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Helcim Review

Overall Rating

4.3/ 5.0

In-Depth Analysis



Ease of Use






There are very few payment processors that strive to have honesty as one of their core tenets. Professing affordability and seamless use is common but honesty is also something that Helcim aims for. Helcim provides merchant accounts services and the company is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, while also having an office and Seattle, Washington. The company serves small businesses in both countries, shunning long-term contracts, offering attractive pricing through the company’s interchange pass-through pricing model, and levies a minimal level of other charges. There is a range of essential merchant services offered by Helcim, including processing for credit card and debit card transactions, eCommerce and mobile payments and point-of-sale systems.


There’s also a company-branded card reader, an integrated payment platform for both traditional and online transactions, and support for several other popular payment options such as ACH, prepackaged payment links, and the processing of subscriptions. The company’s services are available to businesses of all sizes and types, including retail, e-commerce, and many other types of merchants.



The company provides conventional payment processing equipment and a comprehensive business management solution known as “Helcim Commerce,” aimed at serving merchants across all sales channels. They also provide various features such as tokenization to ensure secure transactions, and the company is one of the few payment processors that lets merchants accept payments globally.

Helcim History and Founder

Along with another cofounder, Nicolas Beique started the company in 2009 and currently serves as Helcim’s Chief Executive Officer. The company was established in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and also has US offices in Seattle, Washington.


The company has been impressing merchants who give it their business, numerous online reviewers, and investors. Through a Series A funding round led by Generation Partners, Helcim Inc. raised CA$16 million, completed on March 21, 2022. The newly acquired funding will be utilized to introduce new products aimed at simplifying the payment process for businesses and incorporating the latest payment technology. The company raised capital to expand its team, planning to add over 150 team members covering key areas such as development, customer service, and sales to provide improved benefits.

What Is Helcim Best At?

Helcim is best at its transparent pricing structure and the top-notch customer experience exhibited by the company, both regarding Sales and Customer Support. The company’s pricing structure is based on an interchange-plus pricing model, and there are few additional fees. Helcim does not charge extra for statements or the initial set-up. Nor are there any recurring monthly or annual charges. Similarly, the company does not assess additional fees to help merchants attain PCI compliance. The company also does not have punitive charges for canceling prior to the duration of the contract since the company has no long-term contract requirements. Even the company’s chargeback fees are lower than the industry standard at $15, which Helcim will reimburse if the chargeback is successfully challenged.


Helcim’s Sales practices are highly ethical because the company hires full-time sales team members rather than bringing in independent contractors. An in-house sales team trumps independent sales organization every time, as their goals and incentives often align with the companies. Furthermore, companies take more responsibility for training and hands-on staff vetting as they have more control over internally hired sales teams. As a result, merchants’’ needs are better catered to by a more skilled and trained team, absent the deceptive sales tactics.



Helcim offers support via email and phone 24/7. Merchants can also launch a support inquiry through the company’s ticketing system. With a solid social media presence across LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and over 200 YouTube tutorials, there’s never a shortage of educational material and resources to troubleshoot technical issues businesses face using Helcim’s services.       

Helcim Products and Services

Helcim offers a range of services, including connecting merchants to a processor, providing a company-branded card reader as the only point of sale solution offered by Helcim, and many other ancillary services.


The company offers all the payment options typically required by small businesses, with a fast and straightforward setup process. Beyond merely processing credit cards, the service provides a comprehensive online shopping platform and management tools for employees and customers.


The company guarantees to repay merchants for chargeback fees charged as long as the chargeback is successfully challenged. The company’s proprietary card reader is EMV-enabled and can accept NFC payments, so merchants can process transactions paid for by all major card networks as well as a multitude of digital wallets. The company’s self-branded card reader is compatible with all types of desktop computers and smartphones and tablets.


Helcim does not charge monthly fees or cancellation fees, nor does it have any charges for setup fees, user fees, deposit fees, or fees for Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance. The company’s Card Vault is an all-in-one feature that enables merchants to offer subscriptions, free trials, and prorated billing plans to their customers. Furthermore, there are also built-in email features offered that allow businesses to automatically notify customers of necessary payment information updates or upcoming charges to their accounts.


