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Business Development Archive - TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

Archive for the ‘Business Development’ Category

FiSync and the Federal Reserve’s role in faster payments

The last week marks some memorable things:

  • 1 million accounts will have been created through the Dwolla platform
  • Billions of dollars will flow through Dwolla this year
  • 30% month over month revenue growth for nearly a year

Frankly, the third is what I’m most proud of. Releasing our white label products has been a great accelerant for our business and our customers’ businesses. Our focus has been to provide companies and organizations with an API to help move money more easily and get their new products to market faster.

This work, and all of the work that precedes it, has given us the opportunity  to contribute a detailed proposal (it’s 164 pages) to the Federal Reserve’s Faster Payment Task Force.

Advising on a better payment system

Last year, the Fed called on the industry to get its act together and join the rest of the world by creating an improved payment system for the United States. Over 500 stakeholders, payment experts, consumer groups, and regulators raised their hands and the Faster and Secure Payment Task Forces were formed. With the Fed’s help, the industry has created an effectiveness criteria and process to assess new payment systems—this is what Dwolla submitted to last Friday. A better payment system is also what we’ve always cared about building.

Why we choose to contribute

The industry is in a much different spot than it was 4 years, 2 years ago, even 6 months ago. The Task Force’s submission process hopes to help drive a kind of singularity in payments, where disparate innovations, ideas, and motivations converge to provide a new platform for money movement in the United States. When the Task Forces releases their final report early next year, they will have helped create a new market virtually overnight.

dwolla fisync federal reserve faster paymentsOur submission lays out some straightforward ideas for a faster payment system in the U.S. We know how this works because we already built one. It’s called FiSync and many of you may have already used it. Our submission reveals a lot about how FiSync works today and how it could work tomorrow inside an improved national payment system. I’m particularly excited about the path it paves for financial institutions to enjoy the type of platform growth we’ve seen over the years.

FiSync is a great technology. It assures real-time availability of good funds 24/7/365 to end users and is a tremendous leap forward in speed and security over today’s bank transfer system. Building it allowed us a very useful role in the payments world and forwarded an agenda we care about most: building the ideal way to move money.

Still the real-time payments landscape hasn’t accelerated like we thought. Maybe it’s our tech-centrism, but, we/I thought that if we built the best technology everyone would just use what we built. Instead of hoarding a technology that may or may not be relevant tomorrow, we believe sharing our ideas through the proposal will bring about a market for it to thrive. The more we listen and collaborate, the sooner everyone gets faster and more secure payments.

The thing about innovation is that it tends to occur and reoccur in the places that are built to nurture it. It’s time we hand off and share this innovation with the Task Forces in hopes that it accelerates how fast the market delivers faster payments at scale. We’re appreciative of the Fed for giving us the opportunity to help and the forum in which to do so.

For the time being, we’ve made sure our branded products at Dwolla.com and our white label APIs are ready for additional faster payment connections. So as new systems come online everything just gets faster without requiring those building on Dwolla to change a thing.

My final thought

One of the most exciting days in this company was getting FiSync to work for the first time. I wasn’t convinced originally I was looking at a production system until it was redone a few times and I took the time to log into my Veridian account. This was the first time we actually realized the money was moving faster than the website would load.

That feeling is something I’ll never forget. Equal parts fear and excitement but a healthy realization that this is just how it should work. Payments should be this fast and we think this step is the best way to get faster payments to everyone.

I thought, on a day like today, I’d be celebrating a million accounts and the billions of dollars customers are moving  through Dwolla, but in reality I’m just appreciative of the opportunity and am hopeful that all of this gets us one step closer to the ideal way to move money.

If you’d like to learn more, check out a couple links about Dwolla’s FiSync, the state of real-time, and the Fed’s Faster Payment Task Force:

 

Get to market faster with Dwolla’s bank transfer API

Invest in an integrated payment solution for your platform that allows you to maintain control of the customer experience, while reducing your compliance and processing headaches.

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Retail marketplace Jane and mobile fintech app Sweep.co were faced with a number options when selecting a solution that addressed their unique ACH processing needs. Ultimately each elected to go with Dwolla’s feature rich, easy to integrate API for one overriding reason: time to market. In addition, each placed a premium on controlling the payments experience through Dwolla’s white label service and valued Dwolla’s guidance in managing the compliance requirements. Both Jane and Sweep are able to achieve funds transfers via a trusted partner, allowing them to focus on their core business.

