May 28, 2021

Helcim Review

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Helcim is a top-rated merchant account provider for customer service. It offers interchange-plus pricing with volume discounts. Is it right for you?

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Overall Score




Customer Service








High Volume Business


Low Volume Business

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Volume discounts
  • No monthly fees
  • Excellent merchant tools
  • Good customer service
  • Only one equipment option
  • Not for high-risk businesses

Bottom Line

Excellent interchange-plus provider if you're looking for overall value and service

Helcim doesn't have the lowest processing rates, but customers still love it for the excellent merchant tools and customer service. It offers strong value despite slightly higher rates.

Let's take a deep dive into Helcim to see if it's the right provider for your business.

What Is Helcim?

Founded in 2007, Helcim is an interchange-plus merchant account provider. It has no contract, no monthly fees, or other hidden fees. It offers discounts for higher volume businesses.

Helcim has a strong reputation for honesty and great customer service. It aims to simplify processing by offering transparent pricing with powerful built-in tools for merchants.

Another good thing about Helcim is that it serves businesses of all sizes. A lot of traditional merchant account providers only work with more established businesses, but Helcim also accepts new or smaller businesses.

The company is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, with a U.S. office in Seattle. Helcim has an A+ rating from the BBB.

Who Helcim Is Best For

In our opinion, Helcim works best for small-mid size businesses.

Helcim is good for:

  • New businesses: The interchange-plus pricing can help you reduce processing costs as opposed to using a third-party payment service processor like Square.

  • Seasonal businesses: Helcim has no monthly fees or software fees. So if there are months when you don't have sales, you won't be paying for a service you're not using.

  • Growing businesses: You automatically get the rate discounts as your monthly processing volume grows. You don't need to negotiate or look for another provider.

Who Helcim Is Not Recommended For

Helcim may not be ideal for:

  • Very high-volume businesses: For large businesses processing tens of thousands per month, a subscription-based provider like Payment Depot or Fattmerchant could give you better savings. But many high-volume businesses still prefer the overall value Helcim provides.

  • High-risk businesses: Helcim doesn't work with high-risk merchants. If your business falls into that category, check out these specialized high-risk providers instead.

Helcim Pros & Cons


  • Interchange-plus pricing with volume discounts
  • No contract or termination fees
  • No monthly fees
  • Powerful platform with tons of built-in features
  • Accepts international credit cards
  • 1-2-day funding
  • Highly praised customer service


  • Less equipment options
  • Doesn't accept high-risk businesses

Pricing & Fees

Helcim offers interchange-plus pricing. There are several pricing tiers based on your processing volume. The more you process a month, the bigger discount you get.

Helcim offers all services and tools for no monthly fee. You have access to all Helcim's merchant tools with your account, including the payment gateway, virtual terminal, and invoicing features.

Here are Helcim's current processing rates. These are Helcim's markup fees over the standard Interchange rates.[1]

Monthly Processing VolumeSwipe PaymentsOnline & Keyed Payments
$0 - $25,0000.30% + $0.080.50% + $0.25
$25,001 - $50,0000.25% + $0.070.45% + $0.20
$50,001 - $100,0000.20% + $0.070.40% + $0.20
$100,001 - $250,0000.18% + $0.060.35% + $0.15
$250,001 - $1,000,0000.15% + $0.060.30% + $0.15
$1,000,001 - $5,000,0000.12% + $0.050.25% + $0.10
$5,000,0001 and more0.10% + $0.050.20% + $0.10

At the lowest tier, your average processing rate will be 1.92% + $0.08 for swipe transactions and 2.38% + $0.25 for online transactions.

Your pricing tier is automatically applied based on your three-month processing average. So there's no need to call Helcim and negotiate a discount as your business grows.

Helcim also has:

  • No account setup fee
  • No PCI compliance fee
  • No bank deposit fees
  • No customer service fee
  • No cancellation fee
  • $15 chargeback fee ($0 if you win the dispute)


Helcim does not require a long-term contract. All plans are month-to-month billing. There are no early termination fees, so you can cancel at any time without penalty.

Equipment Options

Helcim has streamlined its equipment offerings down to just one card reader (priced at $199).

It's small and lightweight enough to take with you for on-the-go payment processing. And it's sturdy enough to also work as a countertop terminal. It's built to take care of all your payment needs.

Card Reader Features

  • EMV and NFC enabled
  • Accepts all major card brands and contactless payments
  • Accepts U.S. PIN-Debit transactions from Interlink, Maestro, Pulse, Star, NYCE, and others

For countertop use, you can pair it with Helcim's Countertop Stand for $39. Then use it with your tablet or desktop workstation.

Merchant Tools and Features

Helcim really keeps their promise when they say "no hidden fees." All users get access to the full suite of merchant tools below for free.

Tools for Retail Merchants

Mobile processing
The Helcim payments app allows you to take credit cards from anywhere. It can be downloaded to an unlimited number of devices for all your employees.

