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What I need to know is the best way to set this up in terms of payment processing.
I initially thought about going with an Authorize.net gateway with a merchant account, but found that many merchant account people don't allow for the yearly billing option. I don't want to change the pricing model.
I know there is software out there like ModernBill, but it seems to be too expensive to me when you couple ModernBill with the gateway charges, etc.
I know there must be an economical way of doing this since my site is similar in it's pricing model to millions of these dating sites which bill monthly or yearly. What am I not seeing?
BTW, the system has to be able to tell my site when the card doesn't work anymore due to expiration, cancellation, etc. And needs to be able to be told by my site when the customer wants to change their plan or billing info.
This isn't that complicated, but I can't hack it! Please help. :-)
You might look into either using the free recurring billing module or getting your software to do this automatically itself. This way, you can even get the customers to re-authorize the transactions.
For example, I am a monthly member of a website. Every two to three months, when I sign in, I am asked to re-authorize everything. This helps the company from the Chargeback Reason Code 41 (cancelled recurring transaction).
And you can easily become CISP compliant for usually around $200 a year or so. (Well I mean get scanned etc - you might have to do some things to protect your server and that would cost you.)