We've had a lot of inquiries over the past few days about using Authorize.net for credit card processing on Small Farm Central sites. It's great to hear the interest, but we need to put a little bit more information out there about the advantages and disadvantages of using this advanced checkout option.
Some items to consider:
- This is a full-blown credit card processor that requires a merchant account with a bank.
- There are monthly fees that authorize.net charges (in the range of $40/month).
- You may get rates as low as 1.7% for some credit cards (such as a standard VISA card), but it is not as simple as that. Each card will have a different rate; it can be as high as 3.5% in some cases (such as American Express). These rates are negotiated with your bank and we cannot guarantee any rates.
- You can use the same authorize.net account for ecommerce payment processing as for Member Assembler.
- As a rule of thumb, if you are doing less than $50K per year of credit card processing, Paypal is still a better option as far as your rate per transaction.
- Customers will never leave your site to make a payment when using Authorize.net; all credit card numbers are sent securely through SSL encryption.
- It takes time to set up an Authorize.net account and get a merchant processing account with your bank. Be prepared for a little bit of education on credit card processing as you are evaluating your options -- of course we are there to help when you have questions. Expect a minimum of 7-10 days to get everything set up.
- Once you have a merchant account and an authorize.net account, you can easily take payments through an online terminal or even get set up to have a swipe machine at your farm stand.
For the right farm, Authorize.net is a great option, but it is important to remember that there are some extra costs and extra set-up time. Contact us to get started with authorize.net. For more info read the following help docs:
-Paypal vs. Authorize.net price comparison
-Authorize.net for Member Assembler
-Checkout options explained