Authorize.net Review 2023: Features, Pros & Cons – Forbes Advisor


Published: Sep 5, 2023, 11:00am

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Our Verdict

Established in 1996, Authorize.net has become a recognizable name in payment processing, offering features such as advanced fraud protection and customer information management. By accommodating various transaction needs such as in-store, online or mobile payments, Authorize.net aims to simplify the complex landscape of digital transactions. Read our review to learn why it made number one on our list of best payment gateways.


  • Comprehensive fraud protection tailors to specific business needs
  • Various payment methods accommodate diverse customer preferences
  • Digital invoicing and easy setup streamline transaction processes


  • Can be cost-prohibitive for smaller businesses
  • A potential learning curve for those new to payment gateways
  • Some users report occasional technical glitches affecting transactions


Software integrations


Table of Contents

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Authorize.net: The Basics/At a Glance

  • Versatile Payment Solutions: From recurring payments to digital invoicing, Authorize.net offers a variety of tools designed to accommodate various business models, making it a flexible option for diverse needs.
  • Advanced Security Measures: It prioritizes safety with features such as Advanced Fraud Protection, maintaining the integrity of customer information and transactions.
  • No. 1 in Our Best-Of List: Recognized for its excellence, Authorize.net is number one in our Best Payment Gateways list, reflecting its industry-leading position and the high regard it holds among users and experts alike.


What gives Authorize.net an edge is its focus on both the business owner and the end customer. By offering options such as Account Updater, which can keep card information current without manual input, businesses reduce unnecessary friction. At the same time, features such as Simple Checkout align with modern purchasing habits, offering options such as Buy Now or Donate buttons that align with contemporary consumer expectations.


On the flip side, Authorize.net may present challenges for certain businesses. Its comprehensive set of tools, while catering to many, may lead to an information overload for smaller businesses or those just starting out. Additionally, the cost associated with some advanced features may deter businesses with a limited budget. It also might not offer enough customization for those with highly specialized or unique business models.

How Authorize.net Works

Authorize.net acts as a gateway for businesses, helping them process payments and manage customer information. It focuses on providing flexible payment solutions for all types of businesses, whether they operate online or through physical locations. Through its various features, Authorize.net simplifies the acceptance of payments, offering customers the ability to pay via credit cards, EMV chip cards, digital payments and more.

Tools such as Automated Recurring Billing (ARB) and Customer Information Manager (CIM) enable businesses to offer subscriptions and make repeat purchases easier, all while maintaining a focus on security and PCI-DSS compliance.

Authorize.net Core Features

Each of these features is designed to offer flexibility and ease of use, meeting the diverse needs of businesses while keeping the process as smooth and secure as possible.

  • Advanced Fraud Protection: This service provides tools and filters that can be tailored to the individual needs of a business. By creating customized rules, businesses can better guard against fraudulent activity.
  • Customer Information Manager: This feature is designed to ease the buying process for returning customers. By storing payment details securely, it allows for quicker transactions without needing to re-enter information.
  • Payment Types: Authorize.net caters to modern buying habits by allowing businesses to accept various payment methods, ensuring customers can pay in the manner they prefer.
  • Recurring Payments: The platform is equipped to handle recurring or installment payments, which is particularly beneficial for businesses operating on a subscription-based model.
  • Digital Invoicing: This feature allows businesses to send customized digital invoices via email, facilitating prompt payment without the need for physical paperwork.
  • Simple Checkout: A straightforward way to add purchasing options such as Buy Now or Donate buttons to a website, adapting to the evolving ways customers prefer to shop online.

What Sets Authorize.net Apart

In a fast-paced financial ecosystem, where cards often expire or get replaced, outdated card details can lead to transaction failures. Authorize.net’s Account Updater meets this challenge by keeping customer card information up to date. It refreshes card details monthly, dodging avoidable payment interruptions, and charging only for each update, establishing it as an economically savvy solution.

Here’s an in-depth look at what makes Account Updater a valuable addition:

  • Increased Authorization Approvals: By preserving current card information, declines are minimized, enhancing the success of transactions.
  • Customer Retention and Loyalty: Smooth, unseen updates diminish friction and the risk of cancellation, promoting a positive customer experience.
  • Easy-To-Read Reports: Clear and concise summaries of card updates provide merchants with valuable insights.

While not unique to Authorize.net, Account Updater supports businesses in maintaining customer relationships and fine-tuning revenue processes, without imposing extra administrative burdens.

Other Distinguishing Features

Authorize.net’s fraud protection, recurring payments and customer information manager contribute to its competitive position. Although these features offer advantages, it’s wise to assess how they correspond with your business’s individual requirements to fully grasp their value.

Authorize.net Pricing and Plans

Authorize.net Setup

Setting up Authorize.net for your business involves several steps, but it’s designed with your needs in mind. You’ll begin by signing up and creating an account, then configuring the payment gateway to align with your business model. Integration with your website follows, with tools and support provided to guide you through the process.

Testing ensures everything is working smoothly before you go live. While the process is systematic, it may require some technical know-how, so consider whether professional assistance might be helpful. If you’re transitioning from another provider, some extra planning may be needed.

Authorize.net Ease of Use

Authorize.net’s platform balances accessibility with comprehensive features. Its clear interface and organized dashboard make accepting payments and managing customer information a breeze, even for those without extensive IT experience. Though customizing some advanced features, such as fraud protection, may present challenges, and the initial setup might be time-consuming, detailed tutorials and strong customer support help guide users.

