Authorize.net review – A good choice for payment processing? Features, fees, pros and cons explained

Updated on 12 July 2023

Authorize.net is a leading payment gateway provider in the United States, offering a range of services for businesses of all sizes. This Authorize.net review is intended to help you determine whether it’s the right fit for your company’s payment processing needs. We’ll explore what’s on offer, weigh up the pros and cons, delve into its products and services, analyse the pricing structure, and look at some possible alternatives.

 
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Overview of Authorize.net – what’s on offer?

Established in 1996, Authorize.net has over two decades of experience in online payment processing. It’s a subsidiary of Visa Inc., providing an added layer of trust and credibility. The service prides itself on its simplicity, flexibility, and reliability. Its primary role is to facilitate the transfer of funds from customers’ accounts into a business’s bank account.

Authorize.net offers comprehensive solutions to accept payments online, in-store, and through mobile devices. With the ability to accept all major credit cards, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, as well as digital payment solutions like PayPal and Apple Pay, it offers businesses a wide range of options for processing transactions.

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Furthermore, it’s not just about payment processing. Authorize.net also provides a suite of value-added services such as fraud detection, recurring billing, customer information management, invoicing, and advanced reporting features. It also enables secure storage of customer data, reducing the PCI compliance burden on businesses.

Pros and cons of Authorize.net

Pros:

  • Multiple Payment Options: Authorize.net accepts a wide range of payment types, making it more likely that customers will be able to pay using their preferred method.
  • Fraud Prevention: Advanced fraud detection suite (AFDS) helps identify, manage and prevent suspicious and potentially fraudulent transactions.
  • Customer Information Management (CIM): Allows you to store customers’ sensitive payment information on secure servers, simplifying PCI DSS compliance.
  • Recurring Billing: Automated recurring billing (ARB) lets you set up recurring payments at intervals you set for your customers.
  • Free Customer Support: The company provides round-the-clock customer support through online chat, phone, and email.

Cons:

  • Complex Pricing Structure: Pricing for services can be complicated and may include various additional fees.
  • Limited International Use: Although the service is available to merchants in over 30 countries, it predominantly caters to US businesses.
  • No Built-in Merchant Account: You will need to have or set up a separate merchant account. While this offers flexibility, it could also add to your costs and administrative workload.

Authorize.net products and services guide

Authorize.net’s range of products and services are extensive, offering a comprehensive toolkit for businesses needing to process payments both online and in person.

Its core product is the payment gateway, a portal that links your website to your processing network. This gateway is especially useful for businesses that transact online, offering secure data transmission and ensuring that your customers’ sensitive data remains protected.

Other essential features include the Advanced Fraud Detection Suite, which allows businesses to customize their fraud detection parameters. Recurring Billing, which simplifies the management of subscriptions or any other repeat billing operation, is also available.

One standout feature is the Customer Information Manager (CIM). This tool lets businesses tokenize and store sensitive customer information, helping them comply with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements.

Authorize.net also offers Sync for QuickBooks, a feature that automatically imports settled transactions directly into existing QuickBooks accounts, saving valuable time and effort for businesses.

Authorize.net pricing, fees and charges explained

Authorize.net operates on a ‘quote-based’ pricing system. This means that fees will vary depending on the specific needs of your business, making it somewhat difficult to give a definitive cost overview. However, as of the time of writing, they do offer two main pricing models:

  • All-In-One Option: This package costs £20 per month and includes both a merchant account and a payment gateway. There’s also a per-transaction fee of 2.9% + 30p.
  • Payment Gateway Only: If you already have a merchant account, this option costs £20 per month with a per-transaction fee of 10p, plus a daily batch fee of 10p.

Remember, these are the base costs. Additional services, such as the Advanced Fraud Detection Suite or the Customer Information Manager, may carry additional fees. It’s always a good idea to get a custom quote based on your business’s specific requirements.

Alternatives to Authorize.net

While Authorize.net offers a robust and comprehensive solution, it’s worth considering alternatives.

Stripe is a notable contender, providing a straightforward fee structure, excellent integration options, and strong international support.

PayPal is another popular choice, especially for small businesses and solo entrepreneurs. It’s easy to set up, and customers trust the brand. However, transaction fees can be higher.

Square offers a user-friendly interface, no monthly fees, and a free mobile card reader, making it a great choice for small businesses, especially those conducting sales in person.

Conclusion – Is Authorize.net a good choice?

So, the conclusion of our Authorize.net review. Authorize.net is undoubtedly a solid choice for payment processing. With its advanced feature set, including fraud detection and recurring billing, it offers a comprehensive solution for businesses.

The main downsides are its somewhat complex pricing structure and limited international focus. If your business is UK-based and deals primarily with international transactions, you might find other payment processors, like Stripe, a more flexible option.

However, if you’re a business that primarily deals with domestic transactions, and you value a comprehensive suite of features, Authorize.net is worth considering.

FAQ – Authorize.net review

Does Authorize.net offer mobile payment solutions?

Yes, Authorize.net offers mobile payment solutions, allowing businesses to accept payments through a mobile device.

Is Authorize.net available in the UK?

Yes, Authorize.net is available to merchants in the UK.

What types of payment does Authorize.net accept?

Authorize.net accepts all major credit cards, digital payment methods like PayPal and Apple Pay, and electronic checks.

Does Authorize.net provide customer support?

Yes, Authorize.net provides 24/7 customer support via phone, email, and live chat.

Do I need a separate merchant account to use Authorize.net?

Yes, you will need a merchant account to use Authorize.net, but they also offer an all-in-one solution that includes a merchant account.

Does Authorize.net offer fraud protection?

Yes, Authorize.net offers advanced fraud protection features.

Can I use Authorize.net for recurring payments?

Yes, Authorize.net supports automated recurring billing.

Can Authorize.net integrate with my existing shopping cart?

Yes, Authorize.net is compatible with more than 150 pre-integrated, certified third-party shopping carts.

Does Authorize.net support multiple currencies?

Yes, Authorize.net supports multiple currencies, but functionality may vary depending on your merchant bank account.

Can I accept payments from international customers using Authorize.net?

Yes, you can accept payments from international customers, but the service is primarily tailored to US businesses.

Is Authorize.net a secure platform?

Yes, Authorize.net is a highly secure platform, ensuring all transactions are encrypted and secure.

Does Authorize.net offer APIs for custom integration?

Yes, Authorize.net offers a range of APIs allowing for custom integration with your existing systems.

Can I issue refunds with Authorize.net?

Yes, you can issue full or partial refunds.

How quickly are funds available in my bank account?

It typically takes two business days for funds to be transferred to your bank account.

Does Authorize.net have a contract or cancellation fees?

No, there are no long-term contracts or cancellation fees.

Can I use Authorize.net with QuickBooks?

Yes, you can automatically import settled transactions from Authorize.net into your existing QuickBooks account.

How much does Authorize.net cost?

Pricing depends on the specific needs of your business, but they offer two main packages: The All-In-One Option for £20 per month and the Payment Gateway Only for £20 per month.

Does Authorize.net offer a free trial?

No, as of the time of writing, Authorize.net does not offer a free trial.

Does Authorize.net offer point of sale (POS) solutions?

Yes, Authorize.net offers POS solutions, including a free mobile point of sale app and a third-party POS solutions.

Can I track and manage Authorize.net transactions?

Yes, Authorize.net provides an online interface where you can view and manage all of your transactions.

Reviewed by , Managing Director

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