Helcim Overview

Helcim May Have Overcharged You

If you accepted credit cards through Helcim or any other credit card processing company between 2017 and 2019, recent changes to the law may entitle you to refunds of certain debit card and credit card processing errors and overcharges. See this post to find out if your were among the businesses affected and to learn how you can get your money back.

All-Purpose Canadian Payment Processor

Helcim is a merchant account provider headquartered in Alberta, Canada. Despite its Canada location, the company is able to provide both U.S. and Canadian merchant accounts. Helcim offers traditional payment processing equipment as well as a feature suite called “Helcim Commerce,” which is intended to serve as an all-in-one business management solution for merchants across all of their sales channels. The company is a reseller of Elavon’s merchant services.

Helcim Location and Ownership

Founded in 2009, Helcim is a registered ISO/MSP of the Canadian branch of U.S. Bank National Association and Elavon and is headquartered at 5720 4 St SE #320, Calgary, Alberta T2H 1K7, Canada. Nicolas Beique is the co-founder and CEO of Helcim.

Helcim Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Helcim offers a month-to-month contract with interchange-plus pricing and no early termination fees.
  • Complaints & Service: Helcim has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Helcim currently has an “A+” rating and has received 0 complaints and 1 review in the last 3 years. The company has been accredited by the Better Business Bureau since 2014.
  • Sales & Marketing: Helcim does not hire independent sales agents and has not received any complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Helcim
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Products & Services Offered

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • MOTO
  • Mobile
  • E-commerce

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Helcim Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Interchange-Plus Swiped Rate Interchange + 0.25% + $0.08
Interchange-Plus Keyed-In Rate Interchange + 0.45% + $0.25
Swiped Rate 2.70% + $0.08
Keyed-In Rate 3.20% + $0.25
Retail Service Fee $15 Per Month
Ecommerce Service Fee $35 Per Month
Ecommerce Rate Mark Up 0.10%+$0.10 - 0.45%+$0.25
Restaurant Rate Mark Up 0.10%+$0.08 - 0.25%+$0.08
Early Termination Fee None
PCI Compliance Fee None
Equipment Lease Terms None

Month-to-Month Contract

Helcim offers month-to-month contracts, interchange-plus pricing, and no long-term equipment leases. The company advertises that it does not charge an early termination fee, PCI Compliance fee, monthly minimum fee, statement fee, or application fee, and it allows merchants to buy point-of-sale equipment for its actual cost or rent it for a reasonable amount each month.

Helcim Rates

The company’s website offers an interactive calculator that takes a merchant’s industry, monthly processing volume, and average transaction amount into account to approximate its rates. Merchants whose monthly processing and average transaction amount receive the highest average rates. For those merchants, Helcim’s calculator shows average rates of 2.70% plus $0.08 for swipe transactions and 3.20$ plus $025 for those keyed-in. The company  also advertises interchange-plus pricing. Merchants yielding the highest average interchange-plus rates can expect to pay interchange plus 0.25% plus $0.08 for a swipe rate and interchange plus 0.45% plus $0.25 for keyed-in transactions.

Helcim Monthly Fees

Retail merchants will pay a fixed $15 per month for service, while e-commerce merchants will pay a fixed $35 monthly fee. Retail merchants will pay a per-transaction markup between 0.10% plus $0.05 and 0.25% plus $0.08, with the amount decreasing as their monthly volume increases. E-commerce merchants will pay a per-transaction markup between 0.10% plus $0.10 and 0.45% plus $0.25. Non-profit merchants can qualify for a fixed rate of interchange plus 0.10% plus $0.10 with the proper documentation of their non-profit status.

No Red Flags

There are no public complaints that describe unexpectedly high fees from Helcim. Assuming Helcim’s advertised rates and fees are accurately disclosed (and there is no evidence indicating otherwise), the company offers some of the most competitive terms in the industry. Merchants can expect Helcim’s pricing to compete with even the cheapest merchant accounts in the industry.

Are you happy with your Helcim fees? Tell us about them before your go!

Response from Helcim

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Helcim Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints <5
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A

Low Complaint Total

We have found only 2 Helcim negative reviews filed online, and these complaints do not describe the company as a scam or a ripoff. One complainant describes a poor experience during the onboarding process that resulted in a two-month delay in activating their account. The other complainant also recounts a slow activation process with inadequate communication from Helcim. As a counterpoint to these negative reports, there are many positive reviews of the company’s services online. Merchants consistently report fair pricing and responsive customer service from Helcim, so we are inclined to believe that Helcim’s few complaints are outliers.

