Need Help? | Call - 1 888 414 7111
Merchant Accounts.ca logo

Starter

Setup Fee
None
Monthly Fee
None
2.5% + (full details)
2.5% + (full details)
(Optional)
Per Trans.
30¢
Currencies
CAD & USD
Included
Included
Included
Go Starter
  More Details
The easiest way to start accepting credit cards.
With no setup or monthly fees the Starter Program is ideally suited for businesses that process less than $10,000 per month in credit card sales. The service includes everything you need to process credit cards for your business.
  • No setup or monthly fees.
  • No cancellation fees.
  • Accept payments in CAD or USD and settle directly into your CAD or USD bank account.
  • Best choice if processing less than $10,000 per month in credit card sales.
  • Upgrade to Advanced program at any time.

Pricing Information

Credit & Debit Cards [+]

A rate of 2.5% will be applied every time a regular Visa or Mastercard credit or debit card is processed.

Rewards & Corporate Cards [+]

Many people don't realize that Visa and Mastercard assess higher interchange costs when certain types of cards are processed (some points, airmiles, premium and corporate cards). If a card is processed and a higher interchange fee is assessed by Visa or Mastercard, then the exact and true interchange cost difference from Visa or Mastercard is added to that transaction. We always pass these interchange fees at the exact and true cost, and only when they are assessed by Visa and Mastercard. This allows us to provide the lowest rates when regular credit and debit cards are processed, and the assurance that if a premium card is processed you will never pay more than the absolute minimum pass-through cost for that transaction. A table of the effective processing fees for different card types is included below.

Card Type

Classic Visa
Visa Infinite
Infinite Privilege
Visa Corporate

Mastercard Core
Mastercard World
World Elite
Commercial

Interchange

n/a
0.19%
0.86%
0.41%

n/a
0.71%
1.21%
0.41%

Effective Rate

2.5%
2.69%
3.36%
2.91%

2.5%
3.21%
3.71%
2.91%

Dormancy Fee [+]

There is no monthly fee whatsoever to have an account. Behind the scenes we incur a small cost to maintain your account. If your account is dormant for an entire month with no transactions we charge a $15 dormancy fee to cover our costs. All discount rate fees paid during the month count towards the $15 dormancy fee.

Example: you have a seasonal business and process a single $150 transaction during the entire month. This transaction costs $3.75 in discount rate fees. ($150 x 2.5% discount rate = $3.75).

$3.75 is credited towards your dormancy fee. At the end of the month you are billed a dormancy fee of $11.25. $15 (dormancy fee) - $3.75 (credit for fees paid during month) = $11.25 dormancy fee.

Once you achieve $600 or more in sales per month the account is totally free. We want you to use and benefit from the service, but even if your account is totally dormant for an entire month the worst case scenario is a $15 dormancy fee. It takes very little trading activity to satisfy. Most of our clients pay no dormancy fee at all.

Chargeback Fees [+]

Chargebacks occur when a cardholder contacts their card issuing bank and requests that the transaction is forcibly reversed. Do not confuse a chargeback with a refund. Refunds are a normal part of day to day business and there is no penalty for doing a refund. A chargeback is not, and can only happen when there is a serious dispute between a merchant and a cardholder. (For example, in the case of fraud). If a chargeback occurs a fee of $25 will apply.

Cross Border Fees [+]

Visa and Mastercard assess cross border fees when international credit cards are processed.

This is an important point that most merchants are unaware of. Many payment processors will mark up and earn extra revenue from cross border fees. At Merchant Accounts.ca we do NOT engage in this practice. We pass through cross border fees at cost directly from Visa and Mastercard. For clarity, a credit card processor cannot stop a cross border fee from being assessed, but they can and should pass the cost through without marking it up.

Each time a transaction is processed Visa and Mastercard look at two things.

  1. What country is your business based in?
  2. What country is the bank that issued the credit card to your customer based in?

If your business and the card issuing bank are not in the same country Visa and Mastercard will assess a cross border fee on the transaction.

How Much Do Cross Border Fees Cost?

The cross border fee from Visa and Mastercard is 0.40% when you charge a foreign cardholder in a non-local currency.

The cross border fee is 0.80% if you charge a foreign cardholder in their local currency.

Example 1: Canadian merchant processes a transaction for an Australian customer. The card is billed in Canadian dollars. The cross border fee is 0.40%. Cardholder was charged in a non-local currency.

Example 2: Canadian merchant processes a transaction for an Australian customer. The card is billed in Australian dollars. The cross border fee is 0.80%. Cardholder was charged in their local currency (AUD).

