helcim payments review

Helcim Payments Review: Rates, Fees, Complaints and Lawsuits [2024 Update]

Operating from U.S. and Canada, Helcim Payments is a renowned credit card processing company established in 2006 with a forte catering to online and retail companies. Headquartered in Seattle, Washington, and Calgary, Alberta, the company is a verified ISO/MSP of Elavon and the U.S. Bank National Association. Although it serves all business types, Helcim does not promote its services for high-risk businesses. Consequently, it is most suitable for small-sized companies.


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The provider’s traditional and proprietary services are designed to serve multiple industries, including healthcare, beauty, wholesale, restaurant, automotive, beauty and wellness, non-profit, software, and professional services. Helcim Payments offers tailored solutions to help small businesses grow and reach their desired goals. It promises honesty and transparency and focuses on expanding its clients’ reach while making payment processing hassle-free.

Helcim Payments aims to be loved by its clients and build their trust by prioritizing their success. Intending to establish an environment where each client feels equally valued, the provider ensures uncomplicated paperwork and a seamless setting up process. Here is a thorough Helcim Payments review covering all the pros and cons to give merchants an insight into what they are handing out their company to;

Products and Services

helcim Products and Services

The company facilitates an all-in-one platform with alternate payment method acceptance. Helcim Software includes an efficient POS system, user-friendly mobile apps, and valuable features such as inventory management, real-time tracking, and automotive invoicing. Merchants can accept EMV, NFC, and PIN entry transactions with the company’s card reader and sync all transactions to Helcim Cloud. They can access third-party integrations, including QuickBooks, Great Exposure, WooCommerce, and Magneto, and benefit from customizable online hosted stores.

Helcim consumers are offered multiple billing services such as a tax calculator, online invoicing, billing portal, subscription billing, and multi-currency acceptance. They can benefit from the company’s virtual terminals, fraud prevention tools, and payment gateway services. Helcim Payments reviews indicate that the provider’s add-on facilities include a barcode scanner, receipt printer, and cash drawer. Businesses are offered Helcim JavaScript and Helcim API to integrate their software into the company’s processing solutions.

Inventory Management

The provider helps merchants manage their day-to-day tasks and keep their business organized with its inventory management tools. It offers a product catalog with real-time reports and alerts to update consumers about product availability. Users can view this catalog from any device and sync it across all channels. This way, they can avoid shortages and always be fully stocked.

Helcim Card Vault

According to Helcim Payments reviews, merchants are offered a variety of tools to enhance their customer’s purchase experience. The Helcim card vault enables businesses to save customers’ card information and secure payment details for future purchases. Merchants can gauge shoppers’ preferences, see their purchasing habits, track orders, and create profiles. This way, they can offer a personalized shopping experience to their customers. Users can email invoices, send notifications, and import existing customers’ lists to fast-track the process.


Utilizing the saved customers’ information, consumers can send quick invoices, create purchase orders, and manage billing plans from one platform. They can add discount codes and access automatic tax calculations for each purchase. Customers can receive invoices through text or email and send online payments through their desired payment method, including debit card, credit card, or ACH bank transfer.

Reporting and Analytics

Helcim prides itself on offering time-saving services by cutting down on manual responsibilities, enabling businesses to shift their attention to more important matters. The company provides consumers with real-time analytics to track and view every aspect of the process and be well-informed about their sales, revenue, and product history. This way, a business can make an educated decision based on facts instead of relying simply on instincts and assumptions.

Virtual Terminal

Merchants without a physical store can set up an online platform to sell their products and get paid through Helcim’s virtual terminal facilities. Users who wish to receive payments remotely also benefit from this service. The virtual terminal can integrate with the company’s payment gateway and processing tools, ensuring seamless transactions.

Helcim Payments reviews show that merchants can set up recurring billing, customize receipts, access reports on chargebacks, and accept multiple payment types. They can personalize the checkout page to match their company’s theme. The provider’s virtual terminal is mobile-friendly, allowing users to shop from their internet-connected smartphones.

