|What options are there for Processing Gateways?|
for merchant accounts
I am setting up a merchant account with a local bank, since I'm not feeling much trust for the options I find online. So now I need an internet gateway, without the merchant account.
I'm looking into authorize.net. They offer $200 setup, $20/month and $0.10 per transaction. But I need some custom things that I consider to be pretty basic, and they don't support them. I sell memberships, and I would really like to have my site process partial refunds automatically (if a membership is cancelled halfway through). Authorize.net said it would have to be done manually. I would also like to automatically process monthly recurring charges (of hundreds of credit cards), and Authorize.net said that has to be done manually too, plus I would have to keep the credit cards on my server to do it. This doesn't sound like a service that's worth the price.
Are they all like this, or is there a gateway that's better/cheaper setup? I'm wondering if maybe entering the transactions by hand isn't so bad after all.. I expect 50/month.
One thing to realize, is that you can shop around and get better pricing for gateways.
For example, my processor was offering Auth.net for $300 set up and $25 a month. I signed up with charge.com which was $99 set up and $15 a month (which was raised to $25 a month just recently).
I don't like that it's a very tedious manual process to do some things on auth.net (like issue credits). You may want to check out verisign. I know a couple of merchants that use them and like them.
Just curious as to where you are and why you couldn't find good rates. If you are in the US, both Costco and Sams club offer great merchant processing rates to members (Costco's rates are lower), and it even makes the cost of joining just to get processing totally worth it.
You should take into account that Authorize.net does allow everything you're interested in, but it must be coded. I try to keep everything outside of the gateway/merchant, on my systems. Then, it all comes down to charges, credits and sometimes sending these in batches.
Is there really a service that will provide some interface for scheduling all of your transactions based on your criteria and timeframe?
i don't know of any system that specifically allows "automated refunds" - that sounds odd.
there are several systems that allow repeat billing. worldpay is one, and if you do a site search here you'll find others.
if you use their repeat billing you can charge members monthly. members can cancel their membership and payments at any time.
personally i'd say forget automated refunds, just do what everyone else does and write your terms and conditions to say that people sign up for monthly membership and if they choose to stop using your service halfway through a month, that's their choice and they don't get a refund for the unused part of the month.
Costco, by the way, markets to your own customers. You get a good rate but the privacy of your customers is gone.
In the past, I've been told to look at banks in states with small populations (farmers, ranchers, etc). Since a lot of these banks have limited clients for brick & mortar many go online and offer awesome rates. I'm thinking North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, etc.
>>Costco, by the way, markets to your own customers. You get a good rate but the privacy of your customers is gone. <<
Where do you get that from? We've been with them three years and this has not happened, nor have we ever heard of such a thing. And to be honest with you, I don't believe for a minute that this is true because NOVA is the actual processor and Costco itself never receives the transaction data.
Do you have proof, or do you just find, coincidentally, that a customer of yours received information from Costco?
I'd rather not change our terms to lock people into contracts, it seems to me that a simple refund request shouldn't be too much to ask from authorize.net
PRNightmare, what do you mean by it "must be coded"?
Custom coding on our servers is not a problem.
Costco is not an option, they rejected us for being "high risk"... even though we're not.
|what do you mean by it "must be coded"? |
What I meant is, your systems have to be designed/coded to post these transactions at given intervals or on demand.
Authorize.net does allow for this. You should download their implementation guide and see what can be worked out.
|In the past, I've been told to look at banks in states with small populations (farmers, ranchers, etc). Since a lot of these banks have limited clients for brick & mortar many go online and offer awesome rates. I'm thinking North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, etc. |
For what it's worth, I live up in North Dakota, shopped all over and still found better rates on the net...so theoretically speaking it would make sense, but it's not always practiced.