Whether you’re a single brick and mortar retail location or a multinational operation with eCommerce and physical shops, you need a trusted payment processor.
At Stax, we share a lot of information about payment processing because, well, there is a lot to consider with this aspect of your business. Evaluating credit card processors and finding the right solution—at the right price—requires diligent research.
And we’re here to help by comparing various payment solutions. This article compares Stax with another payment processing provider, Helcim, so you can make informed decisions on the best business partner for you.
- Stax accepts all forms of card and digital payments, including contactless payments, EMV chip and swiped card payments, ACH payments, text-to-pay, online payments, mobile payments with digital wallets, and recurring transactions.
- Helcim offers several straightforward payment processing solutions, including POS terminals, virtual terminals, invoicing capabilities, online checkout, recurring payments, and eCommerce payment pages.
- Stax operates with a subscription pricing model, while Helcim charges an interchange markup fee with a tiered system based on monthly credit card processing volume.
A Closer Look at Stax Payments
Founded in 2014 and with headquarters based in Florida, Stax is a subscription-based, full-service payment processing partner. Our all-in-one platform offers financial analytics, payment processing, invoicing, and much more. Stax is well suited for various industries, and scalable for small and medium businesses to large enterprises.
Payment types and features
Stax accepts all forms of card and digital payments, including contactless payments, EMV chip and swiped card payments, ACH payments, text-to-pay, online payments, mobile payments with digital wallets, and recurring transactions. Customized billing and invoicing make our solution well-suited for just about any business that’s not considered high-risk.
For equipment, Stax has several solutions ranging from mobile point-of-sale (POS) terminals, to static terminals with a cash drawer by leading brands such as Clover and Dejavoo.
Stax prioritizes data security and adheres to the highest level of PCI compliance standards. We also offer hundreds of APIs to leading business applications, meaning you can easily integrate with top apps to gain better visibility to your operations.
Operating with a subscription-based model, Stax is committed to keeping costs manageable. We don’t have hidden fees, interchange markups, contracts, or setup fees. We keep our pricing structure simple: processing for up to $250,000 per year is $99 per month, $250,000-$500,000 annual processing is $199 per month, and for businesses processing more than $500,000 per month, we work with you on a custom quote to best suit your needs.
With this subscription model, merchants just pay the monthly fee plus the interchange rates for the debit and credit card brands your business accepts. Depending on your needs, we offer several add-ons, including one-click shopping card, custom branding, and warranties on terminals, just to name a few.
We also understand that customer support is critical to success. With 24/7 customer support via phone, chat, or email, we have you covered. For those who want self-serve access to information, the Stax Knowledge Base has support for business owners, software platforms and developers on-demand.
A Closer Look at Helcim
A Canadian credit card processing company, Helcim was founded in 2006 and has offices in Calgary, Alberta Canada, and Seattle, Washington. This payment processor operates with an interchange plus pricing model, adding a set markup to the interchange fee for debit and credit card payment processing.
Payment types and features
Helcim offers several straightforward payment processing solutions, including POS terminals, virtual terminals, invoicing capabilities, online checkout, recurring payments, and eCommerce payment pages.
Helcim also allows their customers to pass on credit card processing fees to the customer with credit card surcharging.
Helcim is one of the few payment processors with transparent pricing, no contracts, cancellation fees, or hidden charges. Helcim pricing is based on a tiered system with volume discounts and does not charge baseline monthly fees. Helcim pricing is detailed as follows:
- For $0-$50,000 in monthly credit card volume, in-person payments are 0.40% plus 8￠ and keyed and online transactions are 0.50% plus 25￠
- For $50,001-$100,000 in monthly volume, in-person payments are 0.35% plus 7￠ and keyed and online transactions are 0.45% plus 20￠
- For $100-001-$500,000 monthly volume, in-person payments are 0.25% plus 7￠ and keyed and online transactions are 0.35% plus 20￠
- For $500,001-$1,000,000 monthly volume, in-person payments are 0.20% plus 6￠and keyed and online transactions are 0.25% plus 15￠
- Finally, for monthly credit card volume in excess of $1,000,000, in-person payments are 0.15% plus 6￠ and keyed and online transactions are 0.15% plus 15￠
- Helcim also accepts ACH payments with a fee of 0.5% plus 25￠, capped at $6 per transaction
Helcim specializes mainly in debit and credit card payments and has two POS terminals that accept credit and debit card payments—one is currently available and another will be launching after the time of this writing. These terminals accept EMV chip card, swiped, and NFC contactless card payments. Currently, one Helcim card reader is available for purchase for $109 USD, and the smart terminal is launching soon for $349 USD. The new smart terminal will include additional features such as inventory management and receipt printing capabilities.
