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Author Topic: Arduino + magnetic strip reader + paypal = payment processing machine?  (Read 1510 times)
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Would I be able to use an arduino and this stip reader https://www.sparkfun.com/products/11096 to somehow send payments to my paypal account? Can the arduino handle the paypal api? Has this been done before?
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No.
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why not? where does the arduino fall short?
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why not? where does the arduino fall short?

Make that *your* homework assignment and report back PDQ!
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Instead of working your way from Arduino to Paypal, look at it from Paypal's API point of view (Payflow Pro) and work your way towards your Arduino.... then you'll know the reason why.
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The bottom line is, you're just sending data over the net right? It's essentially just you sending data to paypal. So why cant the arduino send packets over the web? Whatever. So the beagleboard is what I should use then instead?
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why not? where does the arduino fall short?

The Arduino is not the problem. You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding about how banking works. What you're suggesting is not possible unless you are capable of defeating the banks' security, and willing to commit fraud.

Why would the banks want to allow arbitrary people to withdraw funds from their accounts? The answer, of course, is that they don't. You can send funds from *your* account (once you have authenticated yourself to prove you're entitled to use that account) but you can't simply take money from other peoples' accounts.

If you want to receive money from other people there are plenty of ways to do it (you can even be sent money from a phone these days), but you will need to do it via and with the cooperation of a bank. In order to take money from a credit/debit card, you'd need to be set up as a merchant with secured hardware which your financial provider would supply.
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You're misunderstanding the situation. People will only be using the machine to *deposit* money into my paypal account using a credit card.
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First start by getting a website able to interact with paypal.  Once you are able to do that getting the arduino to interact with your website is rather easy.
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You're misunderstanding the situation. People will only be using the machine to *deposit* money into my paypal account using a credit card.

No, you are misunderstanding the situation. You are trying to withdraw funds from somebody else's debit/credit card. To do that you would have to prove to the card supplier that you are the card holder, or that you have permission from the card holder to take funds from their card. By 'prove' I mean authenticate yourself to the bank's electronic trading systems and carry out a secure transaction. This is not something that you can simply DIY - unless you are capable of defeating the bank's security systems and willing to commit fraud. What you're suggesting is fundamentally impossible; if it were possible, then any of us would be able to withdraw funds from any credit card we got sight of, and of course people would simply steal money left right and center.

The bottom line is that if you want to be able to accept payments from a given type of card you need to persuade the card issuer to give you a merchant account and the associated hardware.
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It should be the same as when you're typing your CC info into paypal to purchase something in the situation where you don't have a paypal account. After you've typed the card #, exp date, security #, etc., the web form just simply sends that data to paypal. Paypal makes an CC reader and app for smart phones for this very purpose. I guess I should just use a smart phone with a WiFi connection instead. what do you think?
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Paypal makes an CC reader and app for smart phones for this very purpose. I guess I should just use a smart phone with a WiFi connection instead. what do you think?
That would be your easiest solution.  Otherwise you can setup a website that takes payments through paypal and then have your arduino interact with that website.
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Hi - I'm one of the developers of PayPal Here, our card reading mobile app. What you're describing is in theory possible, though you'd pay the "card not present" rate (3.5% + $.15 in the US) because you're using an unencrypted crappo swiper. But we do have APIs that would let you do this. In theory you could use our reader too, but then you'd have to reverse engineer the audio interface which would be a pain in the arse. It would be a cool demo though, so if I can provide help, I'm happy to.
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Hi - I'm one of the developers of PayPal Here, our card reading mobile app. What you're describing is in theory possible, though you'd pay the "card not present" rate (3.5% + $.15 in the US) because you're using an unencrypted crappo swiper. But we do have APIs that would let you do this. In theory you could use our reader too, but then you'd have to reverse engineer the audio interface which would be a pain in the arse. It would be a cool demo though, so if I can provide help, I'm happy to.

You means PayPal support "card in present" rate now ?  if yes then what is the rate?  "3.5% + $.15 in the US" is great rate for "card not present", but I guess it is only good for low risk merchant products?
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Hi - I'm one of the developers of PayPal Here, our card reading mobile app. What you're describing is in theory possible, though you'd pay the "card not present" rate (3.5% + $.15 in the US) because you're using an unencrypted crappo swiper. But we do have APIs that would let you do this. In theory you could use our reader too, but then you'd have to reverse engineer the audio interface which would be a pain in the arse. It would be a cool demo though, so if I can provide help, I'm happy to.
It now seems that the best solution is to simply have paypal buttons put on the my site that they can click instead of the whole card-swiper thing.
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