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mschrank

Handling credit cards: point me in the right direction?

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Hi my client wants to be able to take online payments, but I don't know where to start.

It needs to be a program that runs on our own server (ssl verisign certified) that talks to the credit card processing authority, then if the transaction goes through, sets a flag on the user's account which lets him use the system.

I have seen many solutions on the net like paypal that seem easy but since they do not run on your own server it seems impossible to say "if it works, flag this value". We want it to update user accounts automatically, because we don't have a full time guy checking the paypal and verifying people by hand.

Any help appreciated...

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You'll need a payment gateway and online merchant account. verisign provide online payment service.

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Depends on how much activity your going to have.  Verisign is by the month or year for unlimited, where PayPal takes a percentage out of each transaction but no monthly.  Just depends on your needs.

-- Brady

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i think the others have avoided your question.  paypal has features that allow a file on your server to process the results of the payment that was sent through them.  this may take a while to learn the details of (it took me a little while), but the code samples on their website for IPN are a good ground setup which you can elaborate from.

they have a service called Sandbox where you may test out your system without processing any actual payments.  i'd download the manuals and get registered on Sandbox, as there are forums there where you can discuss what is going wrong with your setup.  in short, paypal gives you all the tools you need to make integration and real-time processing possible.

hope this helps.

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Your right, i'm sry i guess i didn't finish reading the original question.  I'm not sure how either of those services work, but i'm assume there is some way to customize a thank you page.  Maybe it would be possible to stick a database call in the header of that page or something.  Another option i thought of, though i coudln't tell you how to do it, is paypal sends a notification to your e-mail when you receive funds, there may be some way to have the e-mail trigger a similar database call.
Hope this helps, my first suggestion though would be try and embed a database call in a customizable portion of the thank you page.

-- Brady

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you don't even need to embed some header code in the customizable page.  paypal notifies a file on your own server when a payment is made, and what the results of the payment are.  you can then analyse this information and do whatever is appropriate for the results.  no need to fiddle with e-mail notifications when they operate a system like this, the e-mails are just a handy record.

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