Helcim’s website does include a learning center and also has phone and email customer support available Monday through Saturday, operating in mountain time zone. They also have two integrations available with QuickBooks and an invoicing tool, Xero Payments.
Comparative Analysis of Stax and Helcim
When it comes down to the comparison between the two payment gateway options discussed here, there are definite similarities and capabilities. So, which is the best credit card processing company? That is a tough question to answer outright, but here are a few considerations to weigh.
Stax is a great solution for those that want simple pricing, a variety of POS equipment, helpful integrations with other business intelligence tools, billing and invoicing capabilities, recurring payments, and more advanced payment method options.
Stax can meet the needs for a variety of businesses and specializes in retail, professional services, field services, healthcare, retail, and several others. Our solutions help you take care of invoicing, in-person transactions, hand-keyed/virtual terminal transactions, mobile payments, and so much more—all with best-in-class equipment and continuous customer support.
Due to the nature of its subscription model, Stax is not as well suited for companies that process less than $10,000 in credit card volume per month.
Additionally, Stax doesn’t cater to high-risk merchants and businesses outside the United States.
As far as the functionality of Helcim payments goes, this payments company may be worth considering for small business owners as they do offer the basics in debit and credit card transaction processing. Compared to many other payment gateway options, Helcim is on the more reasonable side for pricing. Helcim does also offer some additional features, such as the Helcim Customer Manager to help track customer information, inventory management, and secure card storage.
Some of the potential downsides to consider with Helcim include the limited options for POS hardware, a narrow offering of integrations, and customer support with limited hours. Further, Helcim’s current card reader only accepts debit and credit cards and does not have other functionality, meaning, additional equipment must be provided by the business. Meanwhile, the Helcim card reader can connect to smart phones, tablets, or computers.
When evaluating a potential payment processor, there are many red flags to look for. Opaque pricing, vague statements, difficult to find information, numerous and consistent complaints—just to name a few. Helcim doesn’t raise as many red flags as some other payment processors on the market do. However, there are several considerations to make when determining if Helcim or Stax would be the best partner for your business.
Stax does offer a more robust array of capabilities and equipment, and for many, our pricing model is likely to save your business money. Helcim on the other hand has more limited capabilities in their equipment and payment processing options, and their fee structure should be compared to see which company is the best financial partner for your business.Ready to learn more about how Stax can support all of your payment processing needs? Reach out to learn more!
FAQs about Helcim and Stax
Q: What are Helcim and Stax?
Stax Payments is a subscription-based, full-service payment processing partner founded in 2014, based in Florida, offering financial analytics, payment processing, invoicing, and more. Meanwhile, Helcim is a Canadian credit card processing company founded in 2006, with offices in Calgary and Seattle, that operates with an interchange plus pricing model.
Q: How do the pricing structures of Stax Payments and Helcim differ?
Stax uses a subscription-based model. Prices are $99/month for up to $250,000 annual processing, $199/month for $250,000-$500,000, and custom quotes for above $500,000/month. Merchants pay the monthly fee plus interchange rates. Helcim’s pricing is based on a tiered system with volume discounts, charging a set markup to the interchange fee. Rates vary based on monthly volume and type of transaction.
Q: Are there any hidden fees with either Stax Payments or Helcim?
No. Both Stax and Helcim have transparent pricing with no hidden charges, contracts, or setup fees.
Q: How do customer support experiences differ between the two?
Stax offers 24/7 customer support via phone, chat, or email. They also provide a Knowledge Base for self-serve access. Helcim offers phone and email customer support available Monday through Saturday in the mountain time zone.