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Helcim Inc. Review

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Helcim USA is the United States branch of Helcim, Inc. a Canadian-based payment processor. The company offers credit and debit card processing in multiple methods and actively place quotes in the CardFellow marketplace.
About this processor:









First Data, Elavon, Chase Paymentech

Acquiring Bank(s)


Elavon, U.S. Bank, Wells Fargo

As far as customer reviews go, their A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau site and a section of their website dedicated to testimonials shows many happy customers. But choosing the right processor for your business depends on the right mix of variables: fees, features, and service. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at Helcim’s available services, credit card processing rates and fees, reviews, and more.


Helcim was founded in Calgary, Alberta, Canada in 2006 and expanded to offer services (as Helcim USA) in the United States in 2013.  Helcim is a registered ISO and MSP of Elavon, but your account is handled through Helcim.

What can Helcim do?

Helcim offers a range of payment processing and related services, explained below.

In Person Processing

Take credit and debit cards from all the major brands, including Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express. If you have a contactless (NFC) capable terminal, you can also accept newer technologies like Apple Pay. Helcim boasts 2-day funding so that you have access to your money quickly.

Virtual Terminal Processing

Want to use your existing computer to accept credit and debit cards? It’s perfect for mail order, telephone order, and any businesses that don’t need a customer-facing credit card machine. The Helcim virtual terminal is web-based, and offers several convenient features, including a hosted payment page for security, a card vault, and recurring billing options. A $25/month fee applies for the virtual terminal option.

Mobile Processing

If you’re looking to take payments using your smartphone or tablet, Helcim can help with that, too. A payment app is available for both Android and Apple systems using a Wifi or 3G cell connection. An option card reader is available to allow you to swipe transactions instead of manually keying them in. A $30/month fee applies for smartphone processing.

Gift Cards

If you’re looking to take advantage of the popularity of gift cards, Helcim has you covered. They offer electronic gift cards in two packages, starter and enterprise. The starter package includes 2-color printing on your gift cards, usability at stores and online, and monthly balance reporting. The enterprise package includes the features of the starter package plus the option for fully-customized cards (minimum of 1,000 cards applies), the option to support the card at multiple branches of your store, and online customer balance inquiry capabilities for your customers’ convenience. The gift card programs have fees separate from card processing. It costs $0.15 per activation and transaction. A one-time set up fee and a monthly fee also applies:

Starter package
Setup fee: $25
Monthly fee: $8

Enterprise package
Setup fee: $99
Monthly fee: $20

The costs of the cards and printing depends on the number of gift cards you order. Cards start at $1.15 each for orders of 100 cards. Cards are available in batches of 100, 200, 500, 1,000, 2,500, and 10,000+, with the lowest cost set at $0.35 each when ordering 10,000 or more.

As always, prices are subject to change, so be sure to review any pricing documents before agreeing.

How much does it cost?

Helcim USA utilizes cost+, also called interchange plus pricing, which passes the interchange cost directly to you and charges a separate markup on total processed volume. Helcim USA doesn’t charge higher ”non-qualified” rates on transactions.

Interchange plus true pass-through pricing is one of the current requirements for certified quotes in the CardFellow marketplace. Helcim USA is authorized to place certified quotes at CardFellow. The most accurate way to determine what Helcim will cost your business is to get a quote directly from your CardFellow account. If you don’t have a CardFellow account yet, you can sign up for free in just a few minutes.

To give you an idea of costs, Helcim USA posts pricing on its website for retail, virtual terminal, and mobile transaction processing methods. The rate for each processing method varies, but the monthly fee is as follows:

Monthly Fee
Retail: $12
Virtual Terminal: $25
Mobile: $30

There is no set up fee for any processing method.

Retail Pricing

Helcim USA advertises pricing for retail as the interchange rate plus card-brand fee plus the Helcim Cost+ fee of .180%. Interchange rates and card-brand fees are listed by card type. Monthly fees also apply.

Virtual Terminal Pricing

Helcim USA advertises pricing for virtual terminals as the interchange rate plus card-brand fee plus the Helcim Cost+ fee of .360%. Interchange rates and card-brand fees are listed by card type. Monthly fees also apply.

