You know, I really can't wait until all these stupid little on-line credit card payment systems just shrivel up and die, leaving the only logical players: Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express.

I'm so sick of having to enter my credit card number into yet another system just to register a piece of $18 software.

God, haven't we cracked this nut yet? It's 2004 for god's sake!

Note to small software publishers. If you want my money, please make it easy for me to give it to you. Like most folks who've been buying small things on-line for the past FIVE YEARS or so, I have a PayPal account (not that I need one to let them handle a CC payment). Let me use that! I'm even willing to foot the processing costs just so I don't have to leave my credit card number it yet another database that'll probably get broken into later this year.


Why do we put up with this? And why haven't Visa, Mastercard, and the others managed to come up with a system that can be as ubiquitous and simple as the real world--you know where my card just works everywhere and I don't have to type it in every time?

If that's never gonna happen, what about just using's infrastructure? Then I could just 1-Click order the registration and let them handle it? That would still be so much better than what we've got today.

If this software wasn't so damned useful, I'd have given up when asked for my billing information for the billionth time and continued using my lame little Perl scripts.

Posted by jzawodn at April 05, 2004 11:07 PM

Reader Comments
# Tal Rotbart said:

Let the "micropayments" discussions ensue... Yet again.

on April 6, 2004 01:34 AM
# wil said:

Microsoft Passport anyone?

on April 6, 2004 02:10 AM
# Kasia Trapszo said:

Using Paypal is a pain in the ass.. They constantly mess up orders.

on April 6, 2004 05:00 AM
# Ben Meadowcroft said:

Aside from the potential monopoly issues etc maybe Visa & Mastercard didn't get into the game because of the potential for bad publicity, especially earlier in the webs development. Can you imagine the furore if credit card handling setup by Visa or Mastercard got cracked?

Personally I dislike passing my credit card details to these online stores, mainly from how easy some of the smaller ones are easy to hack into, SQL injection anyone? Yes I've seen credit card numbers given up to a simple ' = '' or ' attempt and it certainly doesn't give me much confidence in shopping at those sites.

on April 6, 2004 05:05 AM
# Chris O'Donnell said:

I've been a big fan of American Express Private Payments for years. I thought the disposable one time use credit card numbers were brilliant. It completely eliminated any concern about a credit card number living in a poorly secured database somewhere, because the number was useless afer it was used once.

So of course, AMX sends out a letter a couple of weeks ago announcing that as of this month they will no longer offer private payments.

Anybody know if Visa / MC offers a similar functionality?

on April 6, 2004 06:09 AM
# Robert S. said:

Ecto's the 2nd cool-sounding blogging app I've encountered in the past coupla days which has a PC version "in the works."

Anyone know of a good PC version, especially one which lets you blog from your PDA? (ideally to Blogger not just Movable Type like Azure)

on April 6, 2004 06:12 AM
# McGroarty said:

It's a stopgap, but a lot of credit card companies will let you create a few temporary numbers. These are numbers that expire and are only good for a set amount of money and the first merchant who uses them.

MBNA offers these online. Some others want you to request them over the phone.

on April 6, 2004 06:42 AM
# rr said:

I don't understand the gripe. In order to have a pervasive payment system, you need some global authentication scheme. I know, how about a system where each person gets a 16-digit userid, and the password is something easy-to-remember (like, say, your address)? And for greater security, let's issue each person a plastic token which has a 4-digit number on it that they have to enter. We could even put a magstripe on the token which could be swiped at POS terminals for use offline ...

Visa and Mastercard don't own the offline POS market anymore than they own the online POS market. They just run the auth network. The only difference is that the card reader is pervasive offline. Someday every PC will have the equivalent.

Credit cards are basically the safest payment instrument. The issuers are moving to the "every card is compromised" model (because they are), and the maximum consumer liability is $0-50. Cutting up a card and getting a new one is light-years from having to clean up after, say, identity theft.

on April 6, 2004 09:56 AM
# Courtney said:

We have a MasterCard debit card for our PayPal account. Solves both problems - I have a credit card with zero fraud liability, and it uses my Paypal account. This way I can sell stuff on Ebay, and buy stuff on ;)

IMHO, I much prefer paying with my checking acct, as does. But that's just me.

And yes, I am a victim of identity theft. In my wallet, I carry a certified statement from a police dept saying that I am a victim, and therefore, not liable for the felony of writing the bad checks which occaisionally surface under my name.

on April 6, 2004 10:13 AM
# Seun Osewa said:

Yeah, nothing wrong with paypal.

on April 6, 2004 12:49 PM
# Donny said:

Without all of the stupid little companies out there, we would be left with one central location for credit cards, MS Passport. I don't like it, I think it's stupid, I don't want Microsoft to have my credit card, I never purchased anything from them!

Paypal is good until you either get a real merchant account through a good provider and you say why was I wasn't my time and money with PayPal. Or you get bitten by some type of fraud and you are never able to send or receive payments again. Then Paypal sucks.

I personally wish we could just get rid of the middle men. Get rid of the merchant gateways, merchant processors, and the merchant banks themselves. Let me just deal with Visa and Mastercard so everybody gets a lower rate. Then Visa and Mastercard could have a centralized system and then all Visa would have to do is tell me the merchant that customer Jeremy has been approved for $18.00.


on April 6, 2004 08:26 PM
# Sharlene said:

When will my PC be equppied with a swipe machine?....when?

on April 7, 2004 08:38 PM
# engagement said:

Paypal is not the solution and it really sucks if your're a merchant using them, as you can just have your account frozen just because a customer used a fraudulent card. So, most of the Internet merchants are not using them because they know that PayPal is a nightmare to do business with and that at any time they might have their money on the "other side", and they just can't do anything, unless to wait 180 days to get any money back (if they get it).

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on April 8, 2004 06:48 AM
# search engine placement said:

I am no fan of Paypal. I have been screwed by them several times and will not use them again.

on April 11, 2008 07:45 PM
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