Authorize.net - Opinions?

44 replies
I am thinking about using Authorize.net to sell websites. I will need to be able to take credit card info. over the phone and input the client details myself. I will also need to set up recurring payments/subscriptions for monthly hosting/maintenance.

I was hoping to get some opinions and feedback about this. Also, from what I can see, based on my current needs, I will be paying about $30/month for this - after a one-time $99 setup fee. Does that sound about right?

Also, with the automated recurring billing - will anything need to be done by myself and/or by my clients each month, or will everything truly be automated? (this particular page doesn't seem to be loading on their website at the moment, so I can't see what this entails)

Will I need a business checking account?

Should I expect any difficulty with getting accepted; what are their guidelines?

Since I will not be receiving any client signatures, should I be placing any contracts or agreements in place for this kind of service? Is there any way to protect myself against charge-backs? I will have control of everything, so I'm not TOO concerned about getting charge-backs, but I am new to all of this, so I am uneducated.

Thanks.
#authorizenet #opinions
  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Originally Posted by Stranger Danger View Post

    I am thinking about using Authorize.net to sell websites. I will need to be able to take credit card info. over the phone and input the client details myself. I will also need to set up recurring payments/subscriptions for monthly hosting/maintenance.

    I was hoping to get some opinions and feedback about this. Also, from what I can see, based on my current needs, I will be paying about $30/month for this - after a one-time $99 setup fee. Does that sound about right?

    Also, with the automated recurring billing - will anything need to be done by myself and/or by my clients each month, or will everything truly be automated? (this particular page doesn't seem to be loading on their website at the moment, so I can't see what this entails)

    Will I need a business checking account?

    Should I expect any difficulty with getting accepted; what are their guidelines?

    Since I will not be receiving any client signatures, should I be placing any contracts or agreements in place for this kind of service? Is there any way to protect myself against charge-backs? I will have control of everything, so I'm not TOO concerned about getting charge-backs, but I am new to all of this, so I am uneducated.

    Thanks.
    DUDE! The link in my signature, click on it. This is not my business, just a friend who I can fully stand behind and vouch for the service.

    The reason you should go through merchant inc.... No set up fee, $10-$20/mo... INCLUDES authorize.net set up... lower fees than paypal.

    VERY easy to get approved... no need for a business bank account.

    You aren't guaranteed to beat chargebacks, but as long as you keep good documentation, you should be perfectly fine.

    Recurring payments is an option you would add on through the authorize.net gateway, which I believe is an additional 9.95/mo will have to double check on that one. It would be FULLY automated, set and forget type set up.

    Seriously, this is the way to go... no set up fee... lowest rates, most protection and gets deposited automatically into your bank account.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stranger Danger
    iAmNameLess-

    That sounds like a really good deal.

    I have to ask though...are you not recommending authorize.net, solely, anymore?

    The reason I ask, is, my choosing authorize was strictly based on the advice that was given by you via another thread. You seem knowledgeable, and I respect your opinion.

    Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by Stranger Danger View Post

      iAmNameLess-

      That sounds like a really good deal.

      I have to ask though...are you not recommending authorize.net, solely, anymore?

      The reason I ask, is, my choosing authorize was strictly based on the advice that was given by you via another thread. You seem knowledgeable, and I respect your opinion.

      Thanks.
      Authorize.net is a gateway, not a merchant. Most merchants will use authorize.net as the internet gateway. More people know about authorize.net and understand what it is, than me just saying that you need a payment processor, and a gateway, LOL.

      Basically... how you process your payments, is going to be through authoize.net. If you set up monthly payments, take a payment over the phone, set up a button on your website, a form on your website to process payments, it goes through authorize.net. Since authorize.net is just a gateway, you need a merchant account as well, a bank, that transfers the money once it's processed. Make sense?

      Why go through authorize.net to get set up and pay a set up fee when you can get it for free?
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  • Profile picture of the author Aussieguy
    Had a quick look at the link - couldn't see whether they service globally?
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  • Profile picture of the author Stranger Danger
    Okay...I think I understand what you're saying.

