Yes, the US government charges USD 14.00 per application.
The fee can only be paid by credit card. If you do not have your own credit card, you can also use the credit card of a third party. This will not affect your request. The fee will be debited directly and the application will not be processed until the processing fee has been successfully debited from your credit card.
In the event that the ESTA application is rejected, only a processing fee of $4 USD will be charged. If the request is successful, $14 USD will be deducted instead.
The authority does not provide any refunds for the fee. It is therefore not possible to cancel an approved ESTA and claim the processing fee back.