If you’re a Canadian business and want to participate in e-commerce, you’ll need a payment provider who works with Canadian companies and follows all the necessary regulations from the Canadian government.
Thankfully, you’ll find that most of the major merchant service providers do business in Canada and you have plenty of options to choose from.
A Word About PCI Compliance
The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) is a set of industry security standards put together to ensure that all companies that accept, process, store or transmit credit card information maintain certain security standards.
With the recent high profile data breaches that have been in the media, security should be on the mind of any business that accepts payments from customers. In the case of merchant service providers, bigger really is better. All of the providers below are PCI compliant, which means that they adhere to the highest standard of data security. When they store credit card information, it’s appropriately encrypted to avoid data breaches.
One of the biggest payment providers, and a household name in its own right.
Less of a well-known name, but definitely one of the biggest players in this field.
Initially known for its eponymous point of sale credit card reader, Square has now expanded into processing online payments.
As an e-commerce platform in its own right, Shopify offers many more options than the vendors above. It offers a wide variety of third party payment gateways (including all the above), but also its own called Shopify Payments.
Less well-known on the world stage, Calgary-based Helcim is a great option if you want a payment provider that’s born and raised in Canada.
How to choose from the above? Honestly, any of them will likely serve your purposes well. We aren’t mentioning any specifics on what they’re charging because these details can change, and, in any case, they typically adjust their rates to match what the others are offering.
Charging in USD vs. CAD
Deciding which currency to use depends on your customer base. If you find yourself selling goods exclusively within Canada, you should stick to CAD for the convenience of your customers. However, if you’re planning to sell internationally, USD is more versatile because it’s the most internationally recognized currency.
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