Dharma Merchant Services Review

Dharma Merchant Services Overview

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Interchange-Plus Pricing For Multiple Industries

Founded in 2007, Dharma Merchant Services is a merchant account provider originally based in San Francisco, California but now headquartered in Vancouver, Washington. A certified green eco-friendly business, the company advertises that it donates a percentage of its net profits to non-profit organizations. Dharma Merchant Services is a low-cost payment processing option for the health care industry, including hospitals, EMS, rehab clinics, walk-in clinics, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and veterinarians. The company prominently advertises interchange-plus pricing and level 2 and 3 processing.

Featured Products & Services

Dharma Merchant Services has recently partnered with Clover to provide mobile phone processing and tablet-based POS options for merchants. Dharma is offering the Clover Mini station for a purchase price of $499 and a monthly fee of $10, which includes Clover’s PRO software set. The company also resells the flagship Clover POS solution at $1,349 per device, which includes a full cash drawer, built-in fingerprint scanner, and high-speed printer. For mobile EMV payments, Dharma is offering Clover Flex. Dharma’s preferred EMV terminal solution is the FD-130 terminal, which allows EMV processing, Chip-and-PIN acceptance, tip adjustment, and PIN bypass.

Dharma Merchant Services Location and Ownership

Dharma Merchant Services is a registered Independent Sales Organization (ISO) and MasterCard Member Service Provider (MSP) with Synovus Bank, Columbus, Georgia. The company itself is headquartered at 500 W. 8th St, Suite 270
Vancouver, WA, and also lists 185 NE Snohomish Ave, #2050, White Salmon, WA, though the latter appears to be the address of a Post Office. Jeff Marcous is the co-founder and CEO of Dharma Merchant Services.

Dharma Merchant Services Review Table of Contents

  • Costs & Contract: Dharma Merchant Services offers a month-to-month contract with interchange-plus pricing and a $25 account closure fee.
  • Complaints & Service: Dharma Merchant Services has received fewer than 10 public complaints.
  • BBB Rating: Dharma Merchant Services has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau and has received 1 complaint in the past 3 years.
  • Sales & Marketing: Dharma Merchant Services does not hire independent sales agents and has not received any complaints about its sales practices.
  • Rates & Fees: How Merchants Got The Best Rates With Dharma Merchant Services
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Products & Services Offered

Types of Businesses Served

  • Retail
  • E-commerce
  • Non-profit
  • Restaurant
  • B2B

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Dharma Merchant Services Rates, Fees, and Costs

Key Points

Retail Rate Interchange + 0.15% + $0.07
Restaurant Rate Interchange + 0.15% + $0.07
Virtual Terminal Rate Interchange + 0.20% + $0.10
Payment Gateway Fee None
ACH Processing Fee $25 Per Month
B2B Processing Fee $20 Per Month
Recurring Billing Fee $10 Per Month
Account Updater Fee $25 Per Month
Account Closure Fee $25
PCI Compliance Fee $20
Equipment Lease Terms Undisclosed

Fully Transparent Rates

Dharma Merchant Services advertises interchange-plus pricing (interchange plus 0.15% plus $0.07 per transaction for in-store payments, interchange plus 0.20% plus $0.10 per transaction for e-commerce payments, and interchange plus 0.15% plus $0.07 for restaurants) and no long-term service agreements. The company claims to charge a $20 monthly fee that includes PCI compliance, and there is a $25 account closure fee upon termination of service.

Reduced Rates For Restaurants

Dharma also recently lowered its rates for restaurants, bars, and quick-service restaurants. In order to meet the needs of these low-average-ticket businesses, Dharma is now offering a rate of interchange plus 0.15% plus $0.07 to this particular industry type.

Virtual Terminal and Payment Gateway Pricing

In addition to its storefront payment processing services, Dharma Merchant Services also dedicates a portion of its website that advertises its virtual terminal and payment gateway services. The company’s service, called MX merchant, charged a rate of interchange plus 0.20% plus $0.10. According to the company, the platform is free to use, meaning no gateway fee is imposed. However, additional fees for other features of the platform exist. The platform also charges ACH processing for $25 per month, B2B processing for $20 per month, recurring billing for $10 per month, and an account updater for $25 per month. Additional rates and fees, including technical support fees, batch fees, and additional transaction rates may apply to these e-commerce services.

Level 2 and Level 3 Processing Services

In addition to its traditional merchant services, Dharma Merchant Services also advertises that it provides level 2 and level 3 processing for b2b and b2g transactions. Level 2 and level 3 processing rely upon different interchange rates than traditional consumer credit transactions. Accommodating those rates requires different payment processing technology from a merchant account provider to transmit the amount of data required to facilitate the transactions. These services are reserved for b2b and b2g purchases.

Ideal For High Volume Businesses

Dharma is best suited for merchants processing over $10,000 per month, so the company will refer most merchants processing below that to another provider. The company offers especially low rates for enterprise-level processors– specifically offering discounted rates for retail merchants processing over $100,000 per month.

No Contract Complaints

Interchange-plus pricing is the most transparent pricing model available, and the company’s additional fees appear to be well below industry averages. These figures, coupled with the general absence of complaints regarding the standard Dharma Merchant Services contract, merit an “A” rating according to our criteria.