    So, by going through merchantinc, I can get all of the benefits of authorize, but cheaper - plus, I get the merchant account part of it taken care of as well? So, essentially, as long as I have a bank account, all I have to do is sign up with merchantinc, and that will take care of everything else that i need as far as payments are concerned? So, all I really have to do is get accepted by merchantinc, and only pay them each month - instead of paying multiple providers for different things etc.?

    Sorry for all of the questions. I really appreciate the help.

    Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by Stranger Danger View Post

      Okay...I think I understand what you're saying.

      So, by going through merchantinc, I can get all of the benefits of authorize, but cheaper - plus, I get the merchant account part of it taken care of as well? So, essentially, as long as I have a bank account, all I have to do is sign up with merchantinc, and that will take care of everything else that i need as far as payments are concerned? So, all I really have to do is get accepted by merchantinc, and only pay them each month - instead of paying multiple providers for different things etc.?

      Sorry for all of the questions. I really appreciate the help.

      Thanks.
      Yeah, that's how it works. It basically makes the process much easier in my opinion. The signup process, I believe, is pretty quick and you can start accepting payments in about a day or so. When I signed up for one of my accounts, it was very quick, signed up on a sunday morning and was up and running by monday.

      Definitely the way to go... much better than paypal, for sure. And in comparison to other merchants, much cheaper. I have one account through first data, basically BOA and the one through merchantinc is MUCH cheaper monthly.

      The main thing is, cheap rates... no setup fee.. That's what I like most.
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  • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
    @ IAM

    What is the per transaction cap, and monthly volume cap. Or does that depend on your credit?
    I am asking cause you said you were up and running in 2 days. I have never gotton one that fast before, or as easily as you make it sound. so i am interested.
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

      @ IAM

      What is the per transaction cap, and monthly cap. Or does that depend on your credit?
      I am asking cause you said you were up and running in 2 days. I have never gotton one that fast before, or as easily as you make it sound. so i am interested.
      You fill that out on your application. I suppose that will depend on your credit, but I don't have good credit and got a good deal. I also have had it increased, which all you have to do is send in a request and they'll look it over and decide.

      I heard that it's always easier to get approved THEN request increases, but I don't know how true that is.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    Authorize dot net locked up almost 30k on me....and I never saw it again, but they were good to work with while it lasted. I should have been batching daily and I had a big week, and didnt batch till the end of the week so it was my fault.

    The temporary "review" lock down locked up my biz and I ended up getting a bunch of refunds that week due to not being able to fulfill....due to money being locked up...so it never got to come out of review (domino effect).

    That was 10 years ago so Im over it now.

    You do have to keep them informed of how much business you are projecting to do, but their solutions are pretty awesome. If you dont cross your I's and dot your t's any merchant account will freeze you.

    Ps "batch twice per day". lol

    Actually Michael Bucker was my partner at that time... So it happened to him too.

    Thats one of the prices I paid to be able to share this stuff.
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Authorize dot net locked up almost 30k on me....and I never saw it again, but they were good to work with while it lasted. I should have been batching daily and I had a big week, and didnt batch till the end of the week so it was my fault.

      The temporary "review" lock down locked up my biz and I ended up getting a bunch of refunds that week due to not being able to fulfill....due to money being locked up...so it never got to come out of review (domino effect).

      That was 10 years ago so Im over it now.

      You do have to keep them informed of how much business you are projecting to do, but their solutions are pretty awesome. If you dont cross your I's and dot your t's any merchant account will freeze you.

      Ps "batch twice per day". lol

      Actually Michael Bucker was my partner at that time... So it happened to him too.
      john, i don't know even ONE REAL salesman worth their salt or even ONE real sales ROOM that hasnt been burnt by merchant providers...

      i think its a right of passage.

