Some Pre-Sales Questions

Discussion in 'Pre-Sales Questions' started by MNortham, Jul 13, 2004.

  1. MNortham

    MNortham Guest

    Hi Alex -

    Spent a lot of time tonight reading the forum to try and get a handle on aMember. We operate a membership association with 1500+ members (entertainment industry professionals, no adult content!) who are billed monthly on a recurring billing model. We're currently with an outsourced, hosted software application which is OK but doesn't offer many bells and whistles. We have our own online merchant account, and I'm considering trying to take the billing process in-house. Additionally, we're looking at launching 5 new membership organizations based on the first one's business model. Questions for you:

    1. We got major-league burned ($20k loss!) by the failure of GloBill 18 months ago. For that reason, I'm very wary of any processing providers where we cannot get a backup copy, secured appropriately, of our members credit card info. Should the processing company go under, that's the only security we've got to be able to continue our association's member billing without having everyone sign up again - a huge problem we have already gone through once due to the GloBill debacle. As I understand it, aMember stores the credit card info in an encrypted form, correct? So my understanding is that given that, if a processor goes out of business, I can switch to another processor that is supported by aMember (via plugin) and transactions will then be directed to that processor going forward. Can you confirm/clarify this? Also, if aMember stores credit card info internally, can our members sign in an update their credit card info (choice of card, card number, expiration date)?

    2. I'm a bit unclear about how aMember handles recurring billing. As I understand it, aMember initiates the billing process for each recurrance of a recurring billing, then passes control to the payment processor, which actually charges the card and returns a code to aMember which then handles the recordkeeping and actual access control to the protected area of our site that is available for members only. Is this essentially correct?

    3. Our current billing company executes a cgi program on our server (billing runs on their server) which handles adds/deletes from the htaccess files. Is this similar to how aMember handles it, other than the fact that aMember would run on our own server?

    4. Is aMember licensed per-server or per-domain? If per-Domain, do you have any volume discounts for 5+ domains?

    4. Speaking of payment processors, since we have our own online merchant account, exactly what more would we need to work with aMember... a "gateway" (not sure of that exact terminology either!)? Thanks for any details you can provide on this. seems to be, from the forum, what most people in my situation are using. Any thoughts?

    5. Currently our system requires members to use their email addresses for their userid and they can choose any password they'd like (some even choose their email addresses!). Can the system be modified to allow for this? Insisting that 1500+ members change their login info would be a big issue, especially re: the customer support issues and member retention issues that would arise.

    6. In terms of migration, I can create a spreadsheet (or database file) with one record for each member including name, address, email, current password, monthly rebilling amount ($), current credit card no and expiration date, and the date (over the next 30 days) for each member's scheduled rebilling. There is no expiration since memberships are rebilled monthly until cancelled by the member. What would be involved in importing data in this format into aMember Pro?

    7. What is the (or is there a) practical capacity of the system in terms of number of members, assuming server processing power is within reason? I'm interested if you have many customer running the script with 5,000+ members, etc..

    Thanks very much for any details you can provide -


    Mark Northam
  2. alex

    alex Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 24, 2004
    Answered in the support helpdesk.
  3. hittjw

    hittjw New Member

    Jan 18, 2005
    Is there a URL to MNortham's answer in the helpdesk? I'm very interested in what you had to say, but can't find the questions listed.


  4. alex

    alex Administrator Staff Member

    Jan 24, 2004
    Hi Mark,
    1. Yes aMember will process it through another payment processor. And yes user is able to change it from members area.
    2. Yes, correct.
    3. aMember will run on your own server.
    4. aMember is licensed per-domain.
    4. Authorith.Net is a good one, also you can take a look to LinkPoint and
    PayFlow Pro.
    5. Yes system can be easily modified to allow this without a problem.
    6. No problems to import this file into aMember.
    7. Yes. we have such customers. And didn't had a problems with big amount of
    users (I saw a live website with 200,000+ customers in database).
  5. tsbmagazine

    tsbmagazine New Member

    Aug 26, 2008
    How do I enable users to change their credit card numbers?

    For some reason my members can not change their credit card numbers on their own, how do I enable this in amember? I didn't know it had that functionality?

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