Pros / Dharma Merchant Services is very transparent and posts its rates, fees and terms on its website.
Cons / The monthly gateway fee includes an additional per-transaction fee.
Verdict / Dharma Merchant Services provides community-minded businesses with a transparent and socially responsible way to accept credit cards online.
Dharma Merchant Services is a San Francisco-based credit card processor that provides online credit card processing for small businesses. Although this processor's interchange-plus pricing is more expensive than average and includes an additional per-transaction fee for online transactions, it has excellent setup speeds, service terms and customer service that make it worth considering for your online credit card processing needs. It's a Certified B Corporation as well as a Benefit Corporation in the state of California. It's also a member of Green America's Green Business Network and has received the Green Business Leader Award for its sustainable business practices and charitable giving.
Dharma Merchant Service's interchange-plus rate is a 0.35 percent markup and a $0.15 per-transaction fee. This rate is higher than the average processor on our review, but for online credit card processing, it isn't exorbitant. With the higher markup and $0.15 per-transaction fee, Dharma Merchant Services is a good choice for businesses with a high average ticket size. A discounted rate is available to nonprofit organizations.
In addition to the processing costs, this processor also charges a monthly fee of $10. It charges $7.95 per month for PCI compliance if you require web scanning. It doesn't have a monthly minimum, but you need to process more than $10,000 per month, be U.S.-based and not be considered a high-risk business to use this processor.
Dharma Merchant Services has expensive gateway costs for accepting credit cards online. It's one of three companies we evaluated that charges a gateway setup fee. You pay $49 to have an Authorize.net gateway set up. In addition to the setup fee, you pay an ongoing monthly gateway fee. At $20 per month with a $0.05 per-transaction fee, this is the highest monthly gateway fee in our review.
This processor excelled on our transparency and consistency score, receiving a maximum score of 100 percent. Dharma Merchant Services posts its rates, fees and terms on its website. The website includes a useful primer on interchange-plus pricing, showing how much you actually pay on transactions of a certain amount.
We rated all the online credit card processing companies we reviewed on their ease of application. Dharma Merchant Services rated well, allowing you to sign up electronically and not needing more than basic information about your business. You don't sign a long-term contract with this processor; your service operates on a month-to month basis. If you move on, you have to pay a $25 fee to close the account. It takes up to two days to set up your account and around two days for funds to be deposited into your bank account once you've started processing.
Dharma Merchant Services has excellent customer service. The reps our reviewers spoke to were knowledgeable and quick to provide us with follow-up information. It offers 24/7 phone support. The website includes a thorough knowledgebase and a blog that features articles of interest to small business owners.
Dharma Merchant Services has a higher-than-average interchange-plus pricing plan. It also has expensive gateway costs for accepting credit cards online. However, it has excellent service terms, quick setup times and provides quality customer service.