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Dharma Merchant Services Review

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PROS / This company does not have a monthly minimum or a PCI-compliance fee.

CONS / If you sign up for this service, you do not have a dedicated account representative at your disposal.

 VERDICT / Dharma Merchant Services is a solid choice for community businesses. It's transparent with its fees and is socially responsible.

Dharma Merchant Services is based out of San Francisco. This payment gateway service has transparent pricing and doesn't charge the common PCI-compliance fee. It works with small businesses and prefers to work with companies that help build their communities.

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This payment gateway company offers interchange-plus pricing only, which experts say is the best pricing model. Dharma's rates are 0.25% + $0.10 per transaction, which is a bit better than the average on the payment gateway providers we reviewed. It has a monthly fee of $15, which is slightly higher than average. However, this higher monthly fee is offset by the fact that there is no PCI-compliance fee or monthly minimum.

If you want to sell goods or services online, Dharma may not be the ideal option for you. It charges a steep setup fee of $99, along with a monthly gateway fee of $20. There is also a gateway transaction fee of $0.05 for each transaction completed online.

Something in Dharma Merchant Services' favor is its transparency. It lists all of its costs and fees on its website, while many other processors do not include this information. Dharma's website also includes other information, such as articles that explain interchange-plus pricing and other aspects of the payment gateway 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.

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 choose to cancel with Dharma, you do have to pay a $25 termination fee, which is low compared to other business's cancellation fees.

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. However, Dharma does not provide you with a dedicated account representative to be your main point of contact in the company.


With lower-than-average rates, few fees and high transparency, Dharma Merchant Services is a solid choice for a payment gateway service. This is especially true for businesses that are community minded and sustainable.

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