Since 1996, Authorize.Net has been a leading provider of Internet Protocol (IP) based payment gateway services, enabling merchants to authorize, settle and manage credit card and electronic check transactions from a Web site, retail store, mail order/telephone order (MOTO) call center or mobile device. An Authorize.Net payment gateway account enables you to accept credit card payments from your e-store.
A payment gateway is the Web based processor of the transaction between you and your customer. In addition to a gateway like Authorize.net, you will need a merchant account in which to deposit the funds from the transaction. This can usually be provided by your local bank. Check with your bank to make sure they support a connection with Authorize.Net.
As a rule of thumb, if your e-store is generating more than $1,000 per month in sales, using a payment gateway with a merchant account should the most economical choice. If you plan to sell less than $1,000 per month, please refer to the other options like PayPal or manual processing.