I'm building a web app for a nonprofit, and one of the most important pieces will be the ability to take payments via mobile. I've never dealt with mobile-specific payments before, so I'd like to tap the community's knowledge:

What is the minimum number of steps (or easiest interface) to allow someone to make a donation from their mobile device, and what services/platforms are available (and recommended) to take mobile donations?

You can substitute "payments" for "donations" in my question - it doesn't have to be tailored to a nonprofit. Apologies if this is posted in the wrong SE site, there's too many to know where to go, exactly...


The simplest would have to be PayPal... It has a service specifically designed for "Donations", it can accept credit cards or paypal accounts. I can't imagine that there would be an easier method, especially for development.

  • Information on Paypal for non-profit can be found for various languages and markets for UK - paypal.com/uk/webapps/mpp/non-profit - for US - paypal.com/webapps/mpp/donations - for France - paypal.com/fr/webapps/mpp/non-profit - hope this helps. – Whitingx Oct 2 '13 at 11:50
  • Mobile payments can be taken via text message, which I feel is much easier than PayPal. I apologize if my question wasn't clear enough, but I'm looking for the least-friction way to take donations on a web app, not using a phone. I don't need a swiper - ideally, I'd have a "pay with mobile" button that just automagically knows the phone # of the person who clicked it. – Andy Adams Oct 2 '13 at 14:35
  • @AndyAdams: That sounds like a premium text message service, which are billed via the operators. You don't even need a smartphone for those; even the earliest GSM phones can send SMS and all the billing is handled network-side. Is that what you're looking for? – MSalters Oct 4 '13 at 11:17
  • @MSalters Sort of, however I'm looking for a web-based service that allows me to interface with those billing operations. I'm thinking the user fills in their number on my website, and they get a text message where they can make a donation. I'd prefer not to have to write that system on my own, and I have to believe there are services with simple UIs that make it easy. – Andy Adams Oct 4 '13 at 15:58
  • @AndyAdams: That sounds far more complex. You have just describe an expensive way to get a text message to a user, and that message just tells him what he needs to do. Why not tell him directly on the website? Also, what if someone fills in an incorrect number? Accidentally or unintentionally? As for easy UI, sending texts from a mobile is fairly easy and more importantly, already well-known. – MSalters Oct 6 '13 at 19:24

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