TABLE OF CONTENTS
Authorize.net provides secure payment gateways to merchants seeking easy, low-cost digital payments. With card-not-present (CNP) fraud totaling more than $19.4 billion worldwide in 2020, obtaining a payment gateway that securely authorizes cardholder details is especially important. Brighterion. “Seven card-not-present fraud trends and ways to manage risk“. Accessed May 22, 2023.
However, as Authorize.net offers gateway-only and full-scale payment processing plans, the pricing of its state-of-the-art technology can vary significantly depending on which services your business requires. Oftentimes, this makes it difficult for merchants to predict the costs of processing payments within their businesses.
Many choose to integrate Authorize.net payment gateways to a third-party merchant account, while others use Authorize.net as an all-in-one payment processing solution. This guide explores Authorize.net—how it works, its fees, factors that impact its pricing, and other relevant topics. Read ahead to learn more about Authorize.net and its pricing options!
What Is Authorize.net and How Does It Work?
Authorize.net is a payment gateway provider, founded in 1996 and acquired by Visa in 2010.PracticalEcommerce. “Visa to Acquire CyberSource, Authorize.Net“.Accessed May 22, 2023. The company provides a range of payment gateway and processing solutions to merchants across the globe. While Authorize.net now offers full-scale payment processing solutions, it’s most well-known for its payment gateway software.
There are two types of card-not-present transactions: online and mail order/telephone order (MOTO). As an online payment gateway, Authorize.net integrates with merchant’s websites to provide a payment portal for customers. Customers input their credit card details, and Authorize.net’s gateway encrypts the information, authenticates it, and sends it to the relevant payment processor. Fortunately, Authorize.net is compatible with various payment processors and eCommerce platforms, making it a flexible option for business owners seeking payment gateways. For payments taken via email invoice or over the phone, the same process occurs only through a separate online portal. Here, merchants can log in to the portal and enter their customers’ payment information manually.
In terms of features, Authorize.net prioritizes security and ease of use. The gateway offers a range of fraud prevention tools to reduce exposure to chargebacks, and customers can also save payment details for future use. Likewise, Authorize.net supports subscription payments, digital invoices, mobile payments, and more!
Understanding Authorize.net Fees & Pricing
Authorize.net charges a range of gateway fees, including per-transaction fees, monthly fees, and more. Below, we’ll explore the details of each one.
Authorize.net Gateway vs. Merchant Account Fees
Authorize.net offers two plans to merchants: a gateway-only plan or an all-in-one processing plan. Fees can vary depending on which plan you choose. Let’s look at the differences:
All-in-One Payment Processing Plan
If you’re looking to use Authorize.net as your payment processor and gateway, the fees are as follows:
- Set up fee: $0
- Monthly gateway fee: $25
- Per transaction: 2.9% + $0.30
Payment Gateway-Only Plan
If you only want to use Authorize.net as your payment gateway, the fees are as follows:
- Set up fee: $0
- Monthly gateway fee: $25
- Per transaction: $0.10
- Daily batch fee: $0.10
Remember, if you choose the payment gateway-only plan, you must also connect the gateway with a compatible payment processor. This means you’ll need to consider the costs of your merchant account provider in addition to the Authorize.net gateway costs.
Authorize.net Pricing vs. Other Popular Gateways
One of the primary benefits of working with Authorize.net is that it allows merchants to integrate with third-party payment processors like high-risk merchant account providers. However, if you want an all-in-one solution, it’s helpful to compare Authorize.net against other payment service providers (PSPs) with built-in payment gateways. Let’s explore how Authorize.net’s payment processing fees stack up against the competition:
|Set up fee||$0||$0||$0||$0|
|Monthly fee||$25||$0||$0||$10 to access Stripe Checkout|
|Per trans. fee||2.9% + $0.30||1.9% + $0.10 – 3.49% + $0.49||2.6% + $0.10 – 3.5% + $0.15||2.9% + $0.30|
|Chargeback fee||$25||$20||$0 (aside from refunds given to customers)||$15|
This chart portrays Authorize.net as a more expensive option than the rest, but it comes with added value and security that others don’t offer. Additionally, as Authorize.net allows its merchants to use third-party payment processors, the above comparisons are only relevant for businesses using the all-in-one processing plan. So, if you integrate an existing merchant account with the Authorize.net gateway-only plan, you may access even lower pricing than what you see in the table above.
