Silicon Valley Code Camp : October 8th and 9th, 2011.
PJ Gupta is Founder of Checkbook Inc (a startup doing Digital Checks). Previously, he worked for VISA, where he held positions including Chief Network Architect and Director of Network Security. Believes in changing the world of payments, ecommerce infrastructure. When not changing the world of payment systems PJ is finding ways to get back into flying single planes
So you have built a website (or an iphone app or an android app) and you are ready to launch. Last thing to do before launching is making sure you have a robust mechanism to accept payments for that wonderful product/application you're selling. Unfortunately the simple task of accepting payments online is not so simple. The process doesn't just involve API interfacing and code details - though that's a significant part of it - it involves signing up for a payment system or as its known in industry parlance - getting a "Merchant Account". The choices are plenty and with each one there are pros and cons: Paypal, Google Checkout, Amazon Payments are relatively simple to sign up with and generally provide a robust API however for a User to pay using one of these systems typically means they need to be an existing member or sign-up for them. On the other hand there are processors like Authorize.net which offer straight through Credit Card processing, however require you to setup a Merchant Account, which can require significant paperwork and their APIs can be time consuming to deal with. Then there is a crop of emerging payment companies which can be classified in various domains e.g. Ability to bill to phone bill, Alternate payment systems, Giftcard based ones etc. I intend to provide a summary of the landscape, discuss various options available today for ecommerce payment processing. (Disclosure/Disclaimer: I am founder of Noca - an online payments company )