PROS / You do not have to pay a PCI-compliance fee as it is included in your monthly fee.
CONS / This service can take up to three days to clear your account following a transaction.
VERDICT / FreeAuthNet is very transparent about its pricing and fees but is more expensive than most of the services we reviewed.
Editor's Note: This review has been removed from our side-by-side comparison because it no longer ranks as a top 10 product. The original review is below, but check out our current top 10 about Payment Gateway Services here.
FreeAuthNet is a payment gateway service that is part of Capital Merchant Solutions. It offers only interchange-plus pricing to its customers and has higher costs than many of its competitors, but if you're looking to process orders in person as well as online, it could be a good option for your business. An account with FreeAuthNet includes a virtual terminal and a payment gateway, so you don't have to open an additional account to process online.
This payment gateway company offers interchange-plus pricing, which experts in this industry agree is the best type of pricing. However, its rates are higher than the industry standard. The interchange markup rate is better than average at 0.20%, but the per-transaction fee of $0.25 is higher than many of its competitors' fee. This structure may work for your business if you have a low number of transactions but a high ticket size.
FreeAuthNet's monthly fee is the highest out of the services we reviewed at $35, though it does include the PCI-compliance charges. There is also no monthly minimum your business has to meet. However, with this high monthly fee, this merchant gateway may be best for established businesses rather than startup businesses.
A positive aspect of FreeAuthNet's service is that you do not have to open an additional account in order to process both online and in person. This service does charge a gateway access fee at $19.99 a month as well as a one-time $19.99 gateway setup fee.
Transparency and consistency was important to us when we were reviewing these payment gateway providers. With all of its information on its website, FreeAuthNet was one of the few services in our review to receive 100% on a transparency score.
It can take longer to set up an account with FreeAuthNet than other processors we reviewed. While the average tends to be two or fewer days to set up an account, FreeAuthNet can take up to four days.
An aspect in FreeAuthNet's favor is that it doesn't require you to sign a long-term contract. Instead, its services are provided from month to month, and there's no cancellation fee should you choose to end your service with this company.
The customer service we received from this company when we tested it was top-notch. Its representatives were patient when answering our questions and were sure to follow up with us if they didn't initially have an answer for us. Upon signing up with FreeAuthNet, you are assigned a dedicated account representative. However, there is no live chat or 24/7 phone support available.
FreeAuthNet is a payment gateway service that may be most helpful to businesses with high tickets and low volumes both online and in-person. This company's transparency is excellent as it posts its pricing and terms online. However, it does lack 24/7 phone support and charges a high monthly fee.