Posts Tagged: Google Wallet

Accept Card Payments with Stripe

The next update to our Web Based Room Booking and Resource Scheduling software MIDAS is fast approaching. Throughout March we’re giving you a first look at some of the new features and improvements you can look forward to in MIDAS v4.12.

Back in October 2010, we released MIDAS v3.10 which introduced a new feature allowing your clients to pay invoices generated by MIDAS online using either PayPal or Google Wallet (or Google Checkout as it was known back then).

Whilst the ability for customer’s clients to pay their invoices online using PayPal was popular, Unfortunately, Google changed direction with their Google Checkout/Wallet service. This meant it was no longer a viable payment processor for customer’s client’s invoices. As such, the option to pay invoices via Google Checkout was removed as of MIDAS v4.07 in September 2014. You can read more about the sad demise of Google Checkout in this blog post.

Since then, PayPal has been the sole payment option natively provided within MIDAS to allow your clients to pay their invoices online. Of course, with our optional API available, customers have been able to develop their own specific integrations with other 3rd party payment processors as required.

However, ever since we removed the Google Checkout/Wallet option, we’ve wanted to include a “PayPal alternative” as standard within our software.

For nearly two years now, we’ve made card payments simpler through our own website, by partnering with Stripe as our preferred payment processor.

We’ve been very impressed with Stripe, and we’re pleased to announce that Stripe will now also be a native payment option for invoices within MIDAS itself, along with the existing PayPal option!

Here’s a few of the things we really like about Stripe:

  • Stripe allows you to take a payment on the current page, without the customer being transferred to a separate “hosted” payment page (as with PayPal)
  • Despite allowing card payments to be taken on the current page, no card details pass through or are stored the server where your MIDAS resides – all the processing is handled by Stripe, ensuring you fully comply with PCI DSS 3.1
  • Stripe automatically withdraws funds to your bank account on a rolling 7 day basis (with PayPal, funds remain in your account until you manually withdraw them)
  • Stripe never forces the customer to “create an account” in order to make a card payment (with PayPal, depending upon your geographic region, or the number of times you’ve used PayPal “unregistered”, you may be forced to create a PayPal account in order to make a card payment)
  • In our experience, Stripe’s fees have been lower than PayPal’s

Now, reading the above, you make think that we’re anti-PayPal. Don’t worry though, we’re very aware of the popularity of PayPal which is still arguably the most common online payment processor across the globe. We have no plans to remove the PayPal payment option from our software. But we do believe in giving our customers choice over their payment provider. This is why we’re really exciting to be able to offer native Stripe integration starting with MIDAS v4.12!

You’ll be able to choose which payment provider you wish to use to allow your customers to pay their invoices online. You can also configure both, to give them a choice of completing their payment via PayPal or Stripe:

Online Invoice Payment Settings
Online Invoice Payment Settings

In order to accept payments through PayPal, you’ll need a PayPal account.

In order to accept payments through Stripe, you’ll need a Stripe account. You’ll also need Stripe API keys. For more information on obtaining these, please see our KB article “Configuring Stripe Integration

Once you’ve set up your PayPal and/or Stripe account, and configured them via MIDAS Admin Options → Manage MIDAS → Invoicing → Online Payments, your customers will then be able to pay their invoices online via https://your_midas_url/pay:

Online Invoice Payment Selection
Online Invoice Payment Selection

With Stripe integration, as soon as a client completes their payment, their invoice will automatically be instantly updated in MIDAS to reflect their payment.

With PayPal integration, you’ll need to configure Instant Payment Notifications (IPN) within your PayPal account in order to allow MIDAS to automatically update a client’s invoice following a successful PayPal transaction.

The sad demise of Google Checkout

Google Checkout LogoAs you may be aware our web based room scheduling software contains a feature allowing your clients to directly pay their invoices online for the hire and use of your rooms, facilities, and resources.

Since we first introduced this feature in 2010 with MIDAS v3.10, we supported allowing your clients to pay their invoices using either PayPal or Google Checkout.

Unfortunately, as of MIDAS v4.07 we have now removed – the now defunct – Google Checkout support from our software.

Google Checkout first came into being in 2006 with the aim of simplifying the process of paying for online purchases. Users would store their credit or debit card and shipping information in their Google Account. This allowed them to make purchases without having to re-enter this information each time, and secure in the knowledge that their card details wouldn’t be made available to the seller.

As one of PayPal‘s main competitors, over time the transaction fees for using Google Checkout – which were initially free – became identical to PayPal’s fees, as did many of each platform’s features such as providing fraud protection and the ability for customers to track their purchases.

So whilst PayPal and Google Checkout were in direct competition offering quite similar services, there were a number of differences.

On the plus side, once a merchant received a payment via Google Checkout it would be automatically withdrawn to the merchants bank account. PayPal, on the other hand, required merchants to manually withdraw funds to their bank account. On the downside, whilst PayPal supported transactions in multiple currencies; Google Checkout only accepted payments in the currency that the merchant’s bank account was in. It was not possible for Google Checkout merchants to accept multiple currencies.

Google Wallet Logo In 2011, Google then announced a “rebrand” of Google Checkout to “Google Wallet”, but the services offered remained the same.

However, in late November 2013, Google Checkout was discontinued and the nature of “Google Wallet” shifted.

Google Wallet has now become a method for making and accepting payments exclusively for apps and in-app purchases via the Google Play Store. It can no longer be used as an online payment processor for anything else.

Due to this new direction in which Google have taken their Google Wallet service, the previous functionality we were able to offer in MIDAS – the ability for clients to pay their invoices online using Google Checkout/Wallet – now no longer works. We have therefore removed all Google Checkout/Wallet integration as of MIDAS v4.07.

It would be nice to see Google reconsider their stance as an online payment processor solely for their own app store. The more choice there is for both consumers and merchants alike the better. That said, there are numerous other online payment processors that have sprung up in recent times; solutions such as Amazon Payments, and Stripe (which incidentally is now our preferred card payment processor for purchases made through our website – read more here)

Going forward, we continue to support PayPal as a method to allow your clients to directly pay their invoices online for use of your rooms/facilities. In fact, we’ve also improved this support for v4.07 too! If you allow your clients to pay their invoices online via PayPal, you can now have PayPal automatically update the status of their invoices within MIDAS once payment has been made. This means that you’ll no longer have to manually update invoices yourself! For more information, please see: Configuring PayPal Integration

We’re also keen to hear if there are any other online payment processors you’d like us to consider supporting in future updates to MIDAS. Let us know in the comments below…