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The Best Canadian Merchant Account Providers | Canada Payment Processing

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Frank Kehl

Frank Kehl

Frank Kehl has been writing about merchant services, payment gateways, and international money transfer services since 2015. He has a Bachelor of Science degree from Penn State and a Juris Doctorate from the Ventura College of Law. After a long and enjoyable career of traveling around the world as an Air Force navigator, he’s comfortably settled down in the wine country town of Paso Robles in California’s scenic Central Coast region. He enjoys reading, photography, hiking, and numerous other outdoor pursuits.
Frank Kehl
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88 Comments

Responses are not provided or commissioned by the vendor or bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the vendor or bank advertiser. It is not the vendor or bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

    Carlos Anderson

    Do you know anything about Debitway.com?

      Emily Hale

      Hi Carlos,

      Unfortunately, we haven’t reviewed that particular platform and can’t offer too much insight on it for you. Whether you go with one of the choices on our list or something else, I wish you the best of luck!

        Ann Johnston

        Thank you for the article. I will have to read it a few more times to understand it all.
        We have Evalon right no . The bill is very hard to read. And it is dependent on the Internet. Also I have been unable to pass the the PCI Management test?
        Looking at this new company Central? All this is very hard to compare. It is a 4G which would help us with the internet issues? Have you heard of this company?
        Ann

          Emily Hale

          Hi, Ann!

          I’m sorry to hear about your troubles with Elavon. As far as Central, if you are referring to Central Payments, we do not recommend them. They tend to have pushy sales reps with less-than-ideal contract terms. We recommend you look into Helcim or Square as more viable options. One of the reasons we like these options is that their pricing structure is very clear, and you don’t need to worry about a binding, long-term contract. However, your sales volume and particular needs may vary, so be sure to read and understand your agreement to understand how fees may affect you. Best of luck as you find a more suitable processor that meets your needs!

            Franck Jean-Paul

            I’m thinking of switching from Moneris to merchant-accounts.ca but I’m hesitating because there’s nothing on your reviews about them and that scares me a little. Thanks guys. You’re awesome.

              Jessica Dinsmore

              Unfortunately we haven’t yet reviewed Merchant-Accounts .CA, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or another. If you’re thinking of switching, I’d definitely recommend reaching out to the trusted vendors mentioned in this post to see if they can better meet your needs. Good luck!

                Claire

                We are considering purchasing a small retail business (selling sport gear) and wondering if it’s absoluetly mandatory to be EMV compliant? Is there an adoptation deadline for Canada, similar to the US?

                  Jessica Dinsmore

                  Hi Claire,

                  According to our very brief research in response to your question, EMV compliance isn’t mandated by law in Canada (or the US, for that matter). However, the card associations have imposed a liability shift that’s similar to the US. They’ve gone farther with it, and now include gas stations as well. Also, Interac debit cards (the most common ones in Canada), now have a mandatory EMV requirement. I’d recommend you get an EMV-compliant terminal, as you’ll probably lose sales otherwise. EMV-compliant terminals don’t cost any more than magstripe terminals at this point, and you’ll avoid any potential liability issues. Hope that helps!

                    Jason Bellchamber

                    Thanks for this article. It helped me expand my Canadian brick and mortar store business.
                    I needed to accept debit. I became very frustrated with the increased rates Moneris charged me since 1995. I initially chose Square and outgrew it. Dreampayments was an amazing device while it lasted (Mastercard bought them out and shut them down in 2018). I chose Helcim with an Ingenico card reader based on this very article 12 months ago. I am happy I did. If you do you should be running a business that grosses >25K per annum. If not stick to Square until you do. Helcim has phone support (you may wait a while) and their website does have a learning curve. They are very helpful. Within 3 months the transaction savings vs. Moneris paid for the switch!

                      Alex

                      How is Panda Pay ?

                        Jessica Dinsmore

                        Hi Alex,

                        Unfortunately we haven’t yet reviewed Panda Pay, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or the other.

                          Damien

                          One processor that you are missing is Elavon which is with Costco in Canada. I just looked at rates from National Processing and what we paid with Elavon last year. National Processing has rates for credit cards from 1.42 to 2.25 % (interchange rates for consumer to commercial cards), plus 0.2% plus 10 cents. Rates from Elavon go from 1.56 to 2.07 without additional fees. They may be worth looking into for your readers.

                            Jessica Dinsmore

                            Hi Damien,

                            Great insight there! We do have a review of Elavon, and unfortunately it didn’t quite make the cut for this article. But you’re right- they may be a good fit for some of our readers.

                              Karen Mack

                              I have been with Elavon for several years now and they use third party services providers that can be quite confusing as they don’t always clue you in who they are and I accidentally started two accounts because I thought they were the same people and that I was cancelling one but it turns out they are working under Elavon and I now had two debit machine accounts for one checkout! I transferred the account to my husband’s business so it all worked out eventually. The confusion!