Charging foreign customers in a local currency incurs a higher cross border fee, so why use multi-currency processing? Although the cross border fee is slightly higher when billing in a local currency, it is still highly desirable because the customer will have much more confidence when purchasing. This allows you to market more effectively and significantly improve your conversion rates when selling to foreign customers.

For our clients that target international customers we are able to consult and offer advice to minimize cross border fees. Although a payment processor cannot stop Visa and Mastercard from assessing a cross border fee, we can help you establish business entities in multiple countries so that transactions in your major markets do not cross borders. If you need assistance with this contact us.

Is this program right for you?

There are no setup or monthly fees, which means that if you haven't accepted credit cards before you can try the service out without incurring significant expenses. If you find it's not helpful to your business you can cancel at any time. It's ideally suited for businesses that process under $10,000 per month in credit card sales, although any business can choose the Starter Program. If your business grows and you'd like to get a lower processing rate, you can switch to the Advanced Program at any time. You'll get a merchant account and payment gateway so you can accept e-commerce payments on your website, a virtual terminal to take orders over the phone, and also an online invoice payment page. The service includes other free features such as automatic recurring billing, and a great deal more functionality.

Advanced

Setup Fee
None
Monthly Fee
$39
As low as 1.52% (learn more)
As low as 1.58% (learn more)
(Optional)
Per Trans.
20¢
Currencies
All Currencies
Included
Included
Included
Go Advanced
  More Details
The lowest rate in the industry for high volume merchants.
The advanced program is best for merchants that process more than $10,000 in sales per month. You'll receive the lowest processing rate possible because it will be tied back to true interchange cost as set by Visa and Mastercard.
  • Provides the lowest possible discount rate.
  • Process and receive funds in any global payment currency.
  • Significant volume pricing discounts for high volume businesses.
  • Best choice if processing more than $10,000 per month in credit card sales.

Pricing Information

Getting a Quote [+]

With the Advanced program your pricing is based from true interchange cost as set by Visa and Mastercard. Interchange fees are charged by Visa and MasterCard to credit card processors each time a transaction is processed. In other words, "Interchange" is the cost that all credit card processors must pay each time a transaction is processed on the Visa or MasterCard network.

When the fees that you pay are tied to true interchange cost it is called "interchange plus" or "cost plus" pricing. It is the best and lowest cost pricing method that a merchant can receive because it eliminates any chance of hidden fees, and requires total transparent disclosure of the fees charged by your payment processor.

An example of interchange plus pricing is Interchange + 0.25%. In this example, your business would pay a 0.25% processing fee in addition to the interchange cost each time a transaction is processed. Interchange for a classic Visa card is 1.52%, so if you processed a classic Visa the total rate you would pay is 1.77%.
(1.52% + 0.25% = 1.77%).

Your rate will be quoted based upon how much money your business will process per month, and also the product risk. If you do a very high amount of sales you might receive a quote of Interchange + 0.10%. If you have a smaller business, or if you offer a high risk product or service, you might receive a quote such as Interchange + 0.50%. It is always done on a per case basis, and that is why it is not possible to automate this process. We need to learn about your business, and will do our best to accommodate your pricing goals. In general, the more money that a business processes per month, the lower the rate will be. We will also commit to further rate reductions as your credit card processing volume increases.

In summary, Interchange plus pricing is the best pricing for businesses that process a high volume of sales because you know exactly how much income your payment processor is earning. It provides confidence that you are getting a good value from your processor, and absolute cost certainty because your fees are tied to true interchange set by Visa and MasterCard.

Complete an application to receive a quotation, or contact us by phone or email to discuss your project. We do not dictate rates to our prospective clients. Instead, if you help us to understand your estimated monthly trading volume, desired payment currencies and the goals you have in mind, we will attempt to provide the rates that you are looking to receive. It may sound like a novel concept, but listening to our customers works for us! Our success occurs when our clients achieve their goals, and pricing is a big part of that process.

Dormancy Fee [+]

The Advanced program is intended for businesses that process a higher volume of credit card transactions each month. If your account is dormant for an entire month with no transactions we charge a $20 dormancy fee. All discount rate fees paid during the month count towards the $20 dormancy fee.

Example: you have a seasonal business and process a single $150 transaction during the entire month. For this example we will pretend the merchant has a discount rate of 2%.

$150 x 2% (discount rate) = $3 in fees.

The $3 in fees you've paid is credited towards your dormancy fee. At the end of the month you are billed a dormancy fee of $17.