The same rationale applies to anyone who is looking to transfer funds electronically.  Whether you’re looking for a straightforward disbursements solution or a more holistic, end-to-end payments experience—including instant bank verification and managing compliance requirements—Dwolla’s robust payments platform allows you to facilitate payments from, to, or between your customers.

Phase 1 – Funds transfer wrapped inside of 4 endpoints

We took a phased approach to the latest version of our API. The first phase allowed platforms to process bank sourced transfers in a white label capacity, and in many cases, not requiring re-collection of the customer data already on file. It’s a perfect solution for payouts, an integration consisting of only 4 endpoints.

“We’ve seen exponential growth, and Dwolla has handled disbursements for our platform every step of the way.”

Mike McEwan, CEO of Jane

Phase 2 – Customer verification

At the completion of phase 1, moving money was limited to the receipt of funds by a customer—a perfect use case for disbursements. The second phase extended the current, phase 1 customer onboarding flow. Now, with the same #customers endpoint, we were able to provide our partner with an automated identity verification solution, accounting for the CIP data elements required for both customers sending funds and allowing a customer to hold funds.

“Dwolla was able to offer the exact service our customers wanted whereas traditional financial institutions either didn’t understand how to do this or couldn’t move fast enough.” 

Jackson Gates, CEO of Sweep

Phase 3 – Bank verification

The third phase focused on bank account verification. We released Dwolla.js—a powerfully simple integration that partners can leverage to embed an instant account verification process within their platform, or securely collect account and routing numbers. With Dwolla.js, sensitive customer financial data never touches a partner’s servers. All this, in a few lines of code.

We are never done. While we continue to migrate additional functionality over to the white label experience, such as an improved mass payment flow, we ask that you provide feedback and suggestions on the v2 Dwolla API.

Is navigating the complex world of building your own payment platform pushing your launch date back? Let Dwolla help you get off the runway.

Get started now.

Contact and integration specialist

Solar investing platform uses Dwolla API to power bank transfers

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Investing in the renewables industry has notoriously come with a high barrier to entry and has been reserved for the likes of Google and Berkshire Hathaway. But as more money is pumped into the market, renewable technologies advance, risk is minimized, and these barriers begin to erode.

Wunder

Wunder is on the leading edge of this change, bringing opportunities to invest in the burgeoning solar energy business to individual accredited investors. By leveraging proprietary algorithms and a team of solar specialists, Wunder is able to screen solar investment opportunities more accurately and efficiently than most banks. Once these opportunities are thoroughly vetted, selected investments are bundled into funds and made accessible to individual accredited investors through an online investment platform. With Wunder, accredited investors can quickly and securely invest in these diversified portfolios of high-return solar projects with as little as $1,000.

On a mission to simplify the financing and investing experience for both solar installers and investors, Wunder has delivered an easy-to-access marketplace for both parties to connect and scale more effectively.

The Problem

A key component to the Wunder platform involves the movement of both investments and returns through the platform. Bank transfers over the ACH network are central to providing a streamlined investor experience, but building this infrastructure from the ground up would be wildly cost prohibitive. After launching the platform earlier this year, it quickly became apparent to the Wunder team that anything short of a fully automated payments solution would be untenable at scale and that real-time insight into the changing statuses of ACH transactions would be crucial.

The Solution

Dwolla allows Wunder to brand the account set up experience and fold the bank account linking into the registration process. Additionally, Dwolla gives Wunder increased visibility into the funds flow, from collecting individual investments to batching the funds and distributing them to the solar installation projects. Each month, Wunder receives payments from the energy customers repaying their loans and distributes those returns to the fund investors.

Wunder is also able to leverage Dwolla’s API to send branded communications to their customers via a series of webhooks, alerting customers to changes on their account or transaction status.

“We have looked high and low for a provider capable of seamlessly and securely facilitating our ACH transactions, and we couldn’t be happier to be partnered with Dwolla. Their API allows us the flexibility that we need to deeply integrate ACH transactions into our platform without disrupting our user experience. From customer identity verification to bank account verification to the transactions themselves, Dwolla takes the complex world of payment processing and wraps it up into an API that is painless to integrate. And perhaps most importantly, working with the Dwolla team has been an absolute pleasure.”

Dave Riess, CTO of Wunder

Dave-Wunder

Are you evaluating your payment software? If so, contact us.

Contact our team orange

Leveraging bank transfers to power your subscription service

Business 101: it’s more efficient to retain a customer than to work to earn a new one. Give them a seamless payments experience, so they’re excited to stay.

