This is an intro thread to a project I’ll be working on in the next
month or so.
I spoke with Boku directly and they are finalizing new documentation now
that all of their mobile payment systems will be under one roof.
Therefore, the mobile payment plugin I’ll be working on will be usable
under any mobile payment system that Boku owns, which includes Paymo.
What is Boku or Paymo?
It’s a mobile payment gateway which allows you to sell services/items to
your users through their mobile phone. Each user simply enters in their
mobile phone number at the checkout process and they receive a text
message on their phone. When they bring up their text message and click
yes, it processes the payment and Boku/Paymo sends the notification to
your site informing you of the payment.
Early Stages and Problems
The early stages, after analyzing their API is that they make it a
little more confusing than it has to be. I’ve been assured that the
documentation and process might be changing over the next few weeks,
mainly because they want to account for subscription based services.
The other issue I see is the max point payment cost allowed for
different countries. As an example, if you are in Canada, the max
payment you can process over the phone is $20.00. In the US, all phone
providers will allow $9.99 and only 70% of the phone providers will
allow a payment to be processed in the amount of $19.97. So, if you
have products or services that are over $20.00, you can see how
implementing this type of payment process would be difficult to do.
Points Top Off System
What I will be trying to do is creating a PTOS based system where you
can address the low based limits set by the phone carriers. So, if you
have a product for instance that sold for $49.00, you would implement
PTOS and the buyer would continue to purchase points on your site until
they reached the $49.00 limit and the item could be purchased.
Unfortunately, there’s no real way to get past this limitation until the
phone carriers change their stances.
BOKU will be implementing a subscription based service which could also
be used with PTOS to help a buyer out with subscribing to a service.
However, I’m still in the early thinking about how I want to go about
With a mobile payment system, handling encryption will not be as
difficult as say Paypal/IPN transactions. I was assured of this by Boku
and that the payment process is fluid and almost transparent.
What I’m after
I’m after an alternative payment gateway system that attracts more
customers because some customers might not have credit cards or a paypal
account. According to research studies, 60-80% more customers purchase
an item on a site that houses mobile payment gateways than if the site
didn’t have one implemented.
The downside of a mobile payment gateway is that there are a lot more
costs involved with carrier service charges. Realistically, you are
looking at a net profit margin of 50% of the normal fee. Therefore, if
you are selling actual products, this system will not be good for you.
If you sell virtual services, virtual items, etc. this system will be
fine for you.
I would like some initial feedback on this project, what you feel I
should look into, what things you feel I should avoid, and what extra
features you might want to see incorporated with it.