August 9, 2019

Dharma Merchant Services Review

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Dharma Merchant Services is an affordable credit card processing service for mid- to large-sized businesses. Read this review to find out if it's the right fit for your business.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Low interchange plus pricing
  • No contract
  • Minimal extra fees
  • $25 monthly fee
  • $49 closure fee
  • No high risk merchants

Bottom Line

Transparent merchant account provider for businesses processing $10k+ a month

What is Dharma Merchant Services

Founded in 2007, Dharma Merchant Services is an interchange-plus merchant account provider. Compared to competitors, Dharma's rates are among the lowest.

Dharma lets you process credit card payments:

  • In person
  • Over the phone
  • Online
  • Using your mobile device

While they are transparent in their pricing and practices, Dharma Merchant Services isn't right for everyone. Keep reading to learn more.

Dharma Merchant Services Pros

  • Transparent interchange plus pricing with no hidden fees. All fees are published on their website.

  • No set contract or early termination fees; No monthly minimums.

  • Free built-in payment gateway and virtual terminal for all users

  • Integration with third-party gateways

  • 24/7 customer service with a trained Dharma rep

  • Accept payments anywhere with the free Dharma mobile app

Dharma offers a free cost analysis against your current credit card processor to tell you whether or not you will benefit from Dharma's services

Dharma Merchant Services Cons

  • Not ideal for new small businesses. You need to show proof of your business entity during the approval process. It's best for companies that process at least $10,000 in credit card sales per month

  • $25 monthly fee for all users.

  • Strict batch-out deadline of 9 PM Eastern Time to receive funds in 2 business days.

  • Dharma charges a $25 fee for each chargeback.

  • Does not work with high-risk merchants. Look at these providers instead.

Packages & Fees

All users have a $25 monthly fee. This covers using the service, statement preparation, and customers support. There is no monthly minimum.

Dharma offers different rates based on business type:

Small Business & Retail Rates

  • Interchange + 0.15% + $0.08 (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover)
  • Interchange + 0.25% + $0.08 (Amex)
  • Interchange + 0.10% + $0.08 (High volume merchants over $100k/mo)

Restaurant & Quick Service Rates

  • Interchange + 0.15% + $0.08 (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover)
  • Interchange + 0.25% + $0.08 (Amex)
  • Interchange + 0.10% + $0.08 (High volume merchants over $100k/mo)

Virtual & Online Rates

  • Interchange + 0.20% + $0.11 (Visa, Mastercard, and Discover)
  • Interchange + 0.30% + $0.11 (Amex)
  • Interchange + 0.10% + $0.11 (High volume merchants over $100k/mo)


  • Interchange + 0.10% + $0.08 (V/MC/D - storefront)
  • Interchange + 0.20% + $0.08 (Amex - storefront)
  • Interchange + 0.10% + $0.11 (V/MC/D - virtual)
  • Interchange + 0.20% + $0.11 (Amex - virtual)

Here are other fees to be aware of:

  • $25 chargeback fee
  • $49 closure fee
  • No monthly minimum
  • No early termination fee
  • No PCI compliance fee
  • No batch fees

MX Merchant

Dharma negotiates great rates with the top processors in the industry to save you money on credit card processing costs.

All Dharma Merchant accounts provide access to MX Merchant, which provides:

  • Virtual terminal to process online and over-the-phone transactions
  • Customer database with credit card storage
  • Mobile processing
  • Next day funding for card-present transactions
  • Online reporting

A payment gateway with greater bandwidth is recommended if you are an ecommerce business. Choose from Authorize.Net (a basic payment gateway) or NMI, which offers more advanced features.

MX Merchant Add-ons
For additional monthly costs, you can select added benefits to your plan. Options include:

  • MX Merchant B2B App
    For $20/month, you can collect business-to-business payments at rates much lower than standard interchange rates. The MX Virtual Terminal finds the lowest possible rate for you.

  • MX Merchant Insights App
    The MX Merchant Insights App allows you to learn about your customer demographics, connect on social media, and engage with your customers for $10/month.

  • MX Account Updater
    For a monthly fee of $25, Dharma will automatically contact up to 150 banks per month to update expiring credit card information. Additional updates cost $0.15 per update.

  • ACH Check Processing
    Dharma's integration with allows you to accept electronic check payments up to $5,000 a month. Fees include a $25 monthly fee, $0.40 transaction fee, $2 return item fee, and $5 reversal fee.

Equipment Options

In addition to the free MX Merchant payment gateway, Dharma offers a wide range of equipment solutions that can accommodate your business' needs, including:

  • Free mobile processing systems through Apple and Android devices

  • Free integration with third-party gateways

  • Standalone payment terminals such as Verifone Vx520 and First Data FD130

  • Station, Mini, and Flex Clover POS Systems

  • Poynt Smart Terminal for wireless transactions

How It Compares

Dharma recommends Square to new or small businesses. They do not charge a monthly fee or chargeback fees, but have higher processing fees than Dharma's.

Their pricing model does not use interchange +. Rather, Square charges flat fees depending on the package selected.

The basic plan fees start at 2.5% + $0.10/transaction. Square also provides a free card reader and a powerful POS system, which can be beneficial for new or small businesses.

While PayPal does offer services for in-person merchants, they are best suited for small and mid-sized ecommerce merchants that process transactions on a virtual terminal. They offer a wide range of services for online stores, including invoicing, marketing solutions, business loans, promotional financing, and payment tracking.

PayPal partners with providers such as Shopify, Woo Commerce, GoDaddy, Xero, QuickBooks, and Mailchimp to provide comprehensive packages for ecommerce businesses.

They charge a flat fee of 2.9%/transaction processed in the U.S. + a small fixed fee depending on the currency used. Transactions made outside of the U.S. are charged 4.4%.

PayPal offers discounted rates for nonprofit organizations.

Bottom Line

Dharma Merchant Services offers quality payment processing services for medium to large businesses that process more than $10,000 a month.

They offer a low-cost and efficient option for many business types, including nonprofits, restaurants, ecommerce, and retail stores. Speaking with a Dharma representative can help you determine if it is the right system for you.

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Chase Payment Solutions

Chase Payment Solutions℠

  • Never miss a sale with powerful new ways to accept credit cards, anytime, anywhere. Accept payments multiple ways – in person, online or over the phone.
  • Fast funding at no additional cost. Get deposits as soon as same day.
  • Get fair and transparent pricing with no hidden fees. 2.6% rate +10¢ per tap, dip and swiped transaction. 2.90% + 25¢ per eCommerce transaction and monthly fee starting at $9.95. 3.5% rate +10¢ per keyed transaction.
  • Trusted security – As technology advances, our industry-leading systems help keep your payments and customers safe.
  • Get paid fast and manage your business from anywhere with the Chase Point of Sale system. Use our mobile app, reader and terminal to take payments via tap, dip and swipe.
  • Accept cards online or over the phone with our payment gateway or use our pre-built payment integrations to leading eCommerce platforms and virtual terminal options.
  • Process payments with Chase Payment Solutions, the #1 merchant acquirer in the U.S.
  • Tap to Pay on iPhone offers you the ability to accept contactless cards, Apple Pay and other digital wallets on your iPhone – no additional hardware required.
  • Chase Customer Insights is a complimentary business intelligence platform that offers simple, actionable analytics and reports to help you make better business decisions and reach more customers.

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