From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
IndustryInternet, Communications
Founded1996; 27 years ago (1996) in American Fork, Utah
Defunct1999; 24 years ago (1999)
FateAcquired several times since 1999: by Go2Net in 1999, then by Lightbridge in 2004, then by CyberSource in 2007; CyberSource acquired by Visa in 2010
HeadquartersFoster City, California (2007–2010)
ServiceseCommerce Payment Management
ParentCyberSource (Visa)

Authorize.Net, A Visa Solution is a United States-based payment gateway service provider, allowing merchants to accept credit card and electronic check payments through their website and over an Internet Protocol (IP) connection. Founded in 1996 as Authorize.Net, Inc., the company is now a subsidiary of Visa Inc. Its service permits customers to enter credit card and shipping information directly onto a web page, in contrast to some alternatives that require the customer to sign up for a payment service before performing a transaction.[1]


Logo of Authorize.Net, A Visa Solution
Logo of Authorize.Net, A Visa Solution

Authorize.Net was founded in 1996, in Utah, by Jeff Knowles.[2] As of 2004, it had about 90,000 customers.[3]

Authorize.Net was one of several companies acquired by Go2Net, a company backed by Microsoft founder Paul Allen, in 1999,[4] for US$90.5 million in cash and stock.[5] Go2Net was acquired by InfoSpace in 2000 for about $4 billion;[6] Authorize.Net was acquired by Lightbridge in 2004 for $82 million[3][7] and then by CyberSource in 2007.[2]

Visa Inc. acquired CyberSource in 2010 for $2 billion.[8][2] Visa has maintained Authorize.Net and Cybersource as separate services,[9] with Authorize.Net concentrating on small- to medium-sized businesses and Cybersource concentrating on international and large-scale payment processing.[10] At the time of the 2010 acquisition, the company's CEO identified three priorities: expanding the ecommerce market, enhancing fraud detection and prevention, and improving data security.[11] As of 2014, along with parent CyberSource, it had about 450,000 customers.[12]


In September 2004, Authorize.Net's servers were hit by a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack.[13] The DDoS attack lasted for over one week and caused a virtual shut down of the payment gateway's service. The attackers demanded money from in exchange for stopping the attack.

On July 2, 2009, at 11:00 pm PST, the entire web infrastructure for Authorize.Net (main website, merchant gateway website, etc.) went offline and stayed down all morning July 3, 2009.[14][15] None of the over 200,000 merchants who used Authorize.Net payment gateway at the time were able to process credit cards. Authorize.Net's phone numbers were closed July 3 because of the July 4th holiday as previously announced on their website (though the website was down at the time).[16] Other companies that have nearby offices have reported to the media that there was a fire.[14] started a Twitter account that morning, but did not update their phones to give notice to customers until July 5 when they reopened phones.[17]


Authorize.Net processes card and ACH payments for companies from small and medium-sized merchants. It offers fraud protection services, recurring billing subscriptions, and simple checkout options.[18] For developers, it provides an application programming interface (API) and software development kits for Android and iOS.[19] Its virtual terminal and invoice features can process manual payments. It also offers recurring billing and a plugin for the integration with Authorize.Net, and technical support is available for merchants.

Authorize.Net has the most customers of any payment processor[20] and has been described as one of the more senior players in the payment processing industry, retaining a "decent portion" of the industry's market share.[18]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rowinski, Dan (June 28, 2017). "5 Tips To Make Digital Payments Easier For Ecommerce". Arc. Archived from the original on July 25, 2017. Retrieved July 14, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c Murdock, Kerry (April 22, 2010). "Visa to Acquire CyberSource, Authorize.Net". Practical Ecommerce.
  3. ^ a b "Hack Attack Gums Up Authorize.Net". September 21, 2004. Archived from the original on September 23, 2004.
  4. ^ Brown, Erika (May 29, 2000). "Cautious Hunter". Forbes.
  5. ^ "Go2Net Acquires Authorize.Net For $90.5 Million in Cash, Stock". Wall Street Journal. July 1, 1999.
  6. ^ "InfoSpace Pays $4 Bil for Go2Net". Wired. July 26, 2000.
  7. ^ "Lightbridge acquires Authorize.Net for $82M". Boston Business Journal. March 1, 2004.
  8. ^ Bray, Hiawatha (June 19, 2007). "Calif. rival to buy Authorize.Net for $565m". Boston Globe.
  9. ^ Rao, Leena (February 22, 2013). "Visa Debuts New Mobile Payments And NFC Partner Program For Merchants And Developers, Ready". TechCrunch.
  10. ^ Mitroff, Sarah (October 17, 2012). "Braintree Seeks Online Payment Domination". Wired.
  11. ^ "CyberSource CEO Addresses Visa's Acquisition". Practical Ecommerce. May 4, 2010.
  12. ^ "Cybersource Enables ApplePay, Visa Checkout and PayPal". November 4, 2014.
  13. ^ "Hack Attack Gums Up Authorize.Net". 2004-09-21. Archived from the original on 2004-09-23. Retrieved 2004-09-21.
  14. ^ a b Fire disrupts stations at Seattle's Fisher Plaza Archived July 6, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Friday, July 3, 2009 at 9:42 AM, Seattle Times
  15. ^ "Fisher Communications, Inc. Issues Statement Following an Electrical Fire at Fisher Plaza East". Archived from the original on 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  16. ^ Retrieved July 6, 2009. See "24 June 2009" announcement. Archived 5 April 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  17. ^ Retrieved July 6, 2009. See "3 July 2009" and "4 July 2009" announcements. Archived 5 April 2022 at the Wayback Machine
  18. ^ a b Burt, Allen (February 26, 2017). "Your Ultimate Payment Gateway Comparison Guide". Huffington Post.
  19. ^ Culbertson, Joy (October 26, 2015). "Daily API RoundUp: Billingbooth, RivieraBuild, Plus Authorize.Net, ClearBlade SDKs". ProgrammableWeb.
  20. ^ "What to Know About 5 Popular Payment Gateways". ABC Signup. January 1, 2015. Archived from the original on August 1, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017.