Monday, October 6, 2008

Recurring Credit Cards - Where's the database

When I started my company, I wanted to outsource almost everything since my infrastructure was weak. I signed up for a merchant account where my technical arrangement was that as soon as a customer entered their credit card info, we past the info to the credit card vendor. In my company's database, we only kept the last four digits of the credit card.

Well a few years have gone by and now, I have a full time CTO and a locked office and a fair amount of infrastructure. There are a number of reasons that I might want to have full access to the credit card database.

1. If I wanted to switch credit card processors, I would have to start with a long discussion to work out the arrangement for transfering the database from my current vendor. I've yet to review my contractual arrangement with him to find out what the rules are about him providing it to me. Also, I sometimes worry about my liability for his security lapses.

2. Credit card expirations. I got thru an elaborate process of getting lists of credit cards that are going to expire every month from my vendor. They are only available starting the first of the month for which it's going to expire. I'm not sure why we don't capture this info ourselves and keep it.

3. Credit card updating process. When customers call to inquire which credit card is onfile, it's a multiscreen process to tell them.

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