Beanstream Internet Commerce Review

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Date Established
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada


In fall of 2015 Beanstream was acquired by Bambora, a Swedish payments company. While it’s still too soon to say what the long-term impact of this acquisition will be, so far things are going well!

Canadian merchant accounts have historically not been very competitive with US-based accounts. While the current industry trends seem to point toward expanding into the international market, you’ll still find fairly few service providers specializing in Canadian merchants. Beanstream, however, has helped keep the Canadian market competitive and progressive for over a decade, working to pioneer ecommerce merchant services as we know them today. So while Beanstream truly excels at Canadian processing, the company has no trouble supporting US-based merchants either, offering solid competition with internet-savvy payment companies like Stripe and Braintree.

How qualified is Beanstream? Well, for starters, they’ve provided white-label solutions for prestigious companies like First Data Canada and TD Bank. It’s a pretty big deal when highly successful businesses in the payments sector are turning to you for solutions. For those of you who don’t know, a white label solution is when one company (like First Data) commissions another company (like Beanstream) to provide a product or service. That service is then marketed under the paying company’s name (First Data in this case).

Despite the acquisition by DIgital River in 2013, and then again by Bambora in 2015, I have seen absolutely no evidence that this compromised the service in any way. You’ll still get the same high-quality service as we’ve seen in the past. They offer month-to-month agreements, competitive rates and uncomplicated fees along with adept customer support and honest sales practices. Good. Deal.

A few more fee disclosures and public discussion of pricing models (like interchange-plus) would be nice. I’d also like to see a solid knowledgebase/FAQ developed, as it is conspicuously absent at the moment. Still, end of the day, big picture, Beanstream is an industry leader in terms of service quality and customer satisfaction. For Canadian ecommerce merchants, don’t even give it another thought. This is the company for you. And for other merchants, Beanstream is well worth considering if you need an internet-intensive, developer friendly payments solution.

I’m keeping Beanstream at a perfect 5-star rating, and I see no signs of this changing in the near future. Check out the rest of the review for more details!

Products and Services:

Beanstream offers a set of products and services geared toward all ecommerce businesses along with solutions for small in-person sellers who can get by with a mobile setup. Overall their offerings are high quality.

  • eCommerce payment processing: While you could use Beanstream for retail, card-present processing, that’s not really their gig. They set up ecommerce accounts exceptionally well, however, and have specialized in this sort of account for over a decade. Their new mobile processing system is the exception to this rule, since it is certainly conducive to card-present processing.
  • Payment gateway: This is covered in-house, and can be utilized with a merchant account from another processor if you’d like. This include a virtual terminal, so you can process cards from any internet connected computer.
  • International processing: For US-based merchants, Beanstream supports up to 140 currencies, and will set up accounts in Canada or the US.
  • Mobile/limited use processing: This type of account is the go-to service for low-volume merchants, with more and more service providers offering it in this capacity. With this service, you do not actually get a merchant account, you just get access to processing. This is how Square works also, and many other mobile processors. While initial account stability suffers under this model, it’s a smart and economical option if you don’t process much.
  • Developer tools: This includes their Developer Portal and APIs. While Beanstram doesn’t market this as forcefully as Stripe or Braintree, they do, without a doubt, offer very capable tools here.
  • SproutPOS
  • Recurring billing service
  • Interac/debit support
  • Advanced fraud tools
  • Online event registration services
  • Shopping cart set up

Fees and Rates:

Beanstream doesn’t disclose many rates or fees on their site, leading me to believe that they are not completely standardized. As far as transaction fees and rates are concerned, this makes sense to me. Your business type, location and processing volume will dictate this. I would have liked to see some more fee disclosures, however, but can forgive this because they actually charge very few fees. Many of their services are optional, offered ala carte, so you’ll only be charged for what you use.

Beanstream offers two different processing service models:

1. Pay as You Go (Canada only)

  • 2.65% card present (swiped)
  • 2.80% + $0.30 card-not-present
  • 2.90% + $0.30 for card-not-present USD transactions
  • No setup fee
  • No monthly fee
  • No monthly minimum
  • No early termination fee

Since this option is entirely pay-as-you-go, it’s a good choice for merchants who don’t need to process much or who only process sporadically. The rates are in line with other similar aggregated accounts (where you don’t open your own merchant account), maybe even a little better than average. You have to consider, though, that this does not include the $50 card reader that you’ll need in order to pay the “card present” rates.

2. Enterprise Pricing

  • Customized, undisclosed pricing
  • No monthly minimum
  • No early termination fee
  • Recurring billing
  • EFT payments

With this option you get a traditional merchant account. Your monthly fees, set up fees and processing rates will all depend on your business and the services you need, but I can say with confidence that the cost will be competitive and overall a good value. Your account rep will most likely want to set you up with a tiered pricing model here, but I’d suggest asking for interchange-plus, even though it might come with a monthly minimum sales amount. Beanstream does not disclose any standardized rates or fees publicly for this type of account.


