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I'm currently working on a project of moving our windows application to a web application. The software is for financial planners/advisers in US.

In our windows app most people pay by calling up and giving their card information over the phone. Payment for the windows app is annual with yearly renewals. We're now getting close to finishing up the web app and the payment system is one of the things left.

My concern is that using this same payment system seems out of place in a web app. I think it would be expected that a user could start/stop/modify their subscription on their own without ever having to call or email us.

Has anyone been in a similar situation and have any advice?

Let me know if I could provide more info to make this question clearer.

  • If you went with the phone-in option, I wonder if you identified the phone number as such, so that the user could tap to auto-dial if they happen to be browsing by using their phone, or click to have a Skype plug-in or similar plug-in dial the phone number. :) – JeromeR Aug 22 '15 at 22:43
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My concern is that using this same payment system seems out of place in a web app. I think it would be expected that a user could start/stop/modify their subscription on their own without ever having to call or email us.

I would imagine it could go both ways depending on the kind of customer, who uses it, who pays for it, etc.

For example I worked on one system where the person paying for the product was (in almost all cases) not the end user, and wasn't directly involved with the end-user. So providing a route for them to pay directly without involving the end-user's account was useful. We ended up:

  1. Allowing them to pay by phone
  2. Providing the end-user with a special link that they could give to the person who would pay to let them enter credit card / bank account info without having to log in, deal with setting up an account, etc.

Whether something like this would be suitable for you would depend on the product, the end user, the people paying, how folk pay, how renewals are handled, etc.

Easiest way to find out — talk to existing and potential customers. Do some quick prototypes of both paths. Try 'em. See what the feedback is like.

  • Good point about paying on behalf of another user. I recall once "loaning" my credit card to a young relative for an online purchase, and then being annoyed that the credit-card details remained on their online account for potential continued use. – JeromeR Aug 22 '15 at 22:40

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