                              Now in the past two years or so, we have been getting rate increases every three or four months! We get them identified as: this is not a bill, this is what the new changes to your bill will look like….we get two envelopes in the same month: one is the fake bill. This is unsatisfactory. This is when I know a company is experiencing trouble from within: when they raise their rates frequently. I pay $60+ a month for the terminal and processing service including all the fees BUT I only process less than $100 – $1000 in a month (seasonal business) but the fees are huge to me! When I first signed up, it was based on sales and if that were still the case, my fees would be much lower than this monthly.

                              So my comment for you is: is there someone better for me, or am I and my husbands small business stuck in this situation as long as we need to process debits as well as credit card payments in Canada? I was looking at square but currently they do not provide DEBIT card processing!

                              Any help?
                              I want to change out from this…and stop using my land line which carries a $75 monthly line fee, totally upsetting in a downturned economy. They also keep raising our rates every six months. I want out of this trapped me in their billing cycle system.

                              Just to process payments: $75 line fee for phone, second line charge: smart ring included in $60 bundle fee; plus $60+ in debit machine fees = $215 monthly!

                              What can I do to get this back down to a reasonable level of expense? I also have iphones I could use and a computer should I need internet for processing.

                                David Langbroek

                                Based upon your recent review of Canadian merchant services companies we decided to talk with Helcim. After a highly informative meeting with them in their Calgary offices we have decided to switch from TD Merchant Services to Helcim. We are just going the the process and if customer service continues on this high level we will be “happy campers” !

                                  Moe

                                  Hi David,

                                  Can you tell me your experience with Helcim thus far? Was it worth the move? Both from a money and time prospective.

                                  Thank you in advance,

                                  Moe

                                    Nicole Girard

                                    Thank you, this article has been very helpful!

                                      Andrew

                                      Hi,
                                      We are a business based out of Canada currently using Global Payments. What are you thoughts on Global Payments? I was told that we are using a “Base + Interchange” rate. Is this the same is “Cost-Plus”?

                                      We process roughly $500,000.00 in transactions per month. Would National Processing still be best for us or would we be better off with Chase / Moneris due to the volume?

                                      Thanks.

                                        Jessica Dinsmore

                                        Hi there Andrew,

                                        “Base + Interchange” is the same as interchange-plus pricing, although it’s commonly called cost-plus in Canada. Global Payments is an OK processor (we gave them 4 stars), but I’d recommend getting quotes from the other processors and see if your current provider can match the rates. At $500K per month, getting the lowest possible interchange-plus rates will be more important than paying for account fees. I’d also suggest getting a month-to-month contract with no early termination fee, if possible.

                                          Arkadi V

                                          Thank you for great write up on processors for Canada.

                                          We are in the consulting business and have nation wide corp in Canada. We also have C corp in USA. It was for our eCom biz, which we are in process of restructuring and starting over again.
                                          Our consulting biz just started and we would be processing in USD and CAD. The eCom will be in USD mostly. For now we use Stripe and being charged extra fees for being in Canada. We can set up another Stripe account based in the US to avoid 0.6% extra fees on top of the 2.9%(for US transactions). We’ll use EIN.
                                          I didn’t look at Chase yet. It sounds interesting.

                                          What would you recommend for our situation, where we run consulting in USD and CAD and eCom, which will likely be higher volume. Would like to have an option to take payments over the phone, and maybe even in person

                                          Thank you in advance!

                                          Arkad!

                                            Jessica Dinsmore

                                            Hey there Arkadi!

                                            Thanks for your question! I’d suggest taking a look at a couple different options. PayPal, Square or Adyen would definitely be worth checking out. Chase Merchant Services would also be a good choice as they offer interchange-plus pricing. Good luck to you!

                                              Jason

                                              First off, Thank you for all your detailed reviews. Very helpful.

                                              We are looking to start a classifieds marketplace and would like a split payment solution where our sellers would receive direct payment with a commission going to the marketplace. We would expect transaction volumes to be in the 100k plus per month + region.
                                              I know that Stipe provides this service through stripe connect custom, however the fees are too high (their regular fees, plus $2 per month per user).
                                              Do you know of other providers that offer such a service? This would be for Canada and the UK,.

                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                Hi Jason,

                                                With Stripe, the $2/month per user fee can be avoided depending on which onboarding process you choose for users, then it’s just a matter of the other fees. Stripe does do volume discounts, especially at that volume, so I’d suggest reaching out to the sales team to see what can be done in terms of reducing fees.

                                                Braintree would be the best alternative, although pricing is similar. Again, you can negotiate, especially at the volumes you’re anticipating.

                                                There might be other solutions out there, but we’re not experts in markets outside the US and to some extent Canada. I hope that helps!

                                                  Jennie West

                                                  Great Posts

                                                    Muhammad

                                                    Hi,

                                                    we are a Canadian based services company. We provide estimating services for our United States clients. we are looking for a virtual terminal service. can you please guide us the best merchant service we can use.
                                                    Thank you

                                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                                      Hi Muhammad,

                                                      Without more specifics, we can’t make a firm recommendation. However, if you are processing less than $5k/mo, I’d suggest looking into Square to see if they can meet your needs. Good luck!

