In order to accept credit or debit card payments, merchants will need a payment gateway, which collects and encrypts all of the information their payment processor will need in order to facilitate the actual transfer of funds from the customer’s account to the merchant’s account. While there are plenty of payment gateways to choose from, Authorize.Net and NMI are two of the biggest players in the industry. Keep reading to find out how they compare and how to choose between Authorize.Net vs NMI.
Authorize.Net vs. NMI: A Feature-by-Feature Comparison of Two Payment Gateways
Here are some of the most important features merchants need to consider when choosing any payment gateway.
The pricing for both gateways depends on how you get it. Authorize.net, for example, offers an all-in-one plan that includes a merchant account and payment gateway when you go directly to the company. However, this costs $25 per month and comes with a transaction fee of 2.9% + $0.30. While that’s about on par with third party payment processors like Stripe or PayPal, the flat fee is on the higher side for the industry. If you already have a merchant account, you can connect to Authorize.net for the gateway only at $25 per month and just $0.10 fee per transaction or per batch if you process your transactions in daily batches. But it’s usually cheaper to get Authorize.net or any other gateway through a payment processor. At National Processing, for example, the interchange-plus pricing can end up being cheaper than those flat transaction fees and many of the payment processor’s plans include a payment gateway in the package with monthly costs lower than that $25 monthly fee. With NMI gateway, there is no direct purchase option. Instead, a merchant would get NMI gateway bundled into the plan they sign up for with their chosen payment processor. That doesn’t mean the gateway is free, but that the price is built into the price of your payment processing service.
Both gateways are able to integrate with many of the accounting, ecommerce, or other software you might be using. But there are a few differences. Authorize.net doesn’t integrate with ClickFunnels, for example, while NMI doesn’t integrate with Shopify. To figure out which gateway is more compatible with your existing tech stack, make a list of the software you already use and check both Authorize.net and NMI to see which one integrates with the majority of that list.
Repeat Customers and Subscriptions
For merchants that offer a subscription service or tend to work with a lot of repeat customers, you might want a card-on-file solution that allows customers to keep their payment information securely stored in the gateway. That way, when they checkout next time, they don’t need to re-enter data all over again. Authorize.net is great for this purpose. It can store multiple payment methods, billing details, and shipping information for the same customer so they can easily select the card or address they want to use and checkout.
For service providers or other businesses that use invoices rather than shopping carts or buy-now buttons, you need a payment gateway that offers convenient invoicing features. Both gateways offer invoice creation and management. However, merchants tend to prefer Authorize.net’s digital invoicing. You can create and send invoices through the gateway without any additional software and include a link the customer can use to pay using their preferred method.
While Authorize.net is a great choice for ecommerce merchants, NMI may be the winner for merchants with a physical store or who handle a lot of in-person transactions. The gateway is compatible with some of the major countertop terminals so you aren’t limited to using a mobile reader or computer as your Point-of-Sale system.
Level II and Level III Data
For merchants that handle a lot of business-to-business or business-to-government transactions, you’ll need to include more detailed information with each transaction to comply card issuer requirements. If you don’t, you could end up paying higher interchange fees on every transaction that’s missing data. While both gateways support this enhanced level II or level III data, NMI offers automatic level III processing which makes it much easier. Instead of manually adding all the extra information for every transaction, merchants can simply input the details for the fields that are the same in every transaction when they set up the gateway. Then, NMI will auto-populate those fields for the transactions.
High Risk Merchant Services
For merchants who fall into the high risk category, it’s important to make sure every piece of your payment processing system is set up to handle the unique needs of your business. NMI, for example, accepts nearly every global currency and can manage multiple merchant identification numbers in one gateway. So merchants selling internationally or selling a variety of inventory can better handle those transactions. However, if you do business exclusively online and don’t have many international customers, the robust security and data reporting features that Authorize.net offers might be a better fit. While NMI can offer many of those same features, some are only available for an added fee. For example, both the all-in-one and gateway only plans come with Authorize.net’s advanced fraud detection suite. That includes features like customized filters to flag suspicious transactions based on criteria tailored to your business. You’ll also be able to choose how the gateway handles flagged transactions. It can either process as normal but send you a notification of the suspicious transaction, authorize the transaction but put it on hold for you to review before it’s settled, or automatically decline before authorization.
Frequently Asked Questions About Authorize.Net and NMI Gateways
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions merchants have when choosing between Authorize.net vs NMI gateways.
Yes, Authorize.net is a payment gateway. However, unlike other payment gateways like NMI, it also offers an all-in-one plan that includes both the payment gateway and a merchant account. Depending on your transaction volume and business type, the price of that all-in-one plan might be higher than you would pay with another processor who bundles Authorize.net into their service.
NMI gateway is a payment gateway that collects and encrypts transaction data for merchants. While merchants can’t set up a gateway directly with NMI, they can use it by working with a payment processor that includes NMI in its merchant services.
No, Authorize.net is a payment gateway while Stripe is a third-party payment processor. With that said, both offer all-in-one plans that include payment gateway and processing services for about the same price. However, with Stripe, merchants are all sharing one large merchant account while Authorize.net would help you set up a dedicated merchant account.
Merchants need both a payment gateway and a payment processor to handle card payments from their customers. The payment gateway collects and encrypts all the information needed for each transaction. Then, the payment processor takes that information and contacts the relevant banks to actually facilitate the transfer of funds from the customer’s account to the merchant’s account.