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Subscription services are becoming the norm. You pay for your music, office tools, movies, clothes, and even food and wine on a monthly basis. Providing subscription services is a wonderful business model—building a loyal and active customer base with each new shipment, feature or content that you release.

For the customer, subscriptions can provide a sense of delight. Every month there’s something new to look forward to—or even better, you’ve come to depend on. Take Netflix—can you imagine a month in which you’d be forced to halt your binge watching of Peaky Blinders, Parks and Rec, and Orange is the New Black?

After you’ve acquired some loyal customers, providing a seamless recurring payment experience is one of the most important things you can do for your subscription services business. You want customers to enter their payment information one time, and not require them to continue to update or re-enter it every month.

This is where Dwolla comes in. With our scheduled payments API, you can set up bank-sourced payments for a time and date in the future. The OAuth scope, Scheduled, allows your users to give your application permission to create, edit, and delete scheduled payments on their behalf.

Check out this example, where we schedule a transaction to send $9.95 to someMerchant@dwolla.com every other week on Mondays.

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Being able to set up a subscription payment with a bank account allows customers to skip the hassle of updating financial information every time a credit card expires or has to be replaced—and helps avoid the pain of having your HBO Go account cancelled when you’re in the middle of a Game of Thrones marathon (yeah, we watch a lot of TV).

What’s more, Dwolla takes security seriously. By utilizing tokenization, we’re able to replace high-value transaction data with a time-based, tokenized message.

Stop losing loyal customers to a fragmented subscription payment experience. Start using Dwolla’s API for ACH payments.

Reach out to get started.

See scheduled payments in action, check out our demo Ruby on Rails app.

5 things to do before investing in a custom payment system

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There comes a point as a business when you realize it’s time to improve the sophistication of your payments processing. No longer is a complicated ACH interface or a simple credit card payment button the right option—you need payments that are seamless, efficient and safe.

Our Director of Strategic partnerships, Robert Rutherford, explains that ‘the devil is in the details’ when selecting your business’s payments provider in this article from The Business Journals.

In five steps, Rutherford explains that there are considerations and costs that come with ramping up a new payments process. These considerations are not initially obvious, but must be fully understood before making a critical, business-impacting decision and investment:

  1. Map out your flow of funds
  2. Understand the regulatory requirements
  3. Calculate risk vs. reward
  4. Test for long term effectiveness aka ‘future-proof’
  5. Make a decision

To get the full explanation and context for these five steps, read the original article posted by The Business Journals.

Read the full article

Interested in exploring how Dwolla can help with your business payments needs? We’d love to talk to you.

Integrating with Dwolla’s powerful white label ACH payouts solution

White Label Payments with Dwolla

Last week we released our white label solution for businesses and nonprofits looking to streamline their ACH payouts. Within your own application or online portal, Dwolla white label puts a powerful ACH payments platform behind your brand and logo.

The white label solution allows you to transfer funds seamlessly, from customer on-boarding to how your businesses name is displayed on your customer’s bank statement.

While managing the role as payment originator, Dwolla provides a simple, easy-to-implement API to power your payments and help you manage risk, fraud, and compliance.

When implementing Dwolla’s white label payout solution, there are three major components that require different levels of verification to get going:

  1. The creation of a customer record
  2. The association of a funding source with that customer record
  3. The transfer of funds between linked accounts

To test the API requests, you’ll want to first create a sandbox account.

Creating a Customer Record

Once you’ve set up a testing account, you’ll begin by creating a customer record, which requires at least a full name and email address for each user you’d like to transfer funds to. Once the customer record is created, you will find the customer object URL in the location header.

Pro tip: To enhance Dwolla’s ability to monitor fraud, we strongly recommend providing the IP address of the end-user accessing your app as the ipAddress parameter.

Here’s what the request and response should look like:

Request:
Response:

Connect a funding source

Once you’ve successfully created a customer record, the next step is to associate a funding source. This step calls for three additional pieces of information, so funds can automatically be sent to this customer record:

  • Bank account
  • Routing number
  • Account type (ie. government, nonprofit, business)

All information provided in this step is securely stored with Dwolla.

Request:
Response:

Subscribe to Webhooks

In order to transfer funds between your account and the customer record, you’ll first set up webhooks to notify your customer when an event occurs. To create these webhooks, start by creating a client access token and use the credentials provided.

