The companies that sit at the top of the pack for credit card processors change over time so it’s important to remain updated. Payment processing companies in Canada are known by many names: payment processors, merchant acquirers, payment gateways, and the list continues.
This list focuses on payment companies that work directly with merchants to provide the ability to accept credit card payments for online businesses, physical storefronts, and mobile businesses.
Things to Look for in a Top Payment Processor
When looking for the top payment processors in Canada, there are a few things to keep in mind. The most important are 1) the range of products offered, 2) pricing, and 3) customer service. Those are the three vectors we look at when reviewing payment processors.
Range of Payment Products
There are two things to look at in the range of products. First is the way you accept payments. You may be conducting payments like mobile, virtual terminal, e-commerce, API integration, recurring billing, or invoicing. That’s just a few. Ensure you choose a payment processing company that provides the payment options you need.
The second thing in the range of products is the type of credit cards or debit cards that you can accept. Although Visa and MasterCard are the most popular credit cards, there are dozens of other cards that might be needed for your business. You’ll want to make sure your payments provider accepts them all.
Pricing in Payment Processing
Pricing is arguably what most merchants focus on. There’s a wide range in pricing models for businesses of different sizes. The contracts can range from simple agreements to complex multi-year commitments with penalties if you leave early. Lastly, pricing is complex in payment processing. Make sure you understand what your effective rate is.
Customer Service in Payment Processing
Customer service is one of the most important factors in payment processing. 30% of customers leave their payment processor each year. That’s a problem in customer service. Therefore, it’s important to look out for the ones that match your needs. You will want to know if you can reach them in the way you want and be responsive in a timely manner.
Top Credit Card Processors in Canada
Square (Block) is a payments company headquartered in San Francisco, California. It has millions of micro-business customers. Square is a payments aggregator which means they have their customers share merchant accounts. This works well for small businesses, but not so well for medium or large sized businesses.
• 2.4 out of 5 stars on Google reviews
• Based in San Francisco, USA
• Public company with ticker SQ (NYSE)
• Very easy and fast to sign up
• Great for small businesses who process less than $100,000 per year
• Customer support can be difficult to get a hold of
• Sometimes your funds can be held longer than you wish
Clearly Payments | Best for medium sized businesses
Clearly Payments is a payment processing company headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. It’s focus is the best customer service and the lowest payment processing rates. It partners with established payment hardware and software providers like Ingenico and Verifone to deliver world-class payment products.
• 5 out of 5 stars on Google reviews
• Based in Vancouver, Canada
• Provides online, in-store, and mobile payments
• They offer interchange plus and membership pricing to minimize cost
• Great customer service
• Not yet available for businesses based in USA
• There is a monthly fee so it is better for businesses that process more than $100,000 per year
Chase is a large payment processor headquartered in New York and is a subsidiary of JP Morgan Chase Bank. It is known to provide good service to large, multi-national businesses. It has all the payment processing hardware and software that enterprises may need.
• 3.3 out of 5 stars on Google reviews
• Based in New York, New York
• Founded in 1799 and is a large commercial and retail bank
• One of the largest payment processors in the world
• A good option for large and multi-national businesses
• A good option if you process more than $50 million per year
• The onboarding process can be long and complicated
• Pricing is not clearly displayed on their website so it is up to the salesperson
• There can be long-term contracts
An honorable mention for being largest in Canada
• 2.4 out of 5 stars on Google reviews
• Based in Toronto, Canada
• Owned by BMO & RBC
• You can get interchange plus pricing if you ask
• A lot of hardware and software options
• A 3 year locked in contract with early termination fees
• A poor reputation for customer support
• We have heard misleading sales tactics