New Billing API Helps Chargify Your Website

Adam DuVander
Nov. 18 2009, 12:30AM EST

More than ever, websites are seeking out revenue opportunities. And for services that provide value, customers are willing to pay. However, if creating an e-commerce system is too much distraction for your development team, try to get yourself in on the Chargify beta.

The Chargify API is the core of their service, which handles billing and subscription services (details at our Chargify API profile). Lead developer Michael Klett explained how it works in an interview with ZDNet:

Customers start out on a merchant's website that's integrated with Chargify. They'll enter their credit card data there to purchase an item. The merchant passes that data to us over SSL. We'd verify that and run that information against the merchant's own payment gateway.

Chargify's API accepts method calls using HTTP, and returns responses as JSON or XML. It helps merchants keep the purchase flow on their own sites and let Chargify do the processing.

Though Chargify doesn't itself charge anything until you reach 50 customers, you'll need a merchant account. These involve monthly and sometimes setup fees. Currently Chargify only supports Authorize.net.

The need for a merchant account may keep hobbyist developers using the Paypal API, where fees are only incurred when a purchase is made.

For more on Chargify's services, watch their video (embedded below).

Adam DuVander Hi! I'm Developer Communications Director for SendGrid and former Executive Editor of ProgrammableWeb. I currently serve as a Contributing Editor. If you have API news, or are interested in writing for ProgrammableWeb, please contact editor@programmableweb.com Though I'm a fan of anything API-related, my particular interest is in mapping. I've published a how-to book, Map Scripting 101, to get anyone started making maps on websites. In a not-so-distant past life I wrote for Wired and Webmonkey.

Comments

Comments(3)

tim

Hi Adam,
You're right on the money that there's a major shift happening towards services generating revenue through subscriptions vs. Ads. This trend is only going to accelerate as time goes on.

Another option to consider when deploying subscription billing is Recurly. Instead of charging per user, we only charge based on the amount of positive revenue that runs through are system. As you point out, Chargify currently supports only authorize.net. Recurly supports not only authorize, but paypal, cybersource and braintree- which enables our Non-US customers to quickly deploy services. Please feel free to join us at:
http://recurly.com

Thanks, and we look forward to helping you out!