      I burnt my very first one out in 4 hours.... i was naive, and when the rep told me it was unlimited... i foolishly believed him. HA, i was so excited, 13k my first four hours open...
      went to put through another sale ... denied

      ... worst feeling in the world.

      i was so naive, that when i called them and was pitched the "90 day" hold story...
      i actually believed i would see my money....

      ahhh the lessons we learn.
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  • Profile picture of the author the goat
    When using merchant inc. is the payment process on your site or does it take visitors off site to pay then send them back?
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      Authorize dot net locked up almost 30k on me....and I never saw it again, but they were good to work with while it lasted. I should have been batching daily and I had a big week, and didnt batch till the end of the week so it was my fault.

      The temporary "review" lock down locked up my biz and I ended up getting a bunch of refunds that week due to not being able to fulfill....due to money being locked up...so it never got to come out of review (domino effect).

      That was 10 years ago so Im over it now.

      You do have to keep them informed of how much business you are projecting to do, but their solutions are pretty awesome. If you dont cross your I's and dot your t's any merchant account will freeze you.

      Ps "batch twice per day". lol

      Actually Michael Bucker was my partner at that time... So it happened to him too.

      Thats one of the prices I paid to be able to share this stuff btw.
      Yeah and this is something that can happen no matter who you use. I have always batched daily though so never had a problem. You may also have random verifications which aren't a big deal, they just call and verify with the buyer when they determine it to be a high risk transaction. It helps when you have a dispute issue come up.

      That sucks and very unfortunate John.. Did you use Authorize.net as the actual merchant? It's usually the merchant that will place holds instead of gateways.

      And very true.. when you fill out the app, you state your average ticket size, monthly, and highest ticket size. When you grow, you just request an increase and it's pretty easy and painless to do. I have gone over my max ticket size before and all you have to do is give them a call and let them know, and would probably be best to request an increase so nothing ever happens.

      Originally Posted by the goat View Post

      When using merchant inc. is the payment process on your site or does it take visitors off site to pay then send them back?
      Merchantinc will set you up with authorize.net which can be run on your website entirely, and can also manually process payments if you needed.
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

        I have gone over my max ticket size before and all you have to do is give them a call and let them know, and would probably be best to request an increase so nothing ever happens.
        Hey man, i am going to give you a piece of advice.

        IF you only have one merchant account. Drop every thing your doing
        and get a few more.

        build those slowly. continue to use the one you have now as a primary.

        All merchant accounts are nice and accommodating... until they aren't.

        I have had accounts frozen, with never even having 1 charge back.

        It only takes one rep to look at your past business and decide its too risky.

        They used to put it to a board and a vote, now they have analyzing software,
        if their computer flag's you on points, complaints, volume, ticket size....
        that's it, your frozen.

        Don't put your business in jeopardy by only having one merchant account.

        btw, in case your not aware of it. Since you do phone sales. you are regarded as high risk.
        period, regardless of what anyone from the provider has said to you.

        it puts you and i and anyone who does phone sales in a different league from say a brick and mortar bizz.

        and that's not a good thing.
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        • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
          Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

          Hey man, i am going to give you a piece of advice.

          IF you only have one merchant account. Drop every thign your doing
          and get a few more.

          build those slowly. continue to use the one you have now as a primary.

          All merchant accounts are nice and accommodating... until they aren't.

          I have had accounts frozen, with never even having 1 charge back.

          It only takes one rep to look at your past business and decide its to risky.

          They used to put it to a board and a vote, now they have analizing software, if they computer flaggs you on points, compliants, volume, ticket size.... that's it, your frozen.

          Don't put your business in jeopardy by only having one merchant account.
          Yep.. you're right. I have a couple right now, but I really need to build some up. The one I really don't like has a monthly minimum, I need to get away from.

          Going to set up another account now.. LOL
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    @ Ken

    What sucks is staring at a bunch of employees knowing you dont have their payroll! lol
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      @ Ken

      What sucks is staring at a bunch of employees knowing you dont have their payroll! lol
      That is what I worry about opening an office is some emergency or some disaster happened...
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      • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
        Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

        That is what I worry about opening an office is some emergency or some disaster happened...
        FYI. Insurance. You pay a high premium, but you can get coverage to
        cover payroll upto 6 months i believe.

