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Amazon Launches Subscription-Based Billing And Payments Service

samzenpus posted about 2 months ago | from the time-to-pay dept.

Businesses 76

mpicpp (3454017) writes in with news about Amazon's new payments service. "The company launched a service Monday known as Amazon Payments that allows consumers to use their Amazon accounts to send and receive money and shop online at 'thousands of sites other than Amazon.' It's accessible on both desktops and mobile devices. For businesses, Amazon is selling the service as a way to take advantage of its security and user data while saving time for new customers. There's no recurring fee for retailers to use the platform, though Amazon plans to take a standard cut of 2.9% from those businesses, plus $0.30 for each transaction of $10 or more. With more than 244 million active customer accounts, Amazon already has a massive base of potential users for the service. The effort represents a new front in its assault on eBay, which owns online payments service PayPal."

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Let the Patent War Begin (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47197007)

eBay is going to sue the shit out of Amazon for any and every little detail they can dream up, and it will be a gargantuan fight of epic proportions that ends up costing consumers billions in added costs to products and services.

Re:Let the Patent War Begin (2)

just_another_sean (919159) | about 2 months ago | (#47197035)

Well, I'll make the popcorn, you pick up some beer!

Re:Let the Patent War Begin (2)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 months ago | (#47197583)

If I had mod points, you'd be down 1 for not doing that in Yoda voice.

Re:Let the Patent War Begin (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 2 months ago | (#47199679)

If Amazon loses, it has one sure-fire way to retaliate: send the settlement through PayPal.

OLD news (5, Interesting)

santajon (22325) | about 2 months ago | (#47197013)

Amazon payments launched in 2007. I've had an account with the service for at least 5 years.

Re:OLD news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47197033)

Sure enough [csestrategies.com] (News from August 03, 2007: Amazon Payments Launched). Kickstarter has used them for a while now. Maybe this "launch" is just a new marketing effort...

Re:OLD news (2)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | about 2 months ago | (#47197051)

Indeed. I just renewed my Schedules Direct account for my MythTV system using Amazon Payments.

Re:OLD news (2)

OhPlz (168413) | about 2 months ago | (#47197059)

Same here. I've paid for things from non-Amazon sites using Amazon as a payment type for years. Just like Paypal, it saves reentering shipping, billing and payment details. Also keeps the credit card number out of the end merchant's hands.

Re:OLD news (3, Informative)

Aighearach (97333) | about 2 months ago | (#47197201)

For sure. The news is actually just they added recurring payments.

I tend towards using "epay USA" for my clients because they're the only one that offers the complete package; card present, card not present, mail order, recurring, etc.

Since there is only one API so far that supports everything, it is common to have to spend a bunch of money switching payment providers, just to add features to a product, or worse, some of my point-of-sale customers have to have different payment processors for online and in-person sales.

So I agree the feature is an important addition. But not important to most people, and not a new "service."

Re:OLD news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47208437)

The news is actually just they added recurring payments.

This is significant news. Recurring payment systems result in many cases of fraud, where people are charged for products or services they don't actually receive. Some shady businesses make "unsubscribing" incredibly difficult (and then try to claim that the customer isn't due a refund, even when a reasonable person would assert that the delays in unsubscribing are the fault of the business!).

As a society, we need to recognize that a) people's time has value, and b) stealing that time in some cases should be a crime, just as kidnapping (which is really just a way of stealing a portion of a person's life) is a crime. Further, charging people (or attempting to charge them) for goods or services they don't actually receive needs to be universally recognized as wrongful conduct except when it is clearly accidental (and even then, reasonable compensation should be owed as part of the price of doing business).

Businesses with recurring fees need to implement mechanisms to make sure that this kind of thing doesn't happen. We might, for example, require that recurring fees automatically lapse if a service is not used for a 3 month period, with some reasonable definition of "used". Only to the extent that ANY reasonable person would suppose the customer is at fault should a business be relieved of responsibility to act appropriately.

