As of today we have a new payment processing engine on the website. We used to use a combination of Ubercart, Paypal and WorldPay before today. All of these have been fine and have worked well for their relative strengths.

Ubercart is evolving quickly and has a good following in drupal land, although what we’re doing, selling two products, doesn’t really warrant or justify a “shopping cart” type solution. It’s not yet flexible enough for us to do more (like invoicing consultant work via ubercart), so in lots of ways is overkill.

Worldpay has been very good, and is quite reasonably priced. It may seem odd to have a company in Australia, selling products in US dollars via a subsidiary of Bank of Scotland, but there isn’t any local bank who will let us sell in US dollars without charging huge fees. I’m not particularly fussed about buying in overseas currency myself, but 90% of our sales are to the US, so it makes sense to have a fixed rate for that currency. I think this is becoming less of an issue though as time goes on, people are becoming more attuned to buying on the web from overseas companies.

Paypal has been good for us, you do hear stories about people who have had paypal issues before and we’ve had none of that. However we did get a recent email with a warning about Instant Payment Notifications. This is part of paypal processing that sends the data back to our site after a transaction completes. I have no idea what went wrong, nothing changed on our end, so I’ve no idea what caused the warning. It worries me that included in the email is the phrase

“If this problem continues, IPNs may be disabled for your account.”

. Seeing as I can’t find a reason for the issue, nor does the email contain any details, I’d hate for something to just stop working. I think this is the sort of thing people get concerned about with paypal, as the issue isn’t clear and there is no place in the email to follow up or find out why or what is happening, and no contact details either.

The big issue in all of this for me though, is that I have to manage all of this myself. Keeping all of the various parts updated (especially ubercart and the various modules) and making sure it’s all configured properly to work how it needs to work is not something I need to be doing. I’d prefer to be spending my time coding on BaseElements or UpdateManager and turning those into better products. I seem to come to that conclusion more and more these days.

So far we’ve outsourced timesheets to WorkFlowMax (works well but doesn’t 100% suit our workflows, we work around that), our accounting to Xero (love it), and now our payments to FastSpring.

I’m yet to see how well FastSpring will work for us. I took it on because I’ve seen other developers using it, so it already has some sort of a reputation. Plus it offers features that are simple to add that would be complex in ubercart. At this point we have a very plain vanilla store, although we’ll add more in the future.

In the mean time we still have the paypal and worldpay accounts, and we even have an old Kagi one. Worldpay is the only one of those that costs us money to keep open, although we still use it for taking credit cards at DevCon and will probably do that again this year. After that though, I’m not sure if it’s worth keeping.

If you have any issues with purchasing or questions when buying a product, please contact us.