According to some reviews, the only drawback of Helcim is the company’s limitations around a limited hardware selection. There are also some snags around the company’s offering options to integrate with widely used retail and business services.


Although Helcim only offers the company’s own branded Card Reader, merchants can purchase other hardware from the Helcim Shop available through the software. Merchants whose point-of-sale needs can be fulfilled through handheld card readers and smart devices will find Helcim’s software-centric approach appealing. On the other hand, restaurants and retailers requiring cash drawers, receipt printers, and barcode scanners will need to obtain this equipment from other vendors themselves.


The following is a brief overview of the company’s product suite.              

Payment Processing – 

Although Helcim does not process payments directly, the company has partnered with industry leader, Elavon, for that solution. The company lets merchants accept payments both in-person and online. As the name suggests, any retailer or merchant who has either a physical location of the business or an online presence and needs to collect payments, can seamlessly and quickly set up with Helcim to support payments for all major payment networks using the latest payment equipment to swipe, dip or tap, or have the option of virtual terminals, or in an embedded form in the company’s online store and apps.


Another form of payment that has taken off in usage among businesses is ACH. These payments are often a lot cheaper to process than traditional card network payments. They involve direct transfers between a network of participating banks and payments are received by the merchant much more quickly. Helcim automatically enrolls all its merchant customers to start accepting ACH payments without any additional steps.


Furthermore, Helcim’s software allows for accepting payments globally with built-in payment options and eliminates currency conversion worries. That’s not say that cross-border fees may no longer apply, those are still applicable for international transactions set by card payment networks.



Best of all, the type of equipment a business uses does not preclude them from the company’s services. It doesn’t matter if you’re an Apple guy, a PC-gal, or an Android user, all of Helcim’s solutions will be compatible with your devices.


Point of Sale and Mobile Solutions

POS terminalsHelcim offers a software-based POS solution that can be installed on various devices instead of physical POS terminals. There is the company’s own card reader that merchants can use to accept card-present transactions, and with it, businesses get all the functionalities without the additional costs associated with traditionally large and clunky POS systems.


Mobile POS – The company offers a mobile point of sale (mPOS) solution called Helcim Payments that is available for both Apple and Android devices and paired with the company’s own reader. This setup provides full mPOS capabilities for merchants. These capabilities allow merchants to build out a database of their products and/or services catalog, invoicing with no limits on the number of invoices created, and track inventory. The solution also allows businesses to build custom fields and drop-down menus, which can include discount codes, automated calculation of taxes, and invoice and payment due date reminders. It’s important to note that the user must provide hardware, and an optional cash drawer or barcode scanner, among other physical equipment, may be necessary.


Virtual Terminals and Online Payment Solutions

Helcim Hosted Payments – Helcim is really adopting the latest solutions needed for online sales and eCommerce. The company offers pre-built widgets that merchants can simply insert into their existing website, emails, and blogs, and they can do it with any programming knowledge. Even within the coding and developer community, there is a growing trend of adopting tools that have minimal coding requirements, often referred to as low-code or no-code. Helcim brings this trend to the FinTech space by offering the Hosted Payments option and letting merchants automatically have the tools such as a shopping cart, setting up and registering customers, invoicing them, and setting up a schedule of repeat payments from their own platforms.


Virtual Terminals – the company’s virtual terminal, included in all Helcim Commerce plans, is a web-based application that facilitates online orders from any desktop computer. Ideal for mail-order or phone-order businesses, it is a backup solution in case of technical difficulties with the credit card terminal. It’s important to note that keyed-in payments are considered card not present transactions and incur higher processing fees.


Helcim Online Store – Helcim provides an online store with customizable templates for branding (colors, logo), inventory integration, a shopping cart with discount codes, tax calculations, shipping integrations, and a built-in payment flow. Advanced DNS services are available for those with custom needs, with no extra cost for web hosting.


