Payment Processing

Helcim vs Square (2023)

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Finding the perfect payment processing solution is a huge factor for the success of your business. It goes without saying that there are dozens of options in the scene, but there are a handful that stand out from the pack, among which include Helcim and Square.

Both offer a plethora of features designed to meet the specific needs of enterprises of all sizes. In other words, it’s hard to go wrong with either Helcim or Square, but each one has unique strengths that better suit certain businesses. For instance, the former uses an interchange-plus pricing structure that can offer better rates for high volumes, while the latter processes cryptocurrency and a quicker onboarding process. That’s just the tip of the iceberg, though.

Helcim vs Square Comparison Chart

Product NameHelcimSquare
Helcim vs SquareHelcim vs Square
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
Monthly Fee$0$0
Pricing StructureInterchange-plusFlat rate
In-Person Transaction FeeInterchange rate + 0.40 percent + $0.082.6 percent + $0.10
Online Transaction FeeInterchange rate + 0.50 percent + $0.252.9 percent + $0.30
Invoice Fee$0 per monthStandard: $0 per month
Invoices Plus: $20 per month
Chargeback Fee$15$0
Cryptocurrency SupportNoYes

Features and Similarities

Key takeaways:

  • Helcim and Square provide comprehensive tools and services for any retailer, including card vault services and inventory management tools.

Helcim and Square offer a range of features to cater to businesses of various sizes and industries. First off, both of their POS systems are available on desktop, mobile and proprietary hardware. Also, the two include a virtual terminal with every account for no extra charge, allowing businesses to accept keyed-in payments. For the record, the two support major credit and debit cards.

Moreover, Helcim and Square throw in card vault services to securely store customer card information, which can come in handy for recurring payments and future transactions. In a similar vein, these providers also offer inventory management tools to keep track of products, as well as a customer database for storing and managing customer info for marketing purposes and improving customer service.

Also, the two provide integrated ecommerce solutions that enable businesses to sell products and services online, and they support recurring payments for subscription-based enterprises. Both process ACH payments at no additional cost as well, though there are still processing fees to take into account.

Main Differences

Key takeaways:

  • Helcim provides full-service merchant accounts with a merchant ID number (MID).
  • Square aggregates users into one account, allowing for a faster onboarding process.
  • Square has a wider selection of third-party integrations, and it processes cryptocurrency.

While the two have a lot in common, each one has a distinct approach when it comes to processing payments. On one hand, Hecim uses full-service merchant accounts, which include an MID. This entails underwriting, and it’ll take a comparatively longer time to set things up. On the other hand, Square aggregates your account along with other users. That streamlines signing up and onboarding, and one notable advantage to that is you can start accepting credit card payments as soon as you’re done registering.

As for third-party integrations, Square has the upper hand, as its Square App Marketplace has dozens of options, including popular ones like QuickBooks Online, Wix and WooCommerce. In Helcim’s defense, it does support commonly used software such as Xero and QuickBooks. Now even though both include free invoicing tools, only Square offers an upgraded plan with extra features called Invoices Plus, which costs $20 per month.

Last but not least, both offer support for payment links, QR codes and SMS payments. However, only Square equips businesses with tools for social media selling, and it’s the only one of the two that processes cryptocurrency.

Pricing Structure and Fees

Key takeaways:

  • Helcim offers interchange-plus pricing, providing transparency and potential cost savings for higher-volume businesses.
  • Square offers flat-rate pricing, which simplifies cost estimation but may cost more for high transaction volumes.

When it comes to payment processing solutions, Helcim and Square offer distinct pricing models that cater to businesses of various sizes and needs. For starters, Helcim uses an interchange-plus pricing structure. One advantage to that is it’s more transparent, and on top of that, it can be more cost-efficient for high volume transactions. Meanwhile, Square uses flat-rate pricing. That makes things simpler to the point that the total cost is more predictable, which is important for planning ahead your finances. The downside is, it can cost a lot more when processing high volumes.

To break it down, Helcim’s pricing is based on the interchange rate + a 0.40 percent markup + $0.08 for each in-person transaction. Comparatively, Square’s consists of a flat rate of 2.6 percent + $0.10 per transaction. For online payments, Helcim’s pricing is composed of the interchange rate + a 0.50 percent markup + $0.25 for every transaction, while Square’s is 2.9 percent + $0.30.

Now neither one charges a monthly fee for their basic account, and there are no long-term contracts or fees for early termination. Needless to say, that makes them appealing options for businesses with tight budgets or those that operate seasonally. 

The same goes for their ACH payment processing in that there’s no monthly fee, but the difference is Helcim charges 0.50 percent + $0.25 per transaction, whereas Square charges 1 percent per transaction with a minimum of $1. Also, they don’t charge a monthly fee for their invoicing tools either, but as noted, Square offers Invoices Plus that costs $20 a month, which opens up room for growth, if nothing else.

Both providers offer free PCI compliance as well, making sure your business adheres to essential security standards. Additionally, Square chargebacks don’t cost a thing, while Helcim charges $15.

Verdict

Both are excellent, but determining which one is the better fit for you depends on the size and monthly transactions of your business, as well as specific needs (e.g., cryptocurrency transactions and certain third-party integrations). The long and short of it is, Helcim and Square share a ton of similarities, but the latter has the edge in some ways because of how it provides businesses with the option to avail more robust features as they grow.

At the risk of oversimplifying, Helcim is likely your better bet here if your business deals with high volumes on a monthly basis, owing to its interchange-plus pricing structure. In contrast, Square might suit you better if you have low-volume monthly transactions, as it can potentially cost less, aside from being more straightforward and predictable.