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Authorize.Net Review

This authorize.net review offers some history behind authorize.net and their parent company, CyberSource. Keep reading for information on how authorize.net payment gateway works with your merchant account, and the benefits of using authorize.net for accepting online payments.

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Authorize.net surfaced in 1996 as a payment gateway service provider, submitting payment transaction to processing networks for merchants. At the same time, CyberSource Corporation emerged as a developer of fraud management and electronic payment services and technologies. In 2003, CyberSource began creating solutions for small businesses, and on November 1, 2007, it purchased Authorize.Net to expand it small business offerings, with 200,000 small businesses being served in 2009.

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Products and Services

Authorize.Net provides solutions for a variety of merchants, including web merchants, retail merchants, mobile merchants, and mail & telephone order merchants through Authorize.Net Paymet Gateway, which routs transactions for credit card processing, as well as other services for business management and fraud protection. Authorize.Net technologies and services are accessed through resellers, and they also have third-party partners for areas that they do not handle directly.

Website Payments Basics

Unlike PayPal and Google, Authorize.Net Payment Gateway works through a merchant account and payment gateway account that you set up so that there is no middleman and your customers and you.

A merchant account is simply a bank account set up by a business to receive payments from customers' credit cards or consumer bank accounts. A merchant account is held by an acquiring bank, which takes on the responsibility for verifying the availability of funds, authorizing transactions, and both obtaining funds from customers' banks and depositing them into your merchant account.

A payment gateway is a component with the complex technical specifications and security for monetary transactions built-in, so that a merchant can connect to the payment processing network without having to create very involved IT solutions. It is sometimes explained as the web equivalent to a physical credit card swipe machine at a retail store.

Authorize.Net Website Payment System Benefits

Using Authorize.Net's merchant account and payment gateway account may provide some benefits over other choices. Payments is one area of comparison. First, you may receive payments more expeditiously, in 1-2 business days with Authorize.Net, whereas PayPal Express and Google Checkout may take up to 2 weeks, depending on the payment mode. Second, Authorize.Net offers automatic bank deposit, whereas the other services require a merchant request for a transfer to their bank account. When working with Authorize.Net, your funds are in a bank that has FDIC insurance, whereas this is not necessarily the case for PayPal Express, and is never the case for Google Checkout.

In comparing costs of various services, consider that with hundreds or resellers, you will be able to find different approaches to Authorize.Net pricing, whereas PayPal and Google pricing is set for everyone by the parent company.

Another area of comparison is ancillary benefits. First, most customers come to an online purchase with one or more credit cards available; with Authorize.Net, they just use their card, not having to create a PayPal or Google account to complete a transaction. Second, the fraud protection in Authorize.Net services is at your control, whereas the PayPal and Google payment systems, the systems are opaque: you don't know exactly why transactions may be declined on your behalf and cannot change the settings.

The dispute process differs between Authorize.Net and PayPal and Google, the latter two of which rely on mediation services, while the former provides representation on your behalf by both the Authorize.Net reseller and your acquiring bank. Additionally, customer support at Authorize.Net includes an online knowledge base, online chat, toll-free phone support, and a web form e-mail. PayPal only provides toll-free phone support for higher priced accounts, and Google is limited to self-help.

Additional Services

Other services available through Authorize.Net include:

  • Automated Recurring Billing (ARB)™, which handles subscriptions or other regular payments
  • Customer Information Manager (CIM), which securely stores data, streamlining the process for returning customers
  • eCheck.Net®, which offers an electronic check payment option to customers at a reduced cost to you
  • Advanced Fraud Detection Suite (AFDS)™, with a customizable, rules based approach

Third-party solutions include:

  • Merchant Toolbox for productivity, marketing, and security
  • Certified Shopping Carts that will connect seamlessly with the Authorize.Net payment gateway
  • Certified Auction Integration to enable you to accept credit cards from online auction sites
  • Certified Developer Directory so that you can get customizations from someone who really understands the Authorize.Net system
  • Certified Hosting Partners to make sure your hosting requirements are met


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