eCommerce is still risky business these days and many people are still skeptical of giving out their credit card or banking information online. Considering that Creative Development would never send you out to the sea to be eaten by sharks. All payment gateways compared have strict security measures and they all use the latest and state-of-the-art datacenters. All of the gateways are compliant with the security programs for the major credit card providers such as Visa, MasterCard, and Discover. You can also double check that the payment gateway is NOT on The Match File which is a list of payment gateways that are not compliant for online payment processing.
The criteria that will be compared in this review will be available features, cost and reliability. Payment gateways have additional features that will help managing your e-commerce website. The most common features are: virtual terminal, fraud protection, recurring billing and eCheck processing. There are fees associated with using payment gateways and the most significant of those fees are setup fees, monthly fees and transaction fees. Reliability can be the most frustrating issue out of any situation. When a customer is online making a payment the payment processing needs to be instantaneous or the sale may be diverted to your competitor. The payment gateway needs to be able to service your transactions at all times.
Depending on your business you may or may not want to enroll in some of the additional services that can be provided by your payment gateway. A virtual terminal may be key if your customer has contacted you by phone. This will allow your agent to process payments over the phone instead of having the customer go back to your website. Again, you need to be able to process those payments as quick as possible so there is no time to think about the money they are spending and create buyer’s remorse. The virtual terminal would also be key in handling customer service issues after the product/service has been purchased. It can allow an agent to process a return and void transaction taken place prior. Fraud detection is a services that well, detects fraud. The service is proactive and can help prevent transactions that seem out of place or unusual. The service will complete an address verification (AVS) and allow the customer to input the security code that is on the card (CVV2). Recurring billing is a tool that could be used when your product/service bills the customer every single month. A few examples for this would be internet service bill, gym memberships, and subscriptions. Let’s face it everyone does not own a credit card or debit card. You still need to make it accessible for the customer to purchase your product/service. That is where eCheck Processing is handy. This process allows the customer to input the checking account information as a payment method.
The cost of running a payment gateway has to be based on a number of situations for your business. Will you be processing a small amount of transactions per day or will you be processing hundreds or thousands per day? The cost of setting up your payment gateway can range from nothing to several hundred dollars. In most cases, the setup fees are non-refundable. A monthly fee is usually assessed and that fee will range from the volume of your transactions. In addition to the monthly fee, the payment gateways may charge you for each transaction that is initiated. I say initiated because the fee would be assessed whether the transaction is approved or declined.
Authorize.net has been in business since 1996 and is very well known in the ecommerce business for payment gateways.
Features: Their fraud detection is programmed to ensure that the transaction is legitimate prior to the product being shipped. They filter their transaction to compare with a low and high value of the transaction to ensure that this is the usual behavior of the consumer. They also have suspicious activity monitory that can determine if the product or type of service is usual for that consumer. They tract how many transactions are being received in any given hour for each consumer. They compare the billing address to the shipping address (which does not mean you cannot ship to a different address but rather watches out for suspicious activity). The detection service can filter individual IP addresses that have been known for suspicious activity. In fact, depending on the severity of the suspicious activity authorize.net can block individual IP addresses. Authorize.net offers both recurring billing and eCheck Processing.
Cost: Authorize.net does not sell directly to the merchant. If you visit their website you can find a reseller of their service. This means that the cost of authorize.net can vary from reseller to reseller. The pricing here are only estimates and you would need to contact one of the resellers to get more accurate pricing.
- Setup Fee: $25-$300 (average is $100)
- Monthly Fee: $10-$30 (average is $15)
- Transaction Fee: $0.05-$0.15 (average is $0.10)
- Recurring Billing: setup fee $40-$100 (average is $50), monthly fee $20-$40 (average is $30)
- Fraud Detection Suite: setup fee $25-$50 (average is $40), monthly fee depends on the capacity of usage. 1-100 transactions $8-$20 (average is $13), 101-1000 transactions $15-$50 (average is $30), 1001+ transactions $50-$150 (average is $100)
- eCheck: application fee $49, setup fee $100, transaction fee is $0.30 and 1.75% of the face value of the check.
Verisign Payflow Pro
Verisign holds the highest honors for security and trust.
Features: Verisign has additional services with their recurring billing service. It will allow the for recurring billing to be initiated at the time that the customer registers which can be a huge time-saver. The recurring billing service will also create an emailing service; the customer will receive a monthly receipt in their inbox and notifications of declined payments. There is also a reporting capability built in where the merchant can review billing transactions and individual profiles for their customers. Verisign has two fraud detection packages. The merchant can select the basic package that will include the following filters: AVS failure, shipping/billing mismatch, high risk zip code, freight forwarder, CSC failure, high dollar value and high item value. The advanced package would include all of these filters and an additional 15 filters.
- Setup: $249
- Monthly Fee: $59.95
- Transaction Fee: First 1,000 transactions are free and every transaction thereafter is $0.10
- Recurring Billing Fee: setup fee $39.95, monthly fee $29.95
- Fraud Protection Basic Plan: setup fee $29.95, monthly fee $19.95, transaction fee $0.05
- Fraud Protection Advanced Plan: setup fee $89.95, monthly fee $49.95, transaction fee $0.10
- Account Monitoring (additional to fraud detection) fee: setup fee $29.95, monthly $19.95
- Verified by Visa or MasterCard SecureCode (additional to fraud detection) fee: setup fee $150, monthly $9.95, transaction fee $0.10
- Total Fraud Protection package (summary of above): setup fee $260.90, monthly fee $79.85, transaction fee at minimum $0.20