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Alternative payment options

Posted: September 5, 2021 at 11:01 am


Ian Just

September 5, 2021 at 11:01 am

For reasons that should be obvious to anyone who has had to deal with them, we are looking to drop PayPal as an option.

Authorize.net insist you’re “physically located in North America”. Nope.

That leaves giving details for a bank transfer (reasonably trivial to do in Europe, but means more work at our end matching incoming payments with bookings) or paying more than twice our current annual fee to use Stripe.

Given that’s the “recommended” solution (eventespresso.com/features/event-registration-payments/) why isn’t that one free and you have to pay for PayPal hell?


Ian Just

September 5, 2021 at 4:30 pm

I get that supporting assorted payment solutions is work and you need to generate income, but I think this is what’s going to stop us using Event Espresso.

It’s been really, really useful since 2016, enabling us to do some things we were not able to do with any other booking solution (and I looked!) but others have more than caught up, especially in ease of use.

Covid-19 has meant that I haven’t had to set up a new event in almost two years, and it was trying to avoid having to find the answer to ‘what little tricks did I note where to get it working how we want?’ that got me looking for alternatives that didn’t involve the cost of an unwaged event registration to get someone other than PayPal.

Getting event ticketing right is a hard problem, and not everyone will find what a quick test suggests is going to be great for us is good for them (we’re simpler than most in some regards and more complicated in others), and the support here has been superb. (Thank you!) Unfortunately, it’s not just us who also find that it’s often been necessary.


Tony

  • Support Staff

September 7, 2021 at 8:03 am

Hi Ian,

Given that’s the “recommended” solution (eventespresso.com/features/event-registration-payments/) why isn’t that one free and you have to pay for PayPal hell?

We tracked active payment methods within EE for a while and the most active were PayPal based, even for those with an Everything license (meaning they had access to all of our add-ons).

In short, people chose to use PayPal over others and I’m guessing one of the main reasons for that is simply because they are familiar with it.

I’m not a big fan of PayPal myself, providing support for some of their payment platforms is often tougher than others and when it randomly breaks with no changes what so ever client-side then randomly starts working again a few minutes/hours later… their stance is usually it’s obviously the end-users fault. However, the numbers mean it’s popular and that was part of the reason we included it in core.

I get that supporting assorted payment solutions is work and you need to generate income, but I think this is what’s going to stop us using Event Espresso.

It’s been really, really useful since 2016, enabling us to do some things we were not able to do with any other booking solution (and I looked!) but others have more than caught up, especially in ease of use.

I’m not sure I follow the logic, we shouldn’t charge for additional payment methods which take time to develop and support completely separate form the event management side of things?

May I ask what the incentive would then be to create new payment methods and/or those?

We could include them all by default and just have one single license type (which would cost users looking for ‘just’ core and PayPal more for payment methods/features they apparently don’t need.

We could include various payment methods within core and then another user will post up asking why X, Y or Z payment method isn’t included. We need to make a decision somewhere and unfortunately, the selection of payment method won’t suit everyone.

We split up core from other features (including payment methods) to give you (the end-user) the choice on the feature you need rather than being forced to buy everything.

Covid-19 has meant that I haven’t had to set up a new event in almost two years, and it was trying to avoid having to find the answer to ‘what little tricks did I note where to get it working how we want?’ that got me looking for alternatives that didn’t involve the cost of an unwaged event registration to get someone other than PayPal.

I’d advise everyone to checkout the various registrations plugins available, some will suit various needs better than others. We (EventEspresso) are aware that we can’t suit every use case as much as we’d like to.

I don’t deal with sales and whilst I’ll happily ask them for more details on what is available for users with existing licenses purchasing another payment method I’d simply be a middle man here and would recommend you contact them directly using this form:

https://eventespresso.com/contact/

Select ‘I have a billing question’ and they can advise further on what options we have.

Getting event ticketing right is a hard problem, and not everyone will find what a quick test suggests is going to be great for us is good for them (we’re simpler than most in some regards and more complicated in others), and the support here has been superb. (Thank you!) Unfortunately, it’s not just us who also find that it’s often been necessary.

My apologies but I don’t understand this, I’m happy to discuss further but will need more details.


Ian Just

September 8, 2021 at 3:38 pm

However, the numbers mean it’s popular and that was part of the reason we included it in core.

Yes, I get that. We would have been looking for PayPal then.

I’m not sure I follow the logic, we shouldn’t charge for additional payment methods which take time to develop and support completely separate form the event management side of things?

May I ask what the incentive would then be to create new payment methods and/or those?

What got me looking for alternatives that will work for us was a combination of things. One was being asked to pay 3x what we do now (Core renewal + Stripe vs Core renewal) and presumably 2x in future years (renewal for both).

As I say, I absolutely and completely get that the income has to come from somewhere, and had support for Stripe in EE been cheaper, I may well have gone for it. (Having looked at the Stripe support site, I do wonder just how much work is involved in supporting it: they know they’re not the first option people think of and do a better job of being usable than PayPal.)

I also looked at what other payment provider option is in core: it’s US only. So if you’re not in the US, the options are: PayPal or pay. Or go elsewhere. That felt like being treated like a second class user, which didn’t help.

I don’t know how large the EE user base is. Is it large enough that you can go to the less popular payment providers and say ‘we can get you more users – if you pay us to set up your not-the-same-as-everyone-else’s API with EE’?

My apologies but I don’t understand this, I’m happy to discuss further but will need more details.

When I picked EE six years ago* it was because it was the best option for us I could find. It was possible to get it to do most of the things we needed, but we needed support here to do that.

I needed technical help with things like not having a default ticket option selected – that needed me to setup a custom WP plugin. Looking at it, I see that I also had to add code to make EE look for the ticket selector template in the espresso templates folder within WP’s uploads folder. It’s worked, but I have literally no memory why that was necessary and what wasn’t working until that was done.

Once it was working, EE’s not particularly easy for a new person to use. If you run lots of different events with the same promoter details, it’s easier, but one of the things that makes us a bit more complicated than some is that although there’s one group in overall charge, a different group each time organises the actual event: so plenty of stuff needs changing each time rather than being able to use the same bank account details, addresses, logos, email addresses etc etc. (This also means that we can’t have two events open for bookings at the same time with EE, but we’ve lived with that.)

No-one else here has wanted to learn all that just to do one event, so each year I have to look at what I did about a year ago. Because there are a number of little things that can bite you in setting it up.

Using EE to handle bookings could be easier for new people too. You can see that in some of the posts from others here.. and in my inbox, where I was being asked ‘how do I..’ from that year’s group regularly.

As I say, the support here has been superb – looking for alternative payment providers here found me the help given to someone else who only wanted to sell to Amex card users for a while. Someone enabled them to do that, and I’m impressed.

So I really hope EE continues to be available, but – for us – we’ve found an alternative that’s a better fit.

* The first event we used it for in 2016, but bookings would have opened in 2015.


Ian Just

September 8, 2021 at 3:45 pm

each year I have to look at what I did about a year ago

Because of Covid-19, this time I’d be looking at what I did two years ago – both 2020 and 2021’s event were online, with free tickets available from Eventbrite. (They don’t charge for that, there was only one ticket option, and we needed much less info from attendees / much less work handling their bookings.)

I wasn’t looking forward to having to do it this year.

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