Authorize.net is a payment gateway that allows merchants to process credit card payments online. If an online company wishes to be successful, they will need a payment gateway to increase their rate of sales. Authorize.net was formed in 1996 and quickly gained a reputation for being one of the best payment gateways online. By 2006, the company was acquired by CyberSource Corporation. This was good news for Authorize.net users because CyberSource are a security organization which should give extra peace of mind. The site claims to have approximately 350,000 merchant users which would make it the world’s largest payment gateway.
What Authorize.net Offers and Pricing
A large number of reseller partners who offer industry leading payment services sell the services of Authorize.net. These resellers also help companies establish a merchant account which is the bank account needed in order for you to accept credit card payments. There is a one-time Gateway set-up fee of $99 though it should be noted that this is only a suggested retail price. In reality, the site’s resellers can charge more or less depending on their individual price structure. There are a host of other charges associated with Authorize.net including:
- Monthly Gateway Fee – The recommended price is $20 but this could be anywhere between $10 and $50 depending on the reseller.
- Transaction Fee – This is a fee charged every time a credit card transaction is processed. Again, the recommended charge is $0.10 but it could be between $0.05 and $0.20 per transaction.
- Batch Fee – This is charged per batch of selected credit card transactions.
- Advanced Fraud Detection Suite – Although Authorize.net already offers a set of fraud prevention tools, there are more on offer for $9.95 a month.
- Automated Recurring Billing – The process of recurring billing is a convenient tool for merchants who have regular subscribers. You will pay $10 a month extra if you want this service.
- Customer Information Manager – For $20 a month, you can store the information of your customers securely. Such an option allows your customers to save information on your database for future use.
- eCheck.net – A separate payment gateway service that enables customers to designate electronic checks from their checking account. The site offers the service for $20 a month.
Authorize.net also offers free customer support and connection methods such as server integration and advanced integration. The free fraud prevention tools are Card Code Verification (CCV) and Address Verification Service (AVS).
The price of credit card processing can really add up but in reality, the additional customers you will receive because of it will make these fees worthwhile. Although Authorize.net offers a reasonable service, it is irritating to know that the prices for various options vary depending on the reseller. The customer service also leaves a lot to be desired despite options like live chat. As Authorize.net is apparently the world’s largest payment gateway service provider, it is a prime target for hackers who have attacked the site on several occasions. An incident in July 2009 saw the entire web infrastructure for the site fail over the Independence Day holiday. As a result, none of the site’s merchants could process credit cards for several days.