[MUD-Dev] Payment Transaction Processing

Sean Middleditch elanthis at awesomeplay.com
Thu Dec 4 11:43:25 New Zealand Daylight Time 2003

On Fri, 2003-11-28 at 13:54, altug wrote:

> I am collecting some info on Payment Transmisson Processing and
> Billing Services for MMPOG and other online gaming services. I
> heard of PayPal and some others. However, I have no clear idea on
> what their services include or under what conditions they provide
> these services. Could anyone share his/her knowledge about or
> experience with billing services? Which services would you
> recommend and why?...

Having just looked at PayPal myself for such a service...

PayPal looks like a fairly decent solution.  Basically, this is how
it works - customers sign up with PayPal, and then they can
"transfer funds" to people/organizations, such as yours.  They can
do this either with a direct credit card payment (quick and easy) or
they can setup a complete PayPal account, stores funds in there, and
transfer some of their PayPal balance to you.  PayPal in this regard
works like an actual bank - you literally give them your money,
which they store in an account, which can earn interest.

If you want customers to be able to use the quick-n-easy credit card
payment, your account (the receiver/business) must pay for a
business class account.  For every credit card transaction, you are
charged some amount (something like 2.2% + $.30US).  If you don't
sign up for this, users can only pay by transferring funds, which
isn't convenient for non-regular PayPal users.

Now, once you get the funds, all you have is their PayPal account
info and some money in your PayPal account.  You probably want to
transfer this money into a real account (personally, I wouldn't
trust PayPal to hold onto large sums of money long-term - they're
under federal investigation for a reason, after all).  You then see
which PayPal account is linked to which user, and note the payment.

Using the PayPal services API, you can automate most of this, so you
don't have to worry about things like users having to tell you their
PayPal account or anything.

There is a similar service, WorldPay, which I've seen used by
several subscription-type vendors, such as Transgaming.  I don't
know much about it tho, I wasn't able to pull up much info from
their site without signing up, which I didn't want to do.  They seem
to explicitly support subscription model payments tho, which I'm not
sure PayPal does. (Namely, the payments will automatically re-occur,
which minimal customer intervention, unless they wish to cancel the
subscription.)  I can't find anything about pricing, except some
contact links; they've yet to contact me back with my requests
(which is for government stuff, not games, so the response wouldn't
be useful here anyhow).

You might email the support/sales departments of both PayPal and
WorldPay for more in depth information about pricing and features,
and see if those meet your exact needs.

Sean Middleditch <elanthis at awesomeplay.com>
AwesomePlay Productions, Inc.
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MUD-Dev at kanga.nu

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