By 2007, Calgary small businesses found it difficult to process credit card transactions due to high fees. To solve this problem, the company Helcim was created, which at first did not attract much interest, but after a few years was able to become a company with an income of 35 million dollars a year.
Helcim enables small business owners to accept online payments and makes credit card processing easy and affordable by developing credit card readers, virtual terminals, a variety of apps, and more. The company has created all the tools and software solutions needed for the development of a small business, writes calgary-future.
The company was founded by Nicholas Beik. A future IT entrepreneur was born in Texas. When he was not even a year old, the family moved to Montreal. When Nicholas turned 12, they moved again – to Calgary.
In one of the interviews, Beik admitted that he did not like school. All he was interested in was computers. Being self-taught, he started programming as a teenager. In the morning he studied at school, and in the afternoon he worked at the computer store Memory Express. In the evenings, Nicholas created his first projects little by little.
After graduating from high school, he was engaged in web design, graphics, and studied programming even more seriously. The guy has created many projects, for example, a web design firm, a 3D sales platform, and a local social network site.
Over the years, he has spoken with entrepreneurs who have had problems using technology to grow their small business. Then the idea appeared to create a tool that would allow small businesses to compete with large companies without needing a staff of programmers and web developers.
In November 2007, during his second year at the DeVry Institute of Technology in Illinois, Nicholas launched the Helcim platform, which stood out from other software systems as a comprehensive solution with built-in payments that were accepted in a transparent and secure manner.
The first payment gateway was created over the course of eight months. The lead developer of the first launch was Nicholas himself. Finding a bank willing to cooperate with the company took the most time. Nicholas’ goal was to provide better tools for merchants to accept payments in minutes and for entrepreneurs to have all the tools they need to quickly set up and grow their business.
How did the company develop further?
During the year, Helcim already attracted 49 e-commerce customers, and the real success happened when the well-known Calgary restaurant Macleod Trail Kinjo Sushi & Grill agreed to serve customers using the Helcim system.
However, the company later entered a crisis phase. Then Beik, working at night and on weekends, was able to increase the staff from two people to seven in 2 years. The company also moved to a large office. In 4 years, the number of employees has already increased to 38, the company again moved its office to even larger premises. During this time, thousands of sellers from Canada and the USA have already contacted the company. Helcim’s development has been amazing.
Worried about the obligation to store customer information on their own computers, companies realized they could rely on Helcim’s secure credit card storage. Helcim has built a reputation as a transparent payment processor, and in 2021 was named one of Canada’s Most Admired Corporate Cultures. Beik himself has received many awards for his contribution to the payment industry and technology.