Helcim Review 2023: Features, Pricing, Alternatives

We’ll break down the offerings of Helcim — including features, pricing, reviews and top alternatives.
Randa Kriss
By Randa Kriss 
Edited by Sally Lauckner

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4.5

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What is Helcim?

Helcim is a merchant services provider that offers transparent, competitive pricing and an all-inclusive platform. Although it may not be the most affordable option for businesses with low sales volumes, it's an excellent choice for most other small-business owners. Here's what you need to know.

Deciding factors

Payment processing fees

  • Interchange plus 0.3% and 8 cents per in-person transaction (if <$25,000 in monthly card transactions).

  • Interchange plus 0.5% and 25 cents per online transaction (if <$25,000 in monthly card transactions).

  • Interchange plus 0.5% and 25 cents per manually keyed transaction (if <$25,000 in monthly card transactions).

  • 0.5% plus 25 cents for ACH payments.

Monthly fee

$0.

Hardware cost

$109 for a mobile card reader (with stand).

$79 for a mobile thermal printer.

Accepted payment methods

Debit/credit cards, ACH, international.

Contract length

No contracts.

Customer support

Phone, email and online ticket system.

How does Helcim work?

As a full-service merchant services provider, Helcim offers several features and capabilities, including:

  • Merchant accounts, which allow you to accept credit and debit card payments from customers.

  • A mobile app for iOS or Android, which allows you to accept payments on the go.

  • Virtual terminals, which allow you log in from any device that has internet access and accept credit card transactions over the phone or in other ways.

  • Payment gateways. Helcim offers hosted payment pages, which allow you to accept payments, register customers, add QR codes, save credit cards and subscribe users to recurring payment plans on your business's website. The payment gateway API can integrate with a shopping cart, billing system or compatible third-party software.

Helcim

Helcim
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Shop Now

on Helcim's website

How much does Helcim cost?

Payment processing

Helcim operates on an interchange-plus pricing structure, meaning you pay a markup over the interchange rate. Interchange rates are set by card issuers rather than payment processors, and they can change over time. Here are the resulting payment processing fees for Helcim:

  • Interchange plus 0.3% and 8 cents per in-person transaction (if less than $25,000 in monthly card transactions).

  • Interchange plus 0.5% and 25 cents per online transaction (if less than $25,000 in monthly card transactions).

  • Interchange plus 0.5% and 25 cents per manually keyed transaction (if less than $25,000 in monthly card transactions).

  • 0.5% plus 25 cents for ACH payments.

Helcim offers volume discounts.

Hardware

  • $109 for a mobile card reader (with stand).

  • $79 for a mobile thermal printer.

You’ll have to purchase other point-of-sale hardware (such as cash drawers or barcode scanners) from third-party sellers, and you may be able to use hardware you already own.

Other fees

Helcim does not charge many of the typical fees associated with merchant service providers, and it's transparent about the few fees it does charge:

  • $5 for any returned or rejected ACH or EFT/PAD transactions.

  • $15 for chargebacks, though but Helcim will reimburse this if you win the dispute.

Helcim pros

Transparency

Helcim’s processing fees are readily available on its website, and it breaks down individual processing costs. Although the interchange-plus rates may not be the most affordable for all businesses, this transparent model is one of the best options you’ll receive from a merchant service provider.

All-inclusive platform

Unlike many other payment processing companies, Helcim provides merchant accounts, credit card processing, point-of-sale software, payment gateways, invoicing and business management tools.

Helcim cons

Potentially expensive for low-volume businesses

Helcim’s pricing is probably not the most cost-effective for smaller businesses that process lower volumes each month. Smaller businesses also might not need all of Helcim's features and might save money by using another provider.

Helcim alternatives

Square: Free software option and free hardware

Pricing:

  • 2.6% plus 10 cents for in-person transactions (2.5% plus 10 cents with Retail Plus plan).

  • 2.9% plus 30 cents for online transactions or invoices without a card on file.

  • 3.5% plus 15 cents for manually keyed transactions or card-on-file invoices.

Why we like it: Square offers a number of tailored software options — Square Point-of-Sale, Square for Retail, Square for Restaurants and Square Appointments. You also get one free magstripe card reader for processing in-person payments. You buy additional hardware directly from Square. The most basic software option, Square Point-of-Sale, is free and includes inventory and employee management capabilities.

Square
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Shop Now

on Square's website

Payment Depot: Unique pricing structure

Pricing:

  • Interchange + $0 per transaction, plus $59 month for Starter plan.

  • Interchange + $0 per transaction, plus $79 month for Starter Plus plan.

  • Interchange + $0 per transaction, plus $99 month for Growth plan.

Why we like it: Payment Depot offers merchant accounts, payment gateways, virtual terminal, POS system software and more. Payment Depot, which is owned by Stax, does not charge a markup on card network interchange fees, which is unlike its competitors. Customers only pay the interchange rate for each transaction, and Payment Depot only gets the monthly subscription fee.

Accept payments without worry
See our payment provider recommendations that fit your business.

A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

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