Authorize.Net vs Verisign: The Battle of the Giants

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Authorize vs Verisign

You’ve got your website ready, catalog pages updated, and shopping cart that is ready to be set up with a payment gateway. Now, how do you get your customers to trust your site? And which should you choose between Authorize.net vs Verisign?

Changes in Products

The differences between Authorize.net and VeriSign have increased dramatically since a buyout by Symantec in 2010. With Symantec buying certain divisions of VeriSign, VeriSign has focused their efforts on domain name/branding and security. Symantec is known for being the provider of Norton Antivirus software, and has one of the most trusted names in the online business landscape. With the buyout, while Symantec has increased services for their encryption offerings, they now no longer have a gateway solution built into their system. If you are looking for a payment gateway system, Authorize.net has expanded their services and better yet, lowered their pricing. With Authorize.net, they offer 2 packages (one if you have a separate merchant account provider and one if you want an integrated package). Authorize.net’s pricing has also decreased due to increased competition in the marketplace.

For more Symantec news, as of October 2014 Symantec has announced they will split into two publicly held companies, where one focuses on security and the other on business information solutions. We will be looking at the security offerings as that is closest in the payment gateway wheelhouse in terms of transactional security. Below is the updated pricing for Authorize.net and the updated offerings from Symantec SSL.

Authorize.Net Pricing

Payment Gateway & Merchant Account

  • Setup Fee: $49
  • Gateway Access Fee: $25 per month
  • *Per Transaction Fee: 2.9% + 30¢
    • *For global business, add a 1.5% assessment fee

Payment Gateway Only

You must have a separate merchant account with another provider.

  • Setup Fee: $49
  • Gateway Access Fee: $25 per month
  • Per Transaction Fee: 10¢
  • Per Transaction (Merchant Account) – Will be billed separately through your provider
  • Batch Fee: 10¢
    • The batch fee is a group of transactions submitted at the end of each day

Symantec (Formerly VeriSign) Pricing

Symantec SSL

All of these encryption options’ prices include:

  • Full Organization Authentication – Assesses and qualifies domain name control
  • Norton secured seal – Branding and association with a leading security network
  • Symantec sealed in search – Norton seal will be next to business name in searches
  • Daily website malware scanning – Daily check of viruses and corrupt coding
  • 24/7 customer support
  • DSA Algorithm support – Support for more security encryption coding
  • Installation Checker – Verifies correct SSL configuration with the free SSL toolkit
  • Symantec Trust Center Account – Business account to check in on account and updates
  • Free revocation and Replacement – Business guarantee
  • Universal Browser Compatibility – Works with all desktop and mobile browsers
  • Support for IDN – International Domain names
  • Licensing for multiple servers – Hosting a single domain
  • 30-day money back guarantee

Below are the options with the different services and pricing.

Secure Site Pro with EV

  • Encryption strength – 128-bit minimum to 256-bit
  • NetSure Extended warranty = $1,750,000
  • Extended Validation – Triggers green in the address bar for increased authentication
  • Vulnerability assessment – Auto scan to see identify weaknesses in systems
  • Offers ECC Algorithm support – Stronger security with less keys
  • Support for SAN (UC) – Include up to 25 other domain names
    • 1 year validity = $1,499
    • 2 year validity = $2,695

Secure Site with EV

  • Encryption strength – 40-bit minimum to 256-bit
  • NetSure Extended warranty = $1,750,000
  • Extended Validation – Triggers green in the address bar for increased authentication
  • Vulnerability assessment – Auto scan to see identify weaknesses in systems
  • Support for SAN (UC) – Include up to 25 other domain names
    • 1 year validity = $995
    • 2 year validity = $1,790

Secure Site Pro

  • Encryption strength – 128-bit minimum to 256-bit
  • NetSure Extended warranty = $1,500,000
  • Vulnerability assessment – Auto scan to see identify weaknesses in systems
  • Offers ECC Algorithm support – Stronger security with less keys
  • Support for SAN (UC) – Include up to 25 other domain names
    • 1 year validity = $995
    • 2 year validity = $1,790
    • 3 year validity = $2,480

SSL Wildcard

  • Encryption strength – 40-bit minimum to 256-bit
  • NetSure Extended warranty = $1,500,000
    • 1 year validity = $1,999
    • 2 year validity = $3,595
    • 3 year validity = $5,095

Secure Site

  • Encryption strength – 40-bit minimum to 256-bit
  • NetSure Extended warranty = $1,500,000
  • Support for SAN (UC) – Include up to 25 other domain names
    • 1 year validity = $399
    • 2 year validity = $695
    • 3 year validity = $995

Authorize.Net Vs. Symantec SSL (formerly Verisign)

Payment gateway solutions are continually changing and with so many major hacks, the need for secure transactional data is more vital to a company than ever. Authorize.Net is your best pick among these two companies for payment gateway while Symantec is used more for domain names, branding and security. So, there’s very little to compare between the two since the buyout of VeriSign occurred a few years back.

