Thursday, February 23, 2012

Stripe.com: A hacker friendly Credit Card processor

Accepting credit cards on your website can be surprisingly tricky business. On one hand, you want to provide a solution that's as secure as possible (read: credit card data is never sent to your sofware), the on the other, you want to user experience to be as smooth as possible (read: allowing users to save and reuse credit cards or setup monthly subscriptions). And on the third hand, you'd like implementing the platform to be simple.

What's a programmer to do?

Thanks to the advice of a client, I now know of a potential solution: stripe.com. Stripe.com appears to be a credit card platformed designed for, and targeted to developers.

First off, they use a modern and clever JavaScript hack to securely convert credit card credentials in an token which you can safely transmit and store in your database. This token potentially be reused to offer the customer the ability to pay for an item without re-entering their card. It's an approach I've seen done betfore, but never in such a transparent and simplified way.

And then there's the API. To my delight, they offer examples that interact with the API via a curl command line session. This is an excellent practices, as it demonstrates to the programmer just how simple the API is to implement (there's no magic, it's just HTTP requests).

Finally, I love their easy test/production mode switch.

Of course, I've only written a little code to interact with them - so perhaps there's some gotchas I haven't detected yet. And I don't have any visibility into the business side of things (the client just provides me with the account, and I program away). But clearly, these guys are developer focused. Where Authorize.net has a mountain of products and docs to wade through (DPM, SIM, AIM, Oh My!), these guys appear to have a simple and flexible offering. Definitely worth checking out.

2 comments:

  1. Anonymous12:50 PM

    Why does your title say "Hacker Friendly". That makes it sounds like it is easy to hack by hackers

    ReplyDelete
  2. @Anonymous, I suppose that's a fair question.

    When I use the phrase hacker, I mean this type of hacker.

    In this case, I mean that the credit card software is flexible and can be used in clever ways.

    ReplyDelete

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