Helcim Online Orders – The company offers a tool that is very unique to food-ordering businesses or restaurants. Over the past few years, food delivery businesses have taken the offer as more and more customers have been introduced to the convenience of ordering deliveries online. Customers have started to prefer that as their primary means of eating out rather than going to restaurants enough that companies such as Helcim are catering to businesses that want to serve those customers but may not have the technical know-how or budgets to develop those capabilities in-house.Helcim’s Food Order tool can have the online ordering platform site either hosted for your or offer merchants the tools to integrate that into their existing website. Merchants can then be easily set up with their own menus and order forms, the taxes applicable, the ability to offer discounts, and the details around tipping policy.  


Helcim API – The company’s API provides access to over 80 different API actions for embedded payments and customizing solutions for merchants’ websites, internal billing systems, and shopping carts. The API tools let merchants securely store their customers’ card information and then process various types of transactions without having to collect that data again.


Helcim Javascript – this tool allows for the secure processing of credit card or bank information in a customizable web presence, using AJAX and working with the API tool. The Helcim JavaScript platform can be easily embedded into websites using just a few lines of code and is designed to work seamlessly with various popular shopping cart software solutions.


Tertiary Services Include:

Helcim Card Vault is a feature that allows merchants to bill their customers via scheduled payments, subscription plans, free trials, and prorated billing options.

Integration – the company offers a comprehensive suite of in-built features for managing credit card transactions, but some businesses may require additional integrations with accounting, invoicing, and back office systems. As a result, Helcim integrates with QuickBooks, Magento, and WooCommerce.

International Payments – Helcim is one of the few merchant account providers that lets businesses accept international payments. Although merchants won’t have to contend with the vagaries of currency conversion, they must still deal with transaction costs associated with cross-border fees levied by the major credit card networks.

Starting with Helcim is easy and quick; simply register and submit an application. There are no fixed fees and no obligation to sign a long-term contract, allowing you to cancel at any time without incurring any early-termination fees. No additional hardware is necessary; just download the Helcim app on your computer or smart device.

Helcim Pricing and Fees

Helcim’s credit card processing rates are excellent as all merchants, no matter their processing volume or history, are provided with an interchange-plus pricing plan. This is unlike many providers who either do not offer interchange-plus or keep it hidden. High-volume businesses can also take advantage of discounted rates.


Interchange-plus pricing is a pricing model used by some credit card processing companies where the merchant pays a fixed markup on top of the interchange fee set by the card issuer (Visa, Mastercard, etc.). This model provides transparency to the merchant as they know exactly what they are paying for the processing service, in addition to the cost of the interchange fee. The markup can be a flat rate or a percentage of the transaction value and is usually negotiated with the processing company. Interchange-plus pricing is generally considered to be a more transparent and cost-effective pricing model compared to tiered pricing.


Tiered pricing is a pricing model used by some credit card processors where transactions are grouped into different tiers (such as qualified, mid-qualified, and non-qualified), each with a different rate. The problem with this model is that it can be confusing for merchants, as it’s challenging to determine which rate applies to a given transaction. It can be difficult to know precisely what you’re paying for the processing service. Additionally, tiered pricing can sometimes result in higher costs for merchants, as processors may classify transactions in a way that leads to a higher tier and a higher rate.


With interchange-plus pricing, merchants know precisely what they’re paying for each transaction and can compare costs between different processing companies more efficiently. Additionally, because the markup is based on the actual cost of the interchange fee, there is less room for hidden fees and markups, making it a more cost-effective option for many merchants.


Like most providers, Helcim provides businesses with lower rates as their monthly processing volume increases, potentially leading to significant savings in processing costs as the business grows.



Helcim has a range of charges for in-person transaction payment processing depending on the volume of business processed by a merchant. The charges are broken down into buckets, starting with an interchange + 0.30%, along with additional eight cents for every transaction for a transaction volume of up to $25,000 per month. However, that rates get even more competitive on an escalating basis depending on volume. The best rate is for businesses doing more than five million dollars in transactions per month, which are charged an interchange + 0.10% along with additional five cents for every transaction.

