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Solar Billing Launches

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Feb 17, 2004 12:00 AM PST    Text size: 
PHOENIX, Arizona -- With only half a dozen new accounts under its wing since its launch on Monday (President's Day), Solar Billing tossed its hat into the alternative billing ring this week touting no restrictions, no fees, and no more worries over chargebacks.

Backed by Deutsche Bank and verified by Visa, Solar Billing's solution is designed for high risk industries like online adult and gaming, both of which have had trouble securing credit card billing services through merchant accounts and third party systems because of strict and often debilitating chargeback rules imposed by Visa and MasterCard.

Founded by a former webmaster and attorney who experienced first hand the many pratfalls of dealing with the credit card industry, Solar Billing President Bob Jung and his partner started developing the idea for Solar Billing a year and a half ago by coupling Jung's legal thinking and analysis expertise with his bad experience with merchant accounts.

"I kept thinking that there has to be a better way to do this, so we started from scratch," Jung told XBiz. "We tried to look at it from both sides, not just for the webmaster but for the consumer. What could we do to satisfy both people and not be overly-biased, was our thinking."

According to Jung, Solar Billing is a mixture of a third-party billing system combined with the security of alternative payment method and somewhere along the lines of an 'e-wallet,' a term Solar Billing's bank has used to describe its service.

"Knowing all the problems that adult webmasters and casinos were having with PayPal and Visa, what we did was come up with a service that provided the same end results, but that didn't fall into the definition of a third part biller," Jung said.

According to Jung, Solar Billing uses a system that can help webmasters who were previously straddled with chargeback ratios, and even webmasters who have lost their ability to process major credit cards. Through Solar Billing, webmasters can accept credit cards, checks, bank transfers, 900 billing, ACH, and more.

Users looking to join a site are funded entirely through Solar Billing. The system is relatively chargeback-proof, according to Jung, because the money is paid directly to Solar Billing, which has in place an extensive procedure for all dispute issues that will never directly affect the webmaster.

In order to prevent chargebacks, Solar Billing has a 10 percent reserve for the first six months. During that period, users still have the full amount of their account available to send to other Solar Billing users. A user account matures in 30 days, after which time the user can withdraw funds directly into their bank account, have checks issued, or utilize another form of payment.

Webmasters pay Solar Billing a 12.5 percent rate on each sign-up, although according to Jung, Solar Billing also offers lower rates for high-volume sign-ups. As part of its launch, the company is offering a 10 percent rate 'for life' on the first 100 sign-ups.

Solar Billing webmasters also have complete control over all membership activities, including the ability to edit usernames and passwords, process automatic rebills and trial subscriptions, and monitor conversion rates.

"We're something new," Jung said. "By adding the extra steps, we were able to allow webmasters to use Visa and MasterCard without having a merchant account and without being high risk."

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