Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Canada, credit card processing online and mobile?

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 4th, 2018 6:07 pm
Nov 25, 2017
2 posts

Canada, credit card processing online and mobile?

Does anyone have any experience with choosing credit card processing companies like Bambora (formerly Beanstream) and Moneris or others? I am a Canadian small business doing mainly e-commerce and festival sales. If anyone has checked them out, how do their fees compare? Any companies to avoid?
5 replies
Deal Addict
Jul 3, 2017
2551 posts
You can reduce the percentage fee you pay if you maintain sufficient volume with one of the big processors like Moneris, but they can be difficult to deal with for small business. Generally you require a high volume to cover their up-front costs and minimum fees and begin see a net benefit.

Most of the small-business processors are pretty similar, charging about double the percentage fee of the big high-volume processors (usually something like 2.9%). That may or may not be a critical factor you.

A lot of small businesses use Stripe for online credit card payments, and Square for mobile.

We haven't had too many problems with Stripe. The handle both CAD and USD transactions, and they now allow you to create and send your own customer invoices from their site. But they take a week to pay.

The one I always hear lots of complaints about is Paypal, mostly that they often take arbitrary unjustified actions and they are unresponsive to complaints.
Jr. Member
May 21, 2015
125 posts
look at costco rates, they are good. I use paypal and their fees USED to be low but now they're quite high so I'm open to options. Our volume is the highest tier and they still won't give us a better rate. basically being canadian is the reason for it, if I was in USA my rates would be 1.9% vs 2.9% plus $0.30 per transaction.
Jr. Member
Feb 18, 2014
180 posts
Bambora rates will be comparable to Stripe, but with monthly recurring fees. As such, wouldn’t recommend that route. If your volumes are north of about 4K / month, go with a “regular” processor. If under that mark, Stripe would likely be the most cost effective.
Sep 9, 2006
44 posts
+1 on checking out Elavon Canada through Costco. Most setup & fees are waived if you have a Costco Executive membership

Online processing:
$149 setup fee, $8/mo
2.07% credit card fee (can be higher if it's a super high rewards card)

Depending on your volume, you might find it better/easier to go with stripe at 2.9% + $0.30/transaction. For our volume Elavon saved quite a bit.

For in person/mobile we got a Poynt terminal from them. (had been using square)
Can buy it at $750 or rent at $59/month if your festival stuff is seasonal. We have a two month window that we need physical POS so we rent.
No setup fee, no monthly.
cut n paste from their email to me:
  • Pin Debit: $0.06
  • Retail Visa & Master Card Qualified: 1.56%
  • Rewards/ Commercial cards: 1.99%
  • Manual Key Entry card not present: 2.07%
  • VISA ASSESMENT FEE : 0.09% & MASTERCARD ASSESSMENT FEE: 0.1% (these are industry wide)
  • SUPER PREMIUM HIGH SPEND CARDS ARE QUALIFIED 2.4% AND NON QUALIFIED ARE 2.9% (your Amex &/or black/actually made of gold type cards)


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