Finding a payment processor that does not deal in long term contracts, offers transparent pricing and offers adequate customer service is rare in the industry. One would think that these should be standard in today’s payment industry, but most merchant service providers don’t have a customer-centric mindset in the modern payment landscape. Payment processors also tend to bind their clients into a long contract and make it difficult to cancel, leading many businesses to feel trapped by exploitative terms set by providers.
Helcim is amongst the providers in the market that have a relatively comfortable set of pricing and terms for low-risk merchants. It was founded in 2009, with its headquarters in Alberta, Canada and Seattle, Washington. Their biggest rival is Square, who is also known for their transparent terms and cheap processing for small or seasonal businesses. While Helcim is regarded as one of the most preferable processors in the market, it seems too good to be true. Does a processor as young as Helcim deserve the praise it is getting? This Helcim Payments review will cover it all.
Services by Helcim
Helcim provides complete payment processing from in-person to remote, online transactions. However, Helcim is not a direct processor and instead uses the services of a third-party processor, in this case, Elavon. Below is a review of some of their common services.
Helcim registers the merchant account with Elavon, who handles all payment processing and account management, with business necessities such as monthly statements and fee breakdowns provided to merchants by Helcim.
Virtual Terminal and eCommerce options
Helcim offers a virtual terminal for all commerce-based needs of merchants, from taking orders through the phone to their website. It also serves as a good backup for if a POS system goes down and the merchant cannot use their usual device.
Helcim offers several features for merchants looking to customize their online presence. Their online store allows merchants to customize their brand using templates for everything from a hosted payment page, to a buy now button, to online food ordering features.
Helcim allows its merchants to receive payment from all around the world. Reviews by merchants show that they are satisfied with the automatic conversion of foreign currencies, but keep in mind that international payments can incur higher pricing because of cross-border fees.
Hardware by Helcim
Helcim offers its merchants all sorts of equipment necessary for retail businesses. Below are the hardware options provided by the processor:
Instead of a full-sized and bulky point-of-sale system, Helcim offers POS software. Merchants can use the software on almost any computer, smartphone or tablet connected to the internet. In customer reviews, they claimed that using this helped them save the extra cost that would go into buying equipment. However, additional hardware such as a receipt printer, cash drawer, and barcode scanner may still need to be purchased in order to make use of all these features.
Helcim offers a single card reader to cater to all sorts of card-based transactions at the merchant’s end. It is a small multifunctional device that can handle EMV, magstripe, and NFC based transactions. It easily integrates with a smartphone or a computer, and as long as merchants are using the latest version of whatever OS their device uses, the integration should be straightforward.
The card reader is truly versatile as it can work through USB, Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. All the various features allow it to be a complete solution for mobile and in-person transactions. One downfall, however, is that the card reader only works on a rechargeable battery, so make sure to keep a charger on hand at all times.
Helcim Rates and Fees
One of the best things about this brand is its commitment to interchange-plus pricing. They also offer discounted rates on top of the interchange-plus pricing, which keeps the interchange fees separate from processing fees and make it the most transparent pricing model offered in the payment industry. Like many other processors, Helcim offers lower processing fees to businesses with higher transaction volumes. This can be very fruitful for the long-term growth of the company.
Cons of Helcim
If maintaining a profitable business in the payment processing industry was possible without cutting corners, it would be more common, but several reviews on the internet show that this isn’t the case. So, naturally, Helcim has cut back on some of its offerings to sustain their profitability as a firm.
No Support for High-Risk Businesses
Helcim has limited its processing services to businesses in the low-risk industry to keep its costs and offerings attractive. High-risk merchants often come with lawsuit risks and disputes that ultimately affect the provider.
Expensive for Businesses with Low Sales Volume
If your business has a low sales volume or operates seasonally, then Helcim might not be the best option for you. Helcim’s services are targeted towards companies that are already established and profitable, making it an expensive option for businesses just starting or having a generally low sales volume.
Customer Support Problems
There is a lot of conflicting information about this on different websites. While the reviews are overwhelmingly positive on some pages, others show dissatisfied customers. This lack of a clear cut answer in itself is not a good sign.
Negative reviews about customer service claim conflicting statements between customer service representatives and extensive delays to solve problems. One review claimed they made a mistake when sending them equipment and had to wait over two months for a resolution to the issue.
The internet can often paint companies in a misleadingly positive light. Helcim does meet most of the precedents that the internet sets, such as competitive pricing and comfortable terms, but the drawbacks are neglected. This Helcim Payments review was aimed to bring all the aspects of the provider to light.
While Helcim does not offer anything too extraordinary, features such as a month-to-month contract and no termination fees should be standard across the payment industry. This makes them an adequate payment processor for well established, low-risk businesses and worth appreciating in the current payment industry climate.