Factors that Impact Authorize.net Costs & Fees
Keeping an eye on your business’s expenses helps you protect your bottom line, and understanding the various factors that influence your payment gateway costs can ensure that there won’t be any nasty surprises when you receive your first bill. Let’s explore the different aspects that impact Authorize.net’s costs and fees:
Type of Authorize.net plan
First, the type of plan you choose impacts the costs and fees associated with Authorize.net. As explored in this guide’s pricing section, the gateway-only plan is much cheaper than the full payment processing plan.
Authorize.net charges a monthly $25 fee for its payment gateway plans on top of per-transaction fees. The lower your payment volume, the more your business pays on a per-transaction basis. However, if you operate a high-revenue business, this monthly fee won’t significantly impact the overall cost of your payment processing.
Authorize.net charges merchants $25 when a customer files a chargeback. So, if a chargeback is successful, not only will you need to refund the cardholder, but you must also pay a fee to Authorize.net. As excessive chargebacks are a sign of fraud, if a business accumulates too many chargebacks, it may lose access to the payment gateway altogether.
Authorize.net offers enterprise pricing to businesses with more than $500,000 in annual revenue. This means you may be eligible for custom pricing plans if your business suits the requirements. Still, Authorize.net negotiates these enterprise contracts with businesses individually, meaning that there’s no way to predict how much you will save before signing up.
Merchant account provider
Lastly, if you integrate the Authorize.net payment gateway with a third-party merchant account, instead of using the gateway’s in-house processing, you must also consider your provider’s processing fees. Some merchant accounts charge higher transaction fees than standalone payment gateways, so comparing them is important before choosing an option. If your business is high-risk, you may also need to partner with a high-risk merchant account provider to gain access to reliable merchant services.
How to Calculate Authorize.net Fees
As Authorize.net outlines costs for both plans clearly, it’s simple to predict how much a business will pay to process transactions. Let’s explore some scenarios in more detail:
Example transaction scenarios
All-in-one payment processing plan:
A customer purchases a $10 product from your online store using a credit card; the cost breakdown is as follows:
- Price of item: $10
- Per transaction fee: 2.9% + $0.30
- Amount of transaction fee: 2.9% = $0.29
- Fixed amount of transaction fee: $0.30
- Transaction fees charged by Authorize.net: $0.59
- Amount of purchase total retained by the business after transaction fee: $9.41
A business must also pay $25 per month to access this plan. It’s important to note that if your business is high-risk, it will not be eligible for Authorize.net’s All-in-one payment processing plan. However, a high-risk merchant service provider will be able to connect to Authorize.net using the gateway-only plan.
Payment gateway-only plan:
A customer purchases a $10 product from your online store using a credit card. The cost breakdown for the payment gateway only is as follows:
- Price of item: $10
- Per transaction fee: $0.10
- Transaction fees charged by Authorize.net: $0.10
- Amount of purchase total retained by the business after transaction fee: $9.90
Remember, businesses must also pay $25 per month to access this plan, along with a daily batch processing fee of $0.10. Additionally, this example only accounts for how much a business pays to use an Authorize.net payment gateway. The relevant business must also pay a payment processor to settle the transaction, as the gateway-only plan doesn’t include payment processing.
Tips to Minimize Your Authorize.net Costs
Minimizing your payment gateway and processing costs will help your business save money in the long run. While processing fees appear small in isolation, they add up quickly. Below, let’s explore three tips for minimizing your Authorize.net costs:
Choose an affordable payment processor
If your business opts for the gateway-only plan at Authorize.net, minimizing how much you spend on payment processing is essential. Shopping around for a merchant account provider will help you choose an affordable option. Payment processing fees can be much higher than gateway fees, and they play a significant role in how much it costs you to accept credit card payments.