Authorize.net Security

Authorize.net’s top priority is security, with elaborate mechanisms in place to protect merchants and customers alike. Specifically designed for online merchants, there are 13 transaction filters and tools to manage and prevent costly fraudulent activities.

  • IP and Velocity Filters: These filters allow you to isolate or block suspicious activities, set daily and hourly transaction limits, and even customize actions based on geographic regions. From designating allowed IP addresses to identifying suspicious activities from the same source, this level of control helps in managing security effectively.
  • Database and Shipping Filters: These filters focus on the shipping and billing details of the transactions. Tools such as Shipping-Billing Mismatch Filter and Enhanced CCV Handling Filter allow for nuanced verifications, matching shipping addresses with orders, and providing multiple options for handling transactions based on the verification results.
  • Transaction and Limit Filters: Authorize.net has crafted filters such as the Amount Filter, Hourly Velocity Filter and Suspicious Transaction Filter to identify and limit suspicious transactions by setting thresholds, restricting volumes and using proprietary criteria.
  • Advanced Fraud Detection Suite (AFDS): This suite gives the merchant control over what happens when a filter is triggered. Options include processing as normal, authorizing and holding for review, or declining the transaction.
  • PCI DSS Compliance: Authorize.net is annually audited to confirm compliance with the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), reflecting a commitment to maintaining stringent security protocols.

The constant vigilance and layered protection aim to minimize risks and safeguard both profits and integrity in a world where fraud is an ever-present threat.

Authorize.net Customer Service and Support

Authorize.net offers customer service and support around the clock, except for major holidays. Available to both existing and potential clients, support is accessible through various channels, including online chat, email, phone and specialized online forms. With dedicated lines for merchants, partners and affiliates across different regions, the customer support structure provides targeted assistance, aligning with the individual needs and inquiries of its diverse clientele.

The Fine Print

For those considering Authorize.net, it’s essential to note the details related to fund depositing into your bank account. The process is facilitated by the Merchant Service Provider (MSP), and the timing can fluctuate depending on your specific provider. In general, the industry standard for the funds to be deposited into your bank account ranges from three to five business days.

Authorize.net Alternatives and How They Compare

Authorize.net vs. Clover

Both Authorize.net and Clover offer valuable features such as integrations, contactless payments and invoicing. The monthly fee for Authorize.net starts at $25, while Clover’s starts slightly lower at $14.95. This marginal difference in cost may be a consideration for some, but it likely won’t be the deciding factor for most businesses when choosing between these two platforms. Other aspects such as specific features, customer support or overall fit with the business model might be more influential in the decision-making process.

Authorize.net vs. Stripe

Authorize.net and Stripe both provide integrations, contactless payments and invoicing, but they differentiate in their pricing models. Stripe offers a no monthly fee structure, targeting startups and tech-savvy businesses with its well-documented APIs, making it a flexible solution for custom integrations. Authorize.net’s monthly fee starting at $25 might appeal to businesses looking for a more traditional structure, with a focus on established merchant services.

Authorize.net vs. Stax Payments

Authorize.net and Stax Payments both offer core features such as integrations, contactless payments and invoicing. However, Stax stands out with its higher monthly fee starting at $99, targeting a market that requires a more comprehensive service with additional features such as data analytics and customer engagement tools. Authorize.net’s services begin at a lower price point of $25 monthly and may appeal to small and medium-sized businesses seeking reliable payment processing without the need for extensive extras.

Who Is Authorize.net Best For?

  • Online Retailers: With features such as contactless payment and invoicing, Authorize.net caters to businesses operating in the e-commerce space. The focus on fraud detection and IP filters also adds an extra layer of security, which is essential for online transactions.
  • Subscription-Based Services: Companies that operate on a subscription model would benefit from Authorize.net’s integration capabilities and payment flexibility, allowing for smooth recurring billing and customization according to their unique business needs.
  • Local Brick-and-Mortar Stores: Small retail stores looking to provide multiple payment options, including contactless payment, might find Authorize.net appealing. The relatively low monthly fee combined with the ability to verify and process different payment methods aligns well with the needs of local retailers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How does Authorize.net handle fraudulent transactions?

With Authorize.net’s Advanced Fraud Detection Suite, online merchants can access 13 unique transaction filters and tools. These help identify and manage suspicious activities, including IP and velocity filters and shipping and transaction limit controls.

What support options are available with Authorize.net?

Support from Authorize.net is available 24/7 except for major holidays. As it’s a global company, businesses can reach out through chat, email or specific regional phone numbers to get assistance for merchants, partners and affiliates.

How long does it take for funds to be deposited into my bank account with Authorize.net?

Funds transfer time varies based on the Merchant Service Provider and typically falls between three and five business days, aligning with industry standards.

Does Authorize.net meet the requirements set by PCI DSS?

Every year, Authorize.net submits to an examination to make sure it aligns with specific standards related to card data security. Its compliance can also be corroborated by referring to a specialized list maintained by Visa.

Information provided on Forbes Advisor is for educational purposes only. Your financial situation is unique and the products and services we review may not be right for your circumstances. We do not offer financial advice, advisory or brokerage services, nor do we recommend or advise individuals or to buy or sell particular stocks or securities. Performance information may have changed since the time of publication. Past performance is not indicative of future results.

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