                                                        Brigitte Rossi

                                                        Looking for any info, opinions, customer/client experiences good/bad on Mondo Payments?

                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                          Jessica Dinsmore

                                                          Hi Brigitte,

                                                          Unfortunately, we have not reviewed Mondo Payments, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or the other. Hopefully some of our readers will see your question here and be able to give you some firsthand feedback. Best of luck!

                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                            Jas Mohra

                                                            Hi,
                                                            We are a new-in-business fashion accessories retail outlet ready to roll out our website. Wondering what payment processor/ gateway would be best for us. Cz the online presence is going to be a new thing for us, we do not know how much to expect in sales as of now. We generate around 10k pm via card sales.
                                                            Any advice is greatly appreciated.
                                                            Thanks in advance,
                                                            Jas

                                                              Jessica Dinsmore

                                                              Hi Jas,
                                                              I’d definitely suggest going with our top eCommerce pick mentioned in this post!

                                                                Heather Davis

                                                                Great reviews and a very enjoyable article. Based on your recommendations, we checked out Helcim earlier this year, left several messages for them to contact us. They never did return our call so from our vantage point, it didn’t seem like customer service was their forte so we went with Square (happy with our choice). We would have preferred to support a Canadian-based company but they didn’t give us the opportunity.

                                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                  Bridget Chippett

                                                                  My partner and I recently purchased a 10 unit motel. The summer time we will do maybe 1-3 transactions a week per room, at 80% occupancy. Currently off season is around 40% occupancy, which of course is our goal to increase. Room rate approx $125. We need to have the option for debit and credit onsite, as well as being able to secure a down payment upon booking over the phone. We are a located in Ontario, but understand we do get a fair amount of American tourists in the summer. Can you suggest what might be the best avenue for us? The current owners just cancelled their First Data and had $250 in fees owed to Mastercard, $250 fees owed to Visa, plus $1400 for terminating contract early. We contacted them to see about taking over their terminal and taking over the account but it wasn’t an option, and First data sent us their information. Our first time embarking on a business adventure., so any advice would be appreciated.
                                                                  thanks
                                                                  Bridget

                                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                    Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                    Hi Bridget,

                                                                    First off, here is our review of First Data, if you haven’t seen it yet. And, as mentioned in that review, Dharma may be a better option for you.

                                                                    If you’re a small business looking to take advantage of First Data’s powerful products and services – but without the long-term contract and excessive fees – then you should definitely take a look at Dharma Merchant Services

                                                                    Good luck to you!

                                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                      Colin Lancaster

                                                                      This article was really helpful. We also need a payment processor that will allow offline payments as connectivity is not always available. I know Square offer this but not sure who else. Please can you advise.

                                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                        Shannon Vissers

                                                                        Glad you found it helpful! Offline connectivity generally depends on the point of sale software, rather than the payment processor. As you know, Square serves as both a POS and payment processor so it is kind of an exception to that rule. If you want a POS system that works with a dedicated merchant account, Revel Systems is a POS system with excellent offline functionality — you can actually process credit cards offline vs. just queue them up and wait til internet is restored to run them like with Square. In terms of Canadian payment processors, Revel is compatible with Moneris and possibly some others. If you want another mobile all-in-one app like Square, I’m not aware of a better alternative that has an offline mode. Here is an article you might find helpful: https://www.merchantmaverick.com/pos-101-offline-mode/

                                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                          Danny Nguyen

                                                                          I got a quote from Costco Elavon:
                                                                          1.Retail Visa & Master Card Qualified (swiped/card present) 1.56%
                                                                          2. Rewards/Premium/Commercial cards (swiped/card present) 1.99%
                                                                          and :
                                                                          No Cancellation fees. Your contract can be cancelled without penalty by providing 30-days’ notice
                                                                          No Interchange Differential fees
                                                                          No Annual or Quarterly Fees
                                                                          No Batch Fees
                                                                          No Deposit Fees

                                                                          And from Helcim that is Cost + 0.25% + 0.08c
                                                                          My average is about 30$ each transaction.

                                                                          Seems the Costco is a better choice for rate. Is anything that i should concern?

                                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                            Tom DeSimone

                                                                            Hi Danny,

                                                                            Unfortunately, it’s not possible to compare cost-plus quotes to tiered quotes. There are many unknown variables to consider. While the tiered quote might look good at first, we highly recommend cost-plus pricing to get the best deal and have the most negotiating power in the future.

                                                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                              Christie

                                                                              Did you end of going with the company from Costco and if so are you happy with them.

                                                                                Brian

                                                                                Looking for some advice. We run a consulting business that does about $350,000 in transactions a month. Looking for a payment processor that is the best value as 99.9% of our payments are via credit card. Thanks

                                                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                  Shannon Vissers

                                                                                  I think National Processing would probably offer you the lowest processing rate. You might also be able to bargain to get them to reduce the rate even further since you’re a higher-volume business. Hope it helps!