Helcim Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Helcim. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Helcim Customer Support Options

Helcim’s website lists dedicated phone and email support contact information and also includes an extensive FAQ section. This system appears to do an effective job of resolving issues in-house and assisting merchants quickly. In fact, we consider Helcim’s customer service to be on the same level as other top-rated merchant accounts for great customer service.

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Response from Helcim

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Helcim BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 0
Billing & Collection Complaints 0
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

Clean Complaint Record

Helcim has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2014 and currently has an “A+” rating. The company has had 0 complaints filed against it in the last 36 months.

What Merchants Say

Helcim also has had 1 negative informal review posted to its profile. The most recent review describes difficulty applying for a merchant account:

I submitted an application for a merchant account by fax, then they got back with me and said that it was unreadable, I then sent it again by email, I scanned it twice by email. I was waiting for their response. Two weeks later they got back with me saying that the application was cut, I thought that was just an excuse. I then spoke to a manager and she explained that they needed the original document. I feel that they should have asked me to mail it to them since the beginning, or they should have mailed me the original document to fill out. They sent an email with the document as an attachment, and the lettering is super small you can hardly read it, then they claimed that it was unreadable when I sent it back. I think the company needs to review the way they do things, to begin with they shouldn’t be emailing applications with such small lettering, because when it’s scanned or faxed back to them the document is unreadable. I think that is so unprofessional. I will take my business somewhere else.

Merchants who are experiencing frustration with the signup process should be sure that they understand reasons why their application can be denied.

An “A” Performance

Given the company’s solid performance in the other categories of this review and lack of BBB complaints, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time.

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Response from Helcim

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

Employs Independent Resellers No
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms Yes

In-House Sales Team

Helcim appears to utilize a full-time, in-house sales staff to market its services. We are currently unable to locate any negative Helcim reviews that accuse the company’s sales team of unethical conduct, but we have found numerous positive testimonials about Helcim’s customer service and clear pricing. The Helcim website actively promotes Interchange-plus pricing, which is the most transparent pricing structure available.

No Deceptive Quotes

Helcim provides total disclosure of its rates and fees on its website, including an interactive rate calculator that can give merchants a reasonable estimate of what their average rate will be. Overall, Helcim appears to be committed to honest sales practices and fair pricing, and we are therefore awarding it an “A” in this category. If you suspect, however, that you have been misled about your pricing, you can double-check your monthly bill with a third-party statement audit.

Did you get what you expected from Helcim? Tell us why, or why not.

Response from Helcim

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Helcim Marketing Example

Helcim Logo

Our Opinion of Helcim

A Great Option for Nearly Any Merchant

Helcim rates as an exemplary credit card processor according to our standards. The company is showing many positive testimonials online and appears to offer transparent, inexpensive contract terms. As with other “A” rated providers, merchants are still encouraged to read their terms carefully and ensure that they are not obligated to pay any hidden fees. For more information, see Helcim’s website.

We rely on your feedback about Helcim to keep this review accurate and up-to-date. Please take a minute to tell us about your experience. We and the small business owners of this world thank you!

Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

How I Can Help You

I specialize in helping businesses get refunds of excessive fees and have recovered $1,567,184 this year alone! Submit a recent statement below to find out if you are getting overcharged. I'll take a look at it for free. If I find fees that can be refunded, hire me on contigency. I only get compensated if I put money back into your pocket.

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23 Reviews Leave Your Review for Helcim Below

  1. I would recommend avoiding Helcim and using a trusted merchant like Paypal or Stripe. We currently use Paypal and the onboarding process was simple. We joined Helcim because of the customizable forms however since the outset their staff send contradictory emails. One email states the account is active , the other staffmember emails that the account is closed. They have our business documents which were uploaded and I hope they’re deleted. Before trying Helcim , try Paypal or Stripe as they do not waste your time.


    This post will help: Best E-Commerce Merchant Accounts

    -Phillip

  2. I’m looking to move my payment processing from Elavon and Helcim is in my top 3. How amenable are they to negotiating if I want to get a better rate than what I presently get? From the reviews it seems a mixed bag but I like what I have read so far and would be willing to give Helcim a try for my payment processing.