  • 2.25% per EMV transaction
  • $0.10 per Interac debit transaction
  • 2.8% + $0.15 for manual and swiped transactions
  • $19 per month for Bluetooth chip & PIN terminal rental

This is pricing especially for businesses that sign up with Beanstream for SproutPOS

Contract Length and Early Termination Fee:

Since the Beanstream contract has no early termination fee, it is ostensibly month-to-month. You’ll sign an agreement for about three years, but you can cancel any time with no penalty. Still, that said, always read the contract before signing, ad make sure a termination fee waiver is attached if needed.

Sales and Advertising Transparency:

Despite an overall lack of specific disclosures about pricing and fees, the marketing put forth by Beanstream far exceeds the industry standard in terms of honesty and quality, and overall the company appears to act with integrity in the sales department. They don’t make a whole lot of promises or disclosures publicly, but sales reps for this company have a reputation for honesty and fairness.

Customer Service and Technical Support:

Phone support is available weekdays from 6AM to 9PM, Saturdays from 8AM to 4:30PM, and Sundays/holidays from 7AM to 3:30PM (all times are in PST). You can get in touch with the company publicly via Facebook or Twitter for first-line, informal support.

Surprisingly, I couldn’t find an FAQ or knowledgebase anywhere on the Beanstream site. After a web search, I found this secondary FAQ, but it doesn’t look up to date.

Negative Reviews and Complaints:

You’ll have a hard time finding any complaints about Beanstream on the web. The have only one complaint with the BBB in the past three years, which has earned them an A+ rating. For a company of this size, that’s pretty remarkable. The rest of the web is likewise devoid of complaints against Beanstream. To keep a reputation this clean for over a decade takes both quality service and excellent customer support. There is simply no other way to appear this flawless – at least not that I know of.

Positive Reviews and Testimonials:

While I wish Beanstream would provide some intensive case studies or at least quality testimonials, they do at least offer a very solid collection of key clients. Some of these clients do not use the Beanstream processing service, clearly, since among them are First Data Canada and TD Bank. Still, to see such high profile and industry-elite businesses entrusting in the solutions offered by Beanstream boosts my confidence big time.

The company started a “Showcase” blog, showing off some of the developer-driven achievements of their partners and clients. So far only one post has been made, but hopefully, it will flesh out in the future.

I had a very hard time tracking down user reviews for Beanstream’s services. If you have experience with or insight into this company, please leave us your feedback. Make sure to review our comment policy beforehand to ensure your remarks are publishable.

Final Verdict:

It’s easy for me to pigeonhole Beanstream as a Canadian ecommerce provider – and they ­­do provide for that demographic exceptionally well – but really, this is an all around high-quality company with services and marketing that far exceed the industry standard. They’ll work with companies of all sizes with the same level of fairness and respect, and provide solutions for complex technical problems far beyond the standard payment processing necessities.

I’d float Beanstream’s name out among businesses like Braintree and Stripe. Lack of name recognition and hype aside, Beanstream works hard to provide a developer-friendly platform. They’ve been working with big, successful business to provide ecommerce-based solutions since 2000 – which is a whole lot longer than most internet-intensive providers today. And through all of that innovation and growth, they’ve barely had a single complaint registered anywhere. That is a serious achievement that should not go unnoticed.

I highly recommend Beanstream to all internet-based business, especially those in Canada. Anyone looking to process cards in a card not present environment needs to give this company serious consideration. And those interested in developer-friendly options should put Beanstream on the shortlist as well. We’ve only given out a handful of 5-star rating to merchant account providers – and Beanstream is one of them. Check them out.

Thanks for reading. Please let me know your thoughts about or experiences with this company in our comments section!

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Tom DeSimone
Tom loves asking tough questions and getting straight answers, so he has a lot of fun calling payment processing companies for Merchant Maverick to cut through their smoke and mirrors and find the real deals. He has run a full-time editorial business from his home in New York’s Hudson Valley since 2010 and could not imagine a better job. When not busy writing about merchant services and keeping credit card processors honest, Tom enjoys backpacking in the mountains.
Tom DeSimone
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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.

    Gaetano Moccia

    Organization Name: lorenzaonline

    Something funny is going on at Bambora aka Beanstream in February they were withdrawing money from my account and they told me that it was a charge back and I never saw it coming never heard hide or hair until the money was taken out. Finally they told me it was from an account that was dormant I had not used it for 2 years and shut the site down a year ago so how did that happen? still not sure but they told me that they will refund my money on on April 15 still the money never came then they told me that it would be on April 25th so I am waiting. I looked at my bank account April 20th and another withdraw now what are we merchants pay for there takeover with creative bridge financing.I Want my money period

    • Organization Name: lorenzaonline

    Organization Name: Bambora

    Hi Gaetano,

    We are sorry to hear about your recent experience. While we would never charge for an account that has been closed, sometimes mistakes can be made for a dormant account that we still have on file. Again, we are sorry that you had to experience a delay in the refund, but we have been able to confirm internally that the money has found its way safely back to you. If you have any further questions, please contact us.

