It’s become a culture for many Canadians to pay via a credit or debit machine. Being able to take card payments on the go is an important facility for most small businesses.
This is only getting more and more true as we move further away from using cash, and the card is now our number one method of payment. Almost 50% of customers don’t even carry cash anymore!
You want a debit card machine and company that is reliable, fast and does not cost you the earth to use.
The good news is there are some great options out there that are quick to set up, offer a multitude of great features, and will have you accepting debit card payments in no time.
To make your life a little easier we have compiled what we consider to be the best debit machine companies in Canada right now.
Let’s dive straight in.
Best Debit Machine Companies
Helcim – Recommended
Headquartered in Calgary, Helcim is arguably one of Canada’s most efficient payment processing corporations. Helcim is refreshingly as transparent as they come. Their fees are disclosed clearly so you understand how much you may be paying upfront.
With Helcim’s wireless debit machine, your customers can pay using their credit or debit cards from all the major card brands.
Helcim also has comprehensive resources that break down payment processing for small businesses and expose fraudulent tricks by other payment processing companies.
Although their fees might be higher when compared to some, Helcim still offers affordable pricing and is considered to be one of the most transparent payment processing corporations in Canada or North America.
Their in-person payment is charged at 1.77% + 8¢ on average and 2.47% + 25¢ online.
Helcim does not charge any month-to-month prices and you will not be tricked into a long-term contract.
Square has a number of great card reader options for your to choose from that range from a simple tap and swipe reader that to a full Square Stand POS system.
Their system is set up as checkout and full sales center which means you can control all your business sales and analytics from within the Square ecosystem, which is great.
Their most mobile debit card machine is the Square Reader which simply connects to your mobile through a lightning USB connection for iPhone and iPads or through your phone jack for android phones.
The reader is quick and simple to set up and use. It’s incredibly safe too as no card or customer data is stored on your phone and instead is sent over an encrypted connection to be processed.
Even better, there are no setup fees or monthly fees. Their transaction fees are very competitive at 2.6% + 10 cents and depending on which card reader you choose they cost from as little as $10 up to $299 for the three-in-one battery-powered reader.
Stripe is another company that is growing quickly in popularity and availability in the retail space.
They have a strong presence online too and are the go-to payment service for website builders like wix.com and Squarespace. Their online operations work seamlessly with their in-person payment system meaning your online and offline sales are handled in one place making accounting an absolute breeze.
They also have some great extra features, like facilitating seamless customer experiences from online to in-person, reserving items through your website but collecting in-store.
Their card readers are quick, secure, and easy to set up. You can also manage multiple card readers across all your stores from the one dashboard so you can easily see how much has gone through each one on any given day.
The great thing is they also have no setup or monthly fees, and their transaction fees are a very competitive 2.7% + 15 cents for debit card payments.
Shopify is well known in the online e-commerce space. In fact, they are the most popular e-commerce platform and if you have ever considered selling anything online you will have almost certainly come across them.
They also, however, help facilitate your in-person transactions too with their Shopify POS service and card reader.
They are on the more expensive side of things. Their basic plan is $29 per month and each transaction will cost 2.7%. The card reader itself is free with the plan, however, so that’s a bonus.
The transaction fees are also lower as you move to a higher plan. The $79 per month plan, for example, comes with a 2.5% transaction fee. So if your company processes a lot of transactions in a month then you can take advantage of their premium packages for lower costs per transaction.
Their app and reader work well with both Android and iOS. While they aren’t the best payment processing apps, compare with others, if you are wanting to expand your Shopify online shop to in-person selling too then they are an ideal choice to get started.
Quickbooks will be another one that probably takes you by surprise a little. The company that is famous for their small business accounting software have also entered the payment processing market with their card reader.
They have two options of a card reader, the QuickBooks Chip and Magstripe Card Reader that costs $19 per month, and their QuickBooks All-in-One Card Reader that also offers contactless payments and accepts Apple Pay and Google Pay. The All-in-One reader will cost you $49 per month.
They also have a transaction fee of 2.4% + 25 cents.
Their readers plug straight into your phone and work through their dedicated app. It’s quick to set up, easy to run, and the great part is all your payments instantly sync with QuickBooks so if that is your accounting software of choice then this may very well be the ideal choice for you.
They also have fast deposits that are available the next day. Or, if you can’t wait that long, they have the option for instant payments that will cost you an extra 1% per transaction.
If you are looking for super cheap rates then PayAnywhere is a great choice. Their transaction rate is just 2.69%.
While we know that looks higher than Quickbooks, for example, PayAnywhere doesn’t have the fixed charge in addition to the %. You’d be surprised how much that can save you!
If you had ten thousand $5 transactions in one year then your transactions fees with PayAnywhere would be $1345, whereas with Quickbooks it would be $4200. That is a significant saving for the year!
As we’ve said, there are an awful lot of debit machine companies to choose from, and putting together a list of our top five was no easy thing. So, we also wanted to include a couple of extra-special mention options that are also great:
Moneris – Moneris has the largest selection of debit machines and they really do have a machine for every possible situation. From simple mobile card readers to full countertop options. They even have a self-serve option available.
They are possibly the largest supplier in Canada and are components of the Royal Bank of Canada and the Bank of Montreal. Being the largest doesn’t necessarily make them the best, but as long as you put some effort into your negotiations you can get a pretty good deal.
PayPal Chip and Swipe Reader – Yes, PayPal won’t be left out when it comes to any sort of payment processing, and their debit machine option is great. They have one of the cheapest all-in-one readers available at just $79.99 and their transactions fees are reasonable too at 2.7%.
Finding the right debit machine company to help you process in-person payments is an important thing to get right. The great thing about the options above is that none of them lock you into a long contract. So, if, for any reason, you decide you want a different solution, then swapping is easy and cost-free.
Hopefully, we have helped set you on the right course to finding the ideal debit machine company for you.