There can be some obvious exceptions to the rule that a service must be used to be charged for, such as a service that is primarily limited to emergencies, such as an emergency roadside assistance club. But in any event, some reasonable, standard, fair, easy to understand, and universally applicable laws need to be carefully worked out. This will not be simple. Getting the legal profession to do this without causing more problems then they solve is always difficult, since the legal profession is in a position of ethical conflict of interest with respect to the nature, scope, and form of the legal system. This conflict of interest can and often does result in all kinds of problems with the legal system.

We can, of course, assert much of what is needed here in terms of fundamental rights already arising under the 9th Amendment. But explicit laws are helpful to clarify things for all parties (provided those laws are not written in a manner as to infringe fundamental rights).

Existing contract law is not the solution to the problems associated with recurring charges: this area of law has lots of problems of its own (most of which involve the previously mentioned ethical conflict of interest in one form or another). Prior Slashdot discussions contain many examples of such problems (for example, look at discussions on shrink-wrap licenses).

Re:OLD news (1)

lunatick (32698) | about 2 months ago | (#47197277)

Came to say this, Already done, but felt the need to say something.

So yeah old news

Re:OLD news (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 2 months ago | (#47197559)

According to the article, the new part is recurring payments...it's just one new feature of the already-existing Amazon Payments. What a horrible summary. I get users not reading the article. I even get submitters only reading the first part of an article. But for this one, it seems like he would have had to put some real effort into it making it so wrong.

Re: OLD news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47199091)

not really.

the new part is recurring. yes. you've been able to make single purchases for a while.. now you can pay recurring bills.

Why isn't there competition on fees? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47197021)

It seems to me that 3% overhead imposed on most of the retail economy is hugely inefficient. Why aren't payment vendors undercutting each-other on these fees?

Re:Why isn't there competition on fees? (2)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 2 months ago | (#47197183)

Because that's standard credit card fees. There's really no room to cut fees without paying out.

MasterCartel (1, Informative)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47197185)

Because Visa and MasterCard have what amounts to a cozy duopoly on setting the swipe fees

Re:Why isn't there competition on fees? (1)

goombah99 (560566) | about 2 months ago | (#47197189)

Once enough people switch to Amazon it will start squeezing merchants and consumers to pay more. See Hatchette

Re:Why isn't there competition on fees? (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47197693)

Then people will switch away.
d'uh. Just like there are many place to buy Hatchette books.

why there is no competition (3, Interesting)

goombah99 (560566) | about 2 months ago | (#47197241)

There's two reasons

first Visa and MC both require merchants not to charge extra fro using their card. Thus there's no reason for consumers not to use the most widely accepted cards.

second, even though Visa is a franchise of issuers, the master company avoids putting them in competition.

Thus there's just no easy way for competition to breakout since merchants don't want to just restrict their sales to AMEX holders anymore.

It's also likely it's an illegal price fixed cartel but I don't have any evidence for that.

Re:why there is no competition (2)

datavirtue (1104259) | about 2 months ago | (#47197985)

It is common for merchants to give discounts for cash however.

Re:why there is no competition (3, Interesting)

AthanasiusKircher (1333179) | about 2 months ago | (#47198083)

first Visa and MC both require merchants not to charge extra fro using their card. Thus there's no reason for consumers not to use the most widely accepted cards.

Nope. Not anymore. [nytimes.com]

Briefly (if you don't want to read the link), as a result of a major 2012 settlement with Visa and Mastercard, merchants ARE now allowed to charge fees for credit cards. (There are still restrictions on how exactly this is done; a good summary is here [cardfellow.com] .)

Some states have restricted this practice significantly, most commonly requiring that POSTED prices for goods be the higher price, and thus only allowing a "cash discount" rather than an extra "fee" for using credit cards.

I've bought items at two places just in the past couple days that have dual pricing: a gas station and a liquor store. In one case, the advantage of cash pricing far outweighs any credit card bonus point advantage I could get.

Re:Why isn't there competition on fees? (2)

alen (225700) | about 2 months ago | (#47197641)

one time a long time ago wal mart tried to buy a bank to handle their own CC transactions and it was killed by the powers that be because they dared lower the cost to their customers

Re:Why isn't there competition on fees? (1)

Livius (318358) | about 2 months ago | (#47197889)

It seems to me that 3% overhead imposed on most of the retail economy is hugely inefficient. Why aren't payment vendors undercutting each-other on these fees?