Once you’ve generated this token, continue on to creating the webhook subscription. Start by calling the webhook-subscriptions endpoint with your callback URL.

Request:
Response:

Now that you’ve made your subscription, Dwolla will send webhook notifications to the provided URL. Responses take about 20 seconds to deliver after the event has occurred, but if you miss one, no worries—8 delivery attempts are executed over the course of 72 hours. An example webhook is shown below.

Transfer funds from account to account

The final step in this process is creating a transfer from your account to a customer. To do so, you’ll need the information for the bank account that sources the funds and the customer to which the funds will go.

The transfer of funds is a three-step process. In short you will follow these steps:

  1. Fetch a list of available funding sources using the List Funding Sources (Account) endpoint.
  2. Create a transfer by specifying the account’s funding source as the source and the customer as the destination.
  3. Check the transfer status by referring to its ID.

Once this action is complete, a receipt of a webhook will indicate a change. This can be used as a trigger to communicate with the customer, sending an email with an update on the status of funds.

Above we’ve provided a quick breakdown of what the integration process looks like with our white labeled bank transfers solution. To get the full guide, visit our developer portal.

If you’re interested in learning more about Dwolla’s powerful payments tools and API, reach out to sales@dwolla.com.

reach out now

New Custom Feature: Next Day Settlement and Reporting

Get paid more quickly with Dwolla NextDayEmpower your business to operate more efficiently with next day settlements—now available as part of a custom package.

Enabling this feature on your Dwolla account will schedule daily “sweeps”;  funds from all transfers initiated to you within an operational day are swept to your designated bank or credit union account as one convenient payment, and may become available in as soon as one business day.*

You’ll also get corresponding Batch Settlement Reports, which let your organization or business easily track and reconcile daily sweeps—even if you receive thousands of payments a day.

to learn more contact our team

If you’re interested and already in a package, call 888-289-8744, x4004.

*An operational day is a set 24-hour period that begins and ends with a business day.

A full-stack payments solution for better user experience

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Dwolla’s powerful payment platform can be seamlessly integrated into your application—we provide the facility for transferring funds, while you create a compelling business solution that leverages our expertise in payments.

Having never left your website, your users will create and verify their Dwolla account seamlessly with Dwolla OAuth. Through a co-branded experience, account creation will take place following the scopes and permissions initiated by the application you’ve connected with our API.

Integrating with the Dwolla platform and leveraging its powerful, baked-in services—like fraud monitoring,  and instant bank account verification—has never been easier.

Reach out to get started

What is OAuth account creation?

With OAuth, you eliminate the need to redirect your users to a third party payments application. This functionality allows you to host your customer’s Dwolla account creation and bank verification on your site, rather than redirecting your customer to Dwolla.com.

Basically, you’re keeping customers on your site, while leveraging the safety and security that Dwolla represents.

How does it work?

Your customers will create one of two account types based on the parameters you provide. Option 1, your customer creates a full Dwolla account or, option 2, your customer creates a Dwolla Direct account. Their user experience will differ based on account type, but in either circumstance, a customer will never leave your site.

For customers creating a full Dwolla account:

Full Dwolla accounts require customers to provide more information than a Dwolla Direct account. Through OAuth, a customer will begin by selecting their account type, then entering specific account information such as name, birthdate, address, and more. After completing this registration step, users will add a verified bank account via our instant account verification flow, so they can send and receive funds.

Once they’ve completed setup, these users will enjoy the functionality of a full Dwolla account. They’ll be ready to send and receive funds, without having left your page.

For customers creating a Dwolla Direct account to receive funds only:

Create a Dwolla Direct account with minimal routing instruction.

If your users only need to receive funds, Dwolla’s co-branded OAuth experience will require just a few pieces of information, taking just thirty seconds for a first time user to get going. The exact flow may vary, but typically a customer will first receive notification of payment; then they will enter in name, email, password, bank account and routing number.
That’s it.

Any future transactions will be seamlessly routed to the user’s connected bank or credit union account.

For customers creating a Dwolla Direct account to send and receive funds:

Create a Dwolla Direct account and add a verified bank account.

To pay you from their bank account, your customer will use OAuth to link and verify their bank account. Instant account verification (IAV) verifies ownership of the bank account. Additionally, with a verified Dwolla Direct account, users can send and receive funds through the Dwolla network.

Once a customer has verified their banking information, future transactions will only require them to provide their email and password.

