Entrepreneurship & Small Business

Helcim vs Costco (Evalon) - Credit Card Processor

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  • Aug 3rd, 2017 3:02 am
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 16, 2012
633 posts
456 upvotes
GTA/London

Helcim vs Costco (Evalon) - Credit Card Processor

Hey everyone, I'm opening a new business which needs credit card processing, and have settled between: (what I think are the best options)

1) Costco
quoted for:
1.56% for Visa/MasterCard Qualified Transaction (face to face transactions with basic credit cards)
1.99% for Visa/MasterCard Non-Qualified Transaction (face to face transactions with premium reward cards)
renting ICT250 for $19m/o, 0.06 for each debit transaction

2) Helcim
Full Pricing Found Here: https://www.helcim.com/ca/credit-debit- ... s/pricing/
monthly fee of $12 + 16 rental for ICT220 = 28, + 8c per transaction (debit/credit)

We expect to process around ~4000 worth of transactions, mostly debit- all in store via terminal

Has anyone here have any recent experiences with these 2 processors?
Is the Costco rate as advertised? No fees other than the terminal rental?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated, thanks!
💳: Amex Pers Plat, Scotia Amex Gold, Rogers WE, CTFS WE, Brim WE
17 replies
Deal Expert
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Aug 2, 2010
15193 posts
4899 upvotes
Here 'n There
I've been using Elavon US for a year and Elavon Canada for 5 months. I have nothing but good things to say about their transaction processing system. My revenue comes about 95% from orders on my website and the rest from people who call in and give me their credit card details. The money is always in my account within 1 or 2 days depending on when the transaction occurred but usually within a day.
Member
Feb 18, 2014
247 posts
51 upvotes
Both are good choices as they are very transparent, have no contract, and will not lock you into a lease.

What is your average transaction size? This is important as Helcim will charge you per credit card authorization, whereas Costco will not.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Sep 16, 2012
633 posts
456 upvotes
GTA/London
gamechanger wrote: Both are good choices as they are very transparent, have no contract, and will not lock you into a lease.

What is your average transaction size? This is important as Helcim will charge you per credit card authorization, whereas Costco will not.
Thanks for responding!

Average transaction size is probably around 20-30, with the lowest being $10 and highest being 100
💳: Amex Pers Plat, Scotia Amex Gold, Rogers WE, CTFS WE, Brim WE
Member
Feb 18, 2014
247 posts
51 upvotes
Ok, assuming a $25 average ticket, the cost for a "regular" card inserted into the terminal will actually cost you 2.01% through Helcim (1.42% + 0.18% + 0.0904% + $0.08) / (25.00).

Costco seems to be a better choice...
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 18, 2008
7762 posts
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Mont-Royal
assessment fees, when you buy 100$, how much is an assessment fees? TD has assessment fees of 0.12%, that means 12 cents for 100$ transaction?
"Every marathon you run, your heart scars and you will die faster. If you think running a marathon is fitness, then you know NOTHING ABOUT HEALTH & FITNESS."
- Training 101
Member
Feb 18, 2014
247 posts
51 upvotes
L4cky wrote: assessment fees, when you buy 100$, how much is an assessment fees? TD has assessment fees of 0.12%, that means 12 cents for 100$ transaction?
Assessment fees represents the profit for the Card Brands (Visa, MC, Etc). TD uplifts this fee for additional profit. Actual cost is 0.08% Visa, and 0.077% MC. Additionally, providers such as Elavon charge 13% tax on assessment fees. Therefore, Elavon assessments are 0.0904% for Visa, and 0.087% for MC.
Deal Fanatic
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Nov 18, 2008
7762 posts
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Mont-Royal
gamechanger wrote: Assessment fees represents the profit for the Card Brands (Visa, MC, Etc). TD uplifts this fee for additional profit. Actual cost is 0.08% Visa, and 0.077% MC. Additionally, providers such as Elavon charge 13% tax on assessment fees. Therefore, Elavon assessments are 0.0904% for Visa, and 0.087% for MC.
how much is that with a 100$ purchase?
"Every marathon you run, your heart scars and you will die faster. If you think running a marathon is fitness, then you know NOTHING ABOUT HEALTH & FITNESS."
- Training 101
Jr. Member
Jan 1, 2009
123 posts
Helcim experience:
Pros
- simple signup
- transparent fee structure
- low fees