    From The Editor
    This Post Might Help: Best Merchant Accounts for Massage Therapists

  3. Douglas says:

    Select Helcim as merchant services provider based on positive internet reviews and service rating. This company (Helcim) is totally incompetent! The Sales staff responded and then left me hanging for days (later found out salesperson was off and did not pass account to another salesperson for following up). Clearly described to the sales person what service I required (credit and debit transactions) in an email and on application. Waited a week for the terminal to arrive, however it was not a terminal it was a credit card swipe reader (thanks, but I already have Square). I phoned and was told I could not return the swipe reader (have to eat the $35) and they would get the proper terminal to me ASAP. Proper terminal arrived a week later, after 3 hours on the phone as Evalon and my internet provider trying to figure out why I couldn’t process debit cards Evalon discovered the terminal was program as a credit card only terminal (I am in Canada, who wants a credit card only terminal up here, the Evalon rep was laughing at the ridiculousness of such an error). Phone Helcim, they promised to have the fix to me by that evening. Well its the next day and all I got was an email apologizing that it will take a little longer to get the fix for the terminal to me. I made my application March 29th, it is now May27 and I still don’t have service. Incompetence at all levels of the organization. My store has now been open for a week and I daily watch customers walk out the door because I can’t process debit card transactions. I don’t recommend this company to anyone.

  4. Jessica says:

    I recently had a very positive experience with Helcim’s customer service. It’s very rare to get good customer service and tech support in general however this was not the case with Helcim. Adelia listened to all my concerns, provided me fast and accurate help and advice and completely over exceeded my expectations in getting my site payments back up and running problem-free. A+++ on all accounts.

  5. Lynn de Jongh says:

    Thank you, Helcim, for making our transition from another credit card processor to yours. Although we have only been online with your company for a couple of weeks, rest assured we are very happy with the customer service so far. Our emails are answered immediately and that is so important to any company. I will write another review after a month once I’ve received a statement with details. Thank you again.
    Lynn

  6. We have been in business for over 30 years and get solicited almost on a weekly basis for credit card processing, no one comes close to the transparency and professionalism of the Helcim team. E-MAIL and inquiries are returned promptly and no surprise fees at the end of month.
    A breath of fresh air in an industry that is lacking .

  7. Marc says:

    I have nothing but good things to say about Helcim. After having a pretty nightmarish experience with a well known card processor (starts with M, ends with oneris!), it was a breath of fresh air to have such a transparent pricing scheme. They told me rental was X dollars per month, and that’s all I was ever charged. No hidden fees, no GOTCHA clauses in their contract. Customer support was nothing less than stellar.

    I recently had to close my account with them and that process was as easy as the rest of my experiences with Helcim. They sent me a simple one page cancellation form and a box to send the machine back. And that was that, No fuss. With my previous processor, I had to argue with a very mean spirited person for well over an hour to cancel my account.

    I would use Helcim again in a heartbeat!

  8. Dee Appleby says:

    I just signed up with Helcim and wanted to let you know how pleased I am with your service so far. Your virtual terminal is incredibly easy to navigate. I had no issues at all. Within a few days I was approved and ready to start processing.

    Helcim proves that technology doesn’t have to be complicated!

    1. Hi Dee,
      In order to authenticate your testimonial, please reply to this comment with your business name and location.

  9. Katey Kirkconnell says:

    I am a part owner in a wood-fired pizzeria about to open in Kimberley, BC. I have just gone through the process of setting up a card payment system for the first time. The whole process was a bit intimidating for me, until I found Helcim. They were helpful, gracious, and supportive. Their website was clear and answered many questions; they made things as easy as possible for me. Their cost + structure provided the transparency I was looking for and I have no hesitation in recommending them. In fact, I would love to see their model become the industry standard.

  10. Sue says:

    I was skeptical of Helcim at first – I had been moving from one payment processing company to another for a handful of years, had colleagues with unhappy reports from different companies so I took a long time to scrutinize and get on board with Helcim. I am very pleased I did.

    I guess it’s been about 5 years now and I have been very happy with the excellent customer service, the terminal and most importantly to such a small business such as as my own: the costs.

    I highly recommend them. Issues are usually quickly resolved, options given and they really try to understand my needs. I have also been dealing with the same person there the whole time. I think that says something about the company itself.

    I use a terminal for my first location and for the last year I have been using a virtual terminal for the second location. I love them both.

    My only hardship is that we are in different time zones and I start very early so I have to plan if I need to get in touch with them as my days are filled with clients. Finding time to sit and call on a busy week can be tricky.

    But that’s the nature of my business with contacting even local suppliers too – it’s just a little easier if the time zones are the same. Obviously I would rather have great service, great products and prices even if our work days start and end on different times than anything else I have known of in the industry.

