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In search of a good/cheap credit card payment service provider


Dear Docoders,  ;D

i have no experience in this area and i am facing a gazillion of options that i, for sure, can't check all myself in detail. So i need your help, or better recommendations, to narrow the search a bit.


We need to offer in our commercial x-ray app a new kind of a purchase plan. A "volume plan" for a specified amount of images exposured. That means the customer should can do an in-app purchase to purchase another 1000, 2000, ... images for which he has to pay x, y, or z $$$. :) Then he can exposure and process that amount of images and if the amount he paid for is running dry, he have to purchase another "amount package" and so on.

For this to accomplish, we need a kind of a payment service provider, that accepts all major credit card brands and also handles things that are important for business customers correctly (e.g. correct VAT following the customers country laws and a correct PDF invoice blah blah). That service should be at least available to customers in whole europe, even better if it is working worldwide (but not a prerequisite for the time i write this beg).

The purchase should be possible via an in-app purchase without needing the customer to open the browser and visit the service providers webpage (if this is possible - if not we have to accept of opening a browser, but the former is preferred). So a kind of web api for the service would be great. As we are developing the x-ray app in full ourselves, we can develop a module that can contact webpages, interpret the results sent by the services webserver and whatnot. The process just should be a stable and reliable for mostly unattended processing. If the purchase is complete and verified by the service provider, we need to get a notice from the provider in any way that we can process this in our house mostly automatically too (e.g. sending the customer a new license file, creating an invoice for the customer, blah blah).

Last thing to watch out for is of course the price (the fees) that the service provider will bill for his efforts. Okay, if he offers a better and seamless api/service then a higher fee is acceptable of course. But still, as lower as best. :)

So i kindly ask for recommendations what service providers i maybe shall check. Anyone here have experiences with billing providers on the web with his online-shop or whatnot and can share a recommendation or his experience? If i don't ask for too much, maybe one or two short lines which services, from my above mentioned points, i can expect from them, would be really a premium, superawesome, hypermega recommendation. :)

Out of the head comes to mind DigitalRiver and Paypal which i will first check now while i'm patiently waiting for the results of my most loved and useful think tank in the universe (the Doco forum :) ). But every other hint is also very much appreciated.

So let the recommendations coming! :)

Greetings, your grateful

I think that this is the kind of decision that you need to weight very carefully, and that any recommendations will be pretty general. You know your exact requirements, so you're really the only one that can decide on the trade-offs with the different systems.

Here are some that I've used, am familiar with, have met the owners/staff, or whatever:

PayPal - Very robust and relatively easy. Lots of third party support out there. I've never had a serious problem with them.
Merchant account - depends...
Digital River - Truckloads of options here for virtually any kind of software related application you can imagine - excellent delivery systems. These are the "big boys" in the software payment ecosystem.
Northstar - Run by a decent fellow
Avantgate - Very nice people to deal with
Worldpay - Geared towards Europe
Plimus - A lot of people recommend this, but I'm not so sure - I've often heard developers asking about if it is down - they could just have had a bad sales day though. Dunno.

If you need it for a specific country, then do look into local payment systems as there are MANY systems for specific countries, and they often have better service because they've been able to negotiate better agreements with the local banks and finance institutions.

I don't know if that's much of a help.

Hi Renegade,

it IS definitely of any help. :)

I know that i have to decide myself which to choose. But it will narrow the search a bit or at least make me look at the recommended first. If i find one that seems the right one, i don't think i will check another 100 more then. Then i maybe miss the best, but at least i got a good one. :)

No, specific country is not applicable. If we would do this we have to support many, many different systems. Time is money and simplicity and maintainability is time saving and so money saving, which equalize the maybe a bit worse conditions with a non-local provider anyway. :)

Thanks again for your list...will check them now.


One of the often seen players in shareware is Kagi, used them myself to buy stuff, but never used them as the selling party though...

Thanks Ath,

will check that too. Your hints (also in the channel - Eclipse-Colors you remember *wink* *wink*) were always high quality.



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