Moneris Canada

What is Moneris? Review and Alternatives

Moneris is one of the largest financial technology companies in Canada and processes 3.5 billion transactions annually.  They specialize in taking payments, both online and in-store, with their POS systems and merchant services.

They were founded in 2000 and are in fact a joint venture between two of the largest banks in Canada, the Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal.

They have by far the widest range of products and services on offer, though some do come with weighty price tags and long-term commitments (we’ll go over these in more detail later).  That being said, overall their pricing is pretty competitive.

Moneris Features

Moneris offers a wide range of products and services that cater to almost every possible need you might have.

Let’s break down what they have on offer:

Merchant Accounts – Moneris provide you with a merchant account.  All transactions are processed directly and in-house by Moneris which makes your life a lot easier.  Instead of needing to deal with any third parties around any transaction issues, you will just be talking to the Moneris for everything.

Credit Card Terminals – Moneris has a near endless list of options for your credit card terminal needs offering everything from simple mobile readers to full countertop systems.

All of their devices support EMV payments, and the vast majority of them will also accept NFC-based payments like Apple Pay and Google Pay too. Their latest model, Moneris Go, boasts a color touch screen, PAX A920, and wireless capabilities. It also allows you to load additional applications including their own Moneris Core app.

They have a really useful system on their website for helping narrow down your options based on your business needs and industry etc.  You can find that here.

You generally have two options for acquiring a terminal from Moneris; buy it outright or rent on a month. 

Mobile Payments – they also offer mobile payment processing through their app, PAYD Pro.  The app works on both iOS and Android and is simple to use.  You will need to purchase a PIN pad with it too in order to take payments. This can be a very cost-effective solution and very quick to set up too.

POS (point of sale) Hardware – Moneris also offer hardware bundles as an all-in-one solution for your business.  The Basic Bundle includes a 32GB iPad, PIN pad, cash drawer, and receipt printer.  The Premium Bundle also gives you a barcode scanner and a cradle.  All the bundles come with installation, 24/7 customer support, and Apple Care + for your Apple device.

The bundles aren’t cheap, however, with the Basic Bundle costing $110 per month with a minimum term of 24 months, and the Premium Bundle costing $130 per month.  While the individual items in the bundle will cost you less overall, the additional support is really useful for getting any issues resolved quickly.

POS software – what you need to note is that none of their hardware solutions come with software as standard.  The software you will need to purchase as an addition.  The prices range from $44.95 to $99.95 depending on the bundle you need for your company.

The number of users, whether you need additional features like inventory all contribute to the cost.

The software does come with some useful features like customer information management, employee scheduling, real-time reporting, etc.

Payment Gateway – if you’re looking for an eCommerce solution then Moneris also offers their Moneris Gateway.  Integration into your online shop can be done through either a hosted payment page or using their API to integrate the payment solution more directly.

It comes with the usual range of features you would want from a payment gateway like shopping cart integration, PCI compliance, secure storing of customer data, and tokenization for additional security.

Reporting – the Moneris Merchand Direct website also offers all the reporting on your payment processing so you can clearly see what has been happening over a given period.  You can also access more information on setup, etc, as well as your API SDKs.

Moneris Fees and Rates

The Canadian government’s Code of Conduct for the credit and debit card processing industry.  While the code, while not legally binding, has been incredibly beneficial in Canada for protecting businesses against unethical practices that have been known to take place.

Moneris has pledged to abide by the government’s code of conduct, which means you can be assured that they are charging within the official guidelines, which include; clear information on fees and rates, minimum 90 days notice of free increases, the ability to cancel contracts without penalty if fees rise, among many others.

That being said, it is no easy thing trying to find specific information about Monaris’s rates other than their flat-rate pricing other than for their PAYD Pro which is a $19.95 monthly plan fee and then 2.65% per credit card transaction.

They offer interchange-plus and tiered pricing plans, and your specific processing rates will vary based on the volume of transactions

To get a more detailed understanding of their fees and rates, particularly for any of the other services they offer then you’ll need to get in touch with them for a quote.  On the plus side, this does usually means that there is space for negotiation to make sure you get the best rate possible.

Moneris does charge a ‘deactivation fee’ per location if you decide to leave before the end of your contract.  This fee is generally $300 per location.  This fee can also be negotiated and in many cases waived, though we highly recommend getting this in writing and keeping it safe just in case.

Tip – We have heard of Moneris charging account setup fees of as much as $300. DO NOT accept these. They can and should be waived if you insist on it.

Moneris Contract Length

Contract terms can vary and again it is hard to pin down specific information from them on the website. 

The industry standard for merchant accounts is a three-year term, and their T&C’s from 2016 state just that, with an automatic renewal of six months (which is stipulated by the law in Canada). 

If you do want to cancel without renewing then you will need to pay close attention to the dates as they require a 90-day notice on account closures.

As with all things, the term is likely negotiable, within reason, so getting in touch for a quote and discussing with them is the best way to get more specific information on contract lengths, etc.

Customer Service

With 24/7 customer support and a lot of documentation resources available online Moneris have a strong focus on customer service. 

The resources available through their support pages are extensive with manuals for all their products, installations instructions, troubleshooting, and much more.  It’s great to have so much on hand.

They also use social media to help with customer service through Facebook and Twitter from 8 am to 8 pm during the week, which is great too, and arguably faster than calling a lot of the time.

All of that being said, we have read an awful lot of reviews from companies talking about their poor experience with Moneris customer service.  Their complaints include rude customer service representatives, issues around trying to close their accounts, and struggling to get timely resolutions.

That’s not to say that there aren’t plenty of great reviews we’ve read too, as with anything there can be any number of factors on a given day as to why your service was good or bad.

Our Thoughts

While Moneris is certainly the biggest that doesn’t necessarily mean the best.  There are options out there that are cheaper, require less commitment, and can still deliver everything you need.

They are unrivaled with the number of hardware options they have available, however, and is backed by two of the largest banks in Canada means you know you can trust in their ongoing stability.

Pros

  • Huge range of options to rent or purchase
  • Interchange-plus pricing is good

Cons

  • Long contracts with high early termination fees
  • Some sneaky fees like a hefty cancellation fee

Alternatives

There are a few alternatives out there, but our favorite in terms of all-in-one options are:

Helcim offers both online and in-person payment solutions as well as bulling and invoicing payments with no monthly fees and no contract commitments.  So you can leave whenever you like.  Their rates are also incredibly competitive at 1.92% plus 8 cents for in-person credit card payments and 2.38% plus 25 cents for online card payments.  You can also get a discount on these rates as your volume of sales increases.

Kis Payments are another great option and their remit is all about transparency.  They offer in-store and online payment solutions at very reasonable prices, and they also have great POS and SAAS solutions for you. 

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