I am considering changing up how I take payments for my hosting... part of my potential move from the small time stuff I am doing now to trying to make some real money from it.
What do you people recommend as merchant accounts? I was looking at payquake because they have a nice pricing structure... but there's not a whole lot of details given. Obviously, I could e-mail them, and will, to get more info.
Is there anyone you guys approve of? There are 3 main things I am looking at. Cost to me (of course). Fraud protection - do they do callbacks before processing, do they provide me with the info to do it myself, do they let me manually authorize payemnts, do they show me the IP of the purchaser, etc. and customizeability (is that a word?). Can I add or subtract stuff to/from a user's monthly bill easily, such as a discounted month for referring a new user or an extra $1/month for some additional disk space?
Originally posted by retri What do you people recommend as merchant accounts? I was looking at payquake because they have a nice pricing structure... but there's not a whole lot of details given. Obviously, I could e-mail them, and will, to get more info.
Payquake is one of two that I found that were friendly to low-volume start-ups, in regards to a "true" merchant account. They are providing you a U.S. Merchant Services account and Authorize.net gateway.
...do they let me manually authorize payemnts... Can I add or subtract stuff to/from a user's monthly bill easily, such as a discounted month for referring a new user or an extra $1/month for some additional disk space?
Manually authorizing payments is a part of the gateway at Authorize.net ("Virtual Terminal"), and in regards to adding/subtracting to/from a client's bill... that would be in your shopping cart or billing software that you're using. If you don't have that, then maybe it's best to look for third-party solutions like PayPal or 2checkout to begin with.
I'll have to do some poking around at shopping cart software and see what looks good. Any recommendations? The only one I've had any experience with is Interchange... and I didn't really "use" it, I just got it working on a friend's server so that one of his customers could use it.
I'm currently using swreg.org for my shopping cart. They are good, but are not a true merchant account, and don't provide everything needed to be used effectively for hosting. They are really geared towards online software sales and actually normally don't even allow hosting companies to use them. They only let me stick around because I have shown them a dedication to stopping the fraudulent payments that are a part of this business.
I'll not even get started on paypal. I used to use them. I will not use them for anything if at all possible anymore.
Actually, for hosting and domains, you'll probably simply need billing software, something like modernbill, as opposed to a shopping cart, like oscommerce. These are just examples, and you should shop/look around.
Another factor in having your own merchant account, is the need for either your own, or a shared, secure certificate (SSL) for gathering credit card information in an appropriate manner online.
Note: This thread would be more appropriate, and likely get more response, in either the Running a Web Hosting Business or E-Commerce forums here.
I'll have a look at those (and others, of course), thanks for the help.
SSL cert is no problem. I can get them rather inexpensively when the time comes.
Sorry about not putting it in the best forum. This is the main one I have been really reading and just put it here as soon as I thought of the question and didn't really think about if there might be somewhere more appropriate.