Helcim Review: Fees, Comparisons, Complaints & Lawsuits

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Helcim

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U.S. and Canadian Credit Card Processor

Helcim is a merchant account provider headquartered in Alberta, Canada and Seattle, Washington. The company provides merchant services and credit card processing to both U.S. and Canadian businesses. 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.

Helcim API & Helcim.js

The Helcim payment gateway API allows integrations with shopping carts, billing systems, and websites. In addition to the ability to process debit and credit cards, batch, and settle through the API, it also comes with over 80 developer actions that allow easy manipulation of large amounts order data, catalogs, and customer information. The API is also free to use and uses Helcim’s standard interchange-plus transaction rates.

Helcim offers a payment node called Helcim.js that allows your cart or website to process transactions securely through Helcim. This allows business owners to reduce their security liability and PCI scope since the sensitive credit card information is transmitted and stored on Helcim’s servers. Helcim.js can be used in conjunction with the Helcim API or as a standalone payment tool for a variety of platforms. The javascript platform can easily be added to websites with just a few lines of HTML. It was also designed to integrate with many of the popular shopping cart software suites used today.

Third-Party Integrations

Helcim can easily integrate with popular 3rd-party accounting software like Quickbooks and online shopping carts like WooCommerce and Magento. Helcim offers data synchronization for Quickbooks Desktop and Quickbooks Online. This allows you to quickly export transactions, orders, and customers to your Quickbooks account. Helcim also offers a Payment Module plugin for WooCommerce, allowing you to integrate your existing WooCommerce store with 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 Suite 400 – 440 2 Ave SW Calgary, Alberta T2P 5E9. Nicolas Beique is the co-founder and CEO of Helcim.

Video Summary

Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Offers a month-to-month contract with interchange-plus pricing and no…
  • Complaints & Service: Has received fewer than 10 public complaints regarding…
  • BBB Rating: Currently has an “A+” rating and has received 0 complaints and 0 reviews in the last 3 years…
  • Sales & Marketing: Does not hire independent sales agents and has not received any complaints about its…

Should You Trust Helcim ?

Lawsuits, Reviews & Complaints

Complaint Summary

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

Low Complaint Total

We have found only 2 Helcim reviews filed online, and these complaints do not describe any alarming or unethical business practices. 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 Helcim reviews, there are many positive Helcim reviews of the company. Business owners consistently report fair pricing and responsive customer service, so we are inclined to believe that Helcim’s few complaints are outliers.

Helcim Lawsuits & Government Actions

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against 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.

Is the BBB Rating for Helcim Accurate?

Better Business Bureau Profile

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BBB Summary

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

Low Complaint Total

We have found only 2 Helcim reviews filed online, and these complaints do not describe any alarming or unethical business practices. 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 Helcim reviews, there are many positive Helcim reviews of the company. Business owners consistently report fair pricing and responsive customer service, so we are inclined to believe that Helcim’s few complaints are outliers.

Helcim Lawsuits & Government Actions

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against 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.

Clean Complaint Record

Helcim has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2014 and currently has an “A+” rating. The company has had no complaints filed against it in the last 36 months.

What Merchants Say

Helcim has had no informal reviews posted to its profile in the last 36 months. Prior to that period we recorded one negative informal review that described difficulty applying for a merchant account. Helcim has stated that it has since improved its merchant account application process. 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.

How Expensive is Helcim Service?

Rates, Fees, and Contract Terms

This processor offers the lowest ricing and best service we’ve seen.

Cost Summary

Interchange-Plus Swiped Rate
Interchange + 0.30% + $0.08
Interchange-Plus Keyed-In Rate
Interchange + 0.50% + $0.25
Swiped Rate
Interchange + 0.30% + $0.08
Keyed-In Rate
Interchange + 0.50% + $0.25
Retail Service Fee
$0 Per Month
Ecommerce Service Fee
$0 Per Month
Early Termination Fee
None
PCI Compliance Fee
None
Equipment Lease Terms
None

Month-to-Month Merchant Account Contract

Helcim offers month-to-month contracts, no monthly or annual fees, interchange-plus pricing, and affordable card processing hardware. The company 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 & Fees

The company offers interchange-plus pricing. The company’s website offers a more detailed cost approximation that takes a merchant’s industry, monthly processing volume, and average transaction amount into account to explain its rates. Merchants yielding the highest average interchange-plus rates can expect to pay interchange plus 0.30% + $0.08 for a swipe rate and interchange + 0.50% + $0.25 for keyed-in transactions.

Helcim Monthly Fees

Helcim has dropped its previous monthly fee with the new interchange-plus pricing plan. This means that Helcim’s customers will only incur processing fees when processing credit card payments. There are no other fees for the company’s services.

Clean Complaint Record

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.

Does Helcim Use Deceptive Marketing?

Advertising & Sales Strategy

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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.

Does Helcim Deserve Your Business?

Review Summary & Our Thoughts

A Great Option for Most Businesses

Helcim, a small merchant account provider and credit card processor, has mostly received positive reviews, but a few complained of problems with the application process, which appears to have been remedied. The company rates as an exemplary merchant services provider according to our standards for both U.S. and Canadian businesses. Helcim 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. For more information, see the company’s website.

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Customer & Employee Reviews

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23 Responses

  • Pablo Williams

    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

  • Massage Therapy clinic in Toronto

    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

  • Douglas

    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.

  • Jessica

    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.

  • Lynn de Jongh

    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

  • Georges Doro
    www.dorolapelpins.com/

    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 .

  • Marc

    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!

  • Dee Appleby

    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!

    • Phillip CPO

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

  • Katey Kirkconnell

    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.

  • Sue

    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.

  • Fred

    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.

  • Christopher Cheng

    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.

  • Michelle

    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!

  • Leigh

    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.

  • Pam Kushar

    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.

  • Lisa Myers

    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.

    • Phillip CPO

      Hi Lisa,

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

      • Lisa Myers

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

  • Jamie Robertson

    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.

  • Michael Tighe
    asolidsite.com

    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.

  • Jessy Torres

    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.

    • Phillip CPO

      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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Phillip Parker
Phillip Parker
Credit Card Processors
2 min read
23 Comments
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