Beanstream Review

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Beanstream has pricing plans designed specifically for Canadian small businesses and startups, as well as separate plans for larger businesses. For an SMB in Canada, the company’s swipe rates are 2.75 percent per transaction when the card is present. If the card isn’t present, the rate is 2.90 percent plus $.30 for each transaction. This plan involves no extra fees for setup or monthly use. It also requires no fixed-term contract and there is no sales minimum.

Larger businesses will likely go with either a Merchant Account or Gateway Account, depending on their processing needs. Each plan is tailored to a business’s individual needs, with customized pricing at competitive rates. Businesses pay only for the solutions they need, allowing them to save money over other processors that force merchants to pay for a full package. No fixed-term contracts are required for Beanstream’s accounts and businesses will not be charged a fee for a statement.

CUSTOMIZABLE SOLUTIONS

Located in British Columbia, Beanstream specializes in online payment processing with a focus on security and fraud prevention. In addition to online payments, merchants can accept cards using a smartphone or tablet equipped with Beanstream’s mobile card swiping device. With a secure, bank-neutral gateway, Beanstream has a variety of options to help businesses take care of their unique needs.

One thing that sets Beanstream apart is its service for processing registrations for events. Using a simple web form, merchants can create 24/7 event registration for participants around the globe. Payment can be made directly within the interface and, once information has been collected, event organizers will have a database of attendees for generating reports, extracting demographic information, and sending bulk emails.

Beanstream works with North American businesses of all types, allowing transactions to be processed in Canadian and/or American funds. While the company’s solutions may be geared toward online payments, merchants can also process payments through Beanstream’s virtual terminal, which provides a secure way for businesses to accept payments over the phone and through the mail.

To make online payments easy, Beanstream offers a hosted payment form that can be customized to a merchant’s preferences. Information is temporarily hosted on the processor’s PCI-compliant servers where all information is protected until payment has been released. Email receipts are built into the interface and if a refund or adjustment is requested, merchants can easily process it through Beanstream’s online portal.

EQUIPMENT

Beanstream’s “toolkit” is mostly virtual, allowing merchants to utilize PCs and mobile devices they already have. For mobile payment processing, merchants will be required to purchase a durable card reader that fits into the headphone jacks of their existing mobile devices.

CUSTOMER SERVICE

Customer support is available by phone Monday through Friday from 6am to 9pm PST. Saturdays, telephone support is available from 8am to 4:30pm PST and Sundays and holidays, help is available between 7am and 3:30pm PST. An online callback request form will put a representative in touch with merchants without having to spend time on hold.

THE GOOD

Separate fee structure for startups as opposed to larger companies that have a higher transaction volume

Online event registration makes planning for conventions easy

THE BAD

Customer support is only available during business hours

AND THE UGLY

Payments are only available in North American currencies, eliminating merchants that accept global transactions

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