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Ask HN: As a non-US resident, how do I accept CC payments on my website?
39 points by mightymau on May 31, 2010 | hide | past | web | favorite | 17 comments
I'm going to launch a subscription based web app soon and I need to accept payments on my website (I am based in the Philippines, Filipino citizen). I've researched on various solutions to integrate seamless credit card payments and ALL of them require a merchant account/SSN to setup an account.

Are there other ways for me to integrate payment system on my website?

Is it possible to get a merchant account for non-us resident? should I setup aUS company first? is that even possible?

It is fairly easy to setup a US LLC, see e.g. https://www.delawareinc.com/ (they’ll handle all the paperwork for around $450).

This will give you an Employee Tax Identification Number (EIN) which can often be used instead of SSN.

Note though that setting up a US bank account (as a non-resident alien) is more problematic (and you pretty much need that to receive the money). Your safest bet is to visit the US, see http://www.valisinternational.com/us-company-bank-accounts for options.

So I would recommend going with PayPal rather than process the credit cards yourself (though I didn’t check if they offer accounts to people in the Philippines).

The tax status then becomes quite complicated.

Please check http://2checkout.com - it's really nice, easy to setup and international friendly system. We use it in http://smartupz.com

From the site: 2CO applies a 5.5% commission on each transaction, plus a $0.45 USD charge per transaction.

That sounds incredibly expensive to me, even PayPal is cheaper (https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_display-receiving...).

No this is not expensive, it's what all payment processors charge, and until you do 10k a month, it's so much better an option than anything else that everybody should just stick to a payment processor when launching small services. There is absolutely no way anyone on a solo budget/time frame can afford to roll their own solution (not even doing CC processing through a CC gateway).

(and yes I do realize that it hurts to see those costs the first few times you make a sale, getting upset over costs like this is the hallmark of the noob internet businessman - it'll pass. Wait until you get your first bill for a nonsense legal issue or pay a 100k settlement for which you know you're in the right but for which you also know that going the length will cost more. Those are the times when it will hurt even more than this.)

Depends. PayPal can add a 1% charge for international transactions, and an extra 2.5% charge for currencies other than USD.

Source: https://merchant.paypal.com/cms_content/US/en_US/files/merch...

The 2.5% only applies if you receive in another currency than USD. Usually you request the payment in USD, so the conversion happens on the sender's end. Didn't know about the 1% though, I'm wondering if that still applies as I can't find in on the regular site.

The 2.5% actually applies to currency conversion. So as long as your PayPal account currency is the same as the currency that you charge in there should be no conversion?

While we're talking about PayPal, if you want to do small transactions there's a special micro payment account with fees of $0.05 + 5%. Works out cheaper for payments < $12. It was hidden somewhere, not sure how I stumbled across it.


Using (well, still working on it) 2co right now. It's a good choice given the current market, but I really wish better documentation when it comes to API integration. On the plus side support is great and prompt.


We are currently working on updates to our API documentation. If you have any suggestions please feel free to send them to techsupport@2co.com.

Just to update often :)

There was/is a bunch of stuff which was completely different from the publiched docs, and all of it was know to the support staff. Seems to me a bit bureaucratic to have know issues which haven't found their way to the official docs.

Does it have an API?

Yes it does!

I'm Canadian. We use Beanstream as our payment gateway. We got a USD merchant account through them (at TD Bank).

Have you looked around at local options? It's definitely possible to get a USD merchant account, and it does NOT need to be at a US bank.

You should consider http://www.moneybookers.com/ - they have the lowest fees I've found yet, and support credit cards/wire transfers/local bank checkouts. We use it at http://www.adperium.com/directads

unluckily they have very strict restriction over debit cards. I verified two cards on PayPal that were restricted on MoneyBookers because they weren't issued from the same country I live on.

We are just starting to test http://www.adyen.com/ in our web app. The guys at http://www.knowledgeplaza.net are using it for a while and recommended it to us.

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