                                                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                    Jen

                                                                                    Hi there. I have a small business with 3 locations in Vancouver. At the moment I am with Global Payments (Vantiv). On an average month we currently process approximately $32k a month per location and our fees for this amount are around $480 a month. Most of the transactions are credit card. Also, I do not receive my funding until 48 business hours later (that means Friday-Sunday settlement does not go in until Tuesday). Is this a reasonable fee?

                                                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                      Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                      Hi Jen,

                                                                                      This seems like a reasonable amount, but you still might want to get a quote analysis from someone like Helcim because it’s hard for us to say for sure without a full statement analysis.

                                                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                        Brian Mustard

                                                                                        If you are in Canada and are an independent (or small/medium), business…then I’d HIGHLY suggest looking into becoming a member of CFIB (Canadian Federation for Independent Business).

                                                                                        As a CFIB member you get access to Chase-Paymenttech exclusive rates and are not locked into any contracts (ie. you can cancel at any time for any reason without penalty). Reference: https://www.cfib-fcei.ca/en/member-savings-benefits/chase

                                                                                        As CFIB has over 30,000 members on the Chase program they have over $13B in processing leverage. This has allowed them to negotiate Tier 1 rates with Master Card (you would need to process over $3B to get this rate)…and have recently negotiated a 1.8% rate with AMEX (and you get your money the next day).

                                                                                        Hope this helps.

                                                                                        Kindly,
                                                                                        Brian

                                                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                          Leo

                                                                                          Hi, I just contacted Helicum and they advised me that we would have have to have a principal resident in Canada to open an account with them.
                                                                                          We own an touring acrobatic show that goes to Canada seasonal and don’t have a principal resident in Canada or a brick and.mortar location.
                                                                                          Do you know.how to solve that issue? We are registered as a foreign corpation in BC and Federal.

                                                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                            Shannon Vissers

                                                                                            Hi Leo, it depends what country your business is registered in, but if you’re in the US I believe you need to open an account with Helcim USA, rather than with Helcim Inc. in Canada. If you are based outside of the US and Canada, you’ll need to use a different processor.

                                                                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                              George Nylan

                                                                                              Hi,
                                                                                              I have been using Dream Payments. I paid $150 for the machine, no monthly fees, rates seem to be average. I find sometimes it can’t connect with my android phone due to internet wifi issues but seems to work well.

                                                                                              What are your thoughts as nobody seems to be commenting on the this system?

                                                                                              Thanks in advance

                                                                                              George

                                                                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                Jessica Dinsmore

                                                                                                Hi George,

                                                                                                Unfortunately, we have not reviewed Dream Payments, so we can’t confidently give an assessment one way or the other.

                                                                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                  DGSI

                                                                                                  We just received an email that Dream Payments are cancelling their MPOS which is what we had going… “We are still committed to providing small businesses with innovative payment solutions that help them to be successful. Going forward however, Dream will serve small businesses through partnerships with banks and merchant acquirers that will provide Dream powered payment solutions directly to their end business customers. With this, Dream Payments will be discontinuing the Dream Payments MPOS service that your company currently uses for payment processing.

                                                                                                  We have truly appreciated being your payment processing service provider and, as such, we regret to inform you that all debit and credit card payment processing through the Dream MPOS application and mobile card reader will conclude at 11:59pm on July 5th, 2018. Additionally, as of June 6th, 2018, we will no longer be selling the Dream Payments card reader directly to businesses online or through retail stores.

                                                                                                  The Dream Payments MPOS program will conclude at 11:59pm on July 5, 2018 and will include the following:

                                                                                                  Merchant processing agreements with Dream Payments will conclude;
                                                                                                  Effective 12am on July 6, 2018, merchants will no longer be able to use Dream’s products and services, including the ability to process debit and credit card payments through Dream Payments MPOS devices;
                                                                                                  Note: Merchants will continue to have access to their Merchant Dashboard and sales data for export until June 30, 2019.
                                                                                                  Dream Payments will provide a full refund to customers for MPOS card readers purchased on or after April 4, 2018, provided they are returned to Dream with proof of purchase on or before July 5, 2018 . For more information regarding returns please visit our FAQs. ”

                                                                                                  Just thought I’d share

                                                                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                    Chris

                                                                                                    I was also using dream payments and loved it. We run 2 brick and mortar tax prep locations and it was idea since many of our customers pay with Interac. I have no clue where to turn to replace what I had with dream with something else that would do the same with a similar cost. We had global payments before dream and the cost was crazy. Most of our transactions are >$100 so square doesn’t work great for Interac since they only have flash. Any ideas would be welcome!

                                                                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                      Tina

                                                                                                      I too was using Dream Payments.. May I ask if you have found another provider?

                                                                                                      I did contact TD Service Merchants as it is a TD POS system and they want $20 per month and they too will send out the identical system.. I asked and you can not use the one we paid for already!

