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Dharma Merchant Services Review

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PROS / This company has a special pricing plan for small-ticket merchants, such as restaurants.

CONS / To qualify for an account with this service, you must process $10,000 or more per month.

 VERDICT / Dharma Merchant Services is a solid choice for established businesses. It's transparent with its pricing, charges low rates and provides quality customer service.

Dharma Merchant Services is based out of San Francisco. This payment gateway provider has transparent pricing and offers industry-recommended interchange-plus pricing. Additionally, it has a rate-lock guarantee that assures you that as long as you have an account, its markup over interchange won't increase.

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Dharma Merchant Services has a restaurant plan for merchants with average small tickets, with rates of 0.20% plus $0.07 per transaction over interchange, and retail rates of 0.25% and $0.10 over interchange, which are better than the average of the payment gateway providers we reviewed.

It has a monthly fee of $10 and charges its PCI-compliance fee monthly at $7.95, rather than as a large annual fee. Both of these fees are lower than average. It doesn't charge a monthly minimum fee, but in order to qualify for an account, you need to process more than $10,000 per month.

Dharma Merchant Services sells EMV-compliant processing equipment, with a basic terminal costing $249, which is higher than the average cost on our lineup. The Clover Go is available for $99, which is a lower upfront cost, but you also pay $10 per month for software if you choose this model.

If you want to sell goods or services online, Dharma Merchant Services can set up an Authorize.net or NMI payment gateway for you. The NMI gateway costs $49 to set up, $20 per month and an additional $0.05 for each transaction. With this payment gateway, you can also invoice your customers via email and set up recurring billing.

One of Dharma Merchant Services' standout features is its transparency; we awarded it a perfect 100% score. It lists all of its costs and fees on its website, while many other processors don't include this information in such detail. Dharma's website also includes other useful information, such as articles that explain how interchange-plus pricing works and other aspects of the payment industry.

You can apply for Dharma Merchant Services online in about 10 minutes. After your application has been received, approval and setup can take up to two days. When you start processing credit cards through this service, money can be deposited into your account between one and two business days after the transaction. These times are typical for the industry. However, if you accept credit cards in person, you may qualify for next day funding.

You won't be stuck in a long-term contract if you sign up with Dharma. Instead, its services are month to month. If you cancel, you pay a $25 account-closure fee.

This merchant gateway service received high marks from us on the quality of its customer service. The people we spoke with from this company were knowledgeable and quick to give answers to our questions. Dharma's account managers are noncommissioned, and it has a dedicated support team. Phone support is available 24/7.

Summary

Dharma Merchant Services is a solid payment gateway provider for established merchants processing over $10,000 a month. It's among the most transparent companies we reviewed, with details about its costs and fees posted prominently on its website.

It provides interchange-plus pricing and offers special rates for merchants with small tickets as well as for nonprofits. It provides its credit card processing services on a month-to-month basis with no setup fee. However, it charges a gateway setup fee and an account-closure fee.

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