Jump Start’s Easy Guide to Credit Card Processing

Jump Start Credit Card ProcessingEven though we now have over a decade of e-commerce history under our belts, credit card processing is still one of the most stone-knives-and-bearskins primitive aspects of web app development. It seems like a lot of trouble and arcana just to move money from buyer to seller, an action that at its essence is as old as civilization itself.

Making matters worse for the developer is the sad state of documentation on credit card processing. It’s often unintelligible, written as if it was given as an unwanted task to an intern who couldn’t care less. Sometimes it’s outright wrong.

Enter the folks from the Freckle time-tracking web application: Amy Hoy, Thomas Fuchs and Dieter Komendera. They decided to do a good deed an create a guide titled Jump Start Credit Card Processing, a 15-page PDF guide that explains credit card processing in a manner that’s not just comprehensible, but fun to read. Here’s a sample page:

"Credit Card Processing Lifecycle" page from "Jump Start Credit Card Processing"

Among the things explained in this guide are:

  • The credit card processing life cycle
  • Key industry terms and actions
  • JavaScript code for validating & detecting card types
  • Code samples for the ActiveMerchant Ruby module
  • A “getting started” checklist & account information

Best of all, this guide is available for download absolutely free of charge. If you’re new to the world of e-commerce apps and want to make sense of credit card processing, I strongly recommend Jump Start Credit Card Processing. Grab it from the Jump Start site.