Tag Archives: PayPal

About PayPal, Moneybookers, eSellerate, Kagi, 2Checkout

Some time ago, I was looking for a new payments processing option. I have always been using PayPal, because PayPal provides a relatively simple PHP API, which allows me to process payments automatically. However, PayPal

a) requires me to log in every 10 minutes ALL DAY LONG!!! That’s extremely frustrating for web developers.
b) doesn’t provide any support whatsoever; if you write to support@paypal.com you get a note that you can’t write to that address and are required to use a web form that doesn’t work and can’t be found anywhere on the web site.
c) always implies the risk of losing your money, when someone claims not to have received your product.
d) doesn’t allow me to display a simple widget in an iframe on my website to complete the entire payment.

When searching for an alternative, it appeared that Moneybookers.com could have solved most of the problems I encountered with PayPal. Particularly, they would allow me to put a widget-ish thing on my website to process payments and make it look as if the customer never left my website. Unfortunately, Moneybookers requires me to change my password every few weeks. That is an impossible and worthless policy, because:

a) I can’t possibly remember a password that I need to change every few weeks –you need to change your password the instant you start using your account and can’t get access without changing your password– without writing it down, hence causing additional security risks and
b) I have to distribute the password to people I work with, causing security risks each time I have to change the password.

Another problem with Moneybookers is that their support sucks. Moneybookers provides standard answers in reply to support requests and made me feel dumb and foolish. It is never wise to humiliate your clients. The Moneybookers support department was slow: it often took them more than 24 hours to reply, while I needed an instant solution. Additionally, I felt uncomfortable with the many questions Moneybookers asked me, about the products I was going to deliver, who is responsible for delivery, and they even sent me a list of 9(!) items of documents and information that I would have to provide!

Because of the password policy and the retarded, humiliating attitude, I decided to decline Moneybooker’s offer.

I also considered 2Checkout.com. This company has great support and is very helpful. In 3 days, they gave me the same information that Moneybookers needed one entire week for (from my first e-mail until I decided to reject their offer). They replied instantly during business hours, but they let me down as soon as the weekend started in their time zone. Unfortunately, their service provides insufficient flexibility. Particularly the impossibility to create a widget in an iframe put me off. Moreover, their documentation is way too complicated and I couldn’t figure out whether their system would meet my needs.

I never considered eSellerate, because I received a huge load of spam from them, when they started their company. I tend to not trust spammers.

I didn’t consider Kagi.com either, because they seem to be quite inflexible and they are one of the most expensive credit card processors that a shareware producer might use.

The result is that I stayed with the worst of all: PayPal. PayPal is a terrible service, but they are technically superior and provide excellent documentation and libraries, which allowed me to set up an automatic payment and licensing system without asking for any help from support departments and without asking anyone for permission to do whatever I needed to do to get the job done.

If you know about a service that provides the same features and technical superiority as PayPal at the same fees and solves aforementioned problems, I will switch immediately to that service.