I have never implemented a payment system in Drupal but it looks like I will have to do it in the very near future. I have plenty of Drupal experience, including writing custom modules, but I know nothing about payment systems.

I know of the Ubercart and Drupal Commerce modules and presume this is the standard way to go when setting up payment system for a Drupal website.

Basically I need to let users pay for monthly subscriptions for the site, and then money will be automatically taken from users' accounts on a monthly basis, until they cancel the subscription or it runs out.

Is this difficult/time consuming to set up? Will it take a weeks to implement for someone like myself with no prior experience in this area? How long rougly would I be looking at to get this set up?

  • In my opinion and with your skills you should achieve this in 1 week or less with Drupal Commerce + Payment gateway with direct debit functionality. Here you have list of PG's drupalcommerce.org/faq/payment-methods. I'm still working with D6 so I can't advise more. – sobi3ch Aug 8 '12 at 16:16

I've just finished writing a multi-tiered subscription system for an online business directory, using Commerce. Without going into too many details (the clients might be watching ;) it took a fair bit longer than a week to complete and sufficiently test the subscription/payment element of the system, and I'm pretty familiar with how payment processors and Drupal Commerce work under-the-hood.

FWIW I took most of my inspiration from the Commerce subscription products PayPal module, which:

integrates the PayPal Recurring Billing functionality into the Commerce subscription product module.

It's a feature module so you can just chuck it into a site and see what it does (sets up a product type of 'subscription', adds fields to the user and order entities for tracking subscriptions, handles the recurring IPN notification from Paypal, etc.)

If you read through that module code you'll get a good idea of what's required to set up a subscription system using Commerce. If you also need to write a payment processor from scratch then it'd be a good idea to look at the Commerce Paypal module at the same time so you can get a good overview of what needs to be done.

I'm afraid I can't comment on the UC Recurring Payments options as I've never used it.

  • IYO, what do you prefer.. Ubercart or Commerce? I've seen tons of development for commerce recently but i've never used it. Is there any advantage to it over UC? – Digital fire Aug 8 '12 at 16:54
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    @DigitalFire I was a bit resistive at first (see this post), but now that I've used it properly there's really no contest...Commerce is far, far superior from a developer's point of view. Ubercart is still slightly easier to set-up as an 'out-of-the-box' solution (you get a catalogue included for example), but the extra bit of effort you need to put into a Commerce site at the beginning is well worth it IMO – Clive Aug 8 '12 at 16:58
  • How much do you reckon the work required is worth? Say you were hiring in someone just to implement a subscription payment system for Drupal using UC or or Commerce, how much would you expect to paying them roughly in your opinion? And how long would you expect them to take if they had prior experience in this area? – Jim_CS Aug 8 '12 at 17:58
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    It's tricky to gauge without a better idea of your exact requirements but based on my experiences I'd probably expect to be paying for 6-8 days work. Though if you're requirements align nicely with the developer's previous experiences with commerce/subscriptions then that might fall a fair bit, it really depends. I can't comment as to a price as hourly rates will differ wildly if you go with a freelancer or an agency, and depending on the developers' experience level – Clive Aug 8 '12 at 18:44

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