I'm a complete newbie to using online payment systems for web projects, and can't really think of where to start. Let's assume that web system in question needs to generate some income online, and the business idea/functionality is in place, while organizing cash flow is the only unsolved problem.

Points of interest are how the custom developed software interfaces to payment systems, and how the resulting income is available to the owner.

I do understand that there are probably hundreds of systems out there, but to be more specific on which of them suit, I'd have to know how they work, and that's where I don't feel like understanding much.

2 Answers 2


You arrive at the shop, you pick two items and go checkout. The total is calculated and then you are presented a terminal to enter your credit card information. Once the transaction is completed, you leave the shop with the two items.

Depending on the bank the shop owner work with, he will receive money within 1 or 3 days on his bank account.

The bank provided the terminal. That's no different on your website. There are two common methods:

  1. You present the shopper a secured interface in which he enter his credit card information, that is a part of your website. With that information you can either process the credit card manually or use a background secured web service call to the bank.

  2. You redirects the shopper to a secured interface in which he enter his credit card information, hosted by your bank. With that information, the bank process the payment and redirects the shopper to your shop's confirmation page. You get notified by the bank using an HTTP call, email or whatever you configured.

In both cases, the money arrive on your bank account just like the real shop described above.

  • This is clear, thank you, but requires support from the bank. I was more interested in online payment systems, say, paypal, webmoney?
    – etranger
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 9:47
  • 1
    replace bank by paypal, and it works.
    – user2567
    Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 10:32
  • As Pierre 303 says, the bank or Paypal or else provides the interface. As such, Paypal offers an SDK for such developers as you who wishes to use their payment system. Commented Feb 19, 2011 at 14:25

PayPal has a number of tutorials/demos on how to integrate with their system, with examples in PHP, Java and ASP.NET. You can use their shopping cart buttons, or interface with third-party ones.

Here are a couple of books on the subject:

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