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Paypal Express Checkout API, Google Checkout API and Amazon Flexible Payment Services allow us to accept payment easily by simply redirecting users to their website and they'll handle everything. We don't even need to know their credit card numbers.

However, what if I want my users to deal with me directly using their credit card numbers? This way I can change the payment processor without bothering my users. I think this is how traditional merchant accounts work. Does any of the payment services offered by Paypal/Google/Amazon work in this way?

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The types of payment services you are talking about require the user to make payment on the payment provider's website. When you take control of the payment you lose that because you are now responsible for handling the payment. So there would be no transparent transition for your users if you change processors.

Paypal offers an API (I believe it is Website Payments Pro) which does allow you to use their services like you would with a payment gateway like Authorize.Net. Then if you switched to a true merchant account you could change the provider in the background and your users would not be aware of the change as it would be completely transparent to them.

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Thanks! What about Google/Amazon? –  netvope Jul 20 '11 at 17:12
    
I am not as familiar with Google and Amazon so I can't say for sure. I am not aware of them offering something like that but that's probably because I haven't looked. –  John Conde Jul 20 '11 at 18:37
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