Point of Sale
Helcim offers a robust POS with lots of great built-in features. It fully integrates with your Helcim account and syncs across all your devices.

Features include:

  • Automatically captures and stores transactions and customer data
  • Create and send unlimited invoices
  • Set discount codes
  • Automatic tax calculations
  • Send digital receipts
  • Track customer purchase history
  • Manage inventory and organize your product catalog
  • Create unlimited employee accounts and manage user permissions
  • See reports and sales trends

It integrates with Helcim's card reader or your own hardware.

Helcim Deposit Time
Funds should be deposited within 2 days for U.S. merchants and within 1-2 days for Canadian merchants, according to Helcim.

Tools for eCommerce Merchants

Online store
The online store is hosted by Helcim, so you don't need to pay for hosting. It includes a shopping cart, tax calculations, discount codes, and shipping options. It's easy to set up with customizable templates, so there's no need for a developer.

Hosted payments
This lets you add payment buttons on your existing website or blog, and it'll take customers to a secure checkout hosted by Helcim. You can even add QR codes for contactless payments.

Payment Gateway API
Helcim's developer tools allow you to fully customize your payment solutions. There are over 80 API actions you can perform.

You can integrate with most popular shopping carts and third-party business software, including Quickbooks and WooCommerce.

Tools for Invoicing and Billing

Virtual terminal
The virtual terminal lets you manually enter in credit card details on your computer or smart device. This allows you to process cards without any equipment or over the phone.

Create and send customized invoices with a convenient "pay now" button. You can also remind customers to pay through email or text messaging.

Recurring Billing
Generate unlimited recurring billing plans. You can customize with free trials, prorated plans, one-time fees, and add-ons. Customers can use a self-serve portal to manage their subscriptions.

Card Vault
Safely store your customer's credit cards for easy repeat billing. Helcim tokenizes the credit card information and takes on the risk of storing data for you.

How to Get Started with Helcim

You can apply and get started with Helcim in just minutes. To apply, you'll need to provide your:

  • Business name
  • Business address
  • Federal tax ID number
  • Social Security number
  • Type of business, estimated monthly processing volume, and average transaction size
  • Business banking information
  • Photo of voided business check

As soon as you sign up, you have access to Helcim's dashboard. You can't process payments yet, but you can start setting up your account.

Meanwhile, Helcim will review your application. Typically, you'll get approval within 24 hours. Then you can start processing and order equipment.

Customer Service

Helcim has an in-house customer service team. You can reach them by phone, email, or even schedule a callback through the site.

You can get in touch with Helcim by:

Helcim's technical support is available Monday - Friday from 9am - 9pm (ET), and Saturday - Sunday from 11am - 7pm (ET). While it's not 24/7, the extended hours are more than what many other providers offer.

In general, customers give glowing reviews for Helcim's friendly and efficient customer service. It has a lot of happy customers who stay with Helcim long term.

In addition to customer support, Helcim also has an informational blog and YouTube channel with hundreds of tutorials.

Helcim vs. Square

Square is one of the most popular choices for new businesses and small mobile businesses. It's a third-party payment services provider, which means that you don't get a merchant account.

Square offers simple flat-rate pricing. The rates are 2.6% + $0.10 per swipe and 2.9% + $0.30 for online transactions. This rate is a higher compared to Helcim's interchange-plus.

For example, Helcim's average rate is 1.92% + $0.08 per swipe. On a $100 transaction, that's $2.00 in processing fees. In comparison, Square would come out to $2.70. That could add up to quite a big difference over many transactions.

But a big benefit for Square is the free mobile swipe reader. With Helcim, you do need to pay more for equipment. In this case, Square may be better for micro businesses, like market stalls, pop-up shops, etc.

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Free Mobile Credit Card Reader - Learn More


Benefits and Features

Customer ServicePhone, email, or schedule callbackPhone, Email, Live Chat Support, Seller Community
Good ForSmall-mid sized businesses; Seasonal businessesMobile & small businesses with average transaction over $100
$199 for Helcim card reader
Free magstripe card reader; $49 for contactless + chip reader; Stand, Terminal, and Register available for purchase.
Pricing Model
Flat rate
ACH Payments
0.5% + $0.25 per transaction
1% ($1 minimum)
Swipe RateInterchange + 0.30% + 8¢ (for processing up to $25,000/mo; discounts for larger volume)
2.6% + 10¢
Online RateInterchange + 0.50% + 25¢ (for processing up to $25,000/mo; discounts for larger volume)
2.9% + 30¢
Monthly Fee
No monthly fee
No monthly fees
Keyed-in Transaction FeeInterchange + 0.50% + 25¢ (for processing up to $25,000/mo; discounts for larger volume)
3.5% + 15¢
Deposit Time
1-2-day funding
Payments before 5PM PT / 8 PM ET is available the next business day
Chargeback Fee$15 ($0 if you win the dispute)
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How Helcim Compares

Let's take a look at how Helcim compares against other popular processing providers.