        I think aflack is running a bizz "solution/special" right now.

        However, you have to prove fiances, prove ALL your expenses,
        and be in business a certain amount of time.
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    • Profile picture of the author kenmichaels
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      @ Ken

      What sucks is staring at a bunch of employees knowing you dont have their payroll! lol

      I think that's another right of passage.

      You know, if anyone of us actually added up all the hurdles and hoops
      we have to jump through to be successful, when the final tally came in
      and outsiders could see it, they would think we were all loony.
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      • Profile picture of the author John Durham
        Originally Posted by kenmichaels View Post

        I think that's another right of passage.

        You know, if anyone of us actually added up all the hurdles and hoops
        we have to jump through to be successful, when the final tally came in
        and outsiders could see it, they would think we were all loony.

        Its easier just to keep searching for success for some than to actually "find" it, however worthless ... Im off to go look at some bells and whistles now.


        Okay... actually "stratocasters"....:rolleyes: The 2012's have wider finger boards... Hmmm.... http://www.zzounds.com/item--FEN0113002
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    @ Iamnameless

    Authorize was our merchant.

    Like I said I dont blame them now...it was my inexperience, but I sure hated them then.

    Honestly wish I could get another acct. They have alot of cool solutions.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    @ Iamnameless

    My bank covered that weeks payroll for me ultimately, but yeah you take a risk when you try to do something big. It hurt ALLLLLOOOOT!

    Best thing to do is have a savings account just for disaster asap.

    Ps. Also good to have multiple merchant accts. because it holds up doing more business and fixing the situation if you have to wait weeks in between.
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  • Profile picture of the author the goat
    So I take it you get an authorize.net transaction key and API to integrate it into my theme that uses authorize.net?
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

      @ Iamnameless

      My bank covered that weeks payroll for me ultimately, but yeah you take a risk when you try to do something big. It hurt ALLLLLOOOOT!

      Best thing to do is have a savings account just for disaster asap.
      Nice..

      Yeah.. That's definitely something that's been on my mind. I'm trying to not think about it or dwell on it, but the reality is that if it happens I need to be prepared.

      Originally Posted by the goat View Post

      So I take it you get an authorize.net transaction key and API to integrate it into my theme that uses authorize.net?
      Yeah. All the authorize.net gateways come with the transaction key and api.
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  • Profile picture of the author John Durham
    You'll handle your business whatever comes your way Iamnameless.... Sometimes you gotta roll with the punches. But you cant win if you are afraid of taking punches lol.

    I know thats not you though. It IS a rational concern, but not insurmountable for a "climber".
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  • Profile picture of the author the goat
    Because of this thread I applied to merchant inc. Thought it could be great alternative. This is what I got back from them?

    "After reviewing your business type, average ticket, and monthly volume, we have found another credit card processor that is better suited for your business. Please click the link below to complete your online application with First Data Independent Sales. Once you've completed the short online application, you will know instantly if your application was approved"

    Sounds to me like they are a middle man looking for leads.
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by the goat View Post

      Because of this thread I applied to merchant inc. Thought it could be great alternative. This is what I got back from them?

      "After reviewing your business type, average ticket, and monthly volume, we have found another credit card processor that is better suited for your business. Please click the link below to complete your online application with First Data Independent Sales. Once you've completed the short online application, you will know instantly if your application was approved"

      Sounds to me like they are a middle man looking for leads.
      Yeah I tried applying for a new one and not sure what that is supposed to mean. I think what you need to do is get approved for a lower monthly and lower high ticket size. I think 4,000-5,000 monthly you will be approved easy, with a 1,000-1,300 high ticket and 700 average ticket. After that you will just want to ask for increases to your account through the processor.