Whether your customers will send or receive funds, it’s important to create an experience that is as fluid as possible. It’s about reducing friction, and with OAuth account creation, the process becomes much smoother.

Dwolla provides you with a full-stack payments solution, while you focus on building your best user experience.

New Custom Feature: Remove the transaction limit for payments sent to you

Increased Limits to receiver funds with Dwolla

We’re pleased to announce a new feature which is available as part of our custom package. You can now remove the sending limit (or set a custom one) for your customers when they are sending payments to you.

If you’re a business that regularly accepts payments over $10,000, this feature ensures that your customers’ payments to you won’t be stopped by Dwolla’s standard transaction limits.

This functionality is great for organizations such as universities and corporate firms that regularly collect large payments from their clients or constituents.

This feature will allow anyone to make a payment to you over the standard limits including those using Direct accounts.

To enable this feature on your account give us a call at 888-289-8744, Ext 4004 if you’re in one of these packages. If you aren’t in a packaged solution today, hit the button below.

contact Dwolla for business

 

Spring Cleaning for your Small Business Finances

Spring Cleaning Finances

Break out the dusters and fling open the curtains, it’s time for some spring cleaning. Even more important than addressing your mess of a closet is cleaning up your small business finances—and getting started today will set you up for success tomorrow.

Getting started

Before you even begin working on your SMB’s financial situation, get your mind right. This type of spring cleaning is more than an investment of time and energy, it’s an investment in your future. The more proactive you are in managing your financial situation now, the easier it will be for your business to reach success down the road.

Adapt the old business plan

Now that you’re focused on the importance of a financial spring cleaning, get to work on your business plan. When a small business first opens shop, it’s hard to imagine what it could look like 4 or 5 years down the road. However, measuring growth and progress against the original plan is always relevant—don’t let it sit neglected.

Each year, break out the plan and adapt it so it meshes with the changes of your business. Has your audience developed differently than you’d expected? Did you employ a new marketing strategy? Is growth at the same pace of expectations?

Adapting your original plan to answer new questions is a good reflective practice to better understand where you’ve come and where you plan to go.

Reevaluate and set goals

Now that you’ve spent some time understanding how your business has adapted, reference those changes to establish new business goals. While you may have set out with one plan and a set of expectations for your business, rarely do things go as planned and that’s okay—as long as you remain open to learning from mistakes and adjusting your goals.

Spend some time thinking about how things have gone differently and how you hope they continue. Are your aspirations the same as they once were? And are you investing the right amount of time and money into reaching those aspirations? Setting clear goals will help you understand how to optimize your business practices.

Warm up with a smaller spring cleaning task

Security is a hot-button issue right now. Credit cards are trying to improve their systems, fraud is a problem for many, and hackers have the ability to access your information with a few strokes of the keyboard.

A critical part of improving your financial situation lies in improving the security that surrounds it. That can be done relatively easily—change your passwords. If you’re like many, your passwords are less-than-stellar and frequently repeated. This vulnerability can become a potential threat.

Take five minutes to reset and create strong passwords. Shoot for 12 characters, include capitalizations, and if you’re really struggling, use a password generator for help. It may seem minor, but the extra time you spend memorizing some new phrases well outweighs the risk of having information stolen.

Review important financial documents

It’s crucial to review your  financial statements and documents each year to ensure your business is on the right track. The items could include your profit and loss statements, a current balance sheet, cash-flow statements, and your tax returns for the past couple of years. When looking over these items, check for fluctuations in product and service costs, billing errors or duplicate charges, and opportunities to improve your bottom line.

Review these documents critically and check them against your business plan and goals.

Read more: Get your SMB Finances on Track with these 5 questions.

Review your expenses closely

How much are you paying for utilities? What’s your phone bill costing you each month?  Take the time to contact your various service providers and make sure that you’re taking advantage of the most they have to offer, for the lowest cost available.

In line with reviewing your expenses comes scheduling employee reviews. Is your team being optimized in a way that best leverages their talents? Taking the time to understand what you and your employees expect from each other can lead to a more transparent and happier work environment, eliminating unnecessary turnover and uncovering untapped potential.

Once the financial situation is looking tidy…

Clean your office, literally. Purge old notebooks, organize files, and wipe out the drawers in your desk—because, honestly, when was the last time you did that?

If you need more guidance on getting your small business’s finances on track, Dwolla can help. Check out our solutions for business or explore integrations built by the Dwolla community.

©2017 TransSwipe

 


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