Best payment terminals & (credit) card readers. Compare payment processors in Canada

*note: all percentages are the minimum rates estimates as they are not all standardised. Requesting quotes can give you different % offers.

Helcim terminal


Manufacturer + processor

all on one device

No extra devices or connections needed

Built-in thermal receipt printer

Easy to set up, Easier to use

% 1.94

per creditcard transaction

Square payment terminal

Square CA

Manufacturer + processor

All-in-one payment

Chip and PIN cards

Contactless cards

Mobile devices

Designed to work (even offline)

% 2.65

per creditcard transaction

Stripe terminal

Stripe CA

Manufacturer + processor

Chip, swipe, and contactless payments

Ability to collect input on-screen

Plug-in, plus Stripe’s longest battery life

WiFi connectivity

High-definition display

% 2.7

per creditcard transaction

Clover paytment terminal

Clover CA

Manufacturer + processor

Charges in an hour

Lasts up to 8 hours

Built in receipt printer and barcode scanner

5-inch hi-res antimicrobial touchscreen

Built-in fingerprint reader security

% 2.30

per creditcard transaction

Moneris Go Plus terminal


Payment Processor

Minimal setup time

User-friendly features

Stay up and running

24/7 live customer support

Start processing payments right out of the box

% 2.25

per creditcard transaction

Global payments terminal image

Global Payments

Payment Processor

Accept chip & PIN, or contactless payments

Print or email receipts quickly and easily

Connect to ethernet, WiFi and 4G

Mobile pay

POS solutions

% 1.50

per creditcard transaction

Ingenico image



Performance optimized at affordable price

Payment anywhere and anytime

All methods of payment accepted

Fast integrated printer

PAX technology terminal

PAX POS terminals


Powered by Android 10

Cortex A55, 1.6 GHz Octa-Core processor

4G + WiFi + Bluetooth

Contactless + Chip & PIN + Magstripe

Fast-speed printer

Worldline image


Boost performance and make sales easy

Accept local and international schemes

Large set of value-added services directly available on terminals

Facilitate self-checkout with eye-catching contactless area

% 2.70

per creditcard transaction

Card & payment terminal reader processing costs from POS systems

lightspeed logo

Lightspeed Payments - Canada

Innovate faster

Stay on top of business performance

Gain valuable insights

Boost customer satisfaction

Keep staff happy

Simplify workflows

% 2.6

per creditcard transaction

Payment terminal and card reader cost comparison

Card machines payment processors – Canada Card reader cost Payment terminal cost Payment Fees cost – credit cards
Square $69 $349 2.65%
Clover $49 $599 2.30%
Stripe $79 $299 2.70%
Global Payments na na 1.50%
Moneris na na 1.56%
Helcim $139 $429 1.73%
Worldline na na 2.70%
PAX na na na
Ingenico na na na

How do payment terminals and card readers work in Canada?

Payment terminals and card readers in Canada work similarly to those in other parts of the world. They facilitate electronic transactions by allowing customers to make payments using debit or credit cards. Here’s a general overview of how they work:

  1. Card Swiping or Insertion: Depending on the type of card reader, customers either swipe their card through a magnetic stripe reader or insert it into a chip card (EMV) reader.
  2. Data Transfer: The card reader reads the information stored on the card’s magnetic stripe or chip. This information typically includes the card number, expiration date, and other relevant details.
  3. Authorization Request: The payment terminal sends this card information along with the transaction amount to the acquiring bank or payment processor. The acquiring bank facilitates the transaction on behalf of the merchant.
  4. Payment Processor Communication: The payment processor acts as an intermediary between the merchant and the cardholder’s issuing bank. It forwards the authorization request to the appropriate card network (Visa, MasterCard, etc.).
  5. Card Network Processing: The card network processes the authorization request and checks for factors like available credit, account status, and potential fraud indicators.
  6. Issuer Bank Decision: The cardholder’s issuing bank receives the authorization request from the card network. The bank reviews the request, assesses the cardholder’s account, and determines whether the transaction should be approved or declined based on various factors.
  7. Transaction Response: The issuing bank sends an authorization response back to the card network, which is then relayed to the payment processor and the payment terminal.
  8. Transaction Completion: If the transaction is approved, the payment terminal prints or displays a receipt for the customer to sign (for credit transactions) or enter their PIN (for debit transactions).
  9. Transaction Settlement: The approved transaction is added to the batch of transactions for the day. At the end of the day, the merchant’s payment processor settles the batch by transferring the funds from the acquiring bank to the merchant’s bank account, minus any applicable fees.

It’s important to note that in Canada, like many other regions, there has been a transition from traditional magnetic stripe cards to EMV (chip and PIN) cards to enhance security and reduce fraud. EMV technology is more secure because the data on the chip is encrypted and changes with each transaction, making it difficult for attackers to clone the card.

Additionally, many payment terminals also support contactless payment methods such as tap-to-pay using near-field communication (NFC) technology. This allows customers to make payments by simply tapping their card or mobile device on the terminal, without the need to insert or swipe the card.

Keep in mind that specific details and processes may vary based on the type of payment terminal, card network, issuing bank, and payment processor used by the merchant.