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Alex bring a series of in-depth articles on search marketing and content management systems as well as troubleshooting tips to We Rock Your Web's collection. He is an avid tennis player, nature enthusiast, and hiker, and enjoys spending time with his wife, friends, and dogs, Bella and Lily.

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Dave
The information in this article is quite outdated.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Thank you for pointing this out to us. We will be sure to update it!
Anonymous
AUthorize.net is actually now Setup Fee: $0, Gateway Access Fee: $7 per month, Per Transaction Fee: $0.05.
Anonymous
VeriSign has a very important place in the Internet’s DNS infrastructure. VeriSign is the authoritative registry operator for two of the most important top-level domains, .com and .net. It is also the authoritative registry operator for the country code top-level domains.
Anonymous
I am ready to rumble. Got my cart all oiled up. My cash in the bank. I’m excited your catalog is finally ready.
Anonymous
Authorize.net rates have changed. You can see all their rates on the rate card schedule A – they also support authorize.net and the rates are the same as well.
Anonymous
Paypal is fine if you’re just starting out and have relatively low sales volume. By low I mean less than $3k/ month. Once you get above that, ask your local bank about their merchant services – you’re bound to save money on the transaction fees, even if there’s a low monthly cost involved.
Anonymous
Wow, Paypal is annoying. I had been using them for personal transactions just fine – but when I went to upgrade to a business account and sell my financial tracking software online, they said I would need special permissions to sell in the “financial” category.

Changing the category or updating my account so I can sell my software is taking waaaaay too long. I’m switching to Authorize.net.

Anyone out there using Paypal to sell goods or services – make sure you select the right category to sell in – it does make a difference!

Anonymous
This article can help you to make an informed decision if you are considering doing business with either of these companies.

I am both interested and intrigued by the information in this article. Foremost, I am glad to see that there are options available for creating a shopping cart on your website and that the different options have different pricing structures to meet the needs of different businesses. Also, it is nice to see that there are alternatives to Paypal, since some of the website hosts recently have made it difficult to integrate Paypal in a secure, seamless way.

Enter Authorize.net and Verisign. I am familiar with both of these, having done some online shopping in my day, and have come to trust these payment gateways for being secure and accurate. The explanation of the differences between the companies and what they offer, plus information on why you would need specific services that either could provide, is very informative and helpful. I think it is definitely over-charging a bit to require Verisign Payflow Pro in order to host the shopping cart on your own website, since that seems to discourage use. However, I must also then admit that when I see Verisign on a company’s website payment gateway, it is quite reassuring that the experience will be secure and my information will not be stolen or mis-used.

The fee structures, nonetheless, gave me pause. There are a lot of business calculations to be made here, so that I might have a possibility of paying the least amount for services overall. Looking at the realistic amount of business that I do from my business’s website shopping cart, I am fairly certain that the Authorize.net pricing structure is most appropriate. Since it is not readily apparent, I will just say that the number of purchases made through my site’s shopping cart will initially not be very high. That said, if business does grow, as is the hope, that pricing structure could get extraordinarily more expensive than either of the Verisign plans.

Anonymous
The tip about the merchant account providers was very helpful and appreciated. Just as I was going through the fee structures and doing the math about expected sales, this tip made me hold off on making a final decision. Tips such as these are gold in the business world, since a lot of times it is small businesses or startups that are taken in and wind up paying much more than needed. As a small business owner, this kind of feels like being fleeced. Things are difficult enough for a small business, and wasting money needlessly is certainly a setback to getting ahead. A thank you to the author for sharing his or her wisdom and sensitivity to the small business owners who are reading.

Prices are the biggest factor for me, obviously, but for seasoned business owners who have operated an online store before, the other factors are liable to be just as important since they affect the user experience and therefore can make a big difference as to whether a customer might return to the site. Electronic checks and repeating payments are two of these concerns. I think repeating payments might even be a larger concern, since it is such an inconvenience to renew subscriptions or payments each month (or week, or year, or whatever). From the business side, using the repeating payment option is also a bonus because then you know you can count on a certain amount of sales each month, which is great for planning and strategy.

The security information addressed in the AVS section was also helpful in that it seems to provide protection more for the merchant, which is a good assurance. It is my own opinion that unless a business is receiving a lot of orders from international customers that disabling this service without some backup protection is not a wise choice. Even one fraudulent payment can wreck sales and cause far more problems than a few lost international sales might. That said, the author does note that there are some other options you might be able to put in place to make your shopping cart payment gateway more secure for yourself and for your users, such as requiring the Card Verification Numbers.

Authorize.net would be my overall choice, given the advice and tips from the author. This decision is based on the needs of my own business at this time, however, and I appreciated that the article was neutral on which option was ‘better’ and instead relied on giving the facts and letting me take away from it what I did.