Helcim Review 2024: Pricing & POS Features Tested

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Our Verdict

Top POS software ideal for medium-sized businesses and high-volume merchants

Helcim emerges as a commendable payment processor, ideal for businesses seeking transparent pricing and a suite of integrated tools. The interchange plus pricing model provides competitive rates that become increasingly advantageous as transaction volumes increase, making Helcim an excellent choice for growing enterprises and businesses looking to scale.

This pricing model also includes features like the Fee Saver program and automatic volume discounts, underscoring Helcim’s commitment to providing customers with clear breakdowns of its pricing structure. If you’re seeking dedicated software for restaurant and retail operations, Square POS, Toast POS, TouchBistro, and Clover are top alternatives.


  • Transparent pricing
  • No hidden contracts or monthly fees
  • Inventory management capabilities
  • Volume-based pricing tiers


  • Pricing may not be the lowest on the market
  • Limited advanced features compared to more robust POS systems
  • No integrated loyalty programs

Helcim is a payment processor and point-of-sale (POS) system provider that combines affordability with efficiency, designed to cater to the transaction needs of both US and Canadian businesses. In this review, we’ll examine Helcim’s pricing structure, POS features, and overall value proposition.

What is Helcim?

Helcim is a payment processing company based in Calgary, Canada, known for its transparent pricing and user-friendly POS system. Founded in 2006, Helcim provides a range of payment solutions, including credit card processing, mobile payments, and a cloud-based POS system. The company’s built-in tools are designed to streamline payment processes, manage inventory, and track sales for small businesses across various industries.

Among credit card processing companies, Helcim stands out best for its clear pricing and integrated services that include inventory management, invoicing, and other features which we’ll explore subsequently.

Helcim POS Pricing & Plans

Helcim’s pricing structure is based on monthly transaction volume and whether the transactions are conducted in-person or online/keyed. Here’s the breakdown:

Monthly credit card volume In-person payments Keyed & online
$0 to $50,000 0.40% + $0.08 0.50% + $0.25
$50,001 to $100,000 0.35% + $0.0 0.45% + $0.20
$100,001 to $500,000 0.25% + $0.07 0.35% + $0.20
$500,001 to $1,000,000 0.20% + $0.06 0.25% + $0.15
$1,000,001 and above 0.15% + $0.06 0.15% + $0.15

Helcim offers a transparent and cost-effective credit card processing solution known as Interchange Plus pricing. With this pricing model, Helcim passes on the true cost of each transaction, which is the interchange rate set by card associations like Visa and Mastercard. They then add a nominal and transparent markup or margin on top of the interchange rate. This markup decreases as your monthly processing volume increases, providing businesses with a volume discount.

The rate structure consists of a percentage rate plus a fixed fee per transaction, with the rates being tiered based on your monthly credit card processing volume.

We love that Helcim has no monthly fees, no contracts, and no hidden charges like setup fees or termination fees, ensuring that the pricing is entirely transparent, and businesses pay only the interchange rate plus Helcim’s margin.

Helcim Key Features

Helcim provides a range of useful tools to help small businesses handle payments, manage inventory and customers, and sell online. Key features include:

Inventory ManagementOnline CheckoutCustomer ManagementInvoicingPayment & Credit Card Processing

Helcim’s inventory management system allows you to maintain a centralized product catalog that seamlessly syncs data across all sales channels, such as POS, online stores, and invoices. It provides real-time inventory tracking, low-stock alerts, and insightful reporting to help you make informed purchasing decisions.

We appreciate its organizational tools, which help you neatly structure product listings, which can be customized with variants, multiple images, and unique details. The system also allows for easy import/export of product data from spreadsheets.

Overall, it integrates tightly with Helcim’s payment solutions to create an all-in-one platform for centrally managing product data, inventory levels, and sales.

The Online Checkout feature allows you to easily set up an ecommerce store and sell your products online. You can manage your product inventory, configure shipping and pickup options, enable discounts and tipping, and view reporting analytics – all within the online store.

