Updated August 15, 2022

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?

Helcim
Start Accepting Payments Fast

Overall Score

3.8

Price

3.5

Customer Service

4.5

Equipment

3.0

Contract

5.0

Ecommerce

4.0

High Volume Business

3.0

Low Volume Business

3.5
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.

And since Helcim got rid of their monthly fee and introduced new equipment in May 2021, it offers even better value now 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 Stax by 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

Pros:

  • Interchange-plus pricing with volume discounts
  • No contract or termination fees
  • $0 monthly fees
  • Powerful platform with tons of built-in features
  • Accepts international credit cards
  • 1-2-day funding
  • Highly praised customer service

Cons:

  • Only 1 equipment option
  • 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)

Contract

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 $109).

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

Card Reader Features

  • EMV and NFC enabled
  • Accepts all major card brands, PIN-debit, and contactless payments
  • Email receipts
  • Inventory tracking
  • Customer tracking

You also have the option to add a receipt printer for $79. It has a built-in rechargeable battery, so you can also take it on-the-go.

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.

Retail & Restaurant Features

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 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.

Online food ordering
Save on food app commissions with your own online ordering site. Helcim makes it easy to create a quick-order online store by uploading your menu items with pictures. Customers can open up the menu via QR code scan, self-order, and pay.

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.

eCommerce Features

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.

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

Invoicing & Billing Features

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.

Invoicing
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.

Customer portal
Customers can access a self-service portal. They can view their order history, review invoices, edit their recurring plan, make payments and update their information. You have control over what customers can see and do.

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.

  1. Prepare your documents
    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

  2. Set up account
    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.

  3. Wait for approval
    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 Security & Compliance

Helcim is a Level 1 PCI-DSS compliant service provider, which has the most rigorous requirements. Helcim regularly performs on-site audits, vulnerability scanning, penetration testing, and inspections to maintain compliance.

Helcim uses these security measures to keep both your merchant and customers' data safe:[2]

  • 256-bit AES encryption
  • Multi-factor authentication when accessing Helcim systems
    VPN requirement to all internal systems
  • Merchant data and customer data are stored separately from the Helcim web servers
  • Daily automatic back-ups to protect merchants against lost, corrupted, or stolen data

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.[3] This rate is 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.

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.[4] Whereas Helcim has no monthly fee. You'll have to evaluate which gives you the better deal.

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 $59 monthly fee.[5][6]

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.

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.

References

  1. ^ Helcim Pricing & Fees, Retrieved 4/27/2021
  2. ^ Helcim. Securing Your Data, Retrieved 8/15/2022
  3. ^ Square. Square Payments Pricing, Retrieved 8/15/2022
  4. ^ Payline Data. Pricing & Interchange, Retrieved 8/15/2022
  5. ^ Payment Depot. Interchange Rates, Retrieved 8/15/2022
  6. ^ Payment Depot. Pricing Plans, Retrieved 8/15/2022
Helcim

Start Accepting Payments Fast

  • Interchange Plus Pricing
  • No Monthly Fees
  • No Contracts
Square Reader: Free Mobile Credit Card Reader

Square Reader: Free Mobile Credit Card Reader

  • Pay 2.6% + 10¢ Per Swipe for Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express
  • Accept Credit Cards Anywhere
  • Fast Setup, No Commitments
Payment Depot

Save 40% or More

  • Wholesale Rates
  • Membership Fee Model
  • No Cancellation Fees
Payline

Free 1st Month of Processing

  • Interchange Plus Pricing
  • Next Day Funding
  • No Long Term Agreements
Chase Payment Solutions

Chase Payment Solutions

  • Never miss a sale with powerful new ways to accept credit cards, anytime, anywhere. Accept payments multiple ways – in person, online, or over the phone
  • Fast funding at no additional cost. Get deposits as soon as the same day1
  • Enjoy fair and transparent pricing with no hidden or monthly fees. 2.6% rate +10¢ per tap, dip and swiped transaction. 2.90% + 25¢ per ecommerce transaction. 3.5% rate +10¢ per keyed transaction2
  • Get 24/7 support, online or from a live U.S.-based Chase Payment Solutions agent.
  • Trusted security – As technology advances, our industry-leading systems help keep your payments safe
  • Accept cards in person – Take payments quickly with our easy to use point-of-sale devices and mobile app3
  • Accept cards online or over the phone – Choose from pre-built payment integrations with leading eCommerce platforms, virtual terminal and a payment gateway
  • Over 4 million businesses of all types and sizes trust financial solutions from Chase4

1Payments processed, approved, and completed by 5:00 PM Pacific Time (PT) / 8 PM Eastern Time (ET) are eligible for same-day deposits, 6 days a week, excluding Saturdays. In addition, all QuickAccept deposits are subject to the QuickAccept Terms of Service. Payments held for risk, fraud, or other review may not be eligible for same-day deposits. Payments processed, approved and completed by 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET, Sunday through Friday (including holidays), will be deposited into the business owner's Chase business checking account that night. All payments processed, approved and completed by 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET on Saturdays will be deposited into the business owner's Chase business checking account Sunday morning by 7:30 AM ET. There is no additional cost for same-day deposits, but standard rates and fees will apply for business checking and payment processing. Customers qualify for same-day deposits upon sign-up and depositing into a Chase business checking account. Same-day deposits are available in the U.S. only. Additional exclusions may apply.

2Rate Information: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and Chase Transactions involving physical Credit and Signature Debit cards will be assessed 2.6% discount rate and $0.10 per tap, dip or swiped transaction, and 3.5% discount rate and $0.10 per keyed transaction. PIN Debit, EBT Transactions and E-commerce transactions are excluded. Not all businesses may qualify, talk to a payment specialist for more details.

3Chase Mobile® app is available for select mobile devices. Enroll in Chase Online℠ or on the Chase Mobile app. Message and data rates may apply.

4https://reports.jpmorganchase.com/investor-relations/2020/ar-ceo-letter-gordon-smith.htm
“Chase,” “JPMorgan,” “JPMorgan Chase,” the JPMorgan Chase logo and the Octagon Symbol are trademarks of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Anna G is a contributing writer at CreditDonkey, a credit card processing comparison and reviews website. Write to Anna G at feedback@creditdonkey.com. 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.

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