Deciding which method of accepting online credit card transactions you should choose depends on your needs. To help you decide, we have a great article about online credit card payments.
When you will have online credit card transactions of more than $1000 a month, then instead of using PayPal or Google Checkout you can consider getting your own account to accept credit card payments on your own web site. We are an authorized dealer for the low cost solution from one of the largest credit card processing firms, Authorize.net, now part of Cybersource, a very large online merchant bank. Visa announced in April, 2010 they are acquiring Authorize.net and Cybersouce, which will continue to accept MasterCard, Discover, and American Express in addition to Visa.
To apply for an account or simply see the current fees for having your own credit card processing on your web site, please visit our page at Authorize.net.
In order to take online payments you are required to have the following:
Note: You cannot use the same gateway and merchant bank account you have in your physical store or business to take online payments. Firms require setting up a second account and the cost to take online payments are higher, because online is considered riskier than accepting a credit card in person and swiping the card through a machine. Online payments (sometimes called MOTO for mail order telephone order) cost 2.19% of the transaction amount, whereas “card present” payments swiped through a credit card machine cost about 1.6%.
Authorize.net, which is the largest gateway service, was bought out by merchant bank provider Cybersource, and in April 2010 Visa announced it is buying them. We recommend this payment service not because it’s the biggest, but because it’s one of the cheapest ways for our clients to take online payments, cheaper than using your local bank or another online provider.
The current fees are shown on the first page of the online application that lets you apply for just a payment gateway or both a payment gateway and merchant bank account. In 2010 altogether, you’ll pay about $28 a month in fixed fees, plus .35 a transaction and 2.19% of the amount charged.
Before you sign up online, you can review these PDF copies of the application forms so you know what information to have on hand:
When completing the online application you need to sign up for payment gateway, and a merchant bank account. The payment gateway is usually approved within a day, and the merchant bank account within 3-5 days, so you need to apply at least a week before you expect to take online payments.
You do NOT need to sign up for these options if you are running a typical online store or taking typical payments:
When you do your online application you can optionally sign-up for e-check service if you want to allow people to pay by check online. A second application will be required since this involves the ACH network (view an e-check paper application copy) . E-check requires an additional monthly fee (usually $6.95 or $9.95 depending on how they judge your viability) but e-checks are only charged about 1.6% of the transaction so it’s cheaper for customers to pay with checks than credit cards.
You can download the Authorize.net User Manual.
Usually there is also a complete record of financial records within your website, tied to each user’s profile, plus summary reports of revenues collected, so reports in the website can be audited against the Authorize.net account reporting.
Once your application is approved, you will receive a user name and password to log in as a merchant at Authorize.net. You will then add us as a developer account so we can do the following: