Authorize.Net is a large U.S.-based payment gateway that allows you to accept online credit card and electronic check payments. The claimed user base of more than 230, 000 merchants makes it one of the largest internet payment service providers. X-Cart is currently integrated with two payment methods offered by Authorize.Net: Server Integration Method (SIM) and Advanced Integration Method (AIM). The major difference between the two methods is where you host the payment pages for you store.
A third Authorize.Net's payment option supported by X-Cart is Authorize.Net: AIM. eCheck, which is an implementation of Authorize.Net: AIM for electronic check payments.
Authorize.Net: SIM (Server Integration Method)
With Authorize.Net: SIM the payment pages are hosted on the side of Authorize.Net, which means that Authorize.Net provides all the necessary resources to process a transaction, including collection of payment information. Customers get redirected to the Authorize.Net secure website and enter their card details there. Authorize.Net: SIM is a right solution if you do not have adequate resources to collect and transfer sensitive card details. For example, SIM does not require you to obtain and install an SSL certificate on your server/hosting account.
Authorize.Net: AIM (Advanced Integration Method)
With Authorize.Net: AIM the payment pages are hosted together with the rest of the store. The data is transmitted to Authorize.Net in the background mode and customers never leave your website during the purchase. Since Authorize.Net: AIM involves collection and transmission of sensitive cardholder data, you must ensure the security of this data by setting up secure connection with Authorize.Net. Otherwise, Authorize.Net will reject the transaction.
Secure connection is implemented through an SSL certificate installed on your server/hosting account. For recommended SSL certificate providers please check the X-Cart marketplace at http://marketplace.x-cart.com/ . Another requirement of Authorize.Net: AIM is that your server must provide support for at least one of the following HTTPS modules: Net::SSLeay, CURL, libCURL, OpenSSL or HTTPS-cli.
Authorize.Net: AIM. eCheck
Authorize.Net: AIM. eCheck uses the same logic as Authorize.Net: AIM, but it is meant to process electronic check payments - not credit card payments. Like Authorize.Net: AIM, the eCheck implementation also requires an SSL certificate and one of the supported HTTPS modules.
Obtaining an Authorize.Net account
If you have not yet registered an account with Authorize.Net, you should do it before you start setting up Authorize.Net in X-Cart. To open an account, go to the Authorize.Net website at http://www.authorize.net/signupnow/ and follow the instructions on the screen. After you have registered an account, you can set up Authorize.Net: SIM, Authorize.Net: AIM and Authorize.Net: AIM. eCheck in the X-Cart Admin area.