Next, make sure to avoid chargebacks and other payment disputes. Authorize.net charges $25 per chargeback; however, your merchant account provider may also have chargeback fees, making the overall cost much higher. Additionally, excessive chargebacks may lead to higher processing fees or the complete termination of your account.
Fortunately, Authorize.net has built-in security tools to help its merchants avoid chargebacks. Still, your business should employ good practices to avoid payment disputes. Always use accurate product descriptions and reliable shipping partners to avoid customer confusion. Additionally, using your trading name on your merchant account (rather than a holding company name), and listing return policies clearly on your website can help you steer clear of chargebacks and other financial losses.
Consider enterprise pricing
You may be eligible for enterprise pricing if you operate a high-revenue business. Authorize.net is happy to speak about custom pricing to businesses with more than $500,000 in annual revenue. Businesses in this revenue category may have access to lower per-transaction costs.
Is Authorize.net Your Best Option?
There’s no doubt that Authorize.net provides cutting-edge payment gateway services to thousands of merchants across the globe. If your business requires a secure, seamless customer checkout experience, this gateway is highly recommended. Plus, it offers gateway-only and payment processing plan options, so you’ll have complete flexibility regarding your processing fees.
Choosing a suitable merchant account provider is a top priority if your business opts to integrate Authorize.net with a third-party processor. For merchants operating in high-risk industries especially, it can be difficult to find a compatible merchant account provider with higher chargeback thresholds, dedicated support, and other industry-specific benefits. When you partner with a high-risk merchant account provider and use Authorize.net’s gateway services, you’ll gain the support and stability your business needs to process credit cards successfully!
Authorize.net Pricing FAQs
Are Authorize.net fees different for nonprofits?
While Authorize.net doesn’t advertise lower fees for nonprofits, it does have a range of nonprofit-related integrations, making it easy to fundraise for worthwhile causes. If your organization seeks a payment gateway provider with various tools relevant to accepting donations, Authorize.net is an excellent choice!
Are Authorize.net fees better or worse than Paypal?
Comparing Authorize.net’s price to PayPal fees isn’t straightforward, as Authorize.net offers both a payment gateway-only plan and a payment processing plan. If you choose to use the gateway-only plan, the cost of using Authorize.net will also depend on your payment processor. This means if you choose an affordable merchant account provider, you will likely pay lower fees than with PayPal.
If you use Authorize.net for payment processing, fees will be relatively similar to PayPal (although PayPal is often more expensive for traditional online transactions). Regardless, individual factors impact the actual price of using either platform; for example, PayPal charges different fees depending on the type of transaction. It’s best to assess all fees relevant to your business when determining which option is the most affordable.
What is the difference between a merchant account and a payment gateway?
The difference between merchant accounts and payment gateways is their role in the digital payment infrastructure. A merchant account is a bank account specifically for processing payments—your merchant account provider will use the account to clear funds, which your business can transfer to your traditional business bank account once settlement occurs.
On the other hand, a payment gateway is a technology tasked with receiving customer card data, authenticating it, and communicating it to your merchant account provider. Payment gateways do not process payments. Instead, they merely facilitate a secure transaction. Combining a payment gateway with a merchant account creates a secure, easy-to-use payment portal for your customers.
What methods of payment can I accept through Authorize.net?
Authorize.net facilitates a range of leading payment methods, making it easy to offer flexibility to your customers. Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, and JCB are all supported. Authorize.net also supports Apple Pay, PayPal, and eCheck payments.
Are there any other hidden or miscellaneous fees I should know about?
Fortunately, Authorize.net is very transparent about its fees. While there are fees for payment processing, batch processing, chargebacks, and other standard services, the company is forthright about its pricing. However, if you choose the payment gateway-only plan, you must also consider the fees of your merchant account provider.
- Brighterion. “Seven card-not-present fraud trends and ways to manage risk“. Accessed May 22, 2023.
- PracticalEcommerce. “Visa to Acquire CyberSource, Authorize.Net“.Accessed May 22, 2023.