Accepting Payments on your mmorpg game / games

June 09, 2009

Accepting micro payments and which company to use to do so, has almost always been a hot topic for any game owner or any site owner infact. I decided to try and analyse how we narrowed down our options for our payment gateway on our games.

First things first - indentify possibilities

  • 1. Paypal - Of course how could we forget, paypal are the giants of micro payments online and dont they know it!
  • 2. GoogleCheckout - Ever growing in size and useability also have good rates.
  • 3. Internet merchant number - Full card processing
  • 4. Moneybookers - The slightly less recognised long lost brother of paypal
  • 5. Amazon micropayments - Very low rates but also fairly poor integration.

Analyse The Options

  1. Paypal - A massive massive micro payment processor, very easy to integrate and use. However to the point where it is far to easy to make chargebacks for the user. Paypal also do not cover digitally signed goods. People like me and you send our goods electronically right away when the items are paid for in full. Chargebacks are rife and even when you have dine absolutely nothing wrong, you will feel the brunt of some time and time again. At £7.00 and the ability to chargeback well beyond the 3 months card issuer agreement your in real danger using this tool. However the integration is simple and can be easily fully automated which is great. Paypal also charge high fees on transactions and moving money compared to most other companies.
  2. Googlecheckout has low fees and a very simple to use interface, it also allows you to pay with almost any recognised card without having to be verified on an account before hand, thus is a great processor for card payments. However once again it is extremely easy to initiate and win a chargeback if you are the buyer well after you have received the goods.
  3. Sms and Phone - A market in which is dominated by the mobile phone operators, they charge SO much that of a £10 premium text msg paymnt to us we will receive around £5 of it. If not less. I would suggest not accepting small amounts via sms as you are likely to receive and even smaller amount of the payout.

Your probable starting to get the gist here many of the large companies make alot of there cash through chargebacks and large fees, googlecheckout transaction fees are pretty good though if you just need something to accept card payments through.

Heres what we did

Unfortunately you will only be able to do this if you are running your own business. Ring your bank manager and ask him to set you up  merchant number. (Watch out this is never normally free). If this is your first account of this type your likely to come accross similar problems to us and have to lump the fact the bank may hold onto the money that comes through the account for up to 3 months before releasing it. But hey at least you cant get it spend it and then get chargebacked! We have a 90 days negotiation on our account at current with a promise of a re-assessment within 6 months or so which should put it down to 60 days. Its not ideal, but it does hold some benefits. Next get yourself registered for a service like which have now taken over from the old services of secpay. It will cost you anything from £10 a month to £40 depending on what you want from your account with them. We went with a very basic package to begin with, as it is free to upgrade willy nilly as and when!

The great thing about this is that paypoint use CVS checking, which checks with the banks themselves during payment. Shifting blame of the transaction to them and not us. Thus reducing chargebacks dramatically.

About me

Hello! I'm David Heward, how are you going? I'm a Senior Devops/Build Engineer, specialising in AWS & Cloud Automation. Based in London. Strong 10+ year background in Software development. Have a read of my blog. Have a look at some of my working projects. Contact me at @davehewy or on Linkedin.