                                                                                                      Kind Regards,
                                                                                                      Tina

                                                                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                        Mary T.

                                                                                                        I am in the process of setting up an online business with a yearly auto-recurring subscription model. All b2b. My business is based in Canada but most of the transactions will be with small businesses in the US. Average yearly subscription is about 100-150 USD. Might be charged monthly or yearly. It appears helcim or stripes would be good options? Or are there other ones I should consider,? Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated..

                                                                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                          Shannon Vissers

                                                                                                          You’re exactly right, Helcim or Stripe would be the best processors for this kind of business model. Since the transactions are all online and you’re just starting out, Stripe might be best for your situation if you’re not processing more than a few thousand dollars per month.

                                                                                                            This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                            Christine Mairi

                                                                                                            I read this article and the comments with much interest. I own + operate a very small business (approx $115K gross annually; 95+% of payments are via credit card) and have been using Moneris for about 9 years. I was referred to Moneris by my bank and have not changed due to all the confusion I find with different companies and how they charge. I sense that Moneris is costly but I’m scared to switch since I did try once, with Pivotal, and it was a DISASTER. It was hell getting rid of them and, thankfully, I had not terminated my account with Moneris. I get calls for time to time offering the “BEST” pricing but it is very hard for me to navigate through all the gobbledygook. I am now being pursued by Inkas which did not receive a mention here. What’s the scoop on them? Also, I have heard good things about Elavon over the years. How about them? I had never heard of Helcim so will check them out

                                                                                                              This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                              Shannon Vissers

                                                                                                              Moneris is decent, and if you’re getting interchange-plus processing rates with them, it might be worth staying; if not, you can see if they will give you interchange-plus pricing. Helcim is definitely our favorite, because they give all customers interchange-plus and they don’t have any early termination fees or other hidden fees. Elavon’s quality depends on the reseller; for instance, Helcim is an excellent Elavon reseller, while Costco is not. We haven’t reviewed Inkas so I can’t speak to their quality. Definitely check out Helcim though if you’re considering switching. Here are a few resources you should read:
                                                                                                              Helcim review
                                                                                                              Moneris review
                                                                                                              Elavon review
                                                                                                              Interchange-plus pricing explained

                                                                                                                This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                Francis

                                                                                                                Stu, you are so right. I work for the banks. For us is ta-boo to even enquire on who are the merchant pos associated with. We all know the merchant pos are part of our banking organization, we cannot admit it, like you said for liability issues. For example, Chase Paymentech is Scotiabank and Chase Bank. When asking Scotiabank about their association with Chase Paymentech they answer who?! The financial world is sicker than hollywood. All i can say is… its a world of who sucks who! Good Luck all of you.

                                                                                                                  This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                  Rick Smith

                                                                                                                  Square and Payd are good alternatives for low volume businesses because there are no fixed costs. The breakeven point where the higher processing fees start to absorb the lack of fixed costs is somewhere between $4000 and $5000 depending upon your business. The other important factor to consider is that to date you can’t accept interac with Square and with Payd you need to rent a pinpad (fixed cost). This is a factor because Interac is so much cheaper to process than credit cards.

                                                                                                                    This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                    Karen

                                                                                                                    We are a retail point-of-sale software company based out of Toronto. Our policy is to be payment agnostic when it comes to processing integration. Based on an earlier review of Helcim, we ourselves started using them for our own processing. Your review was spot on. We are very happy with their service and will also be looking to add them as a payment gateway for our products in the near future.

                                                                                                                      This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                      Kadie-Lynn

                                                                                                                      We had switched to Merchant Service Canada. As they did a comparison with our current rates and could offer us lower ones.
                                                                                                                      We were maybe satisfied with them for 3 months, but still had hiccups over those 3 months. We stuck it out and kept getting a new terminal every couple of days. As there would be days that I would be down completely and be able to accept payment!
                                                                                                                      There was one point, where I was without a debit machine for 5 days!!! That is so much business lost!
                                                                                                                      Yes I could still write down the patient’s credit card number, but not everyone wants to pay with credit or want to leave their number with me.
                                                                                                                      The latest was, Merchant Service Canada (MSC) asked for our terminal back so I sent it to their office. We were still getting billed from a leasing company. Spoke with the leasing company, we are in the lease until 2018. The leasing company said we should not have sent out terminal to MSC. I then called MSC they’ve taken 1.5 months to mail it back to our office. I just opened the box from them, they kept the battery from the terminal!!! I just got off the phone with MSC and they wanted to charge me for a new battery and to ship it. That has also now been straightened out.
                                                                                                                      We are now back with Chase payment (knock on wood), we are happy and they have taken very good care of us.
                                                                                                                      I strongly do NOT recommend Merchant Service Canada. I am a very forgiving, understanding person but they are not a straight cut company!

                                                                                                                        This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                        Brenda

                                                                                                                        Thank you for your very helpful article. We are looking into Helcim, as per your recommendation.

