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  1. #1
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    PayPal Subscriptions & Recurring Payments

    I'm about to launch a site that offers a pay newsletter subscription & am thinking seriously of using the PayPal Subscriptions & Recurring Payments scheme. Is anyone using this for the same & how is it going?

    I have read in other threads that Pay Pal is not available in some countries & that the actual signing up to pay $10-15 is off-putting - surely there would be a signing up in some way anyway, no matter where the payment is made.

    An alternative fully-blown e-commerce site seems a bit over the top & very expensive.

    Any thoughts would be very welcome. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Hi
    There is another string running at the moment where a paypal rep has stated that they are beta ing a new version without the requirement to sign up.

    I am also in the process of launching a recurring payment membership section for one of my sites and paypal is very appealing as an option.

    Graham
    Regards. Graham
    Buy, Sell, Talk And Learn About Antique British Ceramics.
    Abcir.org -
    Ceramtique.com - AbcirGroupForums.co.uk

  3. #3
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    Apart from which pay system to use I have the following doubt:

    After a newsletter subscriber has paid & I am sent confirmation, am I to enter each & every subscriber into a database manually or is there a system that works seamlessly that does both. Maybe I missed this at PayPal - I saw the stuff about the password generation but it seems to stop short there.

    What if I end up with thousands of subscribers- hardly effective or secure to do it by hand!

    Perhaps it''s to be a cart system after all. Or does anyone know of a customised pay newsletter subscription programme that works with a linux server - php & mysql? Possibly all this is linked into the Instant Payment Notification system at PayPal??

  4. #4
    SitePoint Evangelist Backlinker1's Avatar
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    Perhaps a membership scheme like 'Amember pro' would be the answer, this subscribes them, gives access to locked areas, forms its own database and provides plugins for payment systems. I am in the process of installing it for my membership area and its looking good. Newsletter subs are not much different to memberships.

    Graham
    Regards. Graham
    Buy, Sell, Talk And Learn About Antique British Ceramics.
    Abcir.org -
    Ceramtique.com - AbcirGroupForums.co.uk

  5. #5
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    Thanks Graham - $100 I see - wasn't really thinking of spending much on this.

    At PayPal in the IPN section >> Code Samples there is an interface available that stores info sent from PayPal into a Mysql database. The screenshot is at: http://www.acidfanatic.com/mypaypal/screenshot.gif

    My problem is that with a newsletter process I'm going to need an automatic reminder when subscriptions dates are near as well. I'm sure there must be something out there. Have to keep looking.

  6. #6
    SitePoint Evangelist Backlinker1's Avatar
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    Amember do a free version and I think that can be used with paypal ( but not paypal recurring payments )

    Graham
    Regards. Graham
    Buy, Sell, Talk And Learn About Antique British Ceramics.
    Abcir.org -
    Ceramtique.com - AbcirGroupForums.co.uk

  7. #7
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    It is correct that we are testing a payment flow that does not require sign up but it is currently limited to one-time payments, not subscriptions.

    For a glimpse, see http://www.flylady.com
    Pricetack - sell your goods with automatic markdowns

  8. #8
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    Thanks Patrick, will check it out anyway.

    With the Recurring Payments system at Pay Pal, is it possible to programme it so that instead of automatically taking money from an account when it is payment time - which on a cursory read it seems to do, - it asks if the subscription would like to be continued & leaves it to the subscriber to put the payment in motion?

    I haven't read everything about it & it might do this anyway.

  9. #9
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    That's correct, the payments are made automatically. You would need to set up some sort of billing system if you wanted the customer to manually pay each bill. There might be a good solution in our directory: http://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr...biz-3p-outside
    Pricetack - sell your goods with automatic markdowns

  10. #10
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    I was afraid of that. I was hoping to begin this project with very little outlay & see how it goes. A quick check on the third party billing sites seems to require a certain financial outlay.

    I would have thought this notification wouldn't be too difficult for PayPal to incorporate into the recurring payment system.

    I can just imagine subscribers being billed for the second time wanting to unsubscribe & then me having to sort each individual out. Or not being aware that the billing is automatic & getting pissed off & unsubscribing because of it! Hassle.

  11. #11
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    I can't say I've heard that request before but I'll take it to the Product Manager.

    Merchants are typically looking for autmotically recurring billing. The situation you describe is not common from my experience. Refunding and canceling is very easy so I wouldn't be too worried about the few customers who forget they are arranging a recurring payment.
    Pricetack - sell your goods with automatic markdowns

  12. #12
    SitePoint Evangelist Backlinker1's Avatar
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    I also have (minor) concerns about this. I can see it could happen, especially if you do not make it abundantly clear that you atr attanging a RECURRING payment rather than a one off. The 2% chargeback rule seems to loom large there !!!
    Can you explain the difference between a refund and a chargeback from the payment companys point of view ??

    Graham
    Regards. Graham
    Buy, Sell, Talk And Learn About Antique British Ceramics.
    Abcir.org -
    Ceramtique.com - AbcirGroupForums.co.uk

  13. #13
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    Refund - a refund is issued by the merchant to an unsatisfied client. They make arrangements (return of product, termination of subscription) and then the merchant simply reverses the transaction and gives the money to the client.

    Charge Back - essentially, a charge back is a refund issued by the bank. When a customer complains to the bank that they are unsatisfied for whatever reason, the bank refunds them the money and then collects from the merchant.

