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Contrary to popular belief, Authorize.net is not primarily a merchant account provider or a credit card processor. Instead, Authorize.net is what is known in the merchant services industry as a “payment gateway.” This means that the company provides software and applications that route credit card payments from the point of sale to the actual credit card processor. Payment gateway providers like Authorize.net are an additional but necessary service if a merchant wishes to use a virtual terminal, website shopping cart, or some mobile processing applications. Authorize.net also powers e-check payments, phone payments, and monthly billing.
Though the company specializes in gateway services, it partners with resellers to provide merchant service accounts to businesses. Working with resellers makes rates, fees, and other facets of a contract negotiable, which is an important consideration for any merchant considering Authorize.net to set up those services.
Location & Ownership
Authorize.net was founded in 1996 and acquired by CyberSource in 2007, and then both CyberSource and Authorize.net were acquired by Visa in 2010. Michael Walsh is the CEO of CyberSource, which is headquartered in San Francisco, California. Bob Donahue is the CEO and Alex Burgin is the vice president of Authorize.net.
Table of Contents
- Costs & Contract: Offers variable contract terms that depend on the reseller’s pricing for its payment gateway and…
- Complaints & Service: Has received more than 100 public complaints in regards to…
- BBB Rating: Has been accredited by the BBB since 2009 and has an “A+” rating but has received 69 complaints and 23 reviews regarding…
- Sales & Marketing: Partnered with a large number of resellers and has received some complaints about its…
Authorize.net Reviews and Complaints
Here's What Their Clients Say
Total Online Complaints
Live Customer Support
Most Common Complaint
Resellers are the Issue
The company has received a few dozen complaints on consumer protection websites like Ripoff Report, with most of these complaints due to poor customer service, feature malfunctions, fund-holds, billing disputes, or unexpected charges. While some Authorize.net complaints claim the company is a scam operation, it is apparent that several merchants were confused about the fact that Authorize.net was not the same company as their credit card processor. These complainants were unsure which company was to blame for the problems they were having. This confusion can usually be traced back to resellers who did a poor job of explaining the relationship between the credit card processor and the Authorize.net payment gateway.
We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Authorize.net. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.
Authorize.net Customer Service Options
Authorize.net offers an FAQ/troubleshooting-type customer support page on its website, and it also lists an email address and an 877- number for merchant support, which is available 24/7. It makes some mention of online chat support, but merchants must login to use this service.
We have located multiple Authorize.net customer service numbers:
(877) 447-3938 – Toll-Free General Customer Service
+44 (0) 203 564 4844 – UK/Europe Customer Service
+61 1800 019 932 – Australian Customer Service
(888) 437-0481 – Partner Support
+44 (0) 203 564 5370 – UK/Europe Partner Support
(866) 682-4131 – Affiliate Support
44 (0) 203 564 5370 – UK/Europe Affiliate Support
Authorize.net does not offer a dedicated email support address, however it does offer live chat support through its website.
Authorize.net’s many support options compare favorably to top-rated payment processors for customer service.
Authorize.net BBB Rating and Report
Our Better Business Bureau Profile Assessment
See Which Processors Offer No Monthly Fees And No Contracts.
Product & Service Complaints
Billing & Collection Complaints
Advertising & Sales Complaints
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints
Note: We have adjusted this company’s BBB rating according to our own standards. To better understand why we adjust BBB ratings, please see our Rating Criteria.
Nearly 70 Complaints
Authorize.net has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2009 and currently has an “A+” despite 69 complaints filed against the company within the last 36 months. Of the BBB complaints, 37 are due to billing and collection issues, 29 are regarding problems with products and services, and 3 are related to delivery issues. Only 23 of these 69 complaints were resolved by the company to the satisfaction of the merchant. The remaining 46 were resolved to the dissatisfaction of the merchant or received no final response.
What Merchants Say
In addition to the 69 complaints filed with the BBB against the company, Authorize.net has received 23 informal reviews on its profile. All 23 of those reviews were negative. The most recent review describes a merchant whose claims the company continued to charge their account after cancelling and fund-holds:
authorize.net – Preys on Small Business.Avoid them to survive. After getting all our business info and approving our new company for $10,000 max transactions on eCheck, they captured funds from our first customer’s payment of $8,000. then impounded our funds and offered no recourse except to “apply” for them to be “released” after 90 DAYS. Meanwhile we have no funds to proceed with the order. Boycott predatory capitalists! Update: After getting them on the phone and threatening to take this to an investigative journalist they transferred our funds, but the account remains disabled. Strangely, they did not think to stop the auto payment of our monthly fees despite disabling our service. Stay far away from this scam. .