$20 (dormancy fee) - $3 (credit for fees) = $17 dormancy fee.

Most merchants on our advanced program should never be paying the dormancy fee because they are usually active and processing transactions every month. We want you to use and benefit from the service, but even if your account is totally dormant for an entire month the worst case scenario is a $20 dormancy fee. It takes very little trading activity to satisfy.

Chargeback Fees [+]

Chargebacks occur when a cardholder contacts their card issuing bank and requests that the transaction is forcibly reversed. Do not confuse a chargeback with a refund. Refunds are a normal part of day to day business and there is no penalty for doing a refund. A chargeback is not, and can only happen when there is a serious dispute between a merchant and a cardholder. (For example, in the case of fraud). If a chargeback occurs a fee of $25 will apply.

Cross Border Fees [+]

Visa and Mastercard assess cross border fees when international credit cards are processed.

This is an important point that most merchants are unaware of. Many payment processors will mark up and earn extra revenue from cross border fees. At Merchant Accounts.ca we do NOT engage in this practice. We pass through cross border fees at cost directly from Visa and Mastercard. For clarity, a credit card processor cannot stop a cross border fee from being assessed, but they can and should pass the cost through without marking it up.

Each time a transaction is processed Visa and Mastercard look at two things.

  1. What country is your business based in?
  2. What country is the bank that issued the credit card to your customer based in?

If your business and the card issuing bank are not in the same country Visa and Mastercard will assess a cross border fee on the transaction.

How Much Do Cross Border Fees Cost?

The cross border fee from Visa and Mastercard is 0.40% when you charge a foreign cardholder in a non-local currency.

The cross border fee is 0.80% if you charge a foreign cardholder in their local currency.

Example 1: Canadian merchant processes a transaction for an Australian customer. The card is billed in Canadian dollars. The cross border fee is 0.40%. Cardholder was charged in a non-local currency.

Example 2: Canadian merchant processes a transaction for an Australian customer. The card is billed in Australian dollars. The cross border fee is 0.80%. Cardholder was charged in their local currency (AUD).

Charging foreign customers in a local currency incurs a higher cross border fee, so why use multi-currency processing? Although the cross border fee is slightly higher when billing in a local currency, it is still highly desirable because the customer will have much more confidence when purchasing. This allows you to market more effectively and significantly improve your conversion rates when selling to foreign customers.

For our clients that target international customers we are able to consult and offer advice to minimize cross border fees. Although a payment processor cannot stop Visa and Mastercard from assessing a cross border fee, we can help you establish business entities in multiple countries so that transactions in your major markets do not cross borders. If you need assistance with this contact us.

Is this program right for you?

The Advanced program allows you to process credit cards from customers across the world in any payment currency. It is best suited for businesses that either: (a) process a high volume of credit card sales on a monthly or annual basis; or (b) target international customers and wish to bill them in their local currency .

It includes a merchant account and payment gateway so you can accept e-commerce payments on your website, advanced security, tokenized recurring billing, and a great deal more functionality. It also includes a virtual terminal for offline orders. You can also setup an invoice payment page so customers can submit payment for outstanding invoices online.

Facts

  • No hidden fees.
  • No locked in contract.
  • You get account managed support from the same person for the lifetime of your account. This person has expertise and authority to help on any issue. Inquiries are never handled by a call center.
  • We have one of best reputations in Canada's payment industry thanks to clear pricing and dedicated customer support since 2001.
  • We are (by a wide margin) Canada's longest established and foremost experts in multi-currency merchant accounts and e-commerce payment processing.

How can you promise to reduce my processing costs?

A promise of low rates is meaningless unless it takes into consideration your business location, the countries your customers are located in, and the currencies you want to support.

Our 16 years of expertise in e-commerce payments mean something real when it comes to pricing. Our structure is built to leverage our international payment processing platforms so your transactions can qualify for the lowest possible rate in each region and currency.

This is more than a generic "we have low rates" statement. In the credit card processing industry costs (called "interchange") are set directly by Visa and Mastercard. Interchange costs are impacted by transaction type, the product being sold, and merchant location. Most merchants don't know this, and certainly don't take advantage of it. We have over a decade of expertise heavily invested into helping merchants achieve cost optimization when it comes to online payments. Our long-established bank partnerships in Canada, the US and Europe enable us to leverage our platforms so your transactions receive the lowest rate possible.

In short, we make it easy for businesses of any size to get the lowest possible cost when processing e-commerce payments. We proudly post our rate structure online, but you should speak to us about the specifics of your project.

Searching to find the right provider for your business?

Pre-App Checklist