of a year ago they had no setup fees and no monthly recurring costs, they only charge you if you sell something.

And here comes the disclaimer: I am a customer and a fan not an employee or associate of theirs :)

Good luck, I hope this helps!
Pete Send private email
Tuesday, March 01, 2005

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