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Pros / PCI-compliance and gateway costs are included in the monthly fee.

Cons / It can take up to three days for funds to be deposited into your business bank account.

 Verdict / FreeAuthnet is upfront about its costs and fees, but its setup and account clearing speeds are slower than other online credit card processing companies.

FreeAuthnet, a division of Capital Merchant Solutions, provides businesses with the technology necessary to accept credit cards online. If you also have a retail store, it can provide your business with credit card terminals or POS systems and traditional credit card processing as well. It offers a solid interchange-plus rate and a single monthly fee but falls short in the setup and service term areas.

More and more processors use interchange-plus pricing. It's considered more transparent because you know exactly how much markup you pay your processor. FreeAuthnet's interchange-plus rate is competitive. At 0.20 percent plus a $0.25 per-transaction fee, it is solidly below average and would be a particularly good option if your business tends to have high average ticket sizes.

At $34.95, freeAuthnet's monthly fee is the highest in our review. However, this fee includes both gateway costs and PCI compliance; fees that many other online credit card processing companies charge separately for. You aren't expected to meet any monthly processing minimums, nor do you have to pay any account or gateway setup costs.

We grade all of the online credit card processing companies in our review on their transparency and consistency, and freeAuthnet received the highest possible score. It's very upfront on its website with information about fees, pricing and contract terms. When our reviewers contacted it, the information we received matched up with what was posted on its website.

FreeAuthnet doesn't require a long-term contract; any agreement you sign with it operates on a month-to-month basis. Applications can be filled out electronically. One thing to be aware of if you process credit cards online through freeAuthnet is that its setup time is slower than many of the other online credit card processing companies in our review. Accounts can take up to four days to be approved and set up. Once you start accepting credit cards online, your funds clear the account and are deposited into your account in two to three days. If you have small margins and rely on short turnaround times, this is something you may want to consider.

This processor assigns you a dedicated account rep, which we value, since having a single point of contact can give you more personalized service. FreeAuthnet also has 24/7 phone support. The customer service reps provided our reviewers with useful information and were quick to follow up by email. Its website has a helpful FAQs section, but at the time of this writing, had several broken links, including the home page.

Summary

FreeAuthnet charges a single monthly fee for merchants to accept credit cards online that includes payment gateway access and PCI compliance. Its interchange-plus rate is lower than average, but it can take a while to set up your account.

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