Because oligarchies like inefficiencies.

Re:Why isn't there competition on fees? (1)

pnutjam (523990) | about 2 months ago | (#47203289)

If you see a system that is paying you to be a customer, you are getting ripped off, even if it's hidden. You aren't getting ripped off as much as the people who don't get CC rewards.

On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

Osiris Ani (230116) | about 2 months ago | (#47197043)

It'll be nice to have another viable competitor to PayPal.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

Lumpy (12016) | about 2 months ago | (#47197061)

Google wallet has been around for a while now.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

Osiris Ani (230116) | about 2 months ago | (#47197089)

The operative word in my previous text being "another."

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

rullywowr (1831632) | about 2 months ago | (#47197101)

And "viable" too.

Google Wallet processes (2)

tepples (727027) | about 2 months ago | (#47197247)

I was under the impression that Google Wallet for physical goods required the merchant to already have a merchant account with a non-Google payment processor. See "keep your existing payment processor" on this page [google.com] .

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (4, Informative)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47197065)

It exists. It's called a credit card, underwritten by a real bank, which will adhere to actual banking laws instead of "whatever we decide we want to do", and actually have some stake in fraud prevention.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (2)

RabidReindeer (2625839) | about 2 months ago | (#47197135)

a real bank, which will adhere to actual banking laws instead of "whatever we decide we want to do", and actually have some stake in fraud prevention.

Snicker. Snicker. Oh, stop. Stop! Oh, hahahahahaha!

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47197741)

What are you laughing at? as a consumer, you have far more protection then with Paypal et al.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

Osiris Ani (230116) | about 2 months ago | (#47197163)

It exists. It's called a credit card

Ah, yes, a credit card, which I'll give to yet another vendor, which will then be responsible for securing my account data. That's certainly one idea, but I prefer to make my financial data readily available to as few vendors as possible. I much prefer to allow a trusted third party to take responsibility for assuring that my account data is protected— fewer potential points of risk, not more.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

Osiris Ani (230116) | about 2 months ago | (#47197215)

Oh, and I pay PayPal and Amazon with my credit card, which makes that even less of a moot point anyway.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (3, Insightful)

gstoddart (321705) | about 2 months ago | (#47197233)

I much prefer to allow a trusted third party

If you consider PayPal a trusted third party ... well, good luck with that. I sincerely hope it works out well for you.

Me, I consider PayPal to be about as trustworthy as your average meth head, and wouldn't let them near my money on the best of days.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 months ago | (#47197633)

Yeah, but at least Paypal is a meth-head who is well known to you and, for many of us, not actually ever done us any harm. Using your credit card directly is like dealing with a different meth-head every day.

Still, Bitcoin is coming so chin-up.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

praxis (19962) | about 2 months ago | (#47198751)

Yeah, but at least Paypal is a meth-head who is well known to you and, for many of us, not actually ever done us any harm.

They have not harmed me, that is true because I refuse to use them. They have lost my trust by showing that they have no interest in honoring a payment. For example, when they withheld donations to charities several times, admitted being wrong, apologized, returned the money, but kept the fees they charged. Just the fact that their policies give me no legal recourse against their whims (and they've shown they are whimsical many times) means I will not do business with them until they allow legal recourse or become regulated as a bank.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

Richy_T (111409) | about 2 months ago | (#47202997)

I sympathize with that somewhat and have some misgivings about them myself but for me, they haven't actually crossed the line yet. I'd be most happy for someone else to come along and kick their arse, however.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

praxis (19962) | about 2 months ago | (#47203471)

I sympathize with that somewhat and have some misgivings about them myself but for me, they haven't actually crossed the line yet. I'd be most happy for someone else to come along and kick their arse, however.

We draw the line in very different places. I do not place trust in an organization that has already in my eyes violated the trust of their other users several times and even when admitting it was in err not addressing the issue completely (refunding donations to a charity but keeping all the fees it earned on those donations, for example).

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47197751)

as long as there is fraud protection what do you care?