                                                                                                                        Just a comment – you list Stripe as a third-party payment processor, however, I do not believe that they are.
                                                                                                                        This is what they emailed me: “Unlike PayPal or other services, Stripe doesn’t use separate webpages or provide hosted payment portals for taking payments[0]. With Stripe, your customers can securely make payments directly from your website without ever having leave or log in to any accounts.”

                                                                                                                          This comment refers to an earlier version of this post and may be outdated.

                                                                                                                          Tom DeSimone

                                                                                                                          Hi Brenda,

                                                                                                                          I’m glad we could help. The term third-party payment processor refers to the way the transactions are processed behind the scenes. In that email, Stipe is referring to how you can integrate the payment capability into your website. Behind the scenes, however, Stripe processes payments through aggregated accounts, which can impact account stability and cost. Helcim, on the other hand, will provide you with a dedicated merchant account.

                                                                                                                          It can be a confusing distinction, but I hope this helps!

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                                                                                                                            Tom Hanks

                                                                                                                            Hello
                                                                                                                            We are in Construction business in Vancouver, BC area- both residential and commercial. Some of our clients want to pay with credit card. Not sure which option should we go for. We will be collecting on an average $15,000- $25,000 a month. Looking for both option, when client call our office and give their card number for pmt and the second one to process pmt from mobile or ipad. Please guide. Thanks

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                                                                                                                              Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                              Hi Tom,

                                                                                                                              Thank you for your inquiry, I am happy to help you with this. Based on the information provided, I would recommend Helcim. They also have mobile processing so they are a great option to look into. I would encourage you to use the green “visit site” button within the review if you would like to support our work. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

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                                                                                                                                Rick Smith

                                                                                                                                I know processors in Canada it is my business, please note I am not aligned with the industry or anyone in it. I need to correct some items in the above post. If you are dealing directly with Chase in Canada you will be renting a terminal not leasing some ISO that work through Chase do lease. They have very good customer service offering same day terminal swaps in major population centres. However they do have cancellation fees of $300 flat which again may be different through an ISO. Most of what you said about Moneris is true service overall is not bad but in my opinion second to Chase at least with my clients. Cancelling with Moneris is difficult not so much with Chase and negotiating a better rate much easier with Chase than Moneris. Helcium has a good reputation and process through Elavon with Interchange plus pricing available for all. Moneris does not usually offer Interchange plus and Chase only for clients doing over $1 million a year.

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                                                                                                                                  John Procopio

                                                                                                                                  I’m doing merchant machine audits for a few clients. There are a lot of scammers out there.
                                                                                                                                  What is the best one in Canada, that provides the best overall service and decent rates. I’m seeing a lot of 4% avg. fees on accounts that churn $100k per month (diner)
                                                                                                                                  Also with the leasing of equipment, what is your view on owning leasing or renting the terminals.
                                                                                                                                  Why can’t these companies just sign up and stick to good business practices?

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                                                                                                                                    Sandra

                                                                                                                                    I haven’t seen any comments about “SQUARE.”
                                                                                                                                    I am a psychotherapist and need to process credit cards. So I got a “Square” from Staples and signed up. But their fees are high, 4.5% No monthly charge. It is a little square plastic thing that is inserted into my smart phone. Works wonderfully, never a problem. But I would like to find something cheaper.

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                                                                                                                                      Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                      Hi Sandra,

                                                                                                                                      4.5% is a bit on the higher side and we can probably find something better suited for you. We have a great filtering tool that you can try here. I hope this helps and if you have further questions please let me know.

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                                                                                                                                        Jane

                                                                                                                                        Also, you don’t comment on whether any of the above can process USD payments in USD. This was something square could not do and last I checked Paypal also would not credit my business in USD – they wanted to exchange to CDN $ in payout. Do you have a suggestion for a small business that takes both USD and CDN? I have to keep the USD because all of my payments to my suppliers are in USD – thank you for any help you can provide.

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                                                                                                                                          Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                          Hi Jane,

                                                                                                                                          When accepting international currency, your processor is going to convert it to your local currency. Unfortunately there isn’t a work around for it, unless you open a US merchant account, which would require a social security number.

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                                                                                                                                            Jane

                                                                                                                                            I have been using Global Payments and its been a nightmare of high rates and constantly increasing monthly fees. Last month I charged through only $1400 and I was charged $147 for fees for my canadian and US accounts (They separate them – I have no choice). I am seasonal and small business so going to look at your options above. I was curious not to see Global Payments as I see their terminals everywhere – any comments about them?? Thanks!

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                                                                                                                                              Michael Smillie

                                                                                                                                              Hi all,

                                                                                                                                              Currently looking into merchant services options for the company I am with as we are looking to potentially make a change-over. After reading this article, I’ve looked into a number of options (including Helcim and First Data).