Merchants who find themselves in this situation may find our guide on How to Report Bad Credit Card Processors useful if they have exhausted all other options.
A “B” Performance Overall
The moderate complaint rate is mitigated somewhat by the company’s large size, but due to increasing proportion of negative reviews, we have adjusted its rating to a “B.”
Authorize.net Fees and Rates
A Closer Look at the Contract
Don't Fall Into An Expensive Trap. See Who The Worst Processors Are.
2.9% + $0.30
$25 Per Month
Early Termination Fee
PCI Compliance Fee
Equipment Lease Terms
TBD By Third Party
Authorize.net offers different pricing options. Depending on their needs, a merchant can choose from the company’s all-in-one option, payment gateway, or enterprise solutions. Company’s with existing merchant accounts are best suited for Authorize.net’s gateway only plan but should contact their existing service provider to compare pricing. Merchants who require only Authorize.Net’s payment gateway will be charged a per-transaction fee of $0.10 and a daily batch fee of $0.10 in addition to the $25 monthly gateway fee.
However, pricing will likely differ from these figures for merchants choosing the company’s all-in-one option. As a baseline, the company charges a $25 monthly gateway fee and a 2.9% plus $0.30 per-transaction fee. Since Authorize.net relies on resellers who can set prices as they please, pricing is very negotiable and many of the fees can be greatly reduced or eliminated. The company also reserves interchange-plus pricing as a part of its enterprise solutions package. Authorize.net’s rates, while transparent, are not competitive with those of the cheapest merchant accounts.
Be Mindful of Varying Contract Terms
Many of the complaints filed publicly against the company (some of which are in the comments section below) report confusion over the fact that a third-party reseller was actually offering the services of Authorize.net even though the merchant was under the impression that the reseller itself had built a proprietary payment gateway. While these problems are unrelated to the actual Authorize.net contract, it is worth noting that contract terms can vary, and resellers are not obligated to disclose which figures they have altered from the original suggested retail price. See the Authorize.net Service Agreement. Due to the company’s reliance on resellers, lease terms for POS terminals will vary based upon the third party being offering the merchant contract.
Authorize.net Jobs and Employment
Hiring Standards and Ethical Marketing Assessment
Audit Your Current Statement To Find Its Hidden Fees
Processing statements are intentionally complicated so that they can overcharge you. Get clarity before you switch.
Employs Independent Resellers
Advertises Deceptive Rates
Discloses All Important Terms
Clear Pricing Breakdown
Authorize.net’s website provides the suggested retail price of its services, and it clearly states that resellers may alter the costs as they see fit. The company’s pricing breakdown is complete with explanations of each term and is easy to access from the main page. As explained on their website, the Authorize.net payment gateway does not have a contract itself or early termination fees.
Because Authorize.net’s services are resold by a huge number of merchants, the figures provided on its actual site are subject to change, but the company is being helpful by offering a suggested cost for merchants to use in potential negotiations and is therefore awarded an “A.” However, if you suspect that Authorize.net is charging you undisclosed fees, we recommend seeking a third-party statement audit to eliminate hidden costs.
Authorize.net Review Summary
Our Final Thoughts and Opinions
A Reliable Payment Gateway Provider
We have located over 200 negative Authorize.net reviews with complaints ranging from poor customer support to unexpected fees. Despite these reviews, Authorize.net has a decent rating as a payment gateway provider due to its size, market share, and time in business as it is one of the most widely used payment gateways. The company provides an easy way for merchants to accept credit cards using just their computers and through their websites, and Authorize.net is widely accepted as one of the best gateway providers in the merchant services industry. Despite a low-to-moderate number of complaints by unhappy merchants, the majority of the company’s customers appear to be satisfied with its services. It is evident by the type of complaints that Authorize.net has received that the company could stand to improve upon its customer service and reseller training. Merchants are advised to thoroughly read the agreement before signing and to consider choosing from the top merchant account providers for Authorize.Net.
Customer & Employee ReviewsWhat Others Are Saying About Authorize.net