Fog Creek Software
Discussion Board

PayPal, digibuy and friends

I am considering selling some simple software products via my web site later this year and I was wondering what experiences people have had using the 'standard' credit card transaction companies.

I know Fog Creek uses Digibuy and when I brought CityDesk it was a very painless experience, but they seem to charge 14%. Is this typical? Anyone from FogCreek care to comment on how good a job Digibuy does for them? Anyone got anything good or bad to say about other firms?

Alex Peters
Wednesday, January 2, 2002

PayPal could work well with following caveats:

1) you'd need to rolll your own registration/security scheme (if desired)

2) limited international acceptance

Patrick Breitenbach
Wednesday, January 2, 2002

No complaints about DigiBuy except for the exorbitant fees.  I'd look into Versign's Payflow or Kagi.

We're rolling our own commerce engine right now and it is a royal pain in the ***.  Not the code part mind you (which will definitely take some man hours) but the actual procuring of a merchant account which is hooked up to do online payment processing.

I called CitiBank and they were not only clueless but rude.  Chase was also clueless (which is to be expected from the customer service phone rep) but he knew who to put me in touch with - and that person knew exactly what I needed.  But after getting the account they screwed up the acceptance process and I had to manually track down all of our information.  I hate banks.  Anything you can do to avoid them you should do.

I'd recommend DigiBuy if you think your monthly revenue won't be very high, since its worth a couple bucks to avoid all the headaches that they take care of (merchant account, downloding, verification, fraud protection, sales tax A BIGGIE!) but once you start paying them more than a couple hundred bucks a month, you realize its going to be more cost effective to find another solution.  (And they are unwilling to negotiate).

Michael H. Pryor
Wednesday, January 2, 2002

I've used for years and transfered a very significant amount of money through their channels. They charge 10% which I find acceptable for amounts under $50, as they also accept phone, fax, postal mail orders at no extra charge. If you want to outsource all your registration stuff it's highly recommended.

For amounts above $50 I would recommend kagi, but I never used them myself. Off course you could also add PayPal as an additional registration service. Their rates are difficult to beat, but I don't like the signup process and there were some nasty stories on SlashDot about them, but those could be exceptions. I just signed up with PayPal as several customers asked me if they could pay through them.

Jan Derk
Wednesday, January 2, 2002

what bank (or other entity) does use for merchant account?  Or, yahoo stores?

Rolf Hanson
Wednesday, January 2, 2002

Decent list:

Chase (joint venture with First Data), Paymentech, Cardservices, Wells and NBS come up frequently.

The other decision is for a processor: authorizenet, verisign (formerly signio and cybercash), cybersource.

And any small business should consider PayPal, imo, to avoid the bank hassles and exorbitant fees Michael refers to.

Patrick Breitenbach
Wednesday, January 2, 2002

Which paypment gateway you advise me if the software
I am selling will cost $15 US

And if assuming that within 18 months I make
$ 525 K US

%14 of commision seems a hell of a lot for in essence just handling a credit card transaction.

The sad thing about PayPal is that you have got to be a US resident to sell our buy

Fat Bob
Monday, January 7, 2002

PayPal supports buyers and sellers in 36 countries today. The buying experience outside the US is currently deficient but will be significantly better within 1 month (all buyers will be able to spend up to $250 immediately).

Patrick Breitenbach
Monday, January 7, 2002

"Which payment gateway you advise me if the software
I am selling will cost $15 US"


possibly in combination with


"And if assuming that within 18 months I make $ 525 K US"

Get your own merchant account.

Jan Derk
Monday, January 7, 2002

Has anyone used (or ... their site states that they only charge "$2.95 + 4 % of the registration fee, for each registration we receive. For 1,000 or more registrations per month, we offer a special price: only $1.95 for each registration!"

Any use them?

Niels Gron
Saturday, January 26, 2002

An Overview of Shareware Registration Services - recently updated.

