Things I'll be looking at:
* Do you require customers to have an Amazon account to use this? (This is the #1 gotcha with Paypal recurring payments.)
* Is it easy to modify a subscription midstream? Can I give customers free months, discounts, etc?
* Administration tools? Administration API? (I want to click Refund on my site, not your site.)
* Can I conveniently work with multiple price points at once?
* Reporting: can you make my bookkeeping/accounting less painful?
* Migration: here's something Paypal has never done right -- suppose you sell the website or, for another reason, need to change what account receives payments. Do you have to cancel all subscriptions?
* Rails integration: can I get out of actually writing and testing as much of this as humanly possible?
Step 2: Subscriber signs in to their Amazon account
Quoting from http://aws.amazon.com/fps/faqs/#What_can_I_do_with_Amazon_FP...
"Use tokens to execute one-time or multiple payments or recurring payments on behalf of customers."
And from http://aws.amazon.com/fps/faqs/#What_payment_methods_does_Am...
"Amazon FPS supports the following payment methods:
- Bank Account debits
- Amazon Payments balance
- Credit Cards (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, and JCB).
It looks like the "Amazon Payments" option is what this Simple Pay subscription is employing, right?
So I'm getting the impression authorize.net is what most people here use for no-account recurring payments?
Looks like it's built on top of FPS:
... which has been available for some time:
Certainly looks like it.
"Administration tools? Administration API? (I want to click Refund on my site, not your site.)"
Curious, why? I'd rather avoid integrating one more API.
Am I lazy enough to spend 15 minutes once to save myself 30 seconds 30 times a year? Oh heck yes I am.
So if Amazon lets customers cancel without you/your support team doing anything, that's valuable. If they let you offer "no questions asked refunds" where the customer can get it themself - that might be valuable. And biggest of all - if you can define an automatic process for dead CC's, that'd be really valuable. If Amazon would check if a CC verified, then automatically try again right away if it didn't, then again the next day and day after, then sent a series of 3 emails - if they offered something like that, that'd be phenomenal. I'm going to doubt they do though...
So their prices - competitive enough. You'll want to make sure you're not held hostage to them once you start using them, which I suspect you are. And does someone need an Amazon account to sign up? Big question there. Depending on what value they add, they might be worth using. But only if they don't hold your customer data hostage if you want to leave as you grow.
This service sounds highly attractive except for the requiring of an Amazon account. Hopefully, that problem can be mitigated somehow. I'd have to have a good hard think.
You can integrate with something like authorize.net which I see mentioned a lot.
But they, in turn, integrate with what are the I guess actual processors:
(note that I have no direct experience here yet)
I guess I have a lot to understand yet, sorry.
(And because I enjoy flailing at equines which have ceased to be, charge money for value.)