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Helcim Review 2024: Features, Pricing, Alternatives

Helcim’s volume discounts and interchange-plus pricing can help high-volume businesses, in particular, save money.
By Randa Kriss, Hillary Crawford
Last updated on April 22, 2024
Edited byChristine Aebischer
Fact checked and reviewed

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Our Take

The bottom line:

Helcim is a merchant services provider that offers transparent, competitive online and in-person payment processing rates, volume discounts and an all-inclusive platform. When customers use cards with low interchange rates, Helcim passes those interchange savings to the merchant, instead of charging a consistent flat-rate per transaction.
Full review


Payment processing fees
0.40% + 8¢ plus interchange, in-person; 0.50% + 25¢ plus interchange, online.
Monthly fee
Learn more

on Helcim's website

Pros & Cons


  • No contracts or termination fees.
  • Volume-based discounts.
  • Interchange-plus pricing model.


  • No same-day deposit options available.

Full Review

Helcim provides merchant accounts, credit card processing, point-of-sale (POS) systems, invoicing and business management tools. Its POS hardware lets merchants accept in-person payments, while its hosted payments page and payment gateway options allow businesses to accept transactions online. You can also register customers, 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 has a virtual terminal for manually typing customers’ credit card info in a web browser, too. This is especially convenient for businesses that accept credit card transactions over the phone.
In terms of pricing, Helcim operates on an interchange-plus pricing structure, meaning you pay a markup on top of the interchange rate. There are also volume discounts for businesses exceeding $50,000 in monthly credit card sales. Helcim does not charge monthly subscription fees or PCI compliance fees and is transparent about the few fees it does charge, which include the following:
  • $5 for any returned or rejected ACH or EFT/PAD transactions.
  • $15 for chargebacks, though Helcim will reimburse this if you win the dispute.

Helcim is best for businesses that:

  • Can benefit from volume discounts: Helcim places businesses in one of five pricing tiers, depending on their monthly sales volume. Businesses doing more than $50,000 in monthly credit card sales are charged smaller interchange markups. Those markups continue to improve as monthly sales volume increases. 
  • Are looking for an alternative to flat-rate processors: Flat-rate processing is predictable and easy to understand, but it doesn’t charge you any less per transaction when a customer uses a card with a lower interchange rate. On the other hand, Helcim passes these savings along to you. Its interchange-plus pricing model is less predictable than flat-rate ones, but it can ultimately help your business save money, especially as your sales grow. 

Deciding factors

Payment processing model
Payment processing fees
  • Interchange plus 0.4% and 8 cents per in-person transaction (if $50,000 or less in monthly card transactions).
  • Interchange plus 0.5% and 25 cents per online or manually keyed transaction (if $50,000 or less in monthly card transactions).
  • 0.5% plus 25 cents for ACH payments.
Monthly fee
Hardware cost
  • $99 for a mobile card reader (with stand).
  • $329 for a stand-alone terminal with built-in thermal printer.
Contract length
No contracts.
Customer support
Phone and email support 7 a.m.-5 p.m. MT on weekdays and 9 a.m.-5 p.m. MT on Saturdays.

Where Helcim stands out

No contracts

Unlike some of its competitors, Helcim doesn’t make businesses commit to a long-term contract to access its services. The main costs are the processing fees (interchange rates plus Helcim’s markup). That means if Helcim isn’t the right fit for your business, it should be simple to switch to a different credit card processing company.

Volume-based discounts

Helcim’s margins begin to decrease once your business processes more than $50,000 per month in credit card sales. Businesses processing more than $100,000, $500,000 and $1,000,000 per month can access even greater discounts.

Interchange-plus pricing

Helcim is transparent about the margins it charges you on top of interchange rates, which are determined by card networks (not payment processing companies). When a customer uses a card with a lower interchange rate, it gets passed straight along to your business. Alternatively, flat-rate processors charge the same fee regardless of interchange rate fluctuations.

Where Helcim falls short

No same-day deposit options available

Unlike some competitors that offer same-day and next-day deposits, Helcim deposits funds into your account within two business days. If your business’s cash flow is tight, this delay could cause issues. Regardless, make sure to factor potential delays into your cash flow projections so that you can plan for them.

Alternatives to Helcim


Why we like it: Square offers a number of tailored software options including Square POS, Square for Retail, Square for Restaurants and Square Appointments. You can receive one free magstripe card reader for processing in-person payments and buy additional hardware directly from the company. The most basic software option, Square POS, is free and includes inventory and employee management capabilities. Read our full Square review for more information.


Why we like it: Stax charges interchange rates plus a smaller markup than Helcim, but merchants must pay a monthly fee to access these lower rates. This subscription-based pricing model can help high-volume businesses save in processing costs. The subscription fees, however, may not be worth it for lower-volume businesses. Read our full Stax review for more information.
A version of this article was first published on Fundera, a subsidiary of NerdWallet.

Learn more

on Helcim's website


NerdWallet’s ratings of payment processing providers rewards companies whose products and services are priced well and work in a variety of payment scenarios, among other criteria.
Ratings are based on weighted averages of scores in several categories, including overall cost, hardware and software options, system capabilities, customer service, contract requirements and integrations. Learn more about how we rate payment processing providers.
These ratings are a guide, but fees, hardware, software and contract requirements can vary widely from business to business and provider to provider. We encourage you to shop around and compare several providers.
NerdWallet does not receive compensation for any reviews. Read our editorial guidelines.

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