      They aren't exactly a middle man, I don't think. They are the agent, that gets you certain rates instead of having to pay higher rates directly through the processor. Make sense?
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      • Profile picture of the author Robert Domino
        Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post


        They aren't exactly a middle man, I don't think. They are the agent, that gets you certain rates instead of having to pay higher rates directly through the processor. Make sense?
        Aren't agents kind of like white-label versions of the main company, with better customer service?

        I've been looking at a lot of merchant account websites lately and I've never seen so much BS. It's pretty hard figuring out who's trustworthy, especially since they clone each other. None of them really give you 100% trust, to be honest.

        I was looking into merchantinc a few weeks ago and I was put off by the clones.

        merchantinc.com
        Merchant Account for Accepting Credit Cards includes Free Credit Card Machine or Virtual Terminal Software
        Merchant Account $0.00, Free Credit Card Processing Terminals, Accept Credit Cards

        They're all from the same agent:
        "National Merchant Bancard agent 02657-002"

        It's probably legit and I might not understand it properly but personally, it makes me nervous.
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    • Profile picture of the author qu4rk
      Originally Posted by the goat View Post

      Because of this thread I applied to merchant inc. Thought it could be great alternative. This is what I got back from them?

      "After reviewing your business type, average ticket, and monthly volume, we have found another credit card processor that is better suited for your business. Please click the link below to complete your online application with First Data Independent Sales. Once you've completed the short online application, you will know instantly if your application was approved"

      Sounds to me like they are a middle man looking for leads.
      Did you find another merchant? I'd stay away from First Data Independent Sales. Go to their facebook page & you'll see that people have had horrible experiences.

      Let me know if you find another merchant account provider.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stranger Danger
    Has anyone tried going directly to the source? - (National Merchant Bancard)
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by Stranger Danger View Post

      Has anyone tried going directly to the source? - (National Merchant Bancard)
      It IS national merchant bancard, I believe.. I guess I should ask him to confirm.

      Originally Posted by Robert Domino View Post

      Aren't agents kind of like white-label versions of the main company, with better customer service?

      I've been looking at a lot of merchant account websites lately and I've never seen so much BS. It's pretty hard figuring out who's trustworthy, especially since they clone each other. None of them really give you 100% trust, to be honest.

      I was looking into merchantinc a few weeks ago and I was put off by the clones.

      merchantinc.com
      Merchant Account for Accepting Credit Cards includes Free Credit Card Machine or Virtual Terminal Software
      Merchant Account $0.00, Free Credit Card Processing Terminals, Accept Credit Cards

      They're all from the same agent:
      "National Merchant Bancard agent 02657-002"

      It's probably legit and I might not understand it properly but personally, it makes me nervous.
      Yeah.. it IS legit, a buddy of mine owns it. He mentioned he had a few other sites, because we were talking about marketing and targeting different keywords. It's kind of normal, I do the same for web design.

      See, the thing is, if you go through ipayment itself, which I have tried... you have higher rates, lower monthly limits, lower max ticket size.. so I prefer going through merchant inc to get the rates and limits I want instead of having to build up MUCH slower.

      Something I have REALLY been considering... is to ONLY accept check by phone.. input the number in certain software, print out the check and deposit it. No risk of chargeback.. its illegal if it bounces.. no processing fees. Gotta love that.
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      • Profile picture of the author Robert Domino
        Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post


        Something I have REALLY been considering... is to ONLY accept check by phone.. input the number in certain software, print out the check and deposit it. No risk of chargeback.. its illegal if it bounces.. no processing fees. Gotta love that.
        A merchant account representative himself recommended using eChecks (or whatever authorize.net's virtual checks are called) for online services like SEO. Apparently they hate SEO because there's a ton of chargebacks. You can't chargeback a check so it doesn't piss off your merchant provider.

        Don't know what services you'll be offering StrangerDanger, but that's one payment method to think about.
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        • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
          Originally Posted by Robert Domino View Post

          A merchant account representative himself recommended using eChecks (or whatever authorize.net's virtual checks are called) for online services like SEO. Apparently they hate SEO because there's a ton of chargebacks. You can't chargeback a check so it doesn't piss off your merchant provider.

