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Experience with Amazon Flexible Payment Service
21 points by tx on Aug 29, 2007 | hide | past | web | favorite | 12 comments

Just wanted to share (I know this topic is all time popular) about our experinece with Amazon FPS.

First of all, we charge a small subscription fee each month. This severely limited our abilities to cherry pick payment processors. Second, we did not want to deal with (store on our servers) sensitive data such as credit card numbers.

From a technical point of view FPS is a bit too complicated. Definitely more so than other gateways we looked at. That is because it's too generic: instead of 2 perties there are always 3. "Build your own PayPal!" is their idea. For people who aren't building their own paypal it is a bit annoying.

Secondly, your users must have Amazon accounts. That may be good and bad, depending on how you look at it. To us it was bad: we did not want people to see "Amazon" stuff during sign up process - we had some unpleasant experience with similar approach taken by PayPal.

But most importantly there is ZERO customer service. They have no phone support. None. If you try calling Amazon you won't find a single person who knows anything about FPS. And their "Technical Support" form WILL NOT return back to you within 24 hours. Basically it means that the system is not quite ready for production use: if your customers cards get rejected for no reason, you will need to solve that problem NOW.

Well.. that's about it. Just wanted to share, since I picked up FPS advice somewhere on this board. We're going with authorize.net although it's unclear how easy it is to work with them using Ruby.

We're based in the Netherlands and Neither Google Checkout nor Amazon FPS offer service here. We have found merchant banks willing to play ball but they are quoting ridiculous rates (55eurocents (=65+ USDcents) + 3% and hefty monthlies and a setup fee).

Looking at e.g. authorize.net they seem completely US oriented. Is there any merchant service any of you are aware of that operates in the Netherlands?

your users must have Amazon accounts

Bad idea: I can see why Amazon does it that way, but it makes FPS very, very unappealing.

if your customers cards get rejected for no reason, you will need to solve that problem NOW

Two phrases you never want to see together: "credit card processor" and "beta service".

Thanks for posting your experience.

Can you share what your fees are for authorize.net? They don't disclosing anything on their website...

Thats because Authorize.NET is sold through a network of resellers who pretty much dictate the rates. If you contact Authorize.NET directly though you will be directed to a sales rep who can disclose rates.

Heres a ballpark of what you can expect with them:

Merchant Account ~ 2.4% per transaction + $.25 per transaction + $10/month

Payment Gateway $100 setup + ~$20 a month and.10 per transaction

You will need them for a Payment Gateway, but you may have a merchant account with someone else (for instance Paymentech)

I have had good experience with Auth.NET in the past and they seem to be a good value for medium transaction volume ecommerce sites.

Yes, we went with Wells Fargo and they gave us an excellent custom quote (much cheaper than web site suggests). No setup fees, fixed $31/mo and $0.20 per transaction. We have our limit though, and once we exceed it the price will go up.

What do you mean with 'limit', exactly?

To enjoy those lower fees we must stay under a certain number of transactions a month and (I believe) we have a max. limit on a transaction amount. I apologize for being unable to give you full details, since my partner is finalizing cost issues with them as I'm typing this.

That's unfortunate that users must have Amazon accounts. I have a question for you - does FPS support micro payments? It seems like Authorize.net does not.

Yes they do and authorize.net does not. Personally, I don't understand micro-payments. FPS mandates that micro payments are those that do not exceed 50c. (AFAIK) So... is it so hard to do your own aggregation and submitting larger sums to a regular gateway? (just curious)

Amazon's FPS wasn't meant to be the end-all online payment system. It really seems like it was developed because so many webmasters hated paypal. And while going through amazon is a lot better than having ugly ass paypal... the users still sees a third party, which can seem unprofessional.

In my personal experience, I applied for FPS. They sent me an email asking me some more questions, then said they would get back to me in two days. It's now been two weeks.

Does anyone know who does the credit card processing for Amazon FPS? I know that in the case of PayPal, it used to be a company called EPX and is now done by Wells Fargo, but can't seem to find anywhere who is processing for Amazon...

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