Why doesn’t Dharma lease credit card terminals?

Many providers offer to lease their equipment with low, enticing offers. Merchants will be told, “pay only a few dollars per month to lease your terminal!” and everything sounds wonderful. The problem with most leasing programs is that merchants often get stuck with equipment they either don’t want/need, or can’t afford. Here’s what can happen:

    • Merchant Service Providers will often use leasing as an opportunity to deplete stock on older, out-of-date units. As such, many merchants will enter into a long, multi-year lease, only to find out that the terminal they just leased will be obsolete soon, or is missing a key feature, such as EMV acceptance or Apple Pay acceptance.
    • Leasing is expensive! Most terminals cost between $300 – $700 new. A lease will often cost merchants somewhere to the tune of $20-$40/month, and many leases will have terms of 3 or 4 years. Do the math! Even at $30/month and a four year lease, you’d end up paying $360/year for four years, or almost $1,500 for a terminal that may have only cost a few hundred dollars!
  • Leasing is used as a way to “lock you in” with a current provider. Typically, leased machines are “locked” so that they only work with your current provider. Attempting to take the terminal elsewhere will result in an unusable terminal, so as the merchant, you’re essentially forced to stay put, where you’re likely paying high processing fees.

Dharma doesn’t engage in these practices, and prefers to sell terminals at low, fair prices. All of our terminals are “unlocked” meaning you can take them to another provider should you ever choose to leave Dharma. In addition, we are also happy to help defray the cost of a terminal purchase by splitting the total cost over three monthly, interest-free payments. This is just one way that Dharma chooses to support our merchants with integrity.