We just got the Credit Card gateway working in 9.0. The Credit Card gateway uses Paypal to process the credit card and funds goes into the Internal Pharos Database; into the third purse which is usually called User Pays. Users with Paypal accounts can also fund via their personal Paypal accounts. The funds from the Paypal payment does not touch the Blackboard accounts. Our intention is that the Credit Card gateway will be used to fund Guest account printing. Our normal campus population pays for printing through their Blackboard account via the Blackboard TIA gateway. Funds can be added to their Blackboard account via a value-add station on campus.
To be able to use funds from the internal Pharos database and Blackboard, you will need to install a script into a Bank. I used a Pharos script that is provided on the CD image. Under tools\plugins\scripts there is a script called Billing - Pharos Accounts Plus Online Accounts. The script uses an external plug-in called billplug.exe. Our Blackboard TIA gateway is called ipbilext.exe. I just changed the script to use the ipbilext.exe plug-in and install it in the Bank. This Bank can pay for print jobs with either internal Pharos funds or from Blackboard. When you use the Bank with this script, the total available funding is the sum of the internal Pharos funds plus Blackboard account. Pharos will take funds from the internal Pharos funds first until the internal funds are exhausted. Then it will go to Blackboard for funding.
Our department doesn't have anything to do with running the Blackboard system, so I have no idea how much it costs to run. For the credit card gateway, you will need a Business Paypal account. There is a Business Paypal account that is free of monthly fees. Paypal normally takes 2.9% of the total transaction amount plus a $0.30 transaction fee. The Pharos credit card gateway can calculate the added Paypal fees and charge it to the user or your institution can eat that cost. We were informed by our Finance department that it is illegal to charge the fees back to the user in the state of California-so we eat the cost of the fees.
You could potentially run your operation on the Credit Card gateway. All your users would have to add funds via Paypal. You would not need the Blackboard TIA gateway and you could use the Default Bank. You would manage all your funds in the internal Pharos database. One caveat is that the server which has the Pharos API service needs to be exposed and visible to the Internet. This server is typically the one that has the Print Server and Printer Center running on it. In other words, Paypal servers need to be able to resolve your server's DNS name, and Paypal needs to be able to connect to your server. If your server is on a private network, or is protected behind a firewall, you will have to make provisions so that Paypal servers can contact your server. Otherwise, Paypal cannot tell Pharos that a user had added fund to their account...
Hope that helps.
Thank you Willis. It does help and gives me some ideas.