    We wish you the best of luck,

    • Organization Name: Bambora
    Matthew Robinson

    In april this year the large majority of our customers had historical payments, previously processed by us, debited from there account.This resulted in some customers having thousands of pounds debited from there account in one hit with no prior notice.We was informed that Beanstream had re-processed a large number of previous transactions due to a technical issue.This had a substantial negative effect on our business. Our customer service department was inundated with customer complaints for 2 weeks.We had over 30 customers cancel with us leading to us losing an estimated £6000 worth of payments in May.Loss of future revenue from the customers that had cancelled.In May we received 29 chargebacks that directly resulted from the Beanstream error.We are nowstruggling to gain a new payment merchant facility due to volume of chargeback in May.To date we haven’t even had full explanation of what happened or apology from Beanstream.

      Jonah Brown

      SproutPOS is not worth getting. Use Square for a POS and get a Debit/Credit reader from a provider like Helcim. It has bad formatting and it took several emails just to have receipts the items purchased. The online dashboard is just as bad.I just wrote my 12th request for a full refund and they keep delaying the email saying they are looking into it. There is no Terms of conditions available online or Refund policy. Although they provide information saying their merchants should do this: I did finally get to see the termas and conditions after 3 email requests to see it.Customer service up to the refund request was good and quick.I ended up switching to Helcim. Great company.I you choose to use SproutPOS, don’t buy it! Getting a refund is an apparent pain. Ask for their refund policy and terms and conditions before you do anything.


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

        Jonah Brown

        They finally gave me my refund.


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


          Hi Jonah,

          Sorry to hear all the trouble you had with sproutPOS. With it being in beta we did have a few kinks to work out, but that isn’t any excuse, so we do apologize. We have listened to your feedback and have since hosted our terms and conditions on the new sproutPOS website and made our refund policy more clear.

          Thanks for the feedback. Wish you the best of luck,

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


            We’ve used Beanstream for the last two years, at my developer’s request. There is a ludicrous amount of paperwork compared to any other processor that I’ve dealt with, getting a response from a human that sounds like anything but a well-trodden excuse is impossible, and they seem to look for any opportunity to have me sign off on higher rates whenever I am requesting a change (for instance adding USD processing somehow triggered a document with triple my current monthly rate for CAD processing). Maybe this was once a worthwhile company, but I think those days have passed. I shall be taking my business elsewhere.


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


              Yikes! It sounds like we dropped the ball. We apologise, that is not how we want our merchants to feel or be treated. We are working to nix all paper apps and streamline the onboarding process with our online web signup. I couldn’t look up your file without your last names so have limited information on your support and sales profile. If you would like us to explore your case further please contact us.

              We wish you the best of luck,

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

                Rob Oswin

                After 12 years in business together, I am presently having a dispute with Beanstream and they literally keep dropping my calls??? I am on the 4th call now trying to get a refund, but I guess they don’t want to talk about it… Not cool Beanstream, Keep your money!


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


                  Sorry about that! That was not cool, we have issues with our phone lines for a few days back in November but the issue has since be resolved. We are really sorry about the extra hassle you went through to get your refund. We have also enabled live web chat to avoid this kind of situation again!

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


                    Beanstream is the biggest joke! After spending thousands of dollars with them, they realize that their system was approving transactions without actually having the funds. What are they going to do about their faulty system? Absolutely nothing, and our business is taking a substantial loss. Do yourself a favor, avoid Beanstream, you’re better off paying a bit more to avoid huge losses down the road. Customer service = 0/5. Accountability = 0/5. The first issue we come across, they leave us hanging. AVOID BEANSTREAM.

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


                      We been using beanstream for over 3 years staff loves it and client have no problem , so we don’t have to worry about payment process !More time to take care of other things !Sam


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

                        Steve Walsh

                        I have used Beanstream for over 8 years and have found them to be great. My only criticism would be they hang onto your money for too long, they deposit the funds into your account at 12 midnight of day 3 so basically 4 days, which for me is too long. Rates are negotiable depending on sales volume.


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

                          Steve Krenz

                          We have been setting up our merchant account with BeanStream, and building our store for the last several months. We are just now opening up our store for business and the first sale we get back was declined because Beanstream doesn’t accept Discover or American Express since we are a US based company. WHAT?!! We’ve been going back and forth for months and this was never brought up. Beanstream’s rates are very competitive and had great reviews so I was excited about working with them, but this has changed everything.


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


                            I have used these guys as my gateway for 4 years now with not one complaint, and recently reviewing my processor for a change (chasepaymentech) Beanstream was very helpful in this matter. The on-line system is fairly easy, reporting is well done, really no complaints.Do shop around for Beanstream partners for a good rate.This review was spot on.


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

                              jim peddle

                              Thanks for the writeup on this company and please update as you get more data.

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

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