  11. Fred says:

    I own and operate a pizza shop in San Antonio TX. After searching the internet for CC processors I famed across an article about Helcim and am very glad I did! I am new to Helcim, thus far I am very pleased with the product and the service with which it is delivered. I came to them after I grew tired of being over charged for so long. I had been with my previous processor for over ten years, I felt like a fool for staying with them for so long. The CC processing business is saturated with sleazy companies that make deceiving claims about their rates, there are so many hidden fees it is nearly impossible to do a cost comparison. Helcim was very transparent about their rates. My processing fees/rates are coming in at between 55%-60% of what they once were. Once I made the decision the switch to Helcim, things moved quick. We had some slight difficulty programming my existing equipment but here is where Helcim shined the most. So I would not be without the ability to accept CC they immediately set us up with a virtual terminal, I never missed a single transaction. I never wanted to be the business that has to put up a tacky sign that says “our credit card machine is down”. I forgot to mention that while they were setting me up with a virtual terminal, behind the scenes they were programming me a new terminal and shipping it via Fedex. They always answer calls and emails are usually replied to the same day! I don’t stress out every time swipe a customers credit card! I highly recommend Helcim, there product is what they claim it to be and their service is outstanding.

  12. Christopher Cheng says:

    Greetings. I operate a mid-sized business online. For verification go to: http://www.greenlamp.ca , buy an item if you like.

    As the world grows busier with online business and sales, I have experienced doing business with Moneris, Canadian Payment Systems, Paymentech, and Helcim.

    None of the others have been “bad”. I just would like to point out that in my experience, Helcim has been the best. The reasons are as follows:

    Helcim is the business of owners who do business personally and handle clients like myself with high quality customer service. I would say this is because they are not a corporation who delegate clients to ‘agent’s” only. Agents I have experienced are fine, but having a well experienced and concerned owner on your side is superior. Thus I would agree with the reviewer Phillip Parker that Helcim scores an A+ in the service department.

    I am a man of numbers also. As a mid-sized business, I have the ability to keep an eye directly on rates and fees and extrapolate the costs per transaction and fees per transaction. Helcim has one of the better and fairest, as well as transparent rates when I compare them with the other processors I have experienced.

    For anyone looking in this large and confusing world of processing for an honest opinion about partnering with a company for excellent service, product, and price in the world of retail credit card/debit card processing, I would advise them to use Helcim. I give them high marks.

    Thanks,

    Christopher C.

  13. Michelle says:

    I was very pleased with the service and knowledge of everyone I dealt with at Helcim. The system is very easy to use and I really like the online features that are available.

    Thanks!

  14. Leigh says:

    We’ve been working with Helcim for 5+ years with nothing but praise for their service, hard work and attentive detail to our clients. As an agency working with a lot of web and e-commerce they have been our sole provider to every client that comes through our door.

  15. Pam Kushar says:

    It’s refreshing to call a Canadian company that picks up the phone and remembers who you are. The customer service that Helcim provides is outstanding and their Virtual Terminal makes credit card payments stress free.

  16. Lisa Myers says:

    I am a small business operator in Nova Scotia Canada. After researching many merchant companies (and getting the runaround on certain questions and vague answers) I decided on Helcim, which seemed to have the most transparent policies and fairest rates. I haven’t been disappointed. The customer service from Nicolas at the Calgary office has been amazing, always answering any questions I have promptly and being super helpful. It’s refreshing to actually get quick responses and exact information. I never thought I’d be so thrilled dealing with a merchant provider!
    Rates for MasterCard will be rising soon and Helcim has sent me a few notices reminding me of this…so no suprises. Very happy with the service so far and would recommend this provider.

    1. Phillip Parker says:

      Hi Lisa,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location, or website, in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

      1. Lisa Myers says:

        My business is a small hair salon called The Hair Attic in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

  17. We’ve been working with Helcim since 2011 and have always been impressed with their amazing support and high quality offering. They are constantly innovating and customizing their products to meet the needs of their clients. Having worked with a number of payment gateway providers, I can easily say that this is the best one I’ve worked with.

  18. I just wanted to add my positive experiences in working with Helcim.

    I have been using Helcim since they were an small start up over six years ago. They are a well organized company with exceptional leadership. They have always offered me consistent service and, most importantly, amazing support. I’m talking support you don’t see in the finance/band/processing industry.

    Not only have I used them personally for years, I also have referred 10+ clients to them, I have never had a complaint.

    Finally, wrote another personal blog entry 6 years ago about Helcim, if you are interested just Google “Helcim Tighe” and it will show up.

  19. Jessy Torres says:

    I’ve been using Helcim for a few months now and no complaints so far. I went with them because they were the only ones that seemed honest about their fees and they actually picked up the phone when I called. I also liked that they were in Calgary. I’m using their virtualterminal.

    1. Phillip Parker says:

      Hi Jessie,

      Please reply to this comment with your business name and location, or website, in order to authenticate your testimonial. Thanks!

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