February 26, 2020 11:00 PM PT

Why This Merchant Credit Card Processor May Be the Best in Transparent Rates

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Consumers today want payment options. Accepting credit cards is a requirement to succeed in business if you don't want to lose your clients to competitors. With hidden costs, though, it can seem impossible to choose the right processor. Helcim makes a difference by offering transparent and easy-to-understand rates.

Processing credit cards costs your business money. Not only do you pay to process each transaction, but you pay fees to have the merchant account too. With these fees eating away at your business, it's important to find transparent rates from a quality company. Without knowing the exact cost of processing credit cards, business owners can walk away with a smaller than intended profit.

Understanding the Pricing Options

Helcim offers interchange-plus pricing, the preferred pricing model of most businesses. Interchange-plus pricing starts with the wholesale fees (charged by the credit card network, e.g., Visa, Mastercard). These fees remain the same across the board, no matter who processes your credit cards or the type of merchant pricing charged.

The confusion lies in the remaining fees processors charge, which may include:

  • Interchange-plus
  • Membership
  • Tiered
  • Flat-rate pricing

Each pricing structure charges fees differently. Interchange-plus pricing can be the most transparent. Membership, tiered, and flat-rate pricing tends to lump all fees into one charge. While this makes the monthly statement less confusing (fewer line items), it makes it difficult to determine how much each transaction actually costs. Some merchants end up overpaying for processing fees because of the lumped charges.

Helcim and Its Transparent Prices

Credit card processors need to make money to process the credit card transactions for you. This is their markup. Companies that don't use interchange-plus advertise one fee and don't break it down for you.

Companies that use interchange-plus pricing, like Helcim, can break down the fees and publish them on their website. This is how Helcim remains transparent. They show you both the per transaction dollar markup and percentage markup, such as "Interchange + 0.25% + $0.08 per transaction" on their website before you even sign up for an account.

Even with interchange-plus pricing, though, business owners can get confused with the rates, especially if a processor offers volume discounts and doesn't disclose the discount.

Helcim offers transparency in this respect too. Right on their website, you can enter your industry, monthly processing volume, and average transaction amount to get a clear picture of your credit card processing fees. You can play around with the numbers as much as necessary to help you get a handle on what your credit card processing fees may be.

Within a few keystrokes, you can tell the difference between the costs for:

  • Retail card-present transactions
  • Restaurant card-present transactions
  • Keyed-in transactions online
  • Charity payments
  • Real estate/property management
  • Online/international payments

By playing around with Helcim's pricing tool, you can see the prices for not only different types of transactions, but varying monthly volumes and average transaction amounts too. This helps you see the difference between a $10 average transaction versus a $100 average transaction, or a card-present transaction versus a keyed-in (over the phone or online) transaction, as a couple of examples.

Once you enter the necessary information, click on "View Complete Rates" to see the complete breakdown for each type of credit card transaction.

The Helcim Rate Guarantee

Along with their transparency, Helcim offers a rate guarantee to its clients. The guarantee pertains to the cost + percentage margin they charge, promising that it will never change as long as you have an account in good standing. This doesn't guarantee that the card network processing fees won't change, though. For example, Visa and Mastercard processing fees may change periodically, but the margin will remain unchanged.

The Other Fees Helcim Charges

In staying with its transparency, Helcim publishes the "other monthly fees" charged for processing credit cards on their website as well.

The other fees include:

  • Monthly fee for the merchant account
  • Wireless data fee
  • Additional location merchant ID
  • Multi-currency processing
  • Level 3 data processing
  • ACH process

Helcim also has "per transaction" or one-time occurrence fee, including:

  • Terminal purchase
  • Terminal replacement
  • Chargeback fees
  • Business name change fees

Helcim's History

Helcim started in 2006 and right from the start, they operated as a purpose-driven company. Even as a startup, Helcim offered transparent pricing and put a lot of value in the level of customer service offered. Helcim grew organically from there—avoiding the short-term capital investors could provide and instead grew a company based on hard and honest work.

In 2013, Helcim expanded from Canada to the United States offering US businesses the opportunity to have transparent credit card processing fees too. Helcim positions themselves as your partner, helping you to make the most out of your credit card processing while maintaining a profitable business model.

Other Products Helcim Offers

Helcim offers more than just credit card processing. They also offer:

Helcim also offers a complete merchant package called Helcim Commerce. The user-friendly platform makes it easy for anyone (not just programmers) to build an online store, accept payments, manage inventory, manage customer information, set up recurring invoices, and create robust business reports.

Bottom Line

Interchange-plus pricing offers transparency in credit card processing, but you still need a company that offers full transparency to truly know the cost of credit card processing. Helcim does a nice job letting merchants know upfront what it may cost to process credit cards. With their useful tools and breakdown of each fee, merchants can have a good idea of how much it will cost them to remain competitive and accept credit cards today.

More from CreditDonkey:


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