Rails Credit Card Processing with ActiveMerchant

With just 4 man-weeks of research and development we just released our first stab into e-commerce!

I began by researching what libraries were out there. Quickly there were 2 big solutions to choose from: ActiveMerchant and Amazon’s new payment service. If we used Amazon we would have to display their branding. People trust Amazon so using their branding may be positive but it would also wreck the continuity of doing a Spongecell purchase. ActiveMerchant would allow us to keep everything on our site but we would have to set up our own gateway and merchant services accounts.

ActiveMerchant is a ruby library that lets you use a few different credit card gateways. I got a some test accounts with different gateways and began to experiment with the library. I tried ActiveNet, TrustCommerce and UsaEPay. I’ve had bad experiences with PayPal so I stayed away from them. TrustCommerce was the only one I could get to work well in less than 30 minutes. TrustCommerce does require a C library which is a little bit of a downside but that library installed without headache.

purchase.png

The people at TrustCommerce were responsive and they had a good connection at Bank of America to get our merchant account set up. Getting all the accounts set up took about a week. We already had our federal tax id.

We began testing ActiveMerchant from inside our application with real credit cards 1 week before release was scheduled. I’m glad we did this because a lot of the return codes differed when using the real TrustCommerce account. I learned that it’s up to the credit card processor to deny the transaction if an incorrect cvv or address. That means that if you find a lost credit card on the street and a shady website then you are in business!

Now go to Spongecell and buy something!

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10 Responses to Rails Credit Card Processing with ActiveMerchant

  1. […] Chris Hobbs wrote a fantastic post today on “Rails Credit Card Processing with ActiveMerchant”Here’s ONLY a quick extractActiveMerchant is a ruby library that lets you use a few different credit card gateways. I got a some test accounts with different gateways and began to experiment with the library. I tried ActiveNet, TrustCommerce and UsaEPay. … […]

  2. tv bracket says:

    Could you share about your bad experience with paypal? I’ve been surveying for possibilites to setup my own online business and been a paypal fans so far, but only as buyer instead of seller.

  3. Chris says:

    PayPal has a habbit of shutting down accounts if someone complains. Spongecell does a lot of club promotions in NYC and if someone were to see a PayPal link for buying tickets on a page that maybe exposed too much flesh they could complain to PayPal and get our account shut down. PayPal lost some law suits about this behavior but I still wouldn’t risk it.

  4. angelaric01 says:

    ActiveMerchant would allow us to keep everything on our site but we would have to set up our own gateway and merchant services accoun
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