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CCBill Payment Gateway

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Thank you for considering a purchase of the CCBill Payment Gateway, released by @Joel R.  CCBill is now available (for the first time ever!) for IPS 4 with the integration of this payment gateway, enabling your users to check-out and pay for your goods and services using CCBill.  

This file is coded for IPS 4.x IP.Commerce.

You are encouraged to read through the entirety of this description to ensure this file is appropriate for your use case.

Why CCBill?

Merchants.PNGCCBill offers a trusted and dedicated payment processing system used to process millions of transactions each year between webmasters and consumers.  It's developed a reputation as one of the leading payment processing systems, where your clients can securely and conveniently buy and you can manage purchases and subscriptions.  It offers complimentary fraud control, membership and purchase management, and 24/7 consumer and merchant support - all in a trusted brand built over a decade and a half.  

CCBill offers payment types that are familiar and convenient for your users, no matter where they are located. Whether your consumers are using credit cards, electronic checks, bank debit, or are in Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada, or the United States, they can buy your product or service.  CCBill accepts all major payment methods in a global processing system with multiple currency options, multilingual support, and dedicated payment options for geographic regions.  

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CCBill offers payment processing in a variety of channels, including online businesses, dating, nonprofit organizations, high risk websites, live entertainment, and subscriptions.  As a brief highlight:

Learn more about CCBill: Merchants | Pricing

My Story

I wanted to share my own experiences and how I came about commissioning this payment gateway in a heartfelt story about how important it is to me to offer this payment gateway to the IPS Community.  

IPS Clients create communities around a diverse variety of topics, not all of which are suitable for mainstream payment providers such as PayPal and 2Checkout.  Unfortunately, due to our content or business model, we are locked out of mainstream payment processors and unable to financially fund our communities.  My community is like that too, and ever since I installed IP.Nexus back in 2012, I've been rejected over and over - and over and over! - again by mainstream payment providers.  I know what it's like to make painful choices such as killing my own traffic so my website doesn't become a financial drain.  

It's taken me 3 years to get here.  I've burned through highly-reputable IPS third-party developers who were recommended to me, but who couldn't finish the gateway.  I've burned through an IPS third-party developer who supposedly specializes in IP.Commerce.  I've even burned through Indian, Nepalese, and Bangladesh developers I found through oDesk.  I've burned through thousands of dollars in wasted efforts and failed attempts.  But the payment gateway is finally made!  

Offering this gateway is an affirmation of the incredible array of IPS communities and our diverse audiences -- to help your community as well as mine thrive by allowing our communities to self-finance in a sustainable manner so we can continue to grow, build, and celebrate the richness of our awesome communities and members.        

My First Steps

I recognize that due to its price, this purchase is not a casual purchase.  It's not designed to be.  This is not one of those free or low-cost plugins in the Marketplace that you try, buy, and then discard.  This is an investment into your community's future sustainability and financial success, and you should consider it as such.

As the first steps to getting started, I encourage you to follow the instructions below to ensure you and your community are properly onboarded:

  1. Your Merchant application to CCBill is approved.  Your website has been reviewed and is approved.    
  2. You read through the "Merchants" section of CCBill's Merchant Knowledge Base (Link) in its entirety.  
  3. You outline the types of goods and services you want to offer and how you want users to pay (eg. payment workflow).  
  4. You converse with CCBill's Merchant support regarding your proper choice(s) for Subaccounts and Forms.  This step is critical, as it will determine how you will configure your payment gateways.   
  5. You upgrade to the latest stable version of IPS 4.x with IP.Commerce enabled and no outstanding bugs.  You have no third-party applications, plugins, or hooks that interfere with the normal functioning of IP.Commerce.  

I will make every effort to explain what options are available to you in CCBill and to assist you.  However, due to the nature of this payment gateway and how CCBill receives pricing information in their forms, it is critical that you ultimately communicate with your Account Representative at CCBill to determine what options are most appropriate for you.

Learn More about CCBill: Learn More | Merchant Sign-Up | Admin Login

My Commitment

This file is tested.  Before releasing this file to the Marketplace, I ran through three rounds of testing.  In my first round, I ran six test transactions on my demo website to ensure they gave the right result:

In my second round of testing that happened on my live website, I ran the same 6 test transactions to ensure they gave the right result.  Finally, I ran two real transactions on my live website using my own Discover Card and US Checking Account to ensure the payments were triggered in CCBill.  I also ran so many other test transactions during the development phase that I lost count.  

This file works.  If I personally want to make money on my website, then my only recourse is to use my own CCBill Payment Gateway.  As such, I can provide a live demo on my own website which walks you through a live and functioning CCBill Payment Gateway.  The screenshots are also of a live, real transaction on my community.

This file will support IPS 4.x over its lifetime.  I am personally committed to ensuring this file works for the lifetime of IPS 4.x, and if there are any changes that need to be made to the file, I will ensure those changes are immediately released.  

This file will be documented.  Working with CCBill can be tricky and complex.  This payment gateway is different from others and isn't a one-click install.  CCBill doesn't have a true API, so you will need to configure both CCBill and your IP.Commerce settings to match your needs.  I am personally committed to making sure you understand your options and steps you need to take through documentation, screenshots, and other assistance.  

