Selling things on the internet is quite easy and there are plenty of way to process credit cards and accept online payments. However subscriptions / recurring payments aren’t easy. They aren’t easy at all. Subscription changes, card failures, multiple subscriptions for a single user (different workbench products in our case) and multiple currency billing make it hard. Dealing with banks 80’s style systems makes it even harder.
When we were first working out how to cope with online payments we found lots of good looking options, all of which were only available to American companies or via paypal. (Recurly, CheddarGetterSpreedly) Eventually we found RBS Worldpay.Worldpay turned out to be too inflexible and far to much effort to set up. The time required was also insane. From the start of our application to ready to get our payments up took 7 months and significant amounts of cash. We gave up on Worldpay when we were trying (hard) to integrate it. Their system for recurring payments is so ill documented and inflexible to be useless. Users appear to require a separate login and password for Worldpay. This is unacceptable. Currently we’re looking into Saasy, from fastspring. They respond fantastically quickly to support request and got our testing site up and approved us in a day. So far it looks great, flexible and easy but I’ll post another blog when we’ve got it all live. I’ll also put some code for the server side part in python using cherrypy up on github, when it’s a bit more polished.