California Enforces Online Sales Tax, But Most Subscription Sites Selling Online Content Do Not Have to Collect

This Saturday, Sept. 15, 2012, California will begin enforcing its online sales tax law. That means that eCommerce retailers with more than a million in sales in California will have to collect sales tax from customers. (Interestingly, this has led to a buying frenzy on Amazon by some California residents.) But most websites selling online subscriptions for digital content or access shouldn't be affected. That's because the law applies to "tangible personal property." Sales and Use tax…

Facebook Opens Up Subscription Billing, But Paid Content Sites Should Think Twice Before Joining

Last week, Facebook announced that its subscription billing app is now available to all developers. (Kixeye, Disney's Playdom and Zynga have been testing the app since June.) While gaming sites and paid content sites using social readers may be excited about this news, the app may not actually be to their fiscal advantage. For one, Facebook is taking a 30% cut of all subscription fees. That's enormously high for payment processing services. While there was no formal…

Google Wallet Likely to Hurt Subscription Retention, Skype Avoids Pre-Paid Problems With Its Own Cards

Google seemed to have jumped the gun this week when it announced Google Wallet supports all major credit and debit cards. American Express was quick to announce there was no formal deal, according to CardNotPresent.com. But even with a formal deal, subscription sites should be hesitant to use the new cloud-based service. Amex's biggest concern is the fact that purchases show up on a cardholder's statement as "Google" instead of with normal merchant-related information. That means…

FTC Case Could Affect How Payment Processors Address Chargebacks

In these economically-strapped times, the Federal Trade Commission(FTC) is cracking down not only on merchants who swindle consumers, but all parties involved in fraud, including payment processors.Recently, a U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas banned the use of "remotely created payment orders" by Landmark Clearing, Inc. "Remotely created payment orders" allow merchants to enter a client's name and bank number into a form and are cleared like a paper check, except that…

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