Helcim vs. Payline Data
Payline Data is another interchange-plus provider that works with smaller businesses. Payline does offer lower rates for businesses processing less than $25,000/mo. But as your business grows, Helcim's volume discounts will beat out Payline's pricing.

Payline also has no contract or termination fees. However, there is a $25 monthly minimum - meaning that you'll pay that amount even if you don't process anything.

Another thing to consider is that Payline does have a $10 monthly fee for in-store processing and $20 monthly for online processing. Whereas Helcim has no monthly fee. You'll have to evaluate which gives you the better deal.

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Free 1st Month of Processing - Learn More


Benefits and Features

Customer ServicePhone, email, or schedule callback
Phone, Email
Good ForSmall-mid sized businesses; Seasonal businessesBusinesses processing $5,000 or more per month
$199 for Helcim card reader
POS (EMV Chip & PIN, Magstripe, NFC/contactless), Mobile Payment Processing, Subscription Billing, ACH Payments, Online Processing
Pricing Model
Swipe RateInterchange + 0.30% + 8¢ (for processing up to $25,000/mo; discounts for larger volume)
Interchange + 0.2% + $0.10
Online RateInterchange + 0.50% + 25¢ (for processing up to $25,000/mo; discounts for larger volume)
Interchange + 0.40% + $0.20
Monthly Fee
No monthly fee
  • $10 per month for in-person processing
  • $20 per month for online processing
  • $10 per month for virtual terminal
Keyed-in Transaction FeeInterchange + 0.50% + 25¢ (for processing up to $25,000/mo; discounts for larger volume)
Interchange + 0.40% + $0.20
Deposit Time
1-2-day funding
1-2 business days
Chargeback Fee$15 ($0 if you win the dispute)
$15 - $25
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Helcim vs. Payment Depot
Payment Depot is a subscription-based merchant account provider. This option can help large-volume businesses save more.

Instead of a percentage markup for every transaction, Payment Depot only adds a small fixed fee. With the lowest-tier plan, the processing rate is Interchange + $0.15 per transaction, plus a $49 monthly fee.

The small markup more than justifies the membership fee and can save you a lot in the long run. Payment Depot only works with larger businesses averaging $15,000 in gross monthly revenue and who've been in business for at least 6 months.

 HelcimPayment Depot
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Payment Depot

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Save 40% or More - Learn More


Benefits and Features

Customer ServicePhone, email, or schedule callbackPhone, Email, Ticket Center, Social Media Platforms (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
Good ForSmall-mid sized businesses; Seasonal businessesBusinesses processing $20,00 or more per month
$199 for Helcim card reader
POS (EMV, Magstripe, NFC, Contactless, Smart Terminals), Mobile Payment Processing, Online Payment Processing
Pricing Model
Swipe RateInterchange + 0.30% + 8¢ (for processing up to $25,000/mo; discounts for larger volume)Interchange + 15¢ (for processing up to $25,000/mo; discounts for larger volume)
Online RateInterchange + 0.50% + 25¢ (for processing up to $25,000/mo; discounts for larger volume)Interchange + 15¢ (discounts for larger volume)
Monthly Fee
No monthly fee
  • $49/month (process up to $25,000/mo)
  • $79/month (up to $75,000/mo)
  • $99/month (up to $150,000/mo)
  • $199/month (over $150,000/mo)
Keyed-in Transaction FeeInterchange + 0.50% + 25¢ (for processing up to $25,000/mo; discounts for larger volume)Interchange + 15¢ (discounts for larger volume)
Deposit Time
1-2-day funding
Next day deposits
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Bottom Line

Helcim is a great choice for just about all businesses. It has no contract, no monthly fees, and transparent pricing. One big pro point is that Helcim works with new businesses, so it could be a good option if you want to save on processing fees with interchange-plus pricing structure.

One thing to note. In our analysis, Helcim's processing fees are not the lowest - especially for smaller volume. You can definitely find lower interchange-plus rates (like from Dharma and Payline Data).

But Helcim does offer excellent customer service and great merchant tools at no extra cost. So you may still find that it has strong overall value and that the slightly higher cost is worth it.


  1. ^ Helcim Pricing & Fees, Retrieved 4/27/2021

Anna G is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card processing comparison and reviews website. Write to Anna G at Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Note: This website is made possible through financial relationships with some of the products and services mentioned on this site. We may receive compensation if you shop through links in our content. You do not have to use our links, but you help support CreditDonkey if you do.

Read Next:

What is a Merchant Account?

Merchant Account

How Do I Open a Merchant Account

Open Merchant Account

How to Accept Credit Card Payments Without a Merchant Account

Accept Payments Without Merchant Account


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