POS System

The provider promises hassle-free in-person payments with its tech-savvy proprietary POS system. Compatible with mobile wallets, the company’s POS is a cloud-based software accessible from any internet-enabled device. Helcim’s Smart Terminal is more convenient than a traditional POS system. It offers batch history access and facilitates employee login and inventory tracking.

Merchants can create multiple user accounts and allow customized access to secure sensitive data. Helcim’s standalone POS has a built-in printer and a consumer-friendly interface that can be set up anywhere.

Helcim Card Reader

According to Helcim Payments reviews, the provider offers its own brand of card readers to ensure clients’ ease. Merchants can turn their mobile, tablet, or computer into a modern workstation by pairing it with the company’s card reader. After installing and logging in to the company’s payment app, merchants can connect the card reader through Bluetooth and start taking payments instantly without buying expensive and gigantic hardware.

Subscription Manager

Merchants can offer free trials to their customers, set the trial’s length for each customer, and utilize the automatic email alert to start paying customers once the trial ends. They can also notify customers when the trial end is approaching and send automatic billing information. Customers can log in to a portal to check their payment history, update information, and track their subscription plan. This significantly reduces a company’s workload.

Rates and Contract Terms

The provider offers variable contract terms, and its pricing depends on the type of business it deals with. Helcim Payments reviews portray that merchants experience tailored rates based on their company’s processing volume and size. The company prides itself on charging zero% junk fees and promoting transparent pricing. However, its rates are not competitive with the affordable industry-leading payment facilitators and can be too expensive for most small businesses. Merchants with a higher processing volume are offered lower rates.

The official website displays a rate calculator where merchants can get an estimated rate quote by providing basic details such as average transaction amount, origin, business industry, and card volume. Here is a detailed breakdown of Helcim’s fees;

Contract Length

The provider binds merchants to a month-to-month agreement without any early cancelation penalties. Merchants are free from paying PCI compliance charges and monthly minimum, application, or statement fees. A month-to-month contract gives consumers the flexibility to move out anytime and not be bound to a company on long-term bases. It purveys them the convenience of exploring new opportunities without losing significant time or going through a tiring procedure usually affiliated with ending a long-term contract.

Early Termination Fee

The Helcim Payments reviews indicate that consumers are not charged an early cancelation fee for ending the agreement. They are only required to send a 30-day notice before closing their account. This is unlike most payment facilitators who either charge a hefty ETF or agree to waive the charges. In cases like the latter, merchants are usually forced to pay monthly fees long after closing their accounts.

Helcim is one of the few merchant service providers offering honest month-to-month contracts without concealing high penalties.

Pricing Model

All Helcim businesses are offered an interchange plus pricing plan regardless of the type, size, and processing history. This is the most convenient pricing model as it ensures maximum transparency, giving merchants an accurate breakdown of where their money is going. It divides the charges into two parts; the provider’s markup fee and the interchange rate paid to the credit card network. Varying from business to business, these charges are tailored for each merchant.

Volume-Based Pricing

Helcim Payments reviews portray another pricing method called volume-based pricing. According to this fee model, the company’s processing fee decreases as the consumer’s processing volume increases. The more transactions a business processes, the less fee it pays. This significantly benefits enterprise-level companies.

Processing Charges

Businesses processing less than $25,000 monthly are charged an interchange plus pricing rate of 0.3% plus 8 cents for in-person payments and 0.5% plus 25 cents for online and keyed-in transactions. Merchants whose monthly processing volume is over $50,000 are charged 25% plus 7 cents for swiped and 45% plus 20 cents for keyed-in transactions.

Helcim Payments reviews indicate a $20 monthly fee and a $15 chargeback fee. However, merchants can request to waive the monthly fee for the first six months, as it is only demanded in months when payment is processed. This leniency is favorable for new businesses.

