What are the main differences from Helcim compared with your major competitors?Take one look at our homepage and you’ll see right away that we certainly look and feel different from our competition. But beyond how we present ourselves, it’s really three words that represent our biggest differences. Pricing, Platform, and People. First and foremost, small and medium business owners are concerned with cost, and justifiably so. Pricing matters. Merchants typically have to choose between some of the more recognizable names like Square or Stripe, whose flat rate fees are astronomically high for any cost-conscious business, or the legacy bank processors who have made their money for years from deceiving their merchants through confusing statements, hidden fees, and sneaky rate hikes. So the great thing about Helcim is that our rates are not only some of the lowest in the entire industry, but our pricing is also the absolutely most transparent pricing you will find. We employ an interchange plus pricing model, which is generally regarded as the most affordable and fair way to bill merchants and is essentially a wholesale pricing model. Every card transaction has a variable price set by the card brands (Visa and Mastercard) called the interchange rate. With Helcim, every time you process a transaction, we ensure that you get the lowest possible rate. That’s it. There’s no hidden fees, you only ever pay for what you process, and your rates actually decrease as you process more volume over time. The best part? If you don’t like our service you can leave at any time without penalty. We don’t have any contracts or monthly fees, which means that merchants that stay with Helcim, stay with Helcim because they want to. That’s a powerful form of validation for anybody considering signing up with us. Beyond pricing, our all-in-one Payments Platform allows you to take payments any way your business needs with one free account. In-person payments, Invoicing, ecommerce, recurring payments, virtual terminal, card vault, point-of-sale, online food ordering, SMS payments, even bank transfers (ACH, EFT)…are all included with your free Helcim account from day one, along with many more features we’re constantly updating and adding. Lastly, and this is the reason why our merchants love us and stay with us, is because we are a People-first company. We have always put our merchants first and it shows in the way they talk about us. Don’t take my word for it, go and read our google reviews. 90% or our reviews talk about how they’ve been personally treated by our team, and 80% of those reviews mention a Helcim team member by name. When you partner with Helcim, you and your business are not only going to be supported, but you’re going to be respected.
In a previous interview, your CEO pointed out that Helcim grew 400% in 2021. To what do you attribute that growth?Well a lot of our growth can be attributed to those same three P’s I just spoke about. I think we live in a world now where, yes, pricing and functionality absolutely (still) matter. But that’s no longer enough to remain competitive, you also need to stand out and offer something different. For us, that something different has been building a trusted brand around the values-led company we’ve always authentically been. The word has gotten out that if you partner with Helcim, you’re going to have a great experience and we’re going to treat you with fairness and respect. I think beyond any one Marketing or Sales channel, that’s what matters the most and that’s why our service has resonated with as many merchants as it has, in the way that it has.
Transparency is an important word in your culture. Can you give us some examples of transparency in your organization?Absolutely! Beyond our radical approach to pricing transparency and overall candor with our own merchants, there are many examples within our own company culture that demonstrate that same level or transparency across our organization. We practice open book management, meaning that every employee has access to all of our company financials right from day one. We also employ salary ranges that are open to all employees. Our leadership group is constantly peeling back the curtain on decisions and encourages involvement from all levels of the company. When we were raising capital, we were shown the decks that the investors were shown and given candid updates throughout the process. It truly is one of those core values that is consistently demonstrated at all levels of the company, and that’s why we’re so able to easily and generously extend that same honesty and candor to our merchants.
Security is a priority in your industry, since cyberattacks are more frequent and sophisticated. Why should I trust Helcim in that regard?Simply by virtue of being a payments company, we are beholden to very strict security compliance standards. Security is one of our number one priorities, right down to the way employees are expected to behave within the office and how we work. All of our laptops and workstations are locked down with VPNs, antivirus and other measures to ensure the highest of security standards. We obviously deal with sensitive information, but there are very strict measures in place that dictate which information hits which servers or systems, and who has access to any of it at a given time. We strongly adhere to the principle of least privilege. We use Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS) as well as Intrusion Detection Systems (IDS) to evaluate incoming traffic and protect against harmful actions. We require multi-factor authentication for every internal system as well as have a default deny all policy for inbound and outbound network traffic. Any allowed traffic must be approved and added as new firewall rules. Sensitive data is encrypted at rest using the AES 256 standard. Data in transit is protected by using a minimum of TLS version 1.2.
From a merchant’s perspective, they can be sure that their data is safe with us. We even ensure that our own merchants are not handling their own customers’ sensitive data by tokenizing it and removing any exposure they may have to any liabilities.