Merchant Services Comparison

April 03, 2007

One of the things I’ve been doing as I get ready to sell Runner’s Log is choosing a payment processing system. Since my expected sales don’t justify the cost and time of using a dedicated credit card gateway, I’m looking at services like Paypal, Google Checkout and Kagi, among others.

Doing some reading yesterday, I found a PDF from Global Talk Software comparing the popular options for OSX shareware developers. There’s plenty of good information, including estimated costs and income for different levels of pricing. It’s very useful stuff for anyone interested in selling a software product online.

If you’re in the same position, make sure you look closely at the technical details before you choose a service provider. Google Checkout, for instance, has very good pricing, but requires SSL encryption on your website to receive sales notifications (which you need if you want to automatically generate a license key for each sale). Since the payment details are handled on the providers side of things, there’s no other reason to have SSL encryption enabled on your site, and with other providers like Paypal you don’t need it at all. Purchasing an SSL certificate just to work with Google Checkout could end up costing you more than choosing another provider, even if they do have higher fees per sale.

Marc Charbonneau is a mobile software engineer in Portland, OR. Want to reply to this article? Get in touch on Twitter @mbcharbonneau.