Best Canadian Merchant Accounts for Small Businesses

Different Country, Same Credit Card Processing Industry

Choosing the best Canadian merchant account provider for your business can be just as tricky as finding a credit card processor based in the United States. The Canadian government may place tighter restrictions on its credit card processors, but merchants still need to be careful to avoid hidden fee scams, deceptive rate quotes, and poor customer service. The good news is that there are some great providers headquartered in Canada, and many American processors can also provide merchant services for Canadian merchants. With the possible exception of greater customer service availability, there isn't necessarily a benefit to using a Canadian company over an American company. Providers in both countries utilize Visa and MasterCard's processing networks, which are available across the globe.

How to Select the Best Canadian Credit Card Processor

When selecting the best Canadian credit card processor for a business, there are several factors to consider that are specific to Canadian banking needs. Here are some important things to look for:

Acceptance of Interac

Interac is a popular payment network in Canada that allows customers to use their debit cards to make purchases. As such, it's important for a credit card processor to accept Interac payments, in addition to credit card payments.

Low Credit Card Processing Fees

Canadian business owners should look for a credit card processor that offers low transaction fees, particularly for processing debit card payments as the fees are lower than accepting credit cards. The lowest and more transparent type of processing fees is called Interchange-plus. It's also important to consider any additional fees, such as monthly fees, chargeback fees, and other service fees.

Security Features

Canadian businesses are required to adhere to strict security standards to protect customer data and prevent fraud. As such, it's important to look for a credit card processor that offers advanced security features, such as point-to-point encryption, tokenization, and fraud prevention tools.

Integration with Canadian Banks

A credit card processor that integrates with Canadian banks can help streamline payment processing and reduce transaction times. It's also important to ensure that the credit card processor supports the specific types of credit cards issued by Canadian banks in addition to Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

Dependable Customer Support

Look for a credit card processor that offers excellent customer support, including phone and email support, as well as online resources and documentation. This can be especially important if issues arise with payment processing, chargebacks, or other payment-related issues. The best way to find out if a processor has excellent support is to read our review on it. You can search for any processor in the menu at the top. We also recommend calling their support line to see how long it takes to reach a human.

Reporting and Analytics

A Canadian credit card processor that offers robust reporting and analytics tools can help businesses better understand their payment processing data, identify trends, and make informed decisions to optimize payment processing and increase revenue. The best processors provide their own systems for reporting rather than partnering with third-party apps that may include additional fees.

By considering these factors, Canadian business owners can select the best credit card processing for their needs and ensure that they are able to process payments quickly, securely, and cost-effectively.

Trusted Payment Processors for Canadian Merchants

To help you find a quality processor, we've put together the following list of the best merchant accounts for Canadian businesses. The companies on this list are capable of serving both Canadian and American businesses, but only some of them are headquartered in Canada. More importantly, they are all known to provide fair, transparent pricing and helpful customer support to merchants. Each provider has different specialties and merchant types that they are unable to service, so it's best to contact multiple providers on this list to compare pricing and services.

Our Picks for the Best Canadian Payment Processing


helcim logo

Based in Calgary, Alberta, Helcim has been providing traditional credit card processing, mobile payment solutions, virtual terminals, and online payment gateways since 2009. The company is rare among merchant services providers in that it fully discloses its pricing on its website for anyone to view. Helcim uses interchange-plus pricing, which adds a flat markup of .18% on all card-present transactions (while a rate of .36% is applied to virtual terminal and online transactions).

Helcim also does not charge monthly minimum fees, statement fees, application fees, or PCI compliance fees, and it rents terminals out for a monthly rate rather than tying merchants into long-term equipment leases. The company offers month-to-month contracts and does not charge early termination fees. Helcim offers 24/7 support for merchants and has numerous positive testimonials across the internet, including in the comment section of our “A+” review. Helcim also maintains an “A+” rating with the BBB.

For more information, see the Helcim Website.

Additional Options

Based in Los Angeles, California, is a merchant account provider that is one of the top payment processors for high-risk e-commerce business types. The company is willing to work with high-risk business types that may not be eligible for merchant accounts through traditional processors, such as adult products, credit repair companies, collection agencies, e-cigarette vendors, firearms dealers, online gaming businesses, nutraceuticals, timeshares, and others. Canadian Merchants who have been rejected from other Canadian  merchant account providers should be able to find a home under the eMerchant Broker umbrella. processes all major debit and credit cards for most business types, specifically focusing on high-risk businesses. Their services include ACH processing, loans and cash advances, chargeback protection, high-volume processing, MOTO, access to payment gateways, POS solutions, international payments, and extensive integrations with online payment services and cryptocurrencies.