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (2)

QuietLagoon (813062) | about 2 months ago | (#47197231)

It exists. It's called a credit card, underwritten by a real bank, which will adhere to actual banking laws instead of "whatever we decide we want to do" (emphasis mine)

PayPal has been a very bad player in this area, apparently closing accounts on a whim, locking up the monies in those accounts, etc., etc., etc.

.
For that reason, I've never given PayPal direct access to my bank accounts, in spite of PayPal's constant hounding to do so.

PayPal just has not been behaving well in this space. For me, PayPal is a payment service of last resort, not of first choice.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47197505)

Paypal rarely, if ever, screws over the people who spend money with them. All the horror stories are about how paypal screws over the merchants by freezing the money in their accounts or forcing refunds for bogus claims of the product not being delivered.

I'm no fan of paypal but it doesn't help to blur their problems together.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

praxis (19962) | about 2 months ago | (#47198765)

Paypal rarely, if ever, screws over the people who spend money with them. All the horror stories are about how paypal screws over the merchants by freezing the money in their accounts or forcing refunds for bogus claims of the product not being delivered.

I'm no fan of paypal but it doesn't help to blur their problems together.

We will never know if the claims are bogus or not, or why accounts are frozen because PayPal does not tell us. They act with whimsy and we have no legal recourse.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

Stardner (3660081) | about 2 months ago | (#47201283)

I've had the money in my Paypal account frozen before. They had six months to build interest off $400 of my money before they finally released it to me. This was after having to fax personal information to them, which wasn't sufficient, because they wanted me to fax even more. The worst part was that I couldn't pay my Ebay fees in time because all my money was tied up in Paypal. A company penalized me for not paying them because they were keeping my own money from me. A+++++++++++

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47270345)

Yeah because six months of interest on $400 is going to make a LOT of difference to a multibillion dollar company...

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

Tom (822) | about 2 months ago | (#47197395)

If you're a small shop, you will not be able to deal with credit cards except through intermediate handlers, such as PayPal. And most of them have massive up-front fees that you cannot afford.

For smaller sites that don't have revenue in the thousands, PayPal and Google Wallet are the main options, like it or not.

No longer true (1)

danaris (525051) | about 2 months ago | (#47201763)

If you're a small shop, you will not be able to deal with credit cards except through intermediate handlers, such as PayPal. And most of them have massive up-front fees that you cannot afford.

Well, technically, I suppose that statement may still be true, but there is at least one very prominent "intermediate handler" that does not charge any up-front fees; in fact, they give away the hardware for free: I'm talking about Square [squareup.com] .

They are, however, mainly helpful offline, because I believe their fees for non-in-person transactions are considerably higher than the 2.7% or whatever they charge when you actually swipe a card. Though they do have an online marketplace.

Either way, it's definitely good to see a serious (potential) competitor to PayPal.

Dan Aris

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 months ago | (#47197489)

and actually have some stake in fraud prevention.

What makes you think that banks or credit cards have any stake in fraud protection?
Everything they do is insured or charged back to the vendor.

As long as the issuing credit card company stays under some maximum % of fraud, they won't get bounced from the Mastercard/Visa/Amex/Discover transaction network.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

geekoid (135745) | about 2 months ago | (#47197719)

But I have started running into places that ONLY take paypal.
I inform the seller why I"m not buying and go elsewhere, but if it keeps happening we may end up stuck.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

Jumunquo (2988827) | about 2 months ago | (#47198253)

I don't see why you wouldn't use paypal - you're just using them as the credit card processor. Your credit card company will cover any fraud anyway (use one with 0% liability). What sucks about Paypal is the high fees the seller gets hit with and trigger-happy merchant account freezing. As a buyer, it shouldn't matter to you, and you should always have $0 in your account.

Re:On the heels of the recent eBay data breach... (1)

Camael (1048726) | about 2 months ago | (#47201103)

It exists. It's called a credit card, underwritten by a real bank, which will adhere to actual banking laws instead of "whatever we decide we want to do", and actually have some stake in fraud prevention.

