I'm putting together a simple informational website for a client of mine who runs a landscaping business. One of things that he mentioned he like to be able to do is let customers pay him through his website.
Here is how it would work:
- His company cuts my grass.
- I get an invoice for $30
- The invoice tells me that I can pay online if I'd like - which I would like to do.
- I go to his website and click on a "pay invoices" link.
- I enter in the invoice number from my invoice and the total for the invoice ($30).
- I enter my information and credit card number and hit a pay button.
- Payment is processed and sent to the company and an email confirmation/receipt is sent to me (the customer) and the business.
A couple other details
-The landscape business already has a merchant account and accepts credit card payments over the phone and in person. This would just be another way to simplify the process for their customers.
-The merchant account that they have can be used to support website payments.
-The script/solution would not need to recognize the invoice numbers within a database or anything, this field would just be a blank spot where the customer fills in the number and moves on - as far as submitting the form goes, it has no important role, just for ease of tracking payments as they come in.
I think that covers what I'm looking to do. Again, something pretty basic and simple, but still secure and usable.
Does anyone have suggestions for an ecommerce solution that would provide such a basic service or an idea of what it would cost to develop something like this?
Thanks for all your help, everyone! I look forward to getting some input on this.
What service does your client use?
I would think Paypal with a custom field being passed (invoice number) would do this just fine if you don't need to ensure that the payment amount is correct or to retrieve the invoice from the DB.
I'm sure there are much much more elegant solutions out there though.
I'm not positive what service he is already using, I haven't asked that question yet. I imagine his merchant account is just set up through his bank though.
Yea I was figuring PayPal would work, but I'd like to avoid paypal and feed the payments through his normal merchant account service and directly to his bank account rather than inserting an extra step in the process.
If there aren't any other recommendations, that that is definitely an option.
I would go with PayPal, sometimes that extra middle man step (that merchants provide) are better in the long run for the security of your finances. It allows you to store funds for a short period (like 30 days) in case people want a refund (which their legally entitled to) so you can simply reverse the transaction rather than having to start messing around your bank account with payment transfers (which often have higher costs associated with them if it's international debits).
PS: PayPal has an excellent API, one of the best in the industry... another great reason to stick with what people recognise.
Your client can use a invoicing web service like InvoiceMore. Most online billing/invoicing services let you do exactly as you describe, only the business would send you a link to the invoice via email, IM, etc. and you would be able to pay it online directly.