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Response from Dharma Merchant Services

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Dharma Merchant Services Complaints & Customer Reviews

Key Points

Total Online Complaints <10
Live Customer Support Yes
Most Common Complaint N/A

Low Complaint Volume

We are currently unable to locate any Dharma Merchant Services complaints that accuse the company of being a ripoff or a scam. There are only a handful of complaints to be found against the company across all consumer protection websites, and most of these complaints either state that their applications were rejected by Dharma or vaguely describe “bad” experiences. Nearly all of the available online reviews about Dharma are positive testimonials.

Dharma Merchant Services Lawsuits

We have not found any outstanding class-action lawsuits or FTC complaints filed against Dharma Merchant Services. Dissatisfied merchants who wish to pursue a non-litigious course of action against the company should consider reporting it to the relevant supervisory organizations.

Dharma Merchant Services Customer Support

This generally spotless complaint record is likely a product of the company’s transparent marketing and rate structure, but an effective customer support staff might also play a large role. Dharma’s website provides an email form and designated local and toll-free customer support phone numbers. These channels appear to do a great job of handling issues even when compared with top-rated credit card processors for customer service.

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Response from Dharma Merchant Services

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Dharma Merchant Services BBB Rating Summary

Key Points - BBB

Product & Service Complaints 1
Billing & Collection Complaints 0
Advertising & Sales Complaints 0
Guarantee & Warranty Complaints 0
Delivery Complaints 0

No BBB Complaints

Dharma Merchant Services has been an accredited business of the Better Business Bureau since 2010 and receives an “A+” rating as of this review. The company has had 1 complaint through the BBB in the past 36 months, as well as 1 which was closed in the last 12 months. The lone complaint was filed in regard to a product or service issue. That complaint was answered by Dharma Merchant Services but has yet to be resolved.

An “A” Performance Overall

Considering Dharma’s clean complaint record, we agree with the BBB’s rating at this time. Merchants should note, however, that there are good reasons to view the BBB’s information with skepticism.

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Response from Dharma Merchant Services

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Truth In Marketing & Advertising

Key Points

Uses Independent Resellers No
Advertises Deceptive Rates No
Discloses All Important Terms Yes

Complete Pricing Disclosure

Dharma Merchant Services appears to utilize its client network, its website, and community outreach efforts to market its services. There is no indication that the company partners with independent sales entities at this time. Additionally, the Dharma Merchant Services website actively promotes Interchange-plus pricing and lists the company’s full fee schedule for anyone to view.

No Red Flags

We cannot find any negative Dharma Merchant Services reviews regarding the company’s sales approach at this time; we therefore award the company an “A” rating in this category. That said, it is always a wise idea to get a professional analysis of your contract with a third-party statement audit.

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Response from Dharma Merchant Services

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Dharma Merchant Services Marketing Example

Dharma Merchant Services Logo

Our Opinion of Dharma Merchant Services

An Excellent Option For Most Merchants

According to all available information, Dharma Merchant Services rates as an exemplary merchant services provider. The company appears to offer transparent pricing and excellent customer service, and its eco-friendly and non-profit initiatives are sure to be appealing for many merchants. Merchants are encouraged to read their contracts carefully even when dealing with a highly rated payment processor.

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Thank you for reading my review. I hope that it has helped you with your research.

Why I'm Qualified to Write About Credit Card Processing and Merchant Account Services

I'm a former credit card processing sales director who left the industry because I didn't like how it takes advantage of small business owners. It feeds like a leech on businesses and thrives by imposing fees that are nearly impossible to comprehend. Seeing a need for change, I left and built this website help business owners better understand the industry, research merchant services providers, and get refunds of excessive merchant account fees. My experience of working "behind the curtain" in the industry, and using that knowledge for good, has resulted in millions of dollars returned to hard-working small business owners as well as enterprise-level companies.

From the time that I starting working in the merchant services industry to when I left to create this website, I've been on the pulse of payments for nearly 15 years. It didn't seem fair to keep this "insider" knowledge to myself. To lift the fog, I've reviewed hundreds of companies, read thousands of user reviews, and learned the pricing tricks of every provider. If you have questions about credit card processing, you can find the answers on this website.

How I Can Help You

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4 Reviews Leave Your Review for Dharma Merchant Services Below

  1. John says:

    Couldn’t be bothered to answer a single email about whether or not our account type was acceptable for application. If they can’t even do that….


    I would not recommend Dharma Merchant services as they will say anything to get your account and then when you have any customer charge-back issues they immediately begin holding your funds with no notice or snail mail notice so you have no time to respond! They will send you confirmation that your account is good and then continue holding the funds without explanation. They do not care what effect it has on customers or their business! Very deceptive practices STAY AWAY!

    This post will help: Best Merchant Accounts for Legal Services


  3. Pam Elyea says:

    We are very happy with Dharma. The company is easy to work with, it doesn’t demand that we learn how their business works, but rather they accommodate us.
    We’re saving lots of money in fees, and I am grateful.

  4. Mark Klug says:

    What a mistake. The worst technical support I have ever dealt with.

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