Dharma Merchant Services has low fees, crystal-clear transparency and exceptional customer support. The company specifically caters to mid- to large-sized business, restaurants and nonprofit organizations.
|Merchant Solutions||Payment processing|
Credit card storage
Add-on products & services
|Type of Processing Fee||Interchange-plus|
|Payout Availability||Next day for card-present merchants|
|Early Termination Fee||No ETF|
Dharma Merchant Services Features
Dharma uses First Data as one of its main processors, but your transactions can go through other processing companies as well. If you try process with First Data directly, you probably won’t get the best deal. Dharma Merchant Services does a good job of negotiating very competitive rates while also providing excellent customer service.
Keep in mind, Dharma does not offer services to high-risk or international merchants. Instead, you’ll be referred to PaymentCloud, a provider that specializes in high-risk businesses.
This customizable payment platform allows you to easily integrate with other business tools and monitor your payment activity in real time. With MX Merchant, you can:
- Accept credit cards, cash or check using the virtual terminal
- Manage your payment history and customer data
- View monthly statements
To build your own customized payment platform, simply add apps from the MX Merchant Marketplace, including:
- Tracking orders
- PCI compliance
You can also add on the following services:
- B2B processing app ($20/month)
- Invoicing app ($10/month)
- Merchant insights app ($10/month)
- ACH processing ($25/month)
One of the most popular POS systems on the market today, the Clover family of products are designed by back-end processor First Data. Not only will you be able to take all kinds of payments, Clover helps you manage inventory, products, employees and communication with your customers.
Clover POS systems accept:
- PIN debit
- Mobile sales (with Clover Go)
- Mobile wallets
- Gift cards
- Paper checks
- Digital signature capture
Because Clover is customizable, you can build a system that meets all of your business’s unique needs.
Clover Flex. Great for restaurants and for merchants who are constantly moving around their shop. It’s also perfect for food trucks, mobile vendors and other merchants that don’t have a brick-and-mortar location.
Clover Mini. Designed for medium-sized retailers or restaurants that have a payment counter with no need for wireless or mobile processing.
Clover Station. Best for full-service restaurants or retail establishments requiring multiple devices. This powerful hardware option allows for in-depth customization of your POS.
This all-in-one smart device is fully handheld with an all-day battery life. So it can easily go wherever your business takes you. The Poynt Smart Terminal accepts every type of payment with the ability to manage your entire business from a free mobile app.
- A large 7″ touchscreen
- A product catalog
- 2 cameras for barcodes
- An integrated thermal printer
There’s even a separate 4.3″ touchscreen so customers can view line-item details, taxes and discounts in real-time. They’ll also be able to digitally sign and enter their PIN or even a tip.
Besides the Poynt Smart Terminal, Dharma Merchant Services offers the Verifone Vx520 and the First Data FD-130. Both are EMV-compliant and can accept Apply Pay transactions.
Verifone Vx520. Known in the industry for its reliability, the Vx520 has all the major features you want: EMV compatibility, IP/dial-up connectivity and an internal PIN pad.
First Data FD-130. Perfect for restaurants or any fast-paced business, this terminal accepts Chip+PIN, adjusts tips on EMV sales and includes a WiFi credit card reader.
If you already have a compatible card terminal, Dharma will reprogram it for $100. However, the company recommends buying a new terminal over reprogramming an existing one.
For eCommerce businesses, Dharma Merchant Services provides a choice between:
- MX Merchant (no monthly fee + no per transaction fee)
- NMI Gateway ($10/month + $0.05/transaction)
- Authorize.net ($10/month + $0.05/transaction)
Partnering with 4aGoodCause, Dharma specializes in working with non-profit organizations. The provider not only processes transactions, but it will also plan and implement donation or crowdfunding pages while offering competitive rates.
Dharma Merchant Services Pricing
Many merchant account providers use a tiered pricing model, so it’s a nice change of pace that Dharma Merchant Services offers interchange-plus pricing. The latter is more transparent and cheaper over time.
All costs are clearly disclosed on Dharma’s website. In an industry where it’s the norm to hide fees in the contract’s fine print, Dharma’s complete transparency is a welcomed breath of fresh air.
Rather than separating its pricing plans by processing volume, you’ll find that Dharma categorizes plans by business categories, making it super easy to choose which plan will best fit your business. Check out an overview of Dharma’s pricing options below:
|Fees & Rates||Storefront||eCommerce||Restaurant|
|0.15% + $0.07||0.20% + $0.10||0.15% + $0.07|
|Amex per Transaction||0.25% + $0.07||0.30% + $0.10||0.25% + $0.07|
|0.10% + $0.05||0.10% + $0.05||0.10% + $0.05|
The virtual terminal and mobile processing are included for free, for all plans. Chargebacks are $20 per instance, but there are no account setup, early termination, AVS, batch or PCI compliance fees.
Dharma’s in-house support team is available to answer any questions you might have from 8:00am to 5:00pm, PST. Although support is not open 24 hours a day, you will be well taken care of by the dedicated team. As opposed to an outsourced representative who might not be knowledgeable or helpful.
Dharma Merchant Services has an extremely useful FAQ page. If you can’t find your answers there, feel free to give Dharma a call or send out an email. You also have a live chat support option or the option to reach out via social media.
Dharma Merchant Services currently holds an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). That being said, the provider still suffers from a few hiccups, including holds and equipment compatibility issues. However, Dharma handles these small issues like a pro, which keeps its customers happy.
Dharma Merchant Services bills month-to-month with no long-term contract and no ETF for all merchant accounts. You can close your account whenever you wish, but you do need to follow the closing procedures as outlined in your contract. Otherwise, you’ll be charged beyond the date you intended to close your account.
Although there is no ETF, there is a $25 account closure fee. This is a fair fee as Dharma is required by law to keep your merchant account on file for a minimum of six months after you close. The closure fee does not apply to seasonal merchants when you suspend your account in the off season.
Dharma Merchant Services receives top honors in my book. It’s one of the most honest and ethical processing companies you’ll come across. Its rates are competitive, and its customer service is top-notch. Although not the cheapest provider in the industry, Dharma will give you the best overall value, hands down.
However, not all merchants are a good fit. Dharma Merchant Services is only available to businesses operating in the United States. The company does not accept high-risk merchants. Also, if you’re processing less than $10,000 a month, you’ll probably get a better deal elsewhere.
For low volumes, a provider like Square could be a good solution. Meanwhile, Chase Payment Solutions is a solid alternative for medium- to high-volume merchants
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