For more information, see the eMerchantBroker website or call (877) 301-3442.


Square is a great service to test waters of your card payment needs. However, once you are processing over $120,000 per year, seeking out a traditional credit card processing company with almost certainly guarantee lower fees and better support. Square’s ease of sign-up comes with some drawbacks, aside from higher than average processing fees. Many users have reported processing with Square without first understanding the company’s policies regarding funding of sales or the types of businesses that are permitted to accept card payments through its services. 

Square sets itself apart from most payment providers  by offering its services by charging one flat transaction fee. Square has earned an “B” rating in our review as well as an “A+” rating with the BBB.

Frequently Asked Questions: Canadian Merchant Credit Card Processing

What is a merchant account?

A MLM merchant account is a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept payments in multiple ways, typically debit or credit cards. It is a vital service for businesses, especially online retailers, and can improve the customer experience significantly.

What should I look for in a Canadian merchant account?

Factors to consider when looking for a merchant account include competitive transaction fees, responsive customer service, a secure payment gateway, efficient transaction processing, and any additional fees. Some providers may also offer additional features such as integration with accounting software, which can be beneficial.

How do I compare fees between different merchant accounts?

Merchant accounts often have a variety of fees, including transaction fees, monthly fees, setup fees, and fees for additional services. To compare fees between different accounts, create a list of all potential costs for each provider, and make a direct comparison.

What are the top-rated merchant account providers in Canada?

Some of the top-rated merchant account providers in Canada were Moneris, TD Merchant Services, PayPal, and Square. However, the market may have changed since then, so it's best to conduct up-to-date research.

How important is customer service in a merchant account provider?

Customer service is very important when selecting a merchant account provider. Technical issues can directly impact your business's ability to process transactions, so being able to get in touch with support quickly and efficiently is crucial.

Can I change my merchant account provider if I'm not satisfied?

Yes, you can switch providers if you're not satisfied with your current one. However, be aware that you may be subject to early termination fees or other charges if you end your contract before its term. Always read the terms and conditions before signing up with a provider.

How do I open a merchant account?

The process varies between providers, but typically involves filling out an application that includes information about your business and its financials. The provider will then review your application and, if approved, set up your account.

How can I find reviews or ratings for different merchant account providers?

Online reviews and ratings can be a good source of information about different providers. Websites like Trustpilot, the Better Business Bureau, and Google Reviews often have reviews of different businesses, including merchant account providers. However, be aware that reviews can be biased, so it's best to use them as one factor in your decision-making process.

Do all merchant account providers offer the same services?

No, different providers offer different services. Some may offer additional features such as advanced reporting, integration with other software, mobile payment options, and more. Be sure to determine what features are important for your business and check if the provider offers them.

Is there any risk involved in opening a merchant account?

There can be risks involved with opening a merchant account. These may include the potential for fraud, data security issues, and financial risks associated with fees and chargebacks. It's important to choose a provider that offers robust security measures and to understand all potential costs before signing up.

Reader Comments

Tell Us What You Think

5 User Reviews

  • Philip Parker

    I wanted to take a moment to express my gratitude for your well-articulated article on the Best Canadian Merchant Accounts. As a Canadian small business owner, this information has proven to be a valuable resource in my quest for the right Canadian credit card processor.

    Your post provided clear, concise, and straightforward explanations which made it easier to understand the complex landscape of Canadian merchant services. I particularly found your FAQ section to be incredibly informative – it answered a lot of questions I had, some of which I didn’t even realize I needed to ask!

    I appreciate your guidance on what to look for in a merchant account, from the transaction fees to the importance of customer service. The tip about being aware of potential early termination fees was an eye-opener, as that’s an aspect I had not previously considered.

    Finally, the note on reviewing terms and conditions and researching up-to-date information and reviews was beneficial. It reminded me to not rush the process, but rather make a calculated decision based on thorough research.

    Again, thank you for your valuable work and for providing such an informative guide. I now feel more confident about finding the best canadian merchant account for my business.

  • Jas Mohra

    Hi, we are a new small business generating about 100,000 in card sales per annum. We are ready to roll out our website and wondering what may be our best and informed option in the sea of payment gateways/ processors for ecommerce. Any guidance is immensely appreciated.


  • Ann Harwood

    Thank you so much for writing about card processors I have spent upwards of 5 hours looking for a good solution for my client. We happen to be in Canada and the most common ones have the worst reviews and higher costs. I liked what you had written about NXGEN Canada called them and actually spoke to a real life person. Gave me the rates, no long term contracts or hidden costs. They are sending info they need completed by email and the terminal will be shipped to client by weeks end once paperwork completed. Ann Harwood

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