Merchant Account Services

Archive for the 'Payment Gateways' Category

Building a Recurring Billing System

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2022

Ever since Authorize.Net released the Automated Recurring Billing API we have had the fortunate experience of integrating quite a few gateways that utilize this new functionality. As we have delved further into the needs of each client it became apparent just how much thought must go into a recurring billing system.

At first glance the ARB API seems to be very sparse in terms of functionality and you would be right. They limit the calls to their system to:

  • Creating new ARB subscriptions
  • Editing existing subscriptions
  • Deleting existing ARB subscriptions

So why is this new API considered so useful? Because those three ARB functions allow us to do everything we need when combined with our own recurring billing system.

So what would our recurring billing system need to do? It would need to:

  1. Manage our subscription IDs
  2. Track customer credit card expiration dates
  3. Notify customers of their credit card’s expiration date
  4. Allow customers to change the credit card associated with their subscription
  5. Alter the amount of a recurring billing subscription
  6. Delete a subscription

Over the next few blog posts we will explore the needs of our recurring billing subscription system and how we will use the Authorize.Net ARB API along with our own subscription tracking system to make a robust subscription application.

Authorize.Net is NOT a Payment Processor

Wednesday, February 14th, 2022

One of the biggest misconceptions out there right now is that Authorize.Net is a payment processor. Often times I will hear or read about someone who is looking for a new payment processor and a common answer is, “try Paypal or Authorize.Net”. While I am sure Authorize.Net is thrilled that they are so commonly considered by merchants as a payment solution, unfortunately by itself their product is useless.

What most people do not seem to understand is exactly what Authorize.Net offers. Authorize.Net primary service is their payment gateway. A payment gateway connects a merchant’s website (usually through their shopping cart) to their merchant account. The payment gateway takes the transaction information, passes it on to the processing bank. It then receives the results of that transaction and presents it back to the originating website so it may react accordingly. Basically, it performs the same function as a credit card terminal does in a retail store.

What is important to note about this is scenario is that without the merchant account on the other end, the payment gateway is useless. Without someone to send the transaction to the payment gateway cannot function as by definition the gateway serves to connect the website to the merchant account. Having no merchant account means an incomplete

An important reason why this is important to know is some merchants may sign up for an Authorize.Net account thinking they are getting everything they need to process credit cards online. In reality they are missing the most important piece and have even more fees in store for their business. This might not be the best option for their business especially if they will be a low volume business.

So, when you see someone recommending Authorize.Net as a payment processor, keep in mind they are only a tool for processing payments. They are not the ones actually processing the payment. That is the role of the merchant account.

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Authorize.Net Launches Recurring Billing API

Thursday, February 8th, 2022

Today Authorize.Net released their API for their recurring billing feature of their payment gateway. This feature has been eagerly awaited by businesses who wish to automate the process of establishing recurring billing accounts without having to manually set up each account or, even more importantly, did not want to store credit card information of their customers until they had an opportunity to establish their recurring billing account.

Examples of businesses you could take advantage of this are:

  • Webhosting
  • Subscription based websites

Naturally we wasted no time and created our own class to access their API. Here is an example of how to use this class to create a recurring billing account. It should be noted that this class defaults to monthly recurring billing that starts one month from when the recurring billing account is created and will run for three years. You can change this by passing different values to the class before creating the account.


$arb = new AuthnetARB();
$arb -> setParameter(’amount’, 1.00);
$arb -> setParameter(’refId’, 1242);
$arb -> setParameter(’cardNumber’, ‘5424000000000015′);
$arb -> setParameter(’expirationDate’, ‘ 2023 -05′);
$arb -> setParameter(’firstName’, ‘Jim’);
$arb -> setParameter(’lastName’, ‘Conners’);
$arb -> setParameter(’subscrName’, ‘Test Account’);
$arb -> createAccount();

echo $arb -> getResponse();
catch (AuthnetARBException $e)
$debug = $e->getTrace();
die(”Exception occurred: ” . $e->getMessage() . “. File: ” .
$debug[0][’file’] . ” on line ” . $debug[0][’line’]);

Hopefully this is enough to get you started in accessing the Authorize.Net Recurring Billing API. You can be sure an article will follow that will go into further detail about using this feature and API.

You can download the PDFPDF of their integration guide from your control panel.

You can download a beta version of our Authorize.Net Recurring Billing Class here. It is written in PHP 5 but can easily be converted to PHP 4.

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Authorize.Net to Offer Recurring Billing API

Thursday, January 4th, 2022

Authorize.Net will begin beta testing a new API for their recurring billing service. Currently users of this feature had to either manually configure recurring billing accounts or upload a file containing multiple accounts.

This API is slated to go live by the end of the month. We have been asked to be beta testers of this new feature. Expect a review and an article with code to follow.

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New Article: Integrate the Payment Gateway with PHP

Tuesday, November 21st, 2022

It is our pleasure to announce our first article aimed directly at web developers. Integrate the Payment Gateway with PHP walks developers through the process of identifying the steps of an online credit card process both from a programmatic point of view as well as a technical point of view (from web page to processor and back again). It then explains how credit card related data should be validated before being used for payment.

The heart of the article lies in the PHP code that is developed along the way. A class is created that handles everything from sending the data to the API to receiving and handling the response. The client side code can be as little a just a few lines of code to successfully process a transaction. Because the code is designed to be modular it can be easily reused in any web application without having to rewrite any portion of it.

So check out Integrate the Payment Gateway with PHP and let us know what you think.