New Plymouth-based WebFarm, a long-time provider of on-line credit-card payment services, has released a “shopping cart” service, which it says can be attached to any website.
Initially, the WebFarm-Shop service is only provided to WebFarm customers, who get it free of charge; but WebFarm is willing to make the necessary software available to other hosting companies on suitable terms, says managing director Richard Shearer. One host on the east coast of the US, in fact, already plans to provide the service to its own users. Shearer declines to name the company at this stage.
“We’ve been in negotiation with them for some time about similar shopping cart services”, he says. The initial link with the company was made through “industry contacts”, he says. “Web-hosting is quite a small world”.
Before broader distribution to other hosts, the software will need some “commercialisation work”, Shearer says. “We need to change it so it can be easily customised for any particular party’s needs.”
Early New Zealand customers of WebFarm-Shop appear impressed. Southern Alpaca’s Linda Blake says she and her webmaster looked at various shopping cart systems when they decided to go global. “WebFarm offered a simple and, importantly, well supported system which they were prepared to tailor to our needs.”
WebFarm-Shop supports an unlimited number of products, with product code, name, cost, size, weight, colour and other user-defined variables, WebFarm says.
“It is simple to install on any website, and flexible in design, including variable typefaces, sizes and colours, meaning it can be tailored to fit the look of existing sites.”
WebFarm has offered credit card payment services since 1999 with its WorldPay system, which supports multiple currencies. “We support settlement in a range of currencies, too, which others, like the banks, don’t”, Shearer says. “With them, you can pay in other currencies, but you have to settle in NZ dollars”.
Shearer says the company has little to fear from banks and payment network companies like ETSL offering uniform gateways. “It’s horses for courses.”
With bank-supported systems, he says, there’s usually some kind of constraint; “the bank you deal with, the method of connection, or the operating system you use. WorldPay is completely open”.