Helcim Executive team pose for photo (From left to right Brett Popkey, Marjorie Junio-Read, Nic Beique, Rob Park)
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The Helcim Merchant Newsletter November 2022

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Nic Beique | November 16, 2022

“Starting this week we will be sending our first quarterly merchant newsletter, and this is not your grandpapa’s generic newsletter - this is a personalized message that provides you with greater visibility about what is really happening at Helcim.”
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    I’m Nic, the founder and CEO of Helcim.

    I spend a lot of time thinking about our mission to be the most loved payments company. It's a big goal, and a feeling that isn’t often shared, or even considered possible between a payments company and their customer. Our relationship with you is one we value highly, and it isn’t so different from the one we strive to have with our employees. Yes, we want to bring you a valuable, reliable and affordable service, but much like with our team - we also want to be open and transparent so we can earn your trust and keep you with us. We want you to feel like a part of our team, and to do that - we need to communicate with you like a team member.

    So we took inspiration from our internal company communications, team updates and town halls, and decided to put together a quarterly newsletter to you - our merchants. Before you hit “unsubscribe”, know that my promise to you is that this will not be another generic newsletter from a generic service provider.

    What you will get is a candid, human look at what’s happening at Helcim, what’s working, and what needs to improve. So in the spirit of candor and transparency, let’s get started with the top things currently on our minds:

    Technical growing pains

    The number of merchants using our service has tripled in 2022 and we are extremely thankful to all of you for choosing us as your payments partner. All of that growth also came with some unfortunate growing pains. Most notably, in the spring we started seeing that our server infrastructure was not keeping up with the increase in usage, resulting in some periodic outages as well as a slower software experience and transaction times, for this - we sincerely apologize. We know that delivering a stable, reliable, and fast experience is crucial to earning and keeping your trust in us, which is why fixing this became our #1 priority. For much of the spring and summer, we undertook major upgrades to our infrastructure that would let us offer an even better service, at the same time as supporting the increasing number of small and medium size business owners just like you that want to join us..

    We’re happy to announce that as of mid-September, those updates have been completed and you should have already experienced a much faster, and more stable platform. One side effect of our drastic prioritization of  this issue is that it diverted a big portion of our developer resources away from ongoing feature requests and app fixes. We’re now back focusing on these and you should see some exciting upgrades and new features coming your way soon.

    Scaling our customer service team

    Amazing, friendly and most importantly, human customer service is a pillar of what we believe makes Helcim unique in the payments world. Our fast growth also caused our hold times to increase, and we knew that we had to make a big investment in the size of our operations teams, as well as their tools. Over the summer, we increased the size of our in-house operations team, and we’ve been working on rollouts for new ticketing, phone, and service-desk improvements to help them better serve you. Our hold times now average 6-minutes, and we’re going to keep making the investments needed so that you can continue getting that special Helcim customer service experience.

    Improving our mobile apps

    When it comes to in-person payment acceptance, you depend on our mobile and desktop apps, as well as our card-readers, to all work together to create a good checkout experience for your customers. With many more merchants using an increasing array of device types, we have seen an uptick in edge-cases that result in performance issues when it comes to our hardware. We’ve taken your feedback, and our mobile/desktop app dev team has been working hard behind the scenes, rolling out rebuilt code all summer that should alleviate many of these issues and provide big improvements in app performance. Stay tuned for some big wins this Fall!  And please keep the feedback coming - getting this right is a top priority for us.

    We’re also working on additional terminal offerings, with a release aimed at early 2023 - stay tuned. Tap-on-phone functionality for both iOS and Android is also on our roadmap, so if this is something that you’d be interested in you can add your email to our beta waitlist here.

    Upcoming feature upgrades

    While the bulk of our resources has been on the speed and stability of our platform this year, a portion of our team has also been working on improving our merchant tools based on all the feedback we’ve received. Here are some of the upcoming releases to expect prior to end-of-year:

    Online Checkout Replacing the previous online store functionality, our new Online Checkout system will make it easy for any business to add online ordering functionality to their existing website.

    Subscription Manager A major upgrade to our popular recurring payment tools, with simpler interfaces and better functionality.

    Payment History Dashboard A revamp of our transaction and batch sections, which will make it easier for you to search and navigate your payment history.

    QuickBooks and Xero Integrations A complete rework of our QuickBooks integration, as well as a brand new Xero integration, will allow you and your bookkeeper to more easily reconcile your payments and accounting. We’re excited to be sharing more details on these platform updates shortly, so stay tuned.

    We choose transparency

    Trust and transparency are key pillars of what makes Helcim, whether that is with our partners, our team members, or our merchants. We recognize that trust is hard to earn, easy to lose and is tested continuously over time. This new merchant newsletter is us doubling down on that commitment. We will be releasing a new one each quarter, and I invite you to continue to reach out and share feedback with us on how we can better serve you as a Helcim merchant.

    Thank you for your continued trust in our team, and happy November. 🍁

    -Nic

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