I am sure banks are all law abiding entities [wikipedia.org] who respect the letter and spirit of the law and do not try to subvert existing rules to pass on costs to their customers [bankrate.com] .

I'll give you that banks want to prevent fraud though.

We could definitely use alternatives to paypal (1)

GoodNewsJimDotCom (2244874) | about 2 months ago | (#47197053)

Paypal is basically a monopoly in online payment systems. A few competitors could do the people good. I didn't expect Amazon to poke into it. I always thought a company with virtual goods like Facebook.com or Blizzard would go,"Hey, we'll let sites outside us deal in our virtual goods."

Re:We could definitely use alternatives to paypal (2)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 2 months ago | (#47197387)

Google and Amazon (despite what the summary incorrectly states) have had online payment systems for years. Those are just the 500 lb gorillas, there's literally dozens of other providers, none of which have managed to gain much traction.

Personally I avoid paypal like the plague, too many horror stories. But then, I've never had reason to argue with Google Wallet or Amazon Payments, so maybe resolving conflicts would be just as much hassle with than as with paypal, I couldn't even say.

Re:We could definitely use alternatives to paypal (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | about 2 months ago | (#47197561)

I reckoned Western Union, or maybe FedEx.

2.9% + $0.3 (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47197167)

>2.9% + $0.3

Nothing to see here. Until someone starts offering a flat fee for payment processing somewhere close to cost of the transaction, which is microscopic, this is offering nothing that can't be done with existing credit card processing options.

Re:2.9% + $0.3 (2)

OverlordQ (264228) | about 2 months ago | (#47197203)

Nobody will offer a flat fee because credit card networks dont offer a flat fee. They're not going to pay out to Visa/Novus/etc just so shoppers can have cheaper payments.

Re:2.9% + $0.3 (1)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47197951)

The point is that the credit card networks are the base cost here. Bypass those networks and the actual transaction cost is much lower. If you offer a payment service tied to credit card networks, then there's nothing new. Call me when a customer in my store can wave a card, a phone or some other credential, make a payment and the transaction cost is flat and reasonable.

Re:2.9% + $0.3 (1)

PRMan (959735) | about 2 months ago | (#47197265)

Bitcoin processors are basically offering virtually free transactions.

Re:2.9% + $0.3 (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about 2 months ago | (#47197315)

Until someone starts offering a flat fee for payment processing somewhere close to cost of the transaction, which is microscopic

So you'd want a company to float you the money during the transaction for up to thousands of dollars, cover all the real costs of the transactions, and handle any fraud prevention and losses all by charging a few pennies? That sounds like a sweet investment deal to be had!

Re:2.9% + $0.3 (1)

Cigarra (652458) | about 2 months ago | (#47197457)

Until someone starts offering a flat fee for payment processing somewhere close to cost of the transaction, which is microscopic

So you'd want a company to float you the money during the transaction for up to thousands of dollars, cover all the real costs of the transactions, and handle any fraud prevention and losses all by charging a few pennies? That sounds like a sweet investment deal to be had!

You mean like Dwolla [dwolla.com] ?

Re:2.9% + $0.3 (1)

rjstanford (69735) | about 2 months ago | (#47197827)

Dwolla doesn't have federally mandated protection with which someone claiming to be a dissatisfied customer can get all of their money back. Also, the nice thing about the existing network is that I can make payments from people without Dwolla accounts. People on both ends are also not well protected from fraud.

Currently, a customer gets a credit card, debit card, or bank account. Their financial institution issues products that work with standard interchange protocols. Next, merchants choose to get a merchant account that's also designed to work with interchange. The end-user never has to opt-in or sign up for anything else. That's where the convenience comes into play - and yes, getting a ton of disparate systems to talk to one another safely and reliably costs money, as does having your merchant bank advance you funds before they really clear (Dwolla quotes "within seconds or up to 4 days").

Dwolla is a great idea, but its very much a single-owner closed system. Naturally this lets them bypass a lot of the problems (and costs) associated with an open network.

Re:2.9% + $0.3 (1)

stiggle (649614) | about 2 months ago | (#47202791)

Dwolla also requires US ID, Social Security, Bank account, etc. Not much good for international transactions.