With a user-friendly interface optimized for desktop and mobile, your customers can conveniently browse your products, create user accounts, and complete purchases. Helcim also provides customizable payment pages, enhancing the online checkout experience by allowing you to tailor the look and feel of your payment process. This ensures it aligns with your brand identity and meets your customers’ needs for seamless and secure transactions.

The Customer Manager feature allows you to securely store and manage customer information easily. It allows you to save important details like billing and shipping addresses, tax preferences, and payment methods and quickly access customer profiles to view past orders and invoices, add notes, and track purchasing habits.

The invoicing feature allows you to create professional invoices, quotes, and purchase orders seamlessly. You can add line items from your product/service catalog and customer information from your saved list for efficiency.

Invoices can be customized with your branding and sent to customers via email or SMS with flexible payment options.

We love that Helcim offers low interchange-plus rates with no monthly fees, contracts, or hidden costs.

Helcim offers a comprehensive payment processing solution that allows you to accept various forms of payments, including credit cards, debit cards, and ACH bank transfers. With Helcim, businesses can easily accept credit card payments through a secure platform, leveraging a payment gateway API for efficient online credit card payment processing.

Their platform also includes a virtual terminal for online transactions, the ability to set up recurring payments, and a secure credit card vault for storing customer payment information. As a credit card processor, Helcim ensures compatibility with e-commerce websites and offers an all-in-one platform with tools for managing subscriptions, custom payment plans, and more, making it easier for you to handle regular billing and payments.

Helcim POS Integrations and Add-Ons

Helcim integrates with popular third-party software and platforms, including accounting software like Xero and QuickBooks, shopping carts like WooCommerce and Foxy, and billing systems like Great Exposure.

The platform also provides an API that allows you to integrate payment functionality and interact with many aspects of a Helcim account beyond just payments. In other words, you can manipulate data like product catalogs, customers, orders, and transactions, as well as integrate payment processing for credit cards, debit cards, and recurring billing.

Helcim POS Security Features

Helcim offers several helpful features to ensure the safety of your data and credit card transactions. It adheres to PCI Data Security Standards without additional fees for data encryption, tokenization, and key management.

The system includes a built-in secure credit card vault to protect and store your card information safely. Helcim also offers the Helcim Fraud Defender, a feature designed to help merchants avoid costly fraudulent transactions by providing an extra layer of security.

Helcim POS Hardware

The Helcim Smart Terminal is a standalone device with a 5.5-inch touchscreen that supports multiple payment types, including magnetic stripe cards, EMV chip cards, NFC cards, and contactless payments. It operates on a Wi-Fi connection and boasts a 6000mAh lithium-ion rechargeable battery that can last up to eight hours. You can use it to accept payments, manage inventory, and explore sales insights.

In terms of pricing, this terminal costs $329 or 5 monthly payments of $68.

For a more portable option, the Helcim Card Reader which costs $99 connects to tablets, workstations, and mobile phones via Bluetooth or USB, offering similar payment support and inventory capabilities.

However, unlike Helcim Smart Terminal, it lacks features like a built-in POS, built-in receipt printer, and employee log-in. Both devices are designed for ease of setup and use, ensuring a smooth payment process for businesses and their customers.

Helcim Alternatives & Competition

Like most credit card companies and credit card processors, Helcim charges some incidental fees, but it stands out for its transparency, security, ease of use, and superior customer service, making it a competitive option in the market.