Screenshots

The screenshots walk you through a complete transaction from beginning to end, so you can see how IP.Commerce interacts with CCBill.  

Checkout - 2 Images.  I add "VIP Olympian" purchase to my cart, which is a recurring subscription of $20 / mo.  On the checkout page, I am presented with two payment options to pay using credit card or online check, both through CCBill.  

CCBill Forms - 2 images.  I am redirected to the CCBill form, which requires me to enter in my billing, address, and new account information.  Once I submit, CCBill gives a payment confirmation with a link back to website.  Success!

CCBill Portal - 2 images.  The first image is homepage of CCBill with link to Admin Login.  Second image is my dashboard, which confirms the 2 purchases made Yesterday.  

Email - 3 images.  First email is CCBill's confirmation to the subscriber.  Second email is CCBill's confirmation to merchant.  Third email is IPS 4's confirmation.

Payment Settings - 2 images.  First image shows two different payment gateways for CCBill (one for credit cards; the other for online bank checks).  Second image shows live transaction marked as approved in ACP.  

Images valid as of April 2016.

Questions &  Answers

  1. Does the gateway accept ## payment type in ## country?  You will need to refer to CCBill's payment processing options as well as your account.  Some countries allow certain payments while others don't, although you will find CCBill's payment options are normally more than enough for buyers.     
  2. What pricing option do you use?  I'm on the Direct plan, which is only available to new sign-ups, although you should converse with an Account Representative to determine which one is most appropriate.  
  3. Can my website contain ## content?  You will need to submit a Merchant Application to see if your project is approved.  For example, during my website's risk and compliance review I had to remove certain kinds of content.
  4.  How do I configure my webhooks / subaccounts / test user / dynamic pricing in CCBill?  CCBill offers extensive documentation, and you'll find their Live Chat is fantastic and will even do most of the work for you if you ask nicely or sound really confused.
  5. Is this purchase for life?  Yes, this is a one-time purchase that is for lifetime and gives you download rights to all future updates to this specific file.  
  6. Are there any restrictions on the purchase?  You are welcome to use your gateway on as many IPS communities that you personally own.  Happy selling to you.  However, I'd like to request that you not redistribute your personal copy to anyone else.  You paid a lot for it, and you should protect your copy.
  7. Why is the purchase so expensive?  This cost is a fraction of what it would cost for a custom development job (as my wallet knows many times over).  Let's face it, you're already losing money every month on server costs, bandwidth, storage, cloud distribution, domain renewals, and everything else - I know I was.  How much more can you afford to lose before you find a suitable solution?  This gateway is a one-time, upfront investment so you can begin earning money.  This file's price point is calibrated for serious webmasters who need a reputable and trusted payment gateway for high risk content.  And since you're a serious webmaster, then you're serious about finding a solution to make your community prosper.
  8. Are refunds allowed?  No, this file is designed for webmasters who understand and want to invest in their own communities for the long-run, and understand the expectations before purchase.
  9. Will the gateway work with Community in the Cloud customers?  This payment gateway may not work on Community in the Cloud customers as you may not (in most cases ) have any direct filesystem (FTP) access.  You will need to check with your IPS hosting representative to see if you have FTP access, or if they can upload the file on your behalf.  
  10. Does the gateway support CCBill Flexforms? No.  Flexforms are best used when you can customize forms in advance (eg. an Online Business sells one and only kind of product, and you can define product in advance).  In our case, we pass along variables via dynamic pricing to CCBill's standard Jpost form based upon the buyer's cart, so the gateway already customizes the form for you.  This gives flexibility to you as a webmaster, since you can add / remove products and increase / decrease prices in the ACP without worrying about changing your Flexform; when your buyers checkout, the exact price is passed on to CCBill's standard form.  If you'd like to customize the standard form with colors and logos, CCBill will be happy to assist you.
  11. What are your use cases?  I personally use the gateway to sell recurring membership subscriptions, although it can be used for any of the major classes of IPS products: digital goods, physical goods, advertising, subscriptions, etc.  All this gateway does is handle the actual payment; everything else is handled by IP.Commerce.  
  12. Does the gateway support the scenario where members sell ## and I get a commission (such as the IPS Marketplace)?  Kind of.  You, as webmaster, will get paid the full amount at time of checkout.  CCBill does not offer an API and, by itself, cannot do automated pay-outs like PayPal.  What instead will happen is that your sellers will be credited with funds into Account Credit.  They may then use those Account Credits for other purchases on your website, manual payouts using another payment gateway, or automated payouts using another payment gateway.

More Q&A will be posted as inquiries are made.  I am committed to providing as much upfront transparency as possible so you can be successful with the gateway.

If you have a question, please ask.  I will be more than happy to walk through your payment workflow.

Reviews Feedback

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Thank you in advance for any positive feedback you leave below in the Reviews.  I would love to hear your stories on how this payment gateway empowered you to start earning money and to become a profitable, self-sustaining community!

wto, 19 kwiecień 2016