Canadian Payment Gateways, Merchant Accounts and other ways to get paid in Canadian dollars (CAD)

Ryan Weal

October 26, 2011

When choosing how to accept payments online in Canadian dollars you have many options to choose from. Most of these solutions can integrate with Drupal and Übercart. We at Kafei Interactive have supported Canadian dollar gateways including PayPal, Moneris, TD Merchant Services (Beanstream) and US-dollar gateways that connect to Authorize.net and Skipjack. We have also assisted organizations fine-tune their servers to meet their PCI obligations.

Canadian Payment Gateways

These solutions are all ones where your website must be configured to securely accept payments online. You accept the credit card on one of your site pages so the client never leaves. A payment gateway is most useful when you are doing more than $5000 in monthly sales.

If you already have a merchant account with any of these providers you're already half way there.

Source Some of these accept low risk and others accept high-risk accounts. High risk stuff includes web hosting and anything related to adult services. InternetSecure resells for Paymentech if that is what you are looking for.

Update: we now recommend Stripe, which is a US-based service that allows you to receive USD and CAD, and will pay out in CAD unless you have a USA-based account that can recieve ACH transfers (Canada-based US dollar accounts typically require SWIFT, not ACH).

Interac Online

This is a new "pay page" service that is offered with some payment gateways listed above. Basically the bank has to allow their web banking interface to be used as a pay-page. So you get redirected to your own bank or credit union to pay then kicked back to the site at the end of the payment process. No confidential data is revealed to the merchant using this system. It takes a week or more to get your money if you use Interac Online according to one provider. They initiate a transfer from the source bank, wait two days, then hold the money a week(?! not sure why this is necessary), then two more days for the transfer. I'm sure what they probably meant to say was that it takes about a week in total.

Using Canadian Dollar Payment Services

Here is where things get interesting. For processing less than $5000 in monthly sales. Not advisable for non-profits and some others because sometimes PayPal withholds your money, for up to 6 months! Usually it takes about two days (as with most services listed on this page). There are no Drupal modules for Interac Email Money Transfers because people need to add you as a payee in their web banking using your email address as the "target account". Configuration varies by bank or credit union. If a client were to ask for this in Übercart I would recommend making it like a Cash/Cheque option where you acknowledge payment after.

Cheques and Cash On Delivery

Sounds absurd but it is more common than you think. Many small businesses make deliveries and bring the product direct to the consumer. In these cases we often provide a cheque or a pay by cash option just in case the client needs a "live" option to pay. On our websites we produce when you choose the cheque option customers are then presented with a billing address to "complete" the sale. The transaction is marked as a pending order until you as the store owner update the sales record.