While Helcim offers a reliable and feature-rich platform, there are several alternative payment processors available in the market that may better suit the needs of some businesses:

POS System Best For Free Version Monthly Starting Price Transaction Fee Hardware Cost Built-in Payment Processing Inventory Management
Helcim Payment Processing Yes No monthly fees Depends on monthly volume From $99 for credit card reader Yes Yes
Square Small Businesses Yes From $60/month From 2.6% + 10 cents $10 for credit card reader, terminals start at $299 Yes Yes
Shopify POS Fast-Food Restaurants No From $79/month From 2.4% to 2.7% + $0 per transaction From $49 for tap & chip card reader Yes Yes
Lightspeed Cafes No From $69/month From 2.6% + 10 cents Quote-based Yes Yes for higher tiers
Revel Multi-location stores No From $99/month From 2.49% + 15 cents Quote-based Yes Yes
Lavu Food Trucks No From $59/month From 2.6% + 10 cents Included in monthly fee Yes Yes
Vend Retail No From $69/month The cost varies based on your choice of payment processor From $99 No. It offers integrations instead. Yes
Clover Reports and Analytics No From $14.95 for professional services From 2.3% + 10 cents From $49 Yes Yes
SpotOn Multi-location restaurants Yes From $99/month +$3 per employee/month From 1.99% + 25 cents Included in monthly fee Yes Yes
Cake Customer Experience No From $69/month From 2.5% + 15 cents Included in monthly fee Yes Yes

Helcim POS vs Square POS

Helcim stands out for its no monthly fee structure and interchange-plus payment processing, which may be more cost-effective for midsize businesses. On the other hand, Square POS shines with its flat transaction fee structure, making it ideal for small businesses or startups due to its affordability and simplicity. Square also provides a wide range of hardware options and is known for its user-friendly interface.

Learn more in our Square POS review.

Helcim POS vs Lightspeed POS

Compared to Helcim, Lightspeed offers superior inventory management, integrated e-commerce features, and 24/7 customer support, which may be more suitable for well-established stores and omnichannel businesses with complex inventory needs.

Learn more in our Lightspeed POS review.

Helcim Customer Reviews

We noticed a lot of positive feedback from many of Helcim’s customers, with a strong emphasis on their user-friendly platform, fair and transparent credit card processing, and exceptional customer service. One stated they switched from another payment service and found Helcim’s transaction fees fair and the fund deposit timeline as promised. Another customer, however, expressed disappointment with the platform, saying that their average rate was higher than anticipated, even though it was still lower than their previous merchant account.

Helcim was easy to work with to set up the system and take payments through various formats including in-person or using their virtual terminal.”

Customer review from Trustpilot.

“We have been using Helcim for several months now and they are a fantastic team to work with. We were able to get up and running quickly, though the API did take some time to get everything connected. We use Helcim for subscription and invoices. Helcim is able to store card and bank info to give us peace of mind on payments as well as granting convenience to our clients. Payout are quick and the fees are reasonable, especially with their fee saver option.”

Customer review from Trustpilot.

In terms of support channels, Helcim offers personalized support available by phone during regular business hours on weekdays and limited weekend availability. Email support is available by contacting their help email address.

How to Use Helcim POS - Quick Guide

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to get started with Helcim, if you’re relatively new to the platform:

  1. Link Your Bank Account

    The first step is to link your bank account to ensure you receive your funding correctly. To do this, log into your Helcim account and select the “Link Bank Account” action block from the dashboard. You’ll then have the choice between using Instant Link or uploading a voided check. Instant Link will guide you through the integration with Plaid, prompting you to log into your chosen bank account to complete the linking process.

    Alternatively, you can upload a voided check, which will be reviewed by the Helcim team and linked to your account within 1-2 business days. Once your bank account is successfully linked, you will be able to receive payments into that account.

    <strong>Link Your Bank Account</strong>
  2. Configure Your Account

    Next, you’ll want to configure the different areas of your Helcim account.

    The primary way to navigate is through the “All Tools” menu with the nine gray dots in the top left corner. The tools are broken into three sections – Payment Tools for taking payments, Merchant Tools for managing your account like customer management and reporting, and Back Office Tools related to business operations.

    <strong>Configure Your Account</strong>
  3. Order Equipment

    If you plan on taking in-person payments, you’ll need to order equipment. Select the “Order Equipment” action block from the dashboard or go to All Tools > Equipment in the Back Office Tools section.