                                                                                                                                              My question is this:

                                                                                                                                              For someone such as myself who helps in running a small business, I don’t really have a ton of time to analyze and figure out cost comparisons. When speaking with First Data, they were able to provide me with an easy-to-read comparison of costs, along with how much we would be saving on a monthly / yearly basis. Helcim on the other hand was not able to tell me if our costs would go up or down by swapping to them.

                                                                                                                                              Judging by reviews, Helcim is a much better fit for our company…I’m just not sure how to make sense of their offering.

                                                                                                                                              Any ideas here would be very much appreciated!

                                                                                                                                              Best,

                                                                                                                                              Mike

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                                                                                                                                                Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                Hi Michael,

                                                                                                                                                I would recommend taking a look at CardFellow. Also, please feel free to send me your quotes and I can take a look at them for you.

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                                                                                                                                                  Rick Smith

                                                                                                                                                  Mike
                                                                                                                                                  First Data has become very aggressive lately and you must be careful about the rates. Helcium processes through Elavon and would offer Interchange plus pricing which I prefer. Comparing Interchange Plus to Interchange Differential is difficult if you don`t understand pricing,however it is not just the discounts rates you have to look at you must also compare assessment fees, admin fees, terminal maintenance fees (First Data) etc. I don`t understand why Helcium won`t give you a comparison but be wary of the comparison they can leave out fees that make a big difference the contract is the final word. The biggest disadvantage to First Data is their statement it is absolutely the worst in the industry impossible for anyone not an expert in the industry to read.

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                                                                                                                                                    Erika

                                                                                                                                                    Avoid first data and digitech like the plague. We’ve been lied to for 8 months straight and our processing fees have almost doubled. Trying to escalate within the company is impossible as they won’t let you speak with anyone else and they take messages insisting someone will call you back (which doesn’t happen). Where can small businesses report processors with deceptive practices?

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                                                                                                                                                      Chloe Bahal

                                                                                                                                                      Hi Erika,

                                                                                                                                                      You can leave a review on the BBB site.

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                                                                                                                                                        Bob

                                                                                                                                                        You can cancel any merchant services contract within 90 days of rate change without pentalty. Its the law in Canada. I use to sell merchant services and this is how we were able to business to switch without having to oay cancelation fees.

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                                                                                                                                                          Epona Donna

                                                                                                                                                          We are a small to medium online retailer. As our current merchant account provider is closing its doors the end of August, we find ourselves looking for a new PP that is supported by our platform. Would you or any of the users here have any reviews, experience or comments on the following;

                                                                                                                                                          Authorize.net
                                                                                                                                                          WorldPay
                                                                                                                                                          FirstData
                                                                                                                                                          CyberBit
                                                                                                                                                          PSI Gate
                                                                                                                                                          MiraPay

                                                                                                                                                          Thank you for any information!!

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                                                                                                                                                            Epona Donna

                                                                                                                                                            We are a small to medium Canadian company that takes payments in CAD and USD. As our current payment provider is about to close its doors, we find ourselves looking for a new merchant account provider that is supported by our platform. I have found your reviews extremely helpful. Thank you! I would like to know if you or any other Canadian users have experience with the following;

                                                                                                                                                            Authorize.net
                                                                                                                                                            First Data
                                                                                                                                                            PSI Gate
                                                                                                                                                            MiraPay

                                                                                                                                                            Thank you so much!

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                                                                                                                                                              syed mutal quadri

                                                                                                                                                              Hi
                                                                                                                                                              We have set up a new Incorporation in Calgary, Canada. We will provide online PC Tech Support to the consumers in Canada and USA. We need help to set up high risk payment gateway and merchant accounts.
                                                                                                                                                              Please advise.

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                                                                                                                                                                Dan

                                                                                                                                                                Hi Tom,
                                                                                                                                                                With regards to Canadian POS providers, if you haven’t already, I would love to see what you have to say about Zomaron. We have recently rid ourselves of them and are still dealing with the fallout from their terrible service. But they sound similar to Pivotal, using independent door to door sales people promising you insanely lower rates and failing to disclose their 5 year lease agreements for the equipment and early termination fees. i don’t want to to get into to many specifics about our situation on this public forum but I’m very to hear what you have to say about them and their business practices.

                                                                                                                                                                thanks in advance

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                                                                                                                                                                  Rick Smith

                                                                                                                                                                  Unfortunately some ISOs (Independent Sales Organizations) employ some questionable sales tactics. For someone not familiar with the industry you are probably better off going through your bank or directly to one of the better Acquirers directly in no special order Elavon, TD Merchant Services, Chase Paymentech or Moneris. A good bet is Elavon through Costco. If service is a priority Chase is very good. I don`t know your situation but the Code of conduct allows you to cancel your agreement within 90 days of a new fee, increase in fees or if the processor does not give you the full benefit of a decrease in their costs (Interchange fees). All of these have happened in the last 6 months and depending upon the timing of your cancellation you may fall into this category. The code also affords you to cancel a lease under these circumstances providing the lease was provided by the processor. All of this can be done with no penalty.

