Direct Credit Card Payments?

I’m considering doing some work to set up the ability to enter your credit card information on the DONATION web site directly, rather than having to be forwarded to the PayPal web site to do that. I’d like your opinions about doing so.

The advantage of this would be that the process of paying by credit card would be more seamless, and would not raise some people’s fears about PayPal (I’ve talked to a couple of people in just the last few days who were very averse to using PayPal.) Mind you, behind the scenes, PayPal would still be processing the credit cards for me, but that would not be visible to the user who was paying. There would also be an option called “Checkout via PayPal” to use your PayPal account, for those who have one and choose to use it. (This latter point isn’t optional – PayPal insists that you also include it if you are using them behind the scenes for credit card processing.)

The disadvantage of this is that the users are trusting me, an unknown person/company (at least for those who are paying their initial Full License fee), with their credit card info. I personally don’t see why they should trust me more than a huge corporation like PayPal – I myself would rather trust PayPal than a small software author I know nothing about. But I don’t know whether that is a common point of view.

I would not store anyone’s credit card info after I sent it off  to PayPal to complete their payment, as I have no further use for it, and don’t want to have to worry about maintaining the security of that information in a database I am keeping or anything like that.

One question I have about this is whether I would have to make clear to the people paying by credit card that PayPal was processing the payment behind the scenes. My inclination is that this is irrelevant to them, but I’m open to other views. I am generally inclined to more disclosure rather than less.

So, any opinions? Thanks, as always.

7 thoughts on “Direct Credit Card Payments?

  1. I will ALWAYS use Paypal if it is an option just so my CC info isn’t in another database somewhere..


    • Does that mean you have a PayPal account, David, and you would be satisfied with this proposal because you could use the “Checkout via PayPal” option?

      Or are you also implying that if you didn’t have a PayPal account, you’d still rather enter your credit card info on the PayPal site than on an individual small software vendor’s, i.e. agreeing with my concerns about this?

  2. I would prefer to direct the payments through PayPal simply for the security feature.

  3. Since I am in Ontario, I prefer to mail you a cheque. I don’t use my credit card or Paypal unless there is no other way, i.e. foreign currency exchange, or they won’t take my cheque.
    But your proposal seems good to me. Yes, I think you should let the folks know that Paypal is doing the processing.

  4. I am not averse to using PayPal and would encourage others to do so. But, just a minute, we’re talking about DONATION which is software that is only known to the envelope secretary (or in a non church environment, to a similar managerial position), not to donors, who have no idea how we track donations. So how do you propose to set this up?

    • I think perhaps you misunderstood my proposal, Peter. This is not about letting the organizations using DONATION accept credit card payments from their donors. This is merely about slightly changing the way organizations purchase DONATION.

      Currently, to pay for DONATION you can send a cheque, or you can pay with your PayPal account, a credit card, or a debit card, but all through links that take you to the PayPal website to enter your info and complete the payment. The change would be that for credit cards, I would prompt for the required information on my own website, then invisibly send that to PayPal to complete the payment, then still on my own website confirm that the payment went through.

  5. Well, I have to admit this is an inconclusive set of responses. I’ll have to think about this more, and/or maybe poll a random sample of my regular users (not blog readers) about this.

    Thanks to those of you who responded. I’m still open for more responses!

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