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Shaggy
Support Moderator

Ireland
6780 Posts

Posted - 22 April 2008 :  05:13:37  Show Profile
Well, I've been putting it off for far too many years but it seems the time has come for me to add one of the last strings to my web programming bow, that of "e-commerce". I'm pretty sure I can easily build a nice, basic shopping cart that I can improve with additional features over time but where I know I'll be really stumped is when it comes to processing payments, etc. So, to theat end, I'm on the look out for any advice or tutorials anyone may be able to provide in the following areas:

- Securing a server
- Storing details (including credit cards) for members
- Processing payments either by manual input or using stored details
- Anything else I need to take into consideration

Eventually, as well, I'd like whatever I build to be able to interact with an off-site sales system to keep stock levels up to date, etc.

As always, any help in this matter will be gratefully received.


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ruirib
Snitz Forums Admin

Portugal
26362 Posts

Posted - 22 April 2008 :  05:19:50  Show Profile  Send ruirib a Yahoo! Message
Not much of a help, Shaggy, but do you really think it's better to handle payments yourself, other than using a payment gateway, such as Paypal or similar? I must admit that the fees are a downside, but almost everything else is an upside...


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Shaggy
Support Moderator

Ireland
6780 Posts

Posted - 22 April 2008 :  05:33:42  Show Profile
Yeah, that's definitely the route I'd prefer to go each time but, having worked with PayPal before, it doesn't give the whole setup a professional feel. Most of the clients that would be looking for this service from us would need to present the appearance of being a fully functional, self contained, online store.

Having said that, though, we'll still be offering PayPal as a solution to those who want to go for the cheap and cheerful option. It's just that, in order for us to advance & grow as a business, we need to be able to offer clients the other option to handle everything through their own site.


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fact that the mad priest lady from over the river had
taken to nailing weasels to my front door again.”
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Shaggy
Support Moderator

Ireland
6780 Posts

Posted - 22 April 2008 :  06:06:11  Show Profile
Looks like I underestimated the level of service some of these gateway companies can offer based solely on my experiences with PayPal. These guys seem to offer the perfect compromise whereby the customer doesn't need to be taken to a third party site in order to have their payment processed.


Search is your friend
“I was having a mildly paranoid day, mostly due to the
fact that the mad priest lady from over the river had
taken to nailing weasels to my front door again.”

Edited by - Shaggy on 22 April 2008 06:09:01
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Podge
Support Moderator

Ireland
3775 Posts

Posted - 22 April 2008 :  06:24:54  Show Profile  Send Podge an ICQ Message  Send Podge a Yahoo! Message
Paypal offer that too.

The Bank of Ireland offer a merchant account & whole online system. I cannot remember what its called. Fasthosts use it - http://www.fasthosts.co.uk/ecommerce/merchant-account/

Personally I use WorldPay. I cannot recommend them highly enough - http://www.worldpay.ie

Podge.

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Edited by - Podge on 22 April 2008 06:25:15
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Shaggy
Support Moderator

Ireland
6780 Posts

Posted - 22 April 2008 :  06:37:19  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Podge
Paypal offer that too.
They do? *scurries off to investigate wondering how he missed that in all his hours of researching PayPal!
quote:
The Bank of Ireland offer a merchant account & whole online system.
Gave them a whirl a few years back and it gave us nothing but headaches, but that may have had as much to do with my inexperience as anything else so I might give them another look.
quote:
Personally I use WorldPay. I cannot recommend them highly enough
Also had occasion to work with them a while back for a client with an existing account. While I found the services offered to be much superior to PayPal, I found the information available and the support provided left a good deal to be desired. Again, though, it was a few years back so may be worth another look. Reading up some more on Realex, though, they're edging ahead; decent testimonials from some major clients, enthusiasm and dedication in their support (turns out another client is looking at them to process payments on his site and he was singing their praises to me last week) and they've the added bonus of being local, just up the road from me in Monkstown.


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Shaggy
Support Moderator

Ireland
6780 Posts

Posted - 22 April 2008 :  07:00:14  Show Profile
After some more research, it looks like WorldPay haven't improved much since my brief experience with them and, it actually looks like they're worse than PayPal with much higher charges and a woefully slow in releasing your money.

Dealing directly with the banks is, obviously, preferable and definitely an option I'll keep in mind as I move forward on this little learning experience of mine. Although it looks like they're not without they're own problems too.

I'm going to start with Realex for now and hopefully add in support for PayPal and a couple of the bigger banks later on to give both the client and their customer the choice to use their preferred payment method. Oh, and can't forget about 3V as well; that's another one I'll have to look into.

Thanks for your help with the gateways, guys; I've learned a lot this morning

Still have to educate myself on securing a server, though


Search is your friend
“I was having a mildly paranoid day, mostly due to the
fact that the mad priest lady from over the river had
taken to nailing weasels to my front door again.”

Edited by - Shaggy on 22 April 2008 07:00:33
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JJenson
Advanced Member

USA
2121 Posts

Posted - 22 April 2008 :  11:13:04  Show Profile  Visit JJenson's Homepage
Just as a side note for the sites we program here we used a php cart called x-cart. Now I don't use this in my personal company but it has taught me some things about e-commerce. Most the time we refer people to use Authorize.net they are a very good company and seem to have really good response time. Also the cart has all the api's plugged in so you can connect into their systems but keep your customers in yours.

I am sure there is a way to do this with paypal but can't remember exactly how. But i know for other major credit cards Authorize.net seems to be a good choice I assume they do business in Europe but I cannot gurantee that.

HTH
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Podge
Support Moderator

Ireland
3775 Posts

Posted - 22 April 2008 :  11:27:03  Show Profile  Send Podge an ICQ Message  Send Podge a Yahoo! Message
Looks like Paypal only support "behind the scenes" processing to the US & UK - https://www.paypal.com/IntegrationCenter/ic_uk-pro.html

This might help with WorldPay - http://www.worldpay.com/support/content.php?page=guides
When I integrated them I downloaded one pdf that had all the info I needed. Only took about a week to learn the terminology and code it. Its been rock solid since.

I used to use Paypal as well (giving both options to customers) however I had numerous problems with Paypal's api which I could not resolve. Their support is easily the worst I have ever encountered.

Podge.

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