How to charge money for Web content
October 2, 2007 9:34 AM   Subscribe

If you were a web developer who needed to set up a subscribers-only section of a website, where the subscriptions are paid for online (credit card and possibly PayPal), and auto-renew by default, how would you go about it? Would you find a payment gateway that handles auto-renewing subscriptions and use their API to build a little checkout app? Or find an off-the-shelf cart that supports such a gateway, and just set the cart up and enable the gateway? Or is there an altogether better way?

Additional constraint: The solution has to work on a Windows server.

Specific product/service recommendations appreciated.
posted by bricoleur to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
I'd subcontract it to someone like
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 10:00 AM on October 2, 2007

Are you based in the US? If you're in the UK, I recently completed an e-commerce site for a customer using the HSBC API gateway. It was a ball ache, but basically just involved passing some XML to their server using asp's httpxmlwebrequest. You'll need to set up a merchant account though, which took my customer a couple of weeks and was subject to all sorts of checks.

I'm sure they had an option for recurring payments every x weeks/months (check out the FAQs section in the link above). If you're UK based and decide to go the HSBC route i'd be happy to help
posted by derbs at 10:31 AM on October 2, 2007

I use ProStores to manage the billing for my websites that charge subscription based services.
posted by phixed at 10:58 AM on October 2, 2007

Best answer: Paypal can do Subscriptions and Recurring Payments. They have a very easy to use api.
posted by JonB at 10:58 AM on October 2, 2007

Do not store the credit card details yourself. Just in case you were considering it.
posted by chrismear at 2:16 PM on October 2, 2007

Chris Mear is right. This is a job best left to people who know what they're doing. If there is any hole in your security, any bug in your software, that allows someone to break in and steal your account file, you are in deep shit.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:01 PM on October 2, 2007

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