Using Authorize.net with MarketPress

Anyone running an e-commerce site knows the challenge of finding a good merchant gateway; one that provides an efficient checkout process, a quick transfer of funds, and the ability to plug it easily into your website without the need for lengthy code or expensive developers.

Authorize.net is such a gateway, and when you use it with the MarketPress plugin, you can make shopping cart checkout on your site worry-free for site visitors and potential customers. More importantly, you can keep them on your website for the transaction process, without passing customers off to a third party cart like PayPal, among others. This decreases shopping cart abandonment and increases profits for you!

Authorize.net Settings in MarketPress

For Authorize.net to work properly in MarketPress (and nearly any e-commerce plugin) you need to do four things, and we’ll tackle them below one-by-one:
1. SSL Certificate
2. General Settings
3. Products
4. Payment Settings

SSL Certificate

A secure socket layer is required for Authorize.net to process transactions directly on your website. SSL certs are obtained through most hosting providers at the cost of about $50 – $75 per year per domain. That means if you own www.example.com and your store exists on www.example.com/store, just one SSL will cover that domain and any folders underneath it.

General Settings

This area is where you will take care of most basic settings for the plugin. It sets the stage for how products are charged, which, in turn, tells Authorize.net how to charge the customer.

Most of the settings are self-explanatory. If you’re not familiar with e-commerce solutions; keep these tips in mind:

Tax Rate – This is the general tax rate for your state. This information is typically obtained from your state sales tax office, board of equalization, or similar taxing authority.

You may live in a state which has different tax rates for different municipalities. For instance, California has nearly 1,800 different local tax rates which must be taken into account when selling merchandise online. These local tax rates are entered into the product page editing screen, not here in the General Settings tax page.

Apply Tax to Shipping Fees – If you charge taxes on shipping fees, MarketPress gives you the option to have the plugin calculate these charges for you, automatically based, in part, on the tax rate you entered in the previous setting.

Enter Prices Inclusive of Tax – This will alter how the shopping cart and checkout area show your customer’s total price, shipping, and tax rates. In some municipalities, there are rules on how you can display this information to customers. Check with your local taxing authority for details. If you’re not sure what to enter here, leave the check box blank and it will break out the shopping cart line by line – a method easy-to-read for your customers.

Products

At the chance of stating the obvious, you must have an active product to sell, which can be added to the cart and paid for at checkout.

This is done through the Products or Create New sections of the MarketPress settings areas.

Payment Settings

In the Payments tab of the MarketPress settings when you check the box for “Authorize.net AIM Checkout” additional drop-down options will appear.

General Settings for Authorize.net in MarketPress plugin.
(Click image for full size settings window.)

Mode

Here, you have two choices – sandbox or live. This setting should match what you have chosen inside your authorize.net account settings, except in Authorize.net the terms are live or test mode. Live corresponds to Live here in Marketpress, and Test Mode corresponds to Sandbox here in MarketPress.

Sandbox allows you to test transactions without actually running real purchases.

Gateway Credentials

You get your login id and transaction key directly from authorize.net. You can click on the “instructions” link to find out how to get those two strings. Basically, you need to find the section titled “API Login ID and Transaction Key” inside your Authorize.net account, and create a new API key if you do not already have one. You may need to answer your security question to access that area of Authorize.

Armed with the new API information, plug those two strings into the appropriate MarketPress settings area marked in the image above.

Advanced Settings

The important settings here, as far Authorize.net is concerned, are the Delimiter Character and Delim Data. These should be set to comma (,) and “yes.”

You can opt to send an email to your customer on success – letting them know the transaction has completed, and to secure your transaction with an MD5 hash – though these settings are purely optional and provided for your convenience, more so than to confirm gateway settings.

Summary

With these simple settings in place you can use MarketPress with the very popular Authorize.net gateway and allow checkout directly on your site.

Comments (2)

  1. Nice. This is useful. I would also like to see a tutorial for handling this in a more complex situation where the site is a subsite in a multisite install using domain mapping. Any chance of you or a colleague tackling that and showing us how its done?

    • Actually, the situation you describe doesn’t add any complexity at all.
      MarketPress works with Multisite right out of the box, and the SSL is controlled at a domain level, so when you purchase that you set the domain for which you want it to apply. Your ssl provider will also have a wildcard ssl which can apply to all subdomains under a domain, like if you wanted to give all your multisite users the ability to run shops under your one ssl. BUt that type of ssl is much more expensive.
      Then each site configures their own authorize settings as shown here.

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