Payment processing for card not present transactions by volume


$0 – $25,000/ month

Interchange + 0.50% +$0.25/ transaction

$25,001 – $50,000/ month

Interchange + 0.45% +$0.20/ transaction

$50,001 – $100,000/ month

Interchange + 0.40% +$0.20/ transaction

$100,001 – $250,000/ month

Interchange + 0.35% +$0.15/ transaction

$250,001 – $1 million/ month

Interchange + 0.30% +$0.15/ transaction

$1,000,001 – $5 million/ month

Interchange + 0.25% +$0.10/transaction

More than $5 million/ month

Interchange + 0.20% +$0.10/transaction

Point of Sale solution

Helcim Card Reader


Additional fees


Monthly charges 


PCI charges


Set up costs


Cancellation charges


ACH processing 

Interchange + 0.50% + $0.25/ transaction

Chargeback fee

$15/ chargeback

Helcim estimates its average credit card transaction fees of 1.86% + $0.08 for in-person transactions and 2.40% + $0.25 for keyed and online purchases. Note that prices, including interchange rates, may vary among credit card networks. 


Customer Support

From experience and the reviews left by the users of Payment Depot, this merchant service provider supports its customers via:

24/7 Help & Support

Technical Support Available M-F 7AM-7PM MST or Saturday/Sunday 11-7 MST

Phone Support

Available M-F 7AM-7PM MST or Saturday/Sunday 11-7 MST


Email Support Available at [email protected]


Helcim Learning Center Knowledge Base

Details Of The Contract Offered and Other Legal Details Of Helcim

Helcim’s merchant accounts offer flexible, month-to-month billing without any early termination fees. Merchants simply need to provide a 30 days advance notice of their intention to close their account. This is one of the best options available in an industry ripe with three-year contracts with automatic renewal and a termination fee, often of hundreds of dollars. Even worse, some payment processors levy fees such as liquidated damages. 


Liquidated damages are a sum of money stipulated in a contract as a reasonable estimate of the potential harm that may result from the early termination of merchant services. The amount is usually the processing fees charged on a merchant’s average monthly transaction volume on all months remaining in the contract.


While some providers may agree to waive the termination fee, this does not change the long-term contract obligation. However, with Helcim, you can avoid these issues, as they lead the trend toward actual month-to-month billing. Merchants are advised to review their service contracts carefully and follow the account closure instructions to ensure a smooth process.



Helcim currently has no FTC complaints against it. Nor are any ongoing litigations that we were able to find in our research.

Are There Any Complaints About Helcim

Helcim has a profile set up with the Better Business Bureau since 2014. There have been no complaints filed against Helcim over the last three years. We found only one online review on the Better Business Bureau website since the company set up a profile related to a merchant needing help applying for their account. Since then, the company has implemented a seamless process to intake, and onboard customers and that issue has not resurfaced as a complaint for the company. Helcim currently has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.


Elsewhere online, we found only two complaints against Helcim. Both those complaints were similar to the one found on the Better Business Bureau website, relating to the company’s onboarding and activation process experienced by merchants.  Overall, our research shows that these complaints are mainly old and outliers, given the overwhelmingly positive response by merchants on their more recent experience with the company’s onboarding process. The fact that the company plans to allocate proceeds of its latest funding round towards sales and support is a testament to its seriousness in addressing these matters and continuing to grow.



The area of contention that merchants do complain about is the level of integration offered by Helcim. Although merchants using the company’s payment solutions can easily integrate with QuickBooks and WooCommerce, many feel these options are insufficient. In a similar vein, Helcim does have a limited number of options for point of sale terminals as the company has resorted to building out Helcim’s Card Reader and mobile solutions rather than building channel partnerships with third-party vendors of a physical point of sale solutions. 


Helcim is a top choice for many businesses. As a merchant account provider and credit card processor, the company has received many positive reviews on various online forums, and the company has consistently worked on resolving reported issues with the application process over time. The company has excellent customer reviews and offers transparent and cost-effective contract terms.

There are a few drawbacks; many would still prefer a more robust suite of options for both integration, as well as the number of point of sale terminals on offer by the company. As with all top-rated providers, merchants need to review their terms carefully.