Storing customer CC on gateway

I posted this late yesterday afternoon to no response, so I figured I’d
try once more to get the morning people’s attention.

I’m working on setting up the credit card processing part of a rails app
for my company and running into some issues. I’m currently working
with the ActiveMerchant plugin and connecting to our account at
Authorize.net. Everything’s been relatively easy to setup, until I got
to the recurring billing part. The problems I’m finding are…

A. ActiveMerchant doesn’t appear (yet?) to support Authorize.net’s new
Automatic Recurring Billing (ARB) API.

B. ARB doesn’t appear to directly notify our application about what
charges failed or succeeded, instead sending a daily email that a
person would have to read and then manually go take appropriate actions
on user accounts, which completely surprises me. I wrote a recurring
billing interface to Paypal in Perl over two years ago, and this was a
standard part of the interface for them all the way back then.

C. ARB doesn’t allow the kind of control we need for deciding when and
how much to charge people. ARB wants us to setup a schedule to charge
card X Y times at Z frequency. However, our system would be a little
more akin to allowing users to use a card already on file for future
purchases without having to re-enter the card. The amounts and
frequencies are going to change a lot. We don’t want to store the card
info on our sever, but would rather store in on the gateway and just
send them a key referencing the previously used card and tell them to,
“charge that one again for this new amount, and respond with the
status.”

Has anybody else run into any of these issues, and if so, how did you
deal with it. We’re not married to ActiveMerchant or Authorize.net, so
if there are alternatives to either/both that would allow the kind of
control we need, I’d love to hear about them.

To summarize, we need to charge irregular amounts at irregular intervals
to a specific card keyed to a specific customer without storing the
credit card info on our server or requiring the customer to re-enter
their card info every time, and find out immediately (not via email)
if the charge succeeded or failed. Pipe dream?

Hi Jon,

I don’t have any experience yet with this stuff, but it’s getting very
close
to the top of my list so I’ll be interested in how things go for you.
The
recurring-but-with-different-amounts issue looms especially large for
me.
I hope you get some responses from folks with actual experience. One
thing
that might help is to re-post with one issue per. The subject here is
representative for only part of your post.

Best regards,
Bill

Thanks for the info Zack. It looks like TC might be flexible enough to
do what we need.

I sent an email to TC sales yesterday (still no reply) to find out
whether or not they supported what we needed to do as well as if they
work with WellsFargo. It seems that our financial dept is joined at the
hip to WF, so unless TC works with WF, then that probably won’t be an
option. TC claims, " We work with almost every bank in the US, so
chances are your bank is supported.", but WF specifically directed us to
A.net, so … I don’t know. I would guess that TC works fine with WF,
but with 24 hours gone by with still no reply from TC, I’m having my
doubts.

On 3/9/07, Jon G. [email protected] wrote:

I would guess that TC works fine with WF, but with 24 hours gone by with
still no reply from TC, I’m having my doubts.

Jon,

Interesting. I had a really bad experience with a salesman there.
Almost made me go somewhere else. But the price and solid API kept me
in the game. Ever since becoming a customer I have been very
satisfied with the responsiveness of customer support on technical and
billing questions.

I would call up and request a test account with Citadel support (their
buzzword for subscription billing support). Then you can play around
a bit to get a feel of the product. The technical docs you will have
access to as part of the test account will let you explore the full
API and then you should be able to properly evaluate the service. It
has worked very well for us (we use BofA).

Hope this helps.


Zack C.
http://depixelate.com

Thanks again Zack. Per your suggestion I called instead of waiting for
an email response, and got an answer right away, which unfortunately was
not a simple yes or no. uggh. The person I talked to is setting up a
test account for us with Citadel though, so once I’ve confirmed that we
can do what we need, I’ll start jumping through the other hoops for WF.
TFSMIF. Have a great weekend.

On 3/9/07, Jon G. [email protected] wrote:

A. ActiveMerchant doesn’t appear (yet?) to support Authorize.net’s new
how much to charge people. ARB wants us to setup a schedule to charge
if there are alternatives to either/both that would allow the kind of
control we need, I’d love to hear about them.

To summarize, we need to charge irregular amounts at irregular intervals
to a specific card keyed to a specific customer without storing the
credit card info on our server or requiring the customer to re-enter
their card info every time, and find out immediately (not via email)
if the charge succeeded or failed. Pipe dream?

Jon,

You might want to check out TrustCommerce (www.trustcommerce.com).
They will store the credit card info and then you can have them bill
the same amount on a recurring basis or tell TC the amount to charge
every month. It’s very flexible and well documented.

Also, I wrote a gem that provides a nice interface to the TC
subscription model:
http://trustcommerce.rubyforge.org

Hope this helps.


Zack C.
http://depixelate.com

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