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The e-commerce.

non-real-time transactions?


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Okay, this will sound odd to many of you, i'm sure...


I'm scoping out what options one has for available gateways that do NOT automatically process in real-time the transactions that are received. I know many of you are going to be shocked at why anyone would not want this - as are most gateway service providers i've thus far contacted. However, for some businesses - those who deal with specialized seasonal products with service restrictions - do not always want a transaction to be automatically processesd until they've had a chance to review the orders and determine inventory availability or confirm delivery timeframes.


Case in point: A theoretical client runs a retail as well as mail-order plant nursery business. Due to the seasonal nature of the business, from Nov - April plants are dormant and it is also too cold to ship. Meanwhile, most shoppers expect the plant offerings/catalog to be online for the current season/year starting in January. Orders trickle in over the winter & early spring but are not shipped out until warm weather arrives. However, during this time, a streak of unusually nasty weather occurs ....or mice find a batch of dormant stock while beneath the snow .....or whatever.... and maybe a specific block of that inventory becomes unmarketable. Hmmmm....

So now we have orders that have arrived via a payment gateway and have already been charged at the time of order - makes for upset clients as they've pre-paid and waited and now, some time later, must be issued partial refunds and be dissappointed.

However, if the transaction could be recorded and these clients not charged until just before delivery ...there is still the disappointment but not the concern over overcharges and chargebacks!


While I know osCommerce has a "credit card" module, it is stated "not for production" use and I'd rather not add the security burden of having the system and servers store the CC info. Ideally, i'd like to be able to implement a gateway of sorts that would securely accept the transaction storage / handling responsibilities ....but not process it in real-time - just store it until it can either be okay'd by the administrator ...or maybe manually processed and run through the stores' POS terminal? I know this is not the typical ECommerce model scenario... but then again, these are not the typical business models either.


Any thoughts/suggestions from those more experienced????

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