Cons
- weak or nonexistent support on evenings/weekends. better hope your terminal doesn't have tech issues or blow up during those times
- the company behind the scenes who does the CC processing is Elavon. they held back our funds for more than a week simply because someone placed a large order and they wanted to investigate. The Elavon rep assigned to us was the bureaucatic banker robot of your nightmares -- braindead, put us on hold for ten minutes inexplicably, zero help, durr I have to hold your funds so i can look into the transaction

whatever company you choose, when you fill out the application form, bump your average/max expected transactions way higher so that you will never ever exceed it even if somebody comes in and buys a ton of product
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2010
4313 posts
662 upvotes
tehsquipmunk wrote: Helcim experience:
Pros
- simple signup
- transparent fee structure
- low fees

Cons
- weak or nonexistent support on evenings/weekends. better hope your terminal doesn't have tech issues or blow up during those times
- the company behind the scenes who does the CC processing is Elavon. they held back our funds for more than a week simply because someone placed a large order and they wanted to investigate. The Elavon rep assigned to us was the bureaucatic banker robot of your nightmares -- braindead, put us on hold for ten minutes inexplicably, zero help, durr I have to hold your funds so i can look into the transaction

whatever company you choose, when you fill out the application form, bump your average/max expected transactions way higher so that you will never ever exceed it even if somebody comes in and buys a ton of product
Elavon is a processor and in the case they do the processing behind the scene for both Elavon (Costco) and Helcim.
If your issue is with Elavon, you will have that same problem with both companies.

If funds were held like you say, it will happen with anyone.

I work in the industry and I happen to have a working relationship with both companies, the only real difference is that Elavon is a bigger company and because of it you will get support from large company vs small company.
From my experience small company support is usually more responsive.
Deal Addict
Oct 29, 2010
4313 posts
662 upvotes
eonibm wrote: I've been using Elavon US for a year and Elavon Canada for 5 months. I have nothing but good things to say about their transaction processing system. My revenue comes about 95% from orders on my website and the rest from people who call in and give me their credit card details. The money is always in my account within 1 or 2 days depending on when the transaction occurred but usually within a day.
By the way, not trying to tell you what to do but when you accept credit cards like that over the phone, it's not PCI compliant. Only way to accept credit cards over the phone that is PCI compliant is using some form of an IVR in the middle. So either transfer the call to an IVR or do a 3 way call with an IVR merged into the call.

You probably don't care because you're not processing that much but if ever something happened, PCI will leave you out to dry and force you to pay hefty fines.

Again, I don't blame you or anything, for many small companies it doesn't make sense to pay money for something that is so unlikely to happen.
Newbie
Dec 12, 2016
19 posts
2 upvotes
I'm with Elavon via Costco and so far, so good. Came from Square for CC processing and Helcim for Debit (Square doesn't have it in Canada yet) and switched to Elavon. Still use Square as a POS though. It's VERY challenging to find a POS system in Canada that syncs with Quickbooks Online so Square does the job at the mo.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Jul 29, 2013
1232 posts
493 upvotes
Toronto
I have been looking into both, the main hurdle seems to be that they charge insane prices for their terminals to buy, ie $550 vs $200 to buy online. I guess that is the price you pay for transparency. Any opinions on whether it would be better to rent vs buy?
Deal Addict
User avatar
Feb 16, 2004
1555 posts
59 upvotes
York Region
We have been with Helcim over 3 years now. Very happy with their service so far.
We pay around $180-250 a month based on our sales though...

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