Andrew Hallam
Sunday, January 27, 2002

Some one (or two) mentioned bad experiences with banks and their own merchant account.  When I build my first commerce site a few years back (we don't really need the "E" anymore do we?) I had only my own business experience to fall back on and immediately thought of getting a bank/merchant account.  Fortunately, the fellow I was building the site for had some banking connections which, when followed through to the end, resulted in a call to Bank of America.  They are actually the back-end processor for a ton of smaller banks and they have a very simple, well thought-out online processing system.  Essentially, you just do a form-submit to one of their servers and it will call either an "Accept" or a "Reject" page on your site with all of the appropriate authentication and session information in the URL.

I've had very good luck with Bank of America and now have my own account there as well.  You still need to get accepted as a merchant but, if you've decided to go this route, they are the first people to contact.

Mark Brittingham
Monday, January 28, 2002 is another to look into for US sellers. Actual Visa or MasterCard acceptance. I have buyers use a free cart like Mal's eCommerce ( then submit the CC information myself to ProPay to process. Nice feature is that your e-mail is what shows on buyer's CC statement unlike the other services. $0.35 plus 3.5% of transactions.

Sun W. Kim
Sunday, February 10, 2002

Our company uses DigiBuy for its orders. Since we sell at $14.95 per unit, we lose about 20% per sale (they have a $3.00 minimum take). While working with them has been great, I think we're about ready to move on; I'd be interested in hearing more from folks who have moved away from similar services.

Also, if I could entreat Joel to speak more about his experiences, that'd be great too. :)

- Thomas

Thomas Sanders
Tuesday, February 12, 2002

Maybe you can help.

I've hit the wall using PayPal so I'm searching for other users who may be able to advise.

To test PayPal WebAccept on our new website I opened another PayPal account in my own name. The trouble started when I lost my password and verifying question answers.

I find it utterly impossible to get PayPal to help me fix the situation by letting me change my account details or open a new account.

If I send a request to Support at the PayPal website I get an automated answer that has no relationship to my question.

I tried altering the details and they said they'd post me a letter with the new details, and to allow 2 weeks for it to arrive. That was over a month ago and nothing has turned up.

So I phoned them as they suggest. I'm phoning from New Zealand so it is expensive. So far I've tried twice and listened through 30 minutes of blurb\music waiting for a person to answer.

And they won't let me simply open a new account because the application is rejected "your credit card is already being used by another account".

Any suggestions welcome.


Neil Pharazyn
Wednesday, April 10, 2002

Regsoft seems to be the best Ecommerce services provider for the shareware author.

1. They are not greedy (eg they pay you when they sell your software on CD!)

2. Their website is simply the best I have seen (I have checked all the other shareware reg sites and they all look amateurish compared to regsoft)

3. Regsoft offers the most flexible options for the shareware vendor.

Their 10% rate is quite fair if you make modest sales.

However on the downside, $3  is quite high for products under $30. They need to review this!

Patrick Maina
Saturday, April 13, 2002

I don't accept any payment from paypal I only accept payment from

Sunday, July 7, 2002

<a href=''><img src=''></a>

Sunday, July 7, 2002

I clicked on the link, and got the following:
This account has been disabled..
To have the account restored, contact Customer Service.

Kenneth G. Goutal
Monday, September 30, 2002

My experience as a buyer:
PayPal now uses a misguided filter scheme in an effort to stop fraud.
They refused my perfectly valid card for unstated reasons, then the site demanded my checking account information.
It ran me around in circles insisting on new passwords, numerous emails, and always ended up where it started.

There was no way I was going to leave them with both a live credit card number AND live access to my checking account, with only a vague possibility that either one would work for me.

PayPal will answer the phone with a smiler who knows nothing and has no power to do anything.

Obviously, while PayPal works well when it works, right you simply MUST have an alternate way to be paid.  And 'check in advance' is hardly acceptable to buyers !!

I would pay the fee if vendors would accept COD but few do.
It seems there is no easy answer.

J.E. Arkay
Wednesday, May 7, 2003

ProPay looks great if you want to enter each transaction by hand.  But if you want to automate it, taking orders on the web while you are out of the office, you need their XML (SOAP) option which costs $395 for the first year (!)

Ethan Herdrick
Thursday, May 6, 2004

*  Recent Topics

*  Fog Creek Home