This is a guest post by webionate about their new project (written by @andrecedik)

The easy SaaS for shipping packages

Small and medium sized business are constantly looking for a way to reduce costs and remove complexity from their daily operations. If you own a business that sends goods to its customers one of the first things you are probably thinking about is sending the packages with the cheapest, but at the same time most reliable carrier that’s available. In Germany most businesses are still relying on DHL, because of their widely spread stores and because they are practically shipping to everywhere in the country. Unfortunately they aren’t always the cheapest carrier and for lots of businesses there are better alternatives available. But what can you do if you want to integrate another carrier into your (e-commerce) software system?

That’s where comes into place. We’re making it easy for our customers to get access to all the major carriers currently available in Germany (DHL, UPS, Hermes, GLS and DPD). All you have to do is integrate our simple restful API and you’re done. So instead of integrating the webservice of every carrier (which is a daunting task, because every carrier has other criteria and terms how to access them), you can just sit back and relax, because we are taking care of the rest. The way to create a shipping label for UPS is the same way you’d create a label for DHL or GLS. Even better: You don’t have to have coding knowledge at all, because everything you can do via the API you can also achieve using our website.

3 systems connected

For us it’s not only the monthly fees we need to charge our customers, but we also needed a way to bill them for the shipping labels they’ve created using shipcloud. Since we’ve used PAYMILL in the past, we already had the chance to witness their awesome support and knew how committed they are to making payments on the web easy. Which is the reason we knew, that we wanted to work with them again. From there we only had to find a service that’s using PAYMILL for doing recurring payments.

Eventually we were talking to the people from Reskribe and were excited about what they’ve told us, they were building. The best thing – aside from their office being only a few kilometers away – is, that we’ve been given the opportunity to give them feedback about what we think they should tweak on their side, in order for us and all the other customers to make better use of their service. They’ve been of tremendous help while we were integrating their API into shipcloud. What made it easy for Reskribe to convince us was their partnership with PAYMILL. Their use of PAYMILL UNITE made it easy for them to connect all three systems with each other, so everyone was able to profit from one single use case – shipping packages within Germany and maybe even worldwide soon. All of this while maintaining PCI compliancy and abiding the strict German privacy laws.

How charges at shipcloud work

To be a little more specific about how all of those systems are working together, here is a little insight into how shipcloud charges its customers: If a user registers for one of our payed plans (there is also a free developer plan) he/she has to enter credit card information. Like every other site using PAYMILL, when submitting the form, the JavaScript bridge is generating a token for the submitted credit card data. But instead of contacting the PAYMILL servers, the token is afterwards being send to Reskribe together with the users billing address and the info which plan he/she has chosen. Reskribe then uses the token to create the first monthly charge for our user. This way we’re also able to verify, that the credit card being used can be charged.

Every night, a cronjob at our end checks to see, if our customers have created new physical shipping labels. If this is the case, the server sends information about the number of shipping labels (per carrier) and the amount, a user has to pay, to the Reskribe service as a so called add-on. Add-Ons are being added to a users upcoming bill and charged at the end of the current billing period. It really was that simple to implement recurring billing and we are thrilled, that we are already able to work on more features for our customers which will be released to in the upcoming weeks. So stay tuned!

Guest Blogger

This is a guest post written by one of our contributors.