Mobile Pricing

Helcim USA advertises pricing for virtual terminals as the interchange rate plus card-brand fee plus the Helcim Cost+ fee of .180%. Interchange rates and card-brand fees are listed by card type. Monthly fees also apply.

Note that these rates and fees are subject to change. Additionally, these are not quotes from Helcim through CardFellow. To get a fully-disclosed quote specific to your business from Helcim and be eligible for CardFellow’s protections, sign in to your CardFellow account or sign up for free.

Is there a contract with a termination fee?

Helcim USA advertises no cancellation fees for accounts, and specifies that merchants are not locked into equipment leases.

Helcim USA also offers seasonal accounts and will not charge fees in months your business is dormant.

Can I get equipment from Helcim?

Yes. Helcim USA rents terminals on a month-to-month basis, meaning you can change or return equipment without penalty. If you already own equipment, Helcim USA offers complimentary equipment reprogramming for a variety of models to allow you to continuing using your current terminals. If for some reason your terminal can’t be reprogrammed, Helcim offers a lower-cost equipment exchange.

For purchasing or leasing new in-person equipment, Helcim offers Ingenico wired or wireless credit and debit terminals.

The main highlights of the terminals are:

  • Chip and PIN (EVM) ready
  • High-speed internet
  • Pin-based debit capable
  • Optional customer tip prompts
  • Clerk/server IDs and reports

Additional options vary by model, including full-color LCD screens and wireless 3G.

For mobile processing, Helcim uses MagTek card readers usable with iPhone, iPad, and Android smartphones. It features:

  • Credit card encryption before it enters your device
  • A headphone jack connection for use in multiple devices
  • Tokenization and authentication
  • Real-time transaction processing using WiFi or 3G
  • Optional manual credit card entry
  • Email receipts

Using the MagTek reader requires a downloadable payment app.

Is it secure?

Helcim USA is PCI Level-1 compliant and can help you achieve required compliance for your business. They have partnered with Sysnet and Trustwave to make PCI compliance easy and affordable. The PCI compliance program is built into your monthly fee. When you achieve compliance, Helcim USA provides you with a $100,000 breach coverage in the form of fee mitigation.

What do people think about Helcim?

Helcim Inc. has been accredited with the Better Business Bureau since 2014 and boasts an A+ rating as of November 2015. The high score is undoubtedly due to the fact that Helcim has had no complaints lodged with the BBB in the past 3 years. Helcim has one listing on Ripoff Report, but the date of the complaint is 2011, indicating the complaint is about the Canadian Helcim and not Helcim USA. Helcim has only positive Yelp reviews, but the reviews predate Helcim USA and are referring to Helcim Canada.

Positive reviews focus on price transparency and helpful service, though the one negative review states that rates went up unexpectedly.

Helcim According to Helcim Customers

A section of Helcim’s website is devoted to customer testimonials. Reviewers praise Helcim’s professionalism, fast response time, lack of contracts, ease of use, affordable pricing, and straightforward answers. Reviews include the reviewer’s name and location, sometimes including business name as well.

Helcim and CardFellow

Helcim is authorized to place certified quotes in the CardFellow marketplace. They are legally bound to follow the terms set by CardFellow and designed to benefit you, our clients. These terms prohibit cancellation fees, require a lifetime rate lock, require fully-disclosed quotes that use interchange-plus true pass-through pricing, and more. Helcim quotes placed through CardFellow are backed by our legal agreement and include periodic statement monitoring from CardFellow to ensure that your pricing stays as quoted.

Have you used Helcim? Leave a review!


Unlike general web reviews, verified reviews are posted by businesses that have chosen the processor's quote through CardFellow's marketplace, and CardFellow has confirmed with the processor that the business is using its service. Businesses can update verified reviews at any time to ensure the review accurately reflects the processor's performance over time.

From Alixe, on Jul 10, 2017


Very satisfied with Helcim. Rates easy to understand and exactly as quoted. Payments are timely and machine runs smoothly.


Unlike verified reviews which are validated by CardFellow, web reviews can be submitted by anyone viewing this profile. While we validate these reviews as best we can, CardFellow does not verify that a reviewer is using or has used a processor's service.

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