When to Use Authorize.net
Authorize.net offers one of the more flexible options for accepting payments online. It’s secure, reliable, feature-packed, and compatible with many payment processors. However, since Authorize.net has its origins as an online payment gateway, storefronts and brick-and-mortar businesses may be better suited with a different payment processor.
In particular, Authorize.net is best for:
- Secure payment gateway: Authorize.net is a PCI-compliant payment gateway and has top-notch security features to protect both your business and your customers.
- Recurring payments: If you have a subscription-based company or use recurring billing for, Authorize.net has features built in to help you manage it.
- Nonprofit payment processing: Discounted rates are available for nonprofit organizations, as well as donation-specific features and tools.
When to Use an Alternative
- Businesses wanting no monthly fee: Authorize.net does charge a monthly gateway fee, so if you’re looking to keep associated costs low, you may look for a more affordable option. Instead, choose one of our recommended free merchant accounts that have no monthly fees.
- Storefronts: Authorize.net has amazing tools for accepting credit cards online, but its in-person payment processing features aren’t as valuable. Instead, you might look for a different retail credit card processor or restaurant credit card processor.
- Mobile payment processing: Though Authorize.net offers mobile solutions, online payments is its bread and butter. Mobile businesses would be better served by a solution specifically designed for mobile with a feature-rich app and selection of mobile card readers. See our top choices for mobile payment processing.
- Occasional sales: Smaller businesses may find better value in an all-in-one processing solution like Square that offers its own free payment gateway.
Looking for something else? See our list of the best merchant services for small businesses to find a solution that’s right for you.
|Easy to set up and use||Requires a monthly fee|
|Extremely reliable||Lacks some reporting and in-person payment features|
|Discounted rates available for nonprofits||Requires separate merchant account|
Authorize.net will offer assistance in migrating data over from another platform, and there are no associated setup fees. Merchants don’t have to sign up for a long-term contract either, an added benefit.
Authorize.net has two core plans: the All-in-One Option that includes the payment gateway and merchant account (they’ll set you up with a third-party processor), or the option that is payment gateway-only. Both come with a $25 monthly fee. Processing fees break down like this:
- All-in-one: 2.9% + 30 cents per transaction
- Payment gateway-only: 10 cents per transaction + 10-cent daily batch fee
Authorize.net doesn’t have long-term contracts and charge setup and cancellation fees. Discounted rates are available to nonprofit organizations.
Authorize.net Alternatives and Fees Comparison
Stax by Fattmerchant
Small and medium-sized businesses with growth goals
Businesses on a budget
Merchants who need an easy solution
starts at $99/month
starts at $0/month
starts at $0/month
Card-present transaction fee
Interchange + 8 cents
2.6% + 10 cents
Keyed transaction fee
Interchange + 15 cents
3.5% + 15 cents
3.5% + fixed fee
Ecommerce transaction fee
Interchange + 15 cents
2.9% + 30 cents
Starts at 3.4% + 30 cents
- Payment types: Authorize.net accepts payments from credit cards, mobile wallets, PayPal, e-checks, and international payments. You can also set up recurring payments and invoices.
- Security: Sensitive payment information is stored on Authorize.net’s secure servers, simplifying compliance with payment card industry standards (PCI).
- Fraud prevention: Authorize.net’s Advanced Fraud Detection Suite (AFDS) helps identify, manage, and prevent suspicious and potentially fraudulent transactions, which can be costly. Customize fraud detection with rules-based filters and tools to suit your business model.
- Ecommerce: You can use Authorize.net to quickly and easily embed a “buy now” button on your existing website. Nonprofits can use the “donate now” embed option.
- Customer profiles: Authorize.net will save cards on file, billing information, and shipping locations for each customer to make it easier for returning customers to complete future purchases.
- Open API: The open API makes Authorize.net flexible enough to work with third-party and custom-built technologies.
Authorize.net doesn’t have any of its own proprietary software. One of the benefits of the payment gateway is its versatility and long list of compatible platforms and integrations. So, you can use your existing hardware or purchase a new system to set up with your Authorize.net payments.
Authorize.net Ease of Use
Because it’s a specific platform with a narrow focus, the interface isn’t too cumbersome or overwhelming. People find it easy to get acclimated with the tool. Authorize.net was made to fit into a lot of existing platforms and processes, so it has a ton of integration options that make it easy to add to your existing merchant account and business software. They have integrations for ecommerce platforms, POS systems, accounting, and tools for pretty much every aspect of your business.
Authorize.net Customer Support
Authorize.net customer support is available via phone 24/7, except on major holidays. Merchants can also submit an online support case or use Authorize.net’s live chat. There’s also an online support center with a FAQ section where merchants can troubleshoot issues themselves.
What Users Think of Authorize.net
The majority of Authorize.net reviewers like the platform. They like that it’s easy to integrate with other platforms and the peace of mind that comes with its security features. On the flip side, some users note a dated interface and complex dashboard.
- Software Advice: On Software Advice, Authorize.net averages 4.39 out of 5 stars. Reviewers think it’s fairly priced and works well, though some note limitations when searching for previous transactions and generating client reports.
- G2: Authorize.net earns 4 out of 5 stars on G2. People love the straightforward platform, though there is a small learning curve in getting used to the dashboard. One user mentioned that searching for transactions isn’t easy.
- Capterra: Here, Authorize.net gets 4.4 out of 5 stars for its security, integrations, and reliability. Negative comments are centered around fraud prevention and difficulty reaching customer support.
Despite the mostly positive reviews, many users feel the overall design could be updated.
Ultimately, Authorize.net is a great payment processing tool for merchants who need to have secure, reliable online transactions. It has flexible pricing and plans, as well as many integrations, so you can set up your tech stack according to your business needs.