Other Charges

Consumers pay $109 to buy a mobile card reader and $79 for a thermal printer. Rejected or returned ACH payments cost $5 for each transaction. The provider reimburses the chargeback fee once the dispute ends in the client’s favor. Merchants can use their existing equipment or buy or lease POS hardware from a third-party seller. However, they can buy the Helcim Smart Terminal for $349.

Customer Service

The company generally offers satisfying consumer support options. It facilitates in-house customer service during business hours and outsources its after-hours support. Merchants who wish to access better technical help are advised to call during business hours.

Helcim’s email support through ticketing has received positive feedback from consumers. A customer service team member (Helcim Guru) will likely respond within 24 hours. Users can access a comprehensive knowledge base on the official website. It contains all the answers and necessary information regarding the company’s services and products. Merchants can find insightful tutorials, documentation, and ‘how-tos’ about setting up Helcim’s terminals and hardware. This section of the website is quite helpful for self-service.

The official website also has a company blog, and the provider’s social media handles source basic information and updates for new merchants. 

Marketing and Sales Practices

The company does not rely on independently hired sales agents and trains an efficient and dedicated in-house sales team to market its services. Unlike ISOs and commission-based sales representatives who are more focused on signing new clients, an in-house sales team can offer honest guidance without making deceptive claims. Multiple positive Helcim Payments reviews for its sales practices back this statement.

Helcim’s official website purveys a detailed review of its pricing and services. The provider is transparent about its contract terms and offers honest rate quotes. Instead of filling pages with self-praise, the company provides authentic information to help new businesses determine what they will pay as a Helcim client.

The provider’s YouTube channel and social media handles on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter display educational videos and informative updates for merchants to understand how the company works.

Lawsuits and Fines

The provider does not display any mentionable lawsuits or FTC reports filed against it. Despite the company’s size and clientele, there have been zero government or litigious actions taken against it by its clients or former employees.

Helcim Payments Reviews and Complaints

The provider has maintained a minimum complaint rate; the number of positive feedbacks is higher than negative criticism against it. Most complaints revolving around high-risk merchant accounts seem like isolated incidents. The provider demands a chargeback and monthly fee, which can be a drawback. Users have shown displeasure about expensive rates and delayed account setup process.

A few complaints have been cited regarding the complexities of Helcim’s card reader. Merchants find it confusing to use. Other complaints revolve around unauthorized account activation, complex user interface, unreported account closing, and technical issues. A few complaints have been posted about the lack of communication. However, the company offers competitive technical support to resolve any inconvenience regarding the equipment and replies to all complainants. Merchants should expect to get such problems sorted out within a reasonable period.

Regardless of the complaint total, new merchants should be aware of the following drawbacks before deciding on signing up the provider as their payment facilitator;

Expensive Rates

Helcim Payments reviews show that the provider’s processing rates are not affordable for all businesses and can be too pricy. According to its rate criteria, the higher the processing volume, the lower the rates. Based on this practice, merchants with a low monthly processing volume are often charged a higher rate than most cost-effective payment facilitators.

Most of the company’s heavy-duty hardware and services may be useless for some small businesses. Consequently, they are better off with an account provider that meets their minimum requirements without being hard on the pocket.

Restricted to Low-Risk Businesses

The provider promotes its services for all business types, yet its competency is restricted to low to medium-risk businesses. It does not welcome high-risk companies. However, Helcim rates are too pricy for small businesses processing low-volume, and most small companies have a low to medium risk threshold. This limited approach makes it difficult for clients to determine if it is the right choice for their merchandise.

High-risk companies are advised to find a better-suiting payment facilitator equipped to handle all the complexities associated with such business types.

Inadequate Communication

The provider offers all the necessary information and partakes in ethical sales practices. However, there are a few negative Helcim Payments reviews regarding its inadequacy to communicate well with its clients. Although the complaints are rare, some consumers have written that the sales representatives failed to mention the provider’s incompetency in catering to high-risk businesses. Resultantly, hard-to-place businesses face constant inconvenience after signing up.