    With recurring billing, if a customer doesn't know they are going to be charged, simply terminate their account and refund them the last charge.

    Cheers
    James
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  14. #14
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    Sounds straightforward but....imagine you've got a large subscriber base for an ezine - I can imagine wasting lots of time on refunding & sorting out confusions, instead of it being clear & simple from the beginning.

    BTW, Graham - what's this 2% chargeback rule? I haven't come across this yet. The straightforward refund within 30 days, I seem to remember, doesn't cost the seller anything. Or maybe not??

  15. #15
    SitePoint Evangelist Backlinker1's Avatar
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    I was talking about the payment processors. It has been said numerous times on these forums that if chargebacks equal 2% or more of your total billings then they will terminate your merchant account and you will never be allowed another one.... I guess its called chargeback suicide.

    In this case the answer would be to make sure that your customers realize you are talking about a recurring payment. Maybe even set up an auto email that goes out a week or so before payment becomes due to remind them it will happen.

    Jacker --- Thank you. I take it that the company doesn't care how many refunds you give ?

    Graham
    Regards. Graham
    Buy, Sell, Talk And Learn About Antique British Ceramics.
    Abcir.org -
    Ceramtique.com - AbcirGroupForums.co.uk

  16. #16
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    Graham

    The number of refunds is irrelevant. It is simply a transfer of the funds back to the consumer. We will wonder what is going on if the refund ratio is noticeably high, but it won't affect your account standing; we may just contact you to find out why so many refunds are being issued.

    Cheers
    James
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  17. #17
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    Still mulling over whether to use the PayPal recurring bill system.

    A question - when a subscription is due & there isn't money in the subscriber's account, what's the procedure?

    It doesn't seem to deal with this in detail in the description. I presume the subscriber is e-mailed by Pay Pal??? Is this true? It does say something about retrying to access the required amount from the account but nothing about contacting the subscriber.

    The whole recurring payment procedure really does seem to be written with one view in mind, with little thought for variations.

  18. #18
    SitePoint Evangelist Backlinker1's Avatar
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    I have been wondering the same thing but I suspect that recurring payments are only available when payments are made via a credit card, not from funds in a paypal account.
    I could be wrong though !!

    Graham
    Regards. Graham
    Buy, Sell, Talk And Learn About Antique British Ceramics.
    Abcir.org -
    Ceramtique.com - AbcirGroupForums.co.uk

  19. #19
    SitePoint Evangelist Backlinker1's Avatar
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    On a related topic. I have to say that setting up paypal to take payments ( recurring or otherwise ) seems to be wayyyy easier than doing it through other processors.....

    Graham
    Regards. Graham
    Buy, Sell, Talk And Learn About Antique British Ceramics.
    Abcir.org -
    Ceramtique.com - AbcirGroupForums.co.uk

  20. #20
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    We used PayPal and IPN to allow customers to either pay for a year at a 10% discount of the full price or set up auto-recurring monthly payments via paypal. We were able to capture data available to IPN users on PayPal, generate local entries in our database for customers and bring them back to a final screen on our site where they can setup a user name and password. It sounds like you could start with PayPal and have a minimum of labor.

  21. #21
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    Thumbs up PayPal user

    I have used PayPal for recurring subscriptions for over a year and have been pleased with it. PayPal is used to pay for memberships at my site (and product). I offer the choice of one time or recurring subscriptions. See http://www.jigcardgallery.com/JigCar...hipOptions.asp. Processing is done with PayPal IPN to automatically update my database and send emails - I wrote the code myself in ASP. The system works well with little hands on effort, though I do have it set up so PayPal and my system always send me emails so I can monitor it. Refunds are few and easy. At the end of the year, I download my activity from PayPal into a spreadsheet.

    If a credit card is rejected or there's not enough money in the a user's account, PayPal sends the visitor and me an email. My biggest problem has been that if users delete the only credit card before adding another one, all subscriptions are immediately cancelled. This cancellation cannot be undone and they must resubscribe. I send them an email warning them of this if I receive an email that their payment has failed.

    I've never had anyone complain that they were unaware of the recurring payment, but my site is clear about which option is reocurring and which is not. I do not notify my members that their subscription is about to be renewed and I have not had any complaints (and only 1 request for refund at renewal time).

    I've been very pleased with PayPal. I did however expect to have a greater percent of my visitors sign up as members. I do not know if PayPal has deterred them. I am in the process of setting up a merchant account, but will still use PayPal for recurring subscriptions.

    Dotty Storer
    http://www.jigcardgallery.com/
    http://www.dottysvirtualjigsaws.com/

  22. #22
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    There's a hierarchy: PayPal funds first, then bank transfer, then credit card (trying each credit card if more than one are registered in the account). If all those fail, PayPal will notify the merchant of a failed payment and try again. After 3 failures, the subscription is canceled.
    Pricetack - sell your goods with automatic markdowns

  23. #23
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    PayPal SDK for ASP.NET

    PayPal just posted an SDK for Microsoft ASP.NET. Included in it is a PayPal-enabled iBuySpy Commerce Starter kit. It has controls that solve the classic POST vs GET problem (They use the hyperlink control) In fact, you can use the "BuyNowButton" control and set its UseGet property or UsePopUp property to make it behave just like a regular PayPal button.

    You can download the SDK from https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/we...ftware_dev_kit. You'll need to be logged into your paypal account to view the page.

    You can also send an email to developer at paypal.com with questions.


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