Classy Llama’s newly released PayPal Credit Card Tokenization extension adds a feature to Magento that’s been sorely missed by merchants who use PayPal as their payment service of choice: the ability for customers to save a credit card for repeated use. The enhancement has the potential to make PayPal a more attractive option for new merchants choosing an online payment solution as well.
With the extension in place on a Magento site using PayPal, logged in or registering customers will now be presented with a “Save this card for future use” check box when paying with a credit card. On subsequent visits, any previously saved cards will be available for one-click use. And while this is the most prominent feature of the new extension, it offers quite a few other bells and whistles as well, including support for billing agreements on a Payflow gateway integration and new options for re-charging previous payment methods for site admins.
The best thing about the new extension is that it’s absolutely free. It’s also incredibly easy to install via the Magento Connect marketplace:
(Please note that you must be running Magento Open Source 188.8.131.52 or above, or Commerce 184.108.40.206 or above, to use the extension.)
If you’re thinking that the ability to save a credit card on an eCommerce site hardly sounds revolutionary, you’re quite correct. It also may not be apparent what this has to do with using PayPal for your payment processing. This all comes down to the fact that credit card information isn’t being stored directly on the web site at all.
It is perfectly possible, of course, for any site to store credit card data directly; Magento includes the ability to save credit cards in an encrypted manner out of the box. But actually storing credit card data presents security concerns that merely passing it to a payment gateway does not, and the stringent added security measures required by PCI Data Security Standards are often too difficult or costly for many merchants.
Both PayPal and Authorize.Net have for some time offered solutions that allow for the customer experience of saved credit cards without requiring merchants to bear the burden of storing the sensitive data. The key is the ability to store and use tokens that merely reference information stored securely on the providers’ own servers. The bad news for Magento merchants is that, to date, no support for either payment service’s tokenization features has been included in the core platform. A handful of paid third-party extensions have been developed to enable the option for Authorize.Net, but no equivalent off-the-shelf PayPal solution has existed until now. (And we’d be remiss if we didn’t remind you that this extension is free!)
Here’s a more in-depth look at the PayPal Credit Card Tokenization extension’s features.
Customers can save their credit card information during the checkout process and then use the same credit card on future orders. No sensitive information is stored on the merchant site, eliminating PCI DSS compliance concerns.
PayPal billing agreements are already supported in Magento and allow customers to automatically charge their PayPal accounts on future orders, or allow merchants to automatically bill a PayPal customer at specific intervals (for products like subscriptions). However, billing agreements have not previously been supported for Payflow gateway integrations. The new extension adds this support, and billing agreements can now be created during Express Checkout even for guest or registering customers, for use with the new admin order management features.
Merchants now have the ability to create orders in the Magento admin interface that charge the same credit card or PayPal billing agreement used on any previous order. The admin interface can also now be used to create “guest” orders – that is, orders not associated with a specific registered site user.
The extension is compatible with Magento Community 220.127.116.11 and above, and Enterprise 18.104.22.168 and above.
Integrations with the following PayPal solutions are supported:
This is an extension we intend to improve as demand for other features becomes apparent. Currently, the most requested addition is compatibility with earlier versions of Magento. If you’re a merchant running a Magento release that’s not currently supported, rest assured that you won’t be left out in the cold forever. Plans are already underway to back-port the extension. Keep checking our blog for updates!