I have an American Online E-Commerce Retail Sales website and I am looking for the best Merchant Account to go along with it. Is Authorize.net the best merchant account for this type of site?
I have no idea about the payment gateway service provider. What I can recommend you is World Pay, which we are using it at the moment.
Authorize.net is a payment gateway. You still need a merchant account to go with the payment gateway.
I used SaleManager to get a merchant account and payment gateway service. Those guys offered a merchant account with low rates for only $9.95/mo -- with no early termination fees or monthly minimums.
I could choose from the following gateway service (with no setup fees):
Had good experiences with Worldpay, especially like the fact they have a helpline where someone will guide you through integration etc.
Yes with a payment gateway you still need a merchant account. Most processors will work with a company such as authorize.net to give you everything you need. The important thing is to make sure you are not getting ripped of and stay clear of contracts or lease agreements.
I like PayPal Pro for a merchant processor, I have a debit card tied to the account so I can use the money without waiting. This way I can take any order of any size and have the money to purchase from my distributors without waiting for the money to move to my checking account.
People are often confused with Merchant Accounts and Payment Gateways.
Please read this for clarity - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Merchant_account
With payment processors or gateways like Paypal/PaypalPro etc you DON'T need a merchant account.
Authorize.net is pretty good. They have various sister concern's which are provided as per expected business volume, etc.
Authorize.net is your payment gateway, this is only half of the battle. You'll need a merchant account as well which will allow you to actually collect the funds through the gateway. Authorize.net is owned by Visa and is the industry standard, well as much as possible anyway. The gateway includes sufficient documentation and a large community base to assist you with troubleshooting issues.
In terms of the merchant account, I would start by going to your bank. The one where you do you daily banking for the business. As you have a relationship with them, they'll want to be competitive in pricing. Gather as much information as you can and ensure that they support Authorize.net (which they probably do). Then do a quick online search for merchant account providers. You'll be overwhelmed by the number of online providers for a merchant account. Gather the pricing and then go back to your bank. More often than not, your local bank will match the pricing you find elsewhere. In this way, you get the advantage of dealing with a local institution that you already have a relationship with and still get the best price available.
When it comes to processing with Authorize.net you will need to decide if you're going to stay outside of PCI scope or venture into the dark world of PCI compliance. Many new eCommerce players brush off the idea of PCI and then get nailed or worse, shut down when something goes wrong.
I actually own my own retail store here in the US and Europe and like you I go through Authorize.net for the Gateway. I have done a lot of research on merchant banking; and spoken with numerous business people and a couple of accountants to finally select the one merchant bank I have now been with for 11 years. They also operate in Europe and offer no processing fees, excellent and transparent rates/fees, great customer service, and a very hands on operational team!