Online Payments Integration Checklist

A business/software planning checklist to help scope the design and work involved in integrating an online payments solution for a subscription-based service.

Basic Components
Payment Gateway
Merchant Account
Collection of Payment Details
Recurring Billing business logic
setup fees
monthly/recurring fees
per transaction fixed amounts
per transaction % amounts
Payment Details Collection
Self-hosted or 3rd-party
Implications for PCI Compliance
Customisation potential for consistent branding/look-and-feel
Free Trial
time limited or feature limited
credit card details up-front or later
payment provider support for free trials and details up-front vs later
email reminders during free trial
UI prompts during free trial
handling expiry of free trial
Subscription Plan Design
basic segmentation model; how will different plans be differentiated
implications of plan 'sizes' on code and enforcement of limits
is enforcement necessary at the outset
implications on the UI of the different sizes
are unavailable actions hidden, or visible but prompt an up-sell
subscription period: monthly and/or annual
special deals for charities, open-source projects, academic institutions
any add-ons that aren't part of the subscription plans
Chargebacks and refunds
payment provider support for challenging chargeback requests
any fees associated with this
is the product likely to incur lots of chargebacks
policy for refunds
refunds for unused/partial days/months
how will customers cancel their subscription
cancellation in 'local' product code
cancellation in 3rd party payment provider's system
immediate cancellation or deferred to end of the current/paid billing period
delete account data or keep in case of reactivation
any scope to prompt for 'exit feedback' from departing customers
Upgrades and Downgrades
how will customers upgrade or downgrade their subscription
is the new charge deferred to the next billing period or incurred immediately
pro-rated charge or simple change on next billing date
same policy for longer subscription periods, e.g. annual may need different policy
when does the upgrade/downgrade take effect
how will the UI handle or prevent downgrades when current usage exceeds a lower plan
Payment Failures
process implemented locally or by 3rd party
customisation of the content of reminder emails
customisation of the number and timing of reminder emails
method of notifying eventual failure
impact on UI during the process of chasing payments
what does the UI do on eventual expiration/cancellation
Discounts, vouchers and coupons
free accounts
indefinite % discounts
N months discounted
single and multi-use coupons
coupons/vouchers with customisable text (or just random codes)
scope for affiliate deals and their tracking
Beta Audience
process for migrating beta audience
scope for special/different messaging
join free trial or convert to paid accounts
currency that customers are charged in
currency of merchant account
currrency of settlement account
configuration of prices in the product
configuration of prices in payment provider's system
which countries need/are supported by payment provider
Sales Tax/VAT
selling to regions that require sales tax or VAT accounting
display prices inclusive or exclusive of taxes
keep net price constant or gross price constant
accounting of taxes on invoices/receipts
accounting of taxes at settlement time
API integration
notification of activations, changes and cancellations
polling of subscription status and details
security of outbound requests and inbound notifications
how to test changes in notification handling code once live
frequency of transferring funds into settlement account
analytics and tracking: scope to include google analytics/adwords IDs on the relevant pages
support for other payment methods: purchase orders, invoicing etc
are the Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies up to date
payment provider test mode features, e.g. simulating payment failure, test payments
payment provider reporting features (dashboards, statements, statistics etc)
process for adding a new subscription plan after original plans go live

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