    You’ll be directed to the online equipment store where you can purchase either a card reader or the Helcim smart terminal, which is available with financing over 5 monthly payments. According to the Helcim support staff, the ordered equipment will be delivered within 3-6 business days.

  4. Set Up for In-Person Payments

    Once you receive your card reader or smart terminal, you can set it up for in-person payments. First, download the Helcim app from your account. For the card reader, make sure it’s charged and follow the prompts in the app to connect it.

    For the smart terminal, charge it, turn it on, connect it to wifi, and log into your account when prompted. Full setup instructions are available on the support site.

  5. Use Virtual Terminal for Online Payments

    To process payments online, you can use the virtual terminal through the All Tools menu. Enter the customer and card information, then select “Charge Now” to run the payment. Your first $5 in transactions with Helcim are free.

    Beyond the virtual terminal, you also have access to Helcim’s full suite of payment tools like subscriptions, online checkout, and invoicing, with guides available on the support site.

    <strong>Use Virtual Terminal for Online Payments</strong>


How We Review And Test POS Products

To provide our readers with accurate and well-informed recommendations, we test the most popular POS products on the market to find the best options for you. Our methodology consists of the following criteria:

  • Scalability: We look at how many users can be added to a platform and how easy it is to do so to ensure companies can easily add more employees to their payroll as they scale their operations.
  • Integrations: We evaluate each piece of software’s integrations to determine how well it fits in with other key pieces in a business’s software stack and whether its functionality can be expanded.
  • Total Cost: We look at the features, integrations, customer service, and extras to determine if the price of the software matches the value it provides. We score a product higher if it offers customers a free trial.
  • User Experience: We get hands-on with each product to put ourselves in the shoes of a new user, testing each platform to gain an understanding if the platform is easy to use or requires onboarding.
  • Features: We examine the features offered by each POS software, how useful those features are, and how they compare to others on the market.
  • Security: We delve into the security protocols of each company, assessing the measures in place to safeguard user data.
  • Customer Reviews: We consider customer reviews from reputable third-party websites as a crucial aspect of our evaluation process.

How to Choose the Best POS Software

Choosing the best point-of-sale (POS) software for your business requires careful consideration of several factors:

PriceFeaturesScalabilityEase of useIntegrationsCustomer support

Evaluate how the cost of different plans fits within your budget, and whether the features included in each plan are worth the price. Don’t overpay for functionality you don’t need.

Make a list of the specific features you require, such as inventory management, customer management, reporting, etc. Ensure the plan you choose has all the essential features.

As your business grows, you may need more advanced features. Consider the potential costs and feasibility of upgrading to a higher plan with the same provider.

Look for a system with an intuitive interface that requires minimal training for you and your staff. Read user reviews to gauge how user-friendly the software is.

If you use other software like accounting or e-commerce, make sure the POS integrates smoothly with those systems. Some integrations are limited to higher pricing tiers.

Evaluate the support channels (phone, email, chat), hours of availability, and user reviews of their customer service quality. Good support is crucial when issues arise.

Our Other POS Guides

Running a successful business requires you to make informed decisions on key operational tools. You can check out our comprehensive guides to help you evaluate and choose the best POS software to streamline your processes.


Is Helcim a payment processor?

How does Helcim payment work?

Where is Helcim headquarters?

Is Helcim available in Canada?

What is the limit per transaction on Helcim?

John Iwuozor
Tech Writer
John Iwuozor
Tech Writer

John Iwuozor is a writer at Techopedia with over three years of experience and expertise covering topics on HR, business software, IT security, and finance for small and medium-sized businesses. His work has been featured on reputable platforms like Forbes Advisor and EsecurityPlanet. Leveraging his background in mathematics and data analysis, he specializes in delivering original and high-quality content with a keen eye for detail and accuracy.