Re:2.9% + $0.3 (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about 2 months ago | (#47197793)

The 'real costs' of any single transaction are no more that a few pennies. More importantly, the cost of servicing the transaction does not increase with the size of the transaction. So taking a percentage is wrong.

2.9% of a $1000 transaction is theft.

Re:2.9% + $0.3 (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47198793)

Cost of transaction is negligible (fractions of a cent). Cost of fraud is likely in the .5% range. Unfortunately the credit card industry locked themselves into giving good customers a kickback (rewards credit cards), so until merchants refuse to take credit cards and only take cheaper alternatives (a few places do now), customers will never have an incentive to switch. Retailers just pad there margins by 3% to cover the cost rather then make there customers use another method of payment.

Competition for Paypal is Welcome (1)

The Raven (30575) | about 2 months ago | (#47197223)

If small sellers have an alternative to the abysmal conflict resolution Paypal offers, this can only be a good thing. Amazon does Customer Service well... I think they can certainly improve upon Paypal in that respect. Competition may drive Paypal to improve.

Re:Competition for Paypal is Welcome (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47197369)

Amazon does Customer Service well.

Someone has never tried selling through Amazon. Their customer service exists entirely of automatons in foreign countries.

From the article's end (1)

Talahamut (167226) | about 2 months ago | (#47197357)

Clarification: Amazon's payment system is not new; Monday's launch relates specifically to payments of recurring charges.

Another one for no Canadian (2)

future assassin (639396) | about 2 months ago | (#47197443)

option. Pay Pal is it then once again.

Recurring Payments? (1)

asylumx (881307) | about 2 months ago | (#47197887)

I log in to my Amazon Payments account and I still don't see any recurring nor scheduled payments options. Is this on a rolling deployment where some users get it before others?

Re:Recurring Payments? (1)

Jumunquo (2988827) | about 2 months ago | (#47198299)

Same here; I don't see it. I think Amazon tricked CNN into some free advertising.

price comparison? (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | about 2 months ago | (#47197993)

Which one is cheaper? Which one has better dispute resolution procedures?

What about porn? (1)

Noxal (816780) | about 2 months ago | (#47198537)

Serious question. Seemingly none of the big players in the whatever-this-service-is-called industry seem to want anything to do with porn. I would LOVE to use a reputable mainstream payment services provider to buy porn but they're all so sexually repressed that they just shut down any accounts dealing with anything sexual.

Re:What about porn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47198825)

You can blame Eric Holder and Operation Choke Point for at least the more recent issues with that.

Re:What about porn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47199009)

At least part of the problem is that chargebacks are much more common for porn, so mainstream payment processors don't want to deal with it / would have to raise their rates, so those that do handle it have to charge higher rates to cover the chargebacks.

Amazon Payments is very poorly implemented. (1)

REden (174677) | about 2 months ago | (#47200697)

I've developed payment interfaces for PayPal, Google Checkout (may it RIP), and Amazon Payments.

Amazon Payments is by far the most sloppy interface I've used. Embarrassingly bad.

1. There's no way to search transactions on their web interface by email, only transaction id.
2. You can't use the "monthly statement" to reconcile because the "beginning balance" is at the *END* of day 1, not the beginning! (opening balance doesn't match previous monthly closing balance)
3. The math in a transaction report never adds up (opening + Payments - Fees - withdrawals=balance) because (I assume) factional fees aren't reported and always seem to round in amazon's favor.
4. Support is only available through their forums, and answers are slow coming if at all. (hint.. if you're going to use a forum for support, unanswered issues from years ago makes you look worse!)

I still offer it because the code is done and it is functional.... still annoying though.

Re:Amazon Payments is very poorly implemented. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 months ago | (#47201505)

Kindle Fire developer here - Amazon "support" is a joke - they have forums they don't read, and if they do read them you get form letter response that doesn't match what you asked. Anyone who writes software for Amazon APIs is asking for trouble. A freebie Kindle app is one thing, but I would never add their APIs to anything mission critical or revenue earning! Basically, Amazon doesn't care - they're only interested in scale, and if any one business gets screwed over, they just don't care.

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