          Don't know what services you'll be offering StrangerDanger, but that's one payment method to think about.
          Yeah.. but the problem is you still have processing fees, monthly fees and merchant account BS. You can avoid ALL that by getting a printer with magnetic ink, software, and print your own checks.

          I think any sale over the phone would be better getting them to do echecks instead of credit cards.
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          • Profile picture of the author digichik
            Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

            Yeah.. but the problem is you still have processing fees, monthly fees and merchant account BS. You can avoid ALL that by getting a printer with magnetic ink, software, and print your own checks.

            I think any sale over the phone would be better getting them to do echecks instead of credit cards.

            I don't think you have to use magnetic ink anymore, for most banks. They can be printed in most cases on your inkjet or laser printer, from what I understand.
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            • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
              Originally Posted by digichik View Post

              I don't think you have to use magnetic ink anymore, for most banks. They can be printed in most cases on your inkjet or laser printer, from what I understand.
              I was told it had to be magnetic ink. You may be right, not sure.. just what I was told too.
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              • Profile picture of the author John Durham
                Originally Posted by iAmNameLess View Post

                I was told it had to be magnetic ink. You may be right, not sure.. just what I was told too.
                Hey buddy, I followed your link and signed up....Just got approved for my terminal today. This was a great solution.

                As mentioned I lost my auth net account years ago....and have always wanted to work with something like that again, but it messed me up credit wise getting frozen like that...so I have been using third party processors with high fees... paypal, and other less than desirable solutions since.

                Anyway, this is just like having Auth net, and the past freeze, and/or credit was not an issue.

                Thanks. Will be using this for my directory site.

                Just wanted to say thanks Bud for the great solution.

                If anyone is experiencing hassles trying to get a processor to work with you, this is worth a try, just click Iamnameless link like I did, and you may be sitting pretty in a couple of days with a shiny new acct like I am.
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                • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
                  Originally Posted by John Durham View Post

                  Hey buddy, I followed your link and signed up....Just got approved for my terminal today. This was a great solution.

                  As mentioned I lost my auth net account years ago....and have always wanted to work with something like that again, but it messed me up credit wise getting frozen like that...so I have been using third party processors with high fees... paypal, and other less than desirable solutions since.

                  Anyway, this is just like having Auth net, and the past freeze, and/or credit was not an issue.

                  Thanks. Will be using this for my directory site.

                  Just wanted to say thanks Bud for the great solution.

                  If anyone is experiencing hassles trying to get a processor to work with you, this is worth a try, just click Iamnameless link like I did, and you may be sitting pretty in a couple of days with a shiny new acct like I am.
                  Hey John.... message me or PM your skype to me before you get started with that.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stranger Danger
    Definitely. Although, I'd be curious about how receptive prospects will be about giving this information out. Not that it's any big deal - they're just not used to it, and may be standoffish about it - I don't know.

    I'd certainly be interested to see some statistics from anyone that is currently accepting this method of payment, solely.
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    • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
      Originally Posted by Stranger Danger View Post

      Definitely. Although, I'd be curious about how receptive prospects will be about giving this information out. Not that it's any big deal - they're just not used to it, and may be standoffish about it - I don't know.

      I'd certainly be interested to see some statistics from anyone that is currently accepting this method of payment, solely.
      A guy I used to work with, he offers web design for pet shops, vets, rescues, etc. He accepts ONLY check by phone, and prints them all himself. Currently he is a multi million dollar company.

      I asked him if people are hesitant, and he said not really.
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  • Profile picture of the author Stranger Danger
    I need to research this.

    Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author beeswarn
    Nameless, just wanted to say thanks for the recommendation to Merchant, Inc. I think their service will help me obliterate almost daily irritations with auth and paypal.
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  • Profile picture of the author bearbo001
    Does anyone know if the Gravity Forms authorize.net addon works with this?

    I am seeking a reasonably priced cart solution that includes monthly recurring billing and was seriously considering this solution.

    much appreciated.
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