Understanding a company’s niche before handing out your business is strictly recommended. Sometimes merchants are stuck in the account approval stage only to get rejected after a long wait. New businesses are advised to read the company’s policies and understand all the causes for which they can be denied a merchant account.

Delayed Account Setup

Proven from Helcim Payments reviews, the provides actively promotes its instant approvals and fast account setting up process. This claim is generally accurate except under certain conditions. There are instances of an unreasonable delay in account setup. Some businesses have experienced a prolonged underwriting process forcing them to wait for weeks. Such unexpected delays disable merchants from backing out or allowing them to move forward. Sometimes, a merchant displays low personal credit or unfavorable processing history, resulting in unwarned delays for an unspecified duration.

Helcim claims to have limited control over this matter. The company’s underwriting department comes under Elavon, the back-end processor. So, the payment facilitator cannot contribute to speeding up the process.

Chargeback and Monthly Fees

Another slight drawback of choosing Helcim as your payment service provider is that it charges monthly fees and demands high chargebacks. Merchants are required to pay an amount in case of rejected or returned ETF, ACH, or PAD transactions. Even though the company refunds the money to the chargeback dispute winner, it can be inconvenient for most clients. Rejected and returned ACH transactions are inevitable in some scenarios. It is like paying a fine without a deliberate fault and can be burdensome for a business. 

Helcim Payments Employee Complaints

As gathered from the Helcim Payments reviews cited at multiple employee protection websites, the provider depicts a carefree environment where employees are encouraged to uplift each other. Yet, this positive dynamic starts to shift after a few weeks. Former employees have complained about being let go unexpectedly without a proper explanation or prior notice. Some have written about getting exceptionally positive remarks from their managers and then suddenly being fired after being told their work is not up to par.

The provider believes in micromanaging and promotes a burnout culture. Employees are expected to work extra hours without promotions and bonuses. Unfair terminations seem to be a habit. Horrible leadership, insufficient growth opportunities, tiring office hours with zero benefits, and a steep learning curve are some of the reasons behind negative remarks from Helcim’s former employees.

Better Business Bureau Rating

Helcim was accredited by Better Business Bureau in 2014 and rated A+ on the consumer review platform. This rating can be considered accurate based on the minimal number of complaints. Merchants have posted only two negative Helcim Payments reviews in the past three years, and only one complaint was located on the provider’s BBB profile. The company failed to resolve the issue to the client’s satisfaction.

The isolated complaints revolve around the provider’s inability to fast-track account approvals, unwarned account cancelation, an uncooperative help desk, and the inconvenient official website.

Even though generally, BBB ranking can be doubted since its rating criteria are unconventional. The review platform does not personally verify the reviews. Companies are rated based on their ability to respond to consumer complaints. It is unconcerned by the number of complaints resolved by the providers. Moreover, the BBB rating cannot warrant a payment facilitator’s competency. However, since there are almost no negative reviews on the platform, this BBB rating for Helcim seems accurate.

Here is the detail of the complaints posted on the company’s profile;

Unnotified Account Cancelations

A commonly cited issue on BBB and other consumer protection platforms concerns unwarned account cancelations. According to consumers, the company successfully processes their transactions for a few days and then closes their accounts without reporting any reason. Although there must be a reason behind cancelation, such actions closing without an explanation is not a positive sign.

Confusing Website

The other complainant writes that the provider’s website is not user-friendly; it is confusing and lacks simplified access to different tools. Consumers find it difficult to navigate and find the required information. Moreover, the company’s per-transaction rates are not easily understandable.


As deduced from this Helcim Payments review, the company is doing exceptionally well for most small businesses. It has received numerous positive reviews except for some negative feedback here and there. However, its tendency to delay the application process and expensive pricing can be a deal breaker for some clients. Moreover, it is not recommended for high-risk companies. Even though the payment facilitator works on resolving complaints to customers’ satisfaction, merchants are advised to read the clauses and understand company policies before signing the contract.

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