[MUD-Dev] [BIZ] Billing systems

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Wed Sep 5 22:05:59 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


On Wed, 5 Sep 2001, Brian Hook wrote:

> For those of you that are running small commercial text MUDs, how
> are you handling customer databases, authentication and billing?
> Presumably you have a login server that queries your customer db,
> verifying that the account is active and enabled.  What about
> billing?  Is there a standard software package people get to
> generate card charges and integrate into accounting?

In Achaea, people just telnet into the game, type their name and
password, and that's it. Same as most text MUDs.

As for billing, you have a couple options.

Credit card billing works as such:

  1. Customer enters details of purchase and card.

  2. Information is 'batched' up and sent to your merchant bank.

  3. Information is processed by merchant bank, who deposits money
  into your bank account of choice, while taking a small fee for
  themselves.

The options mainly come, as far as I know at least, at stage 2.

  Option #1

    - Write or buy software to take care of the order-taking,
    batching, and sending off to the merchant bank.

Option #2

    - Pay another company to do that for you.

Option #2 gives you less flexibility, but for us at least, the
advantages vastly outweigh the disadvantages.

If you want to see how it works, go to

  http://www.achaea.com/credits.html

Just click on what you want to buy and type in whatever name, and
hit purchase credits. On the next screen, you'll see that you're on
an encrypted page on a different server.

What's nice about having a company batch it up for you is that they
may provide other handy services. I've got a nice, comprehensive
admin website where I can search all our transactions for the last
few years, configure risk management options, produce reports,
etc. Also, I have someone else to yell at when something goes wrong
(which isn't very often. I'm quite pleased with them.)

In any case, the company we use is at:

  http:// www.innuity.com/

--matt

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