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.

Overall Score

4.1

Price

4.5

Customer Service

4.5

Equipment

4.0

Contract

5.0

Ecommerce

4.0

High Volume Business

4.0

Low Volume Business

2.5
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)

Non-profits

  • 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 ACH.com 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

Square
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.

PayPal
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.

Payline Data
Payline Data has higher interchange markup costs than Dharma. However, they offer discounted rates for higher volume transactions and they do not charge any percentage per transaction fees.

Markup costs can range from 0.3%–0.5% depending on the volume of transactions per month. This can potentially reduce costs for businesses that complete over $50,000 in transactions on a monthly basis. They also do not charge a monthly fee for their online shopping platform.

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.

Square Reader: Free Mobile Credit Card Reader

Square Reader: Free Mobile Credit Card Reader

  • Pay 2.6% + 10¢ Per Swipe for Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express
  • Accept Credit Cards Anywhere
  • Fast Setup, No Commitments
Payline

Free 1st Month of Processing

  • Interchange Plus Pricing
  • Next Day Funding
  • No Long Term Agreements
Helcim

Start Accepting Payments Fast

  • Interchange Plus Pricing
  • No Monthly Fees
  • No Contracts
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 the same day1
  • Enjoy fair and transparent pricing with no hidden or monthly fees. 2.6% rate +10¢ per tap, dip and swiped transaction. 2.90% + 25¢ per ecommerce transaction. 3.5% rate +10¢ per keyed transaction2
  • Get 24/7 support, online or from a live U.S.-based Chase Payment Solutions agent.
  • Trusted security – As technology advances, our industry-leading systems help keep your payments safe
  • Accept cards in person – Take payments quickly with our easy to use point-of-sale devices and mobile app3
  • Accept cards online or over the phone – Choose from pre-built payment integrations with leading eCommerce platforms, virtual terminal and a payment gateway
  • Over 4 million businesses of all types and sizes trust financial solutions from Chase4

1Payments processed, approved, and completed by 5:00 PM Pacific Time (PT) / 8 PM Eastern Time (ET) are eligible for same-day deposits, 6 days a week, excluding Saturdays. In addition, all QuickAccept deposits are subject to the QuickAccept Terms of Service. Payments held for risk, fraud, or other review may not be eligible for same-day deposits. Payments processed, approved and completed by 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET, Sunday through Friday (including holidays), will be deposited into the business owner's Chase business checking account that night. All payments processed, approved and completed by 5:00 PM PT / 8:00 PM ET on Saturdays will be deposited into the business owner's Chase business checking account Sunday morning by 7:30 AM ET. There is no additional cost for same-day deposits, but standard rates and fees will apply for business checking and payment processing. Customers qualify for same-day deposits upon sign-up and depositing into a Chase business checking account. Same-day deposits are available in the U.S. only. Additional exclusions may apply.

2Rate Information: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and Chase Transactions involving physical Credit and Signature Debit cards will be assessed 2.6% discount rate and $0.10 per tap, dip or swiped transaction, and 3.5% discount rate and $0.10 per keyed transaction. PIN Debit, EBT Transactions and E-commerce transactions are excluded. Not all businesses may qualify, talk to a payment specialist for more details.

3Chase Mobile® app is available for select mobile devices. Enroll in Chase Online℠ or on the Chase Mobile app. Message and data rates may apply.

4https://reports.jpmorganchase.com/investor-relations/2020/ar-ceo-letter-gordon-smith.htm
“Chase,” “JPMorgan,” “JPMorgan Chase,” the JPMorgan Chase logo and the Octagon Symbol are trademarks of JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

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