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Authorize.net is known for being one of the oldest and most popular payment gateway providers for eCommerce merchants. Ever since, the company provided gateway services to over 430,000 merchant, handling more than 1 billion of transactions and $149 billion in payments every year.
Available to merchants in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Europe and Australia, below are all the standard and optional services that Authorize.net offers:
Authorize.net is designed to work with an existing merchant account, but the company will also set you up with one if you’re starting from scratch. Authorize.net uses third-party providers for its merchant accounts, so fees and terms will vary.
Of course, every account with the company gets access to the Authorize.net payment gateway.
Virtual Point of Sale (VPOS)
The VPOS is browser-based software that takes on the virtual terminal role, letting you key-in transactions manually from your computer. It uses the BBPOS Chipper card reader, which is magstripe and EMV-enabled. The software is free, but the card reader will set you back $98, plus another $17.50 for the micro-USB cable. Keep in mind, the VPOS is currently only compatible with Windows.
Mobile Payments (mPOS)
Like a lot of other providers in the industry, Authorize.net has an app that can accept mobile payments when using a smartphone or tablet, plus a plug-in card reader. The software from Authorize.net is available for both iOS and Android and is included with your account for free, but you’ll have to purchase the card reader. Compatible ones include the IDTech Shuttle Two-Track Secure Magstripe Reader (magstripe-only, $42.88) or the BBPOS Chipper card reader (mentioned above). Both work by plugging into the headphone jack. Check out the Authorize.net FAQ page for a list of supported devices and supported processors that accept EMV payments.
Add this optional feature to your existing merchant account, or you can sign up for the eCheck Only Pricing Plan. It costs 0.75% per eCheck, which is a lower rate than you would pay for credit or debit card transactions. There’s a $10 monthly minimum, as well as chargeback ($25) and returned item ($3) fees.
Authorize.net has simplified payment solutions designed with premium features so you can run your business and protect your customers at the same time.
- Payment types. Supported payment types include Visa, MasterCard, Discover, American Express, JCB, PayPal, Visa Checkout, Apple Pay, Chase Pay and eCheck.
- Simple checkout. One of the great things about Authorize.net is its ability to integrate with a large number of third-party shopping carts. However, most merchants won’t need something that robust. Instead, Simple Checkout lets you generate HTML code for “Buy Now” and “Donate” buttons to add to your website.
- Invoicing. Send invoices to anyone with an email address. It’s included for free with your Authorize.net account with no development or customization required.
- Advanced fraud detection suite (AFDS). This feature is included free with your account and is made up of thirteen filters that you can customize to help flag and block seemingly fraudulent transactions. AFDS helps to prevent fraud-related inventory loss and reduces chargeback incidents.
- Automated recurring billing (ARB). With ARB, you can customize the pricing of your subscription-based billing, as well as the use of free trial periods and payments by installments.
- Customer information manager (CIM). CIM lets you store customer information (billing address, shipping address and payment information) securely. Sensitive data is encrypted. Of course, this level of security comprises data portability.
- Quickbooks integration. Many providers now offer the ability to sync with QuickBooks, but it’s still a feature worth noting.
The rates and fees you see below are only applicable if you sign up directly with Authorize.net. There are merchant account providers out there that offer access to the Authorize.net payment gateway, but they’ve been able to negotiate better rates, fees, and terms than if you would go directly with Authorize.net. If a merchant account provider wants to charge you higher rates than what you see below, by all means, do not sign up with that provider!
Authorize.net offers two pricing plans on its website:
|Pricing Plan||Gateway Only||Gateway + Merchant Account|
|Account Set Up Fee||None||None|
|Per Transaction Fee||$0.10||2.9% + $0.30|
|Daily Batch Fee||$0.10||–|
If you already have a merchant account, then you should go with the gateway-only plan. As a reminder, it’s a better deal to get the Authorize.net gateway via an existing merchant account provider that offers it.
Other fees include:
|International transactions||+ 1.5% assessment|
You might also have to pay merchant account fees, which vary depending on the reseller. Every account includes the advanced fraud detection suite, automated recurring billing, customer information manager and Quickbooks integration, for free. If you need it, eCheck processing is 0.75% each transaction.
If your business processes more than $500,000 per year, you can contact Authorize.net for tailored pricing, interchange plus options and data migration assistance.
Customer Support & Satisfaction
Access the Authorize.net telephone support system 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (excluding major holidays). The company has an excellent reputation for great customer support, so you should get your problem resolved quickly and easily. Keep in mind, customer support here is only for the payment gateway. For merchant account issues, you’ll have to contact your merchant account provider.
For self-help, you can refer to the numerous articles, white papers and video tutorials on the Authorize.net website. The knowledge base can be found on the Support Center page.
Since 2009, Authorize.net has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and currently holds an A+ rating. The company has had 112 complaints in the past three years, and 23 complaints in the past 12 months. It sounds like a lot, but Authorize.net is the #1 gateway provider in the United States. So, the volume of complaints is also quite reasonable considering its large customer base. Common complaints include: non-refundable setup and monthly fees, and data portability.
Contract & Closing
Authorize.net claims it doesn’t have long-term contracts or cancellation fees, and that’s true for the most part. Merchants that use the company’s gateway are charged on a month-to-month basis, and you can cancel whenever you want to, without any penalties. However, if you use Authorize.net for your merchant account, it might be a different story.
Many of its resellers – like Dharma Merchant Services and Merchant Focus – will honor these terms and conditions, while other merchant account providers can set their own rules. Some might have a standard three-year contract with early termination fees. In any case, make sure to read your contract thoroughly before you sign on the dotted line.
Authorize.net shines when it comes to its payment gateway and all the extras that support it. You might not need eCheck processing or mobile payments, but it’s nice to know you have these options and that they perform well. With excellent service and support to back the company, there aren’t many reasons why you wouldn’t go with Authorize.net.
That being said, one thing that could be improved upon is making customer data migration more seamless. Other top providers now offer this feature in a way that’s PCI compliant, so Authorize.net has some catching up to do in this department.
If you decide to go with Authorize.net, I recommend you go through one of its resellers instead of directly through the company. The majority of resellers will waive the $49 account set up fee and have discounted monthly fees as well as processing rates.
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