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                                                                                                                                                                    Dale Degagne

                                                                                                                                                                    Hey Shannon, have you reviewed Elavon in Canada? Or does it really make a difference?

                                                                                                                                                                    On Tom’s review of Elavon, he quoted flat rate pricing, but just yesterday I received an interchange plus quote of 0.25% (virtual or swiped) + $0.05. They also quoted a $26 monthly package fee (including PCI) and a $150 set up fee.

                                                                                                                                                                    Am I missing something with Elavon? Because that seems like a pretty good deal compared to Helcim’s pricing (0.36% virtual + $0.25)

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                                                                                                                                                                      Tom DeSimone

                                                                                                                                                                      Hi Dale,

                                                                                                                                                                      There are some differences between the service Elavon provides in Canada versus the US, but our Elavon review combines both.

                                                                                                                                                                      There’s nothing wrong with Elavon as a whole. They can, and sometimes do, provide fair rate quotes and contract terms. The trouble is that they are somewhat inconsistent, with some representatives giving better deals than others. That’s why we generally recommend Helcim instead. Helcim gives everyone the same fair treatment.

                                                                                                                                                                      That interchange-plus quote sounds fair, but the transaction fee looks suspiciously low. Be sure to ask if the AVS fee (address verification) is included in that. For card-not-present transactions, the AVS fee will be charged every time. This fee is included in the Helcim transaction fee.

                                                                                                                                                                      I can’t say one way or another if the terms you were given by Elavon are fair overall. I’d have to look at the contract and fees page. My suggestion would be to take the quote that Elavon gave you can show it to Helcim and ask for them to match it or beat it. In all likelihood, they will.

                                                                                                                                                                      Good luck!

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                                                                                                                                                                        Mark S

                                                                                                                                                                        Hi Tom, I am busy wading through all the evaluations of Merchant CC processors and find little quality comparison of Canadian Merchant Service Providers. I have used Paymentech for about 6 years without a single complaint, I moved to TD Merchant services because we have our commercial accounts there and since 2009 have not had a single bad moment. We have a virtual zero charge back history and do approx. $550,000.00 per year in CC business. I have had a presentation by a reseller of Evalon who is used by Costco and there are showing savings to me of approx. 20%. I have not seen their contract yet. In investigating I find HELCIM comes up as highly rated and has a Calgary Canada office approx. 120 miles from my location. Apart from the Premium card charges, that are killing us,( it bothers me that Merchants are paying for all the winter holidays and air flights “earned” by Cardholders through the elevated fees and the public does not generally know this) we are very happy with TD. Excellent service. It would be nice to see some genuine third party reviews of strictly Canadian Merchant suppliers.

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                                                                                                                                                                          Hedi Gossweiler

                                                                                                                                                                          Thanks for the info. I would like to know where you put TD Bank merchant services.

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                                                                                                                                                                            Tom DeSimone

                                                                                                                                                                            Hi Hedi,

                                                                                                                                                                            We haven’t reviewed that company in-depth, but in general going directly through a consumer bank brand does not yield the best contracts. Again, not sure about TD Bank, but that’s my overall experience.

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                                                                                                                                                                              Hedi

                                                                                                                                                                              Hi Simone

                                                                                                                                                                              Thanks for your response.
                                                                                                                                                                              I was with TD and was wondering how it is compared. We got good service over the years but they are very expensive.
                                                                                                                                                                              One year ago I switched or got tricked to First Data, through Quantum…. the worst experience ever! They promised one year free rent on the unit. I also use a Wireless unit for trade-shows, it constantly didn’t work, lost a lot of money plus there are always charges I don’t understand.
                                                                                                                                                                              I read trough you reviews and will sign up with Helcim, they seem to be a good way to go plus they are Canadian.

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                                                                                                                                                                                Tom DeSimone

                                                                                                                                                                                Helcim is a very reliable option. I’ve sent dozen of Canadian merchants over there and have heard only good experiences. They offer a very good standard contract and rates. Let us know how it goes!

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                                                                                                                                                                                  Hedi Gossweiler

                                                                                                                                                                                  Hello again

                                                                                                                                                                                  I switched to Helcim and am very happy with the service. The statements are clear, no hidden fees. I had to call them on a charge and they took care of it right away. I am using for a side business a seasonal unit. The charge there compared to the one before is very reasonable. The only drawback with Helcim is, they only answer the phone during office hours. I can call Evalon anytime but the wait can be long. So far I didn’t have any problems.
                                                                                                                                                                                  As to First Data, to stop the bleeding I blocked my account so they can’t take out money anymore. I had a few phone calls from collection agencies, I explained to them how I was treaded, that stopped. I got few nasty letters threatening with court and a lot of charges, those I ignored. I haven’t heard anything in the last few weeks, I hope they gave up.
                                                                                                                                                                                  So all in all Helcim is a good solution and my life is back to normal.
                                                                                                                                                                                  By the way I have three units sitting here, two are wireless one hasn’t even been activated. They are all chip equipped, is there a place I can sell them?

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