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 Pay Dirt: Using PayPal's Web Controls

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Number of posts : 1850
Age : 55
Registration date : 2008-03-08

PostSubject: Pay Dirt: Using PayPal's Web Controls   Sun 6 Apr - 13:45

If your Web site needs to take credit card payments, PayPal may be an easy answer. However, it's much less easy to deploy the Web controls to turn on that functionality. Learn how to use PayPal's development tools and put them to use with ASP.NET.
Getting paid for products and services online is a relatively new phenomenon. Nowadays, you can sell almost anything online but at a price. Coughing up thousands of dollars to establish your own merchant account can be daunting. Fortunately, there is an alternative: PayPal.

PayPal is an online payment system owned by eBay, the world's biggest flea market. PayPal lets eBay merchants accept electronic payments without shelling out a small fortune to Visa, MasterCard, or American Express. But it isn't only eBay merchants who benefit: PayPal is a product in its own right.

The net effect is that you can use PayPal to process electronic payments without listing your products or services on eBay, and without shelling out the aforementioned small fortune for a merchant account. For a small fee (generally 1% to 3% of the transaction amount, plus $.30 per transaction), PayPal will process electronic payments for any product or service on nearly any Web site. Setting up your Web application to accomplish this, however, isn't quite so straightforward.

In this two part article, I will walk you straight through a winding path that will help you turn an ordinary Web site into your own personal money tree. I'll show you how to use the developer tools and support for PayPal, find the latest PayPal Web controls for ASP.NET, and acquire a few tips from PayPal insiders and PayPal Hacks author Dave Nielsen.

In this first part, I'll show you how to set up a PayPal sandbox account, verify the sandbox e-mail address, establish a test bank account, and generate a "Buy Now" button that will get you participating in e-commerce as quickly as possible. In the follow-up article, I will share with you the latest location for the PayPal Web controls for ASP.NET and demonstrate how to download and install these controls. We'll also talk about why you may want to write your own custom interactions with PayPal and how to do it. Let's get paid.

Establishing a PayPal Account

There are a few things to know before you get started. First are the company rules. The free PayPal personal accounts can accept PayPal payments and bank account transfers, but a personal account does not let you accept credit cards. To accept credit cards, you must establish a (free) business account, or upgrade to a premier account. Every payment you receive costs 2.9% of the transaction amount, plus $.30 for beginners; it goes as low as 1.9% for high volume merchants. There are never any monthly fees. (I believe these rates are consistent with all-in credit card charges on a merchant account, perhaps a tad higher.)

PayPal prefers to move money around in its own accounts rather than cut you a check, but you can get a check or use your PayPal account to buy things for yourself online. One alternative is to request a PayPal debit card; it works like any debit card, and funds are taken right from your PayPal account. Plus, you can withdraw funds directly into your own bank account.

Finally, PayPal is associated with eBay and has a very low fraud rate.

Collectively, these things make PayPal a viable option for selling directly online.

Even so, as smart consumers and developers, it is prudent to step gingerly into e-commerce in a safe zone. PayPal has just such a safe zone, referred to as a sandbox. You create all your account information and test your online merchandizing safely in the developer's sandbox. Once you perfect the product or service offering and are comfortable with the results, it is a relatively easy thing to move from the sandbox and go live.
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