If you own a business, at some point, you will probably need to look into opening a Merchant Account. Merchant accounts are designed for business owners who want to accept and process debit card transactions.
In this piece, we talk a little more about what merchant accounts are and delve into the top 10 account services in Canada.
What is a Merchant Account?
As mentioned above, merchant accounts are a type of bank account that allows businesses to accept debit card and credit card transactions. Merchant accounts require three different parties: the retailer, a merchant bank, and a payment processor that can process all of the card transactions.
How does it work? Whenever a customer makes a payment to the retailer using their debit or credit card, the money is deposited into a merchant account, eventually being transferred into their business account. Depending on who you are banking with, this transaction may be done daily or weekly.
It’s important to note that Merchant accounts allow for debit and credit transactions in person and online. If you have an online business, a merchant account will be essential to its success. Not only does it provide your clients and customers with an easy way to pay, but it also gives them peace of mind that you are a reputable business.
Merchant Services, then, are the businesses that process credit card and debit card transactions.
Best Merchant Account Services in Canada
Operating out of Calgary, Alberta, Helcim has been considered a top payment processor in Canada since 2009. This company also provides online gateways, as well as virtual terminals, online and mobile payments, and traditional card processing.
What businesses love most about Helcim is that they do not tie merchants into long-term contracts or equipment leases. Rather, Helcim charges a monthly rate. This means that you can terminate at any time without any penalties or restrictions.
Businesses also choose Helcim because they do not charge any monthly minimum fees or statement or application fees.
Okay, so Square isn’t 100% Canadian, but it is still one of the country’s top-rated Merchant Account Services. It’s the preferred company used by many small businesses because it’s account services aren’t as traditional as some other companies.
Unlike other Merchant Account services that service one business at a time, Square is a third-party processor. This means that when you sign up, you share your account with other merchants using the same service. This avoids long-term contracts and monthly fees. So while you won’t have your own personal account, you will save tons of money.
At Square, instead of monthly fees, they charge a flat rate for transactions. This makes all fees predictable and is ideal for businesses with a small number of transactions.
Merchant Accounts is a payment processor that has been in business since 2001. They serve a variety of well-known clients, including CanPar and Flight Network, to name just a few. To process credit cards, you need a merchant account and a payment gateway. At Merchant Account, you get both, giving you everything you need all in one place.
Merchant Accounts deal with both e-commerce payment processing as well as Virtual terminal processing so that you can sell online and process payments by phone, fax, and mobile. They also provide clients with multi-currency payment options, a service that some other account providers do not offer.
Though it was initially founded in the US in Atlanta, Georgia, Evalon now operates throughout Canada and is known as one of Canada’s largest and most trusted merchant account providers. They have been in business for over 25 years, helping businesses process online and mobile transactions.
Like Helcim, Evalon charges on a month-to-month basis, meaning that you can cancel with them at any time if you are not pleased with their services.
What sets Evalon apart the most, however, is its competitive technology and innovative approach. Evalon is highly competitive with its online reporting and continues to offer innovative solutions to merchant service accounts. They use powerful platforms that provide seamless payments and reporting and use the top security technologies to ensure protection for your business.
5. KIS Payments
Kis Payments has only been around since 2017, making them a newcomer to the merchant account industry. But don’t let the fact that they are new stray you away.
With headquarters in Nanaimo, British Columbia, the fact that this company is a small business works out to your benefit. Because they are a small business working against such large competitors, the deals offered to clients are often much better.
Their competitive pricing and excellent deals make KIS Payments a perfect choice for small business owners who are just starting out and are looking to open a merchant account. They also offer month-to-month account options and are said to have top-notch customer service.
6. Merchant One
In most cases, you need to have a good credit score standing to apply for a merchant account. But while low credit scores can make it difficult to get accepted for an account, Merchant One looks beyond them when deciding whether to approve applicants.
Rather than simply looking at your credit score for account approval, Merchant one considers a variety of other factors as well and offers a 98% approval rate.
In addition to the high approval rate, Merchant One also offers state-of-the-art technology and provides clients with their own account manager and 24-hour customer support. The company offers both online and in-store payment processing, making the process simple and easy for everyone.
Clover is best known for its customized Point of Sale Systems that are designed to make business easier. Their innovative point-of-sale systems make it easy to capture information, ensure the accuracy of orders, offer rewards, and accept any type of mobile payment.
The software is quick, powerful, and reliable, ensuring that all of your customized orders are delivered correctly and on time.
In addition to their point-of-sale software, Clover is now working with both PayPal and Venmo which means that your business can accept both of these forms of payment as well.
Clover also has specialized functionalities for restaurant and retail customers, allowing you to send orders directly to the kitchen, manage staff, and track products. So if you are in the retail or restaurant industry, Clover may be a good option for you.
If you operate a business with a high volume of sales, Payment Depot may be a Canadian merchant account service that you want to consider.
Unlike many merchant services that charge the same rate regardless of business size, Payment Depot offers membership pricing and wholesale rates. So if you have a high volume business, this can save you a great deal of money.
Payment Depot serves all industry types, including professional services, restaurants, and retail. They have integrations with popular programs, including Quickbooks and Shopify, allowing you to sync your business models all in one place.
Some business types are considered to be high-risk in the merchant account industry. The travel industry, for example, is one that is considered high risk to banks. They receive a large number of cancellations, resulting in a large number of file chargebacks and refunds.
When you own a high-risk business, Payment Cloud can be a good merchant service option. Though they service all business types, they are designed specifically for high-risk accounts. In fact, many other merchant services direct clients that have been denied directly to Payment Cloud for acceptance.
Unlike many other merchant account services, Payment Cloud does not work on its own. Rather, to service high-risk businesses, they work with several different banks and processors to help maximize the odds of approval. Their services include payment gateways, virtual terminals, shopping cart integration, and ACH processing (to name just a few).
Of course, we can’t forget about Shopify. A name you have probably heard before, Shopify is one of Canada’s most well-known E-Commerce companies.
With headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario, Shopify has everything you need to start your own online business, including merchant account services.
One of the best things about Shopify is that they offer an extensive range of pricing plans, ranging anywhere from as little as $9 a month up to $299 per month for an advanced plan. They also provide you with all of the tools you need to start up and manage your own online store.
If you are a new business looking for all of your online needs in one place, Shopify is the best option. Set up your own online account, set up your merchant account, and start selling all on Shopify.
In conclusion, there are lots of different merchant account services out there. Whether you are a new business looking for affordable plans or a high-risk business looking for acceptance, you’ll find the right deal for you if you look hard enough.
But regardless of your needs, always look for an account provider that has advanced software, reasonable and transparent fees, and understandable processing rates.