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News Archive - TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

Archive for the ‘News’ Category

As payday-lending kingpin Scott Tucker prepares for a criminal trial, the question remains: Where did the money go?

Posted in Blog, News on May 13th, 2016

Money seeps into the MCA industry

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:


Facilitator fees are now free to use

Facilitator Fee

In June 2015 Dwolla rolled out new pricing. We removed transaction fees and started offering value added features and controls to our business clients.

In these new packages we focus on making the banking system, and largely ach transfers, easier for developers and businesses to use.

When our new pricing was introduced we bucketed some older functionality and some new functionality. As a company, we made 1 decision in that process that we’d like to apologize for and make a change to.

The facilitator fee was moved into the $1500+ package as a paid feature and today we’re making it free again. While I could go into the rationale behind the original decision, it doesn’t matter and it just needs to change.

What matters now is making a fix and making sure budding developers, who are getting companies off the ground, can make use of the feature.

The facilitator fee does a few things well:

  • It allows developers to build fees into their applications.
  • It allows developers to charge a fixed fee or a percentage fee for any transaction passing through their application.
  • It allows developers to build software that leverages ACH transfers, Dwolla balance transfers, credit transfers, and anything else someone could use on the Dwolla platform to move money and charge an appropriate fee.

Fees might sound bad but a tremendous number of non-payment companies charge small fees to cover operational costs or as a part of the service they provide. Many times it’s not charged to the end user.

Here are a few places we’ve seen facilitator fees used successfully:

  • Some organizations have small service charges as a part of transactions. $2 for example on each transaction keeps their technical team staffed and kids getting lunch cards loaded on time.
  • Software developers building software for third-party companies can actually build their fee into each transaction rather than charging upfront. This helps more companies get to market without loaded up-front costs.
  • Software marketplaces where the marketplace may take 10% of the original purchase price for a service ordered. This has become more and more common. We help the marketplace split the payment as the money moves.

There are some other key benefits for businesses operationally with this structure:

  • When your software application takes a facilitator fee, your company account only receives the fee and you can route the rest of the money to the person receiving the transaction. This happens regardless of whether or not it’s a bank transfer, balance transfer or credit transfer.
  • When you only receive the fee and the other party gets the rest of the money directly, that means you’re never holding your customer’s money for the purpose of transmitting it to another party. That’s a positive thing!

In closing, we put Facilitator Fees into a package when it shouldn’t have been. This is a feature that wants to be free—you want it to be free and we’ve heard you loud and clear.

Go build something great with Facilitator Fees.

Thanks to CME Group, it’s a big day for real-time in the U.S.

This is a bit different as a blog entry, mainly because its content involves a full press release at the end which is hard to understand if you’re not operating in the futures market, or any other market for that matter.

Rather than re-post the press release I’m going to explain why it’s important for Dwolla, but moreso, why it’s special and meaningful to everyone working on real-time initiatives in this country.

CME Group is making markets more efficient

CME Group is the world’s leading and most diverse derivatives marketplace. The company will leverage Dwolla’s real-time architecture, FiSync, for on-demand payments. This means it will use a real-time framework to make things better for itself and its customers.

This means a gigantic driver in our economy is going to fire up real-time using Dwolla’s FiSync. That’s good news for real-time in this country and a big step forward for everyone who cares about upgrading our country’s payment systems.

It’s a big day for everyone who works on real-time systems because, as far as we know, it’s the first time a systemically important enterprise in the U.S. will begin building with a new real-time payment framework. It’s a stake in the ground, not just for Dwolla’s technology, but for the market—that change isn’t just coming, it’s upon us.

This isn’t going to change how millions of dollars in transactions are processed. It’s going to change how billions of dollars are processed. That’s exciting.

We’re thrilled to see the application of real-time technology in large organizations in ways which drive savings and revenues for all the parties involved.

Central Counterparties (CCP) are the center of the market

CCP is an easy acronym to remember, but kind of hard to imagine for people who don’t interact with markets…which is most of us. So, I’ll make an analogy that will hopefully make sense to people who aren’t in it and not upset people who are.

A CCP is like the operator of the master application behind a market. It is the organization that manages risk and moves money based on what’s happening in the market. A CCP, from a network perspective, is the center node on a very complex network. If you take it out, the markets don’t really work. If you speed up what it does, the markets get more efficient.

We’re working with CME Group to make the markets more efficient through the implementation of Dwolla’s network.

In a nutshell, a CCP manages software that moves assets (money) in the market. When those assets move faster, everyone wins.

Your market and product, our infrastructure

A few months ago Dwolla made some important changes in our company. We dropped transaction fees, introduced new pricing for businesses who need specialized features, and debuted our white label solution.

These changes were driven by our relationship with CME Group and our continued focus on building a better network. One that empowers other companies to leverage the efficiencies Dwolla’s platform provides without changing the way they do business.

We’re excited about the work that we’re doing with CME Group. Ultimately, it’s the same network the people reading this blog use everyday.

Read the full press release here.

Dwolla elected to Steering Committee as part of Fed Fast Task Force

Fed Faster Payments

In 2013, the Federal Reserve decided to step in and start a 40-year conversation in the making, asking the nation’s experts in payments, business, and banking their thoughts on what a faster payment system could look like. Even consumer groups and tech companies like Google got in the mix. Pretty much everyone agreed: a faster payment system is needed.

Dwolla has had a unique role and voice in this movement. Since releasing FiSync in 2012 we’ve found ourselves center stage in the US faster payments discussion, at least as it relates to how it could be done.

This year we announced the next iteration of FiSync, which is alive and in commerce with BBVA Compass. In partnership, we’re making end-to-end, real-time payments available in the United States, for free. Faster payments is an issue near and dear to our hearts.

On June 15 and 16, Dwolla will join over 350 payment companies, academics, and stakeholders to lay the groundwork for a potentially new $40 trillion payments system for the world’s most powerful economy.

Called the Fed Fast Task Force, we will begin outlining and defining the criteria that any new system will be measured against. The initiative, which is set to close at the end of 2016, will be led by a Task Force-elected Steering Committee. Representing 8 segments of groups (ranging from large financial groups to end-users, businesses to regulators), the Steering Committee will be tasked with guiding, shaping, and informing the creation of a new payment system.

I’m extremely excited to be representing Dwolla as one of these elected individuals on the 18-person steering committee.

We’ve achieved significant milestones and technological achievements over the years based on a few simple ideas:

  • That using the US payment system should be as simple and cost-effective as sending email
  • That greater competition in payments means greater innovation for end-users
  • That real-time isn’t just about speed, but the certainty, transparency, and opportunities it provides
  • That we shouldn’t wait for someone else to do it. We should get involved and make the change a reality.

We’re bringing these beliefs with us to the task force, but we also want to bring you too. Please, email me your thoughts, concerns, ideas. Join the discussion hit me up on Twitter at @jslampe.

The goal is to keep doing what we’ve always done, listening to you.

Jordan Tweet Button


No more 25¢. No more transaction fees.

I have said time and time again that I believe there will be a moment when transaction fees become less valuable than what can be built on top of the network.

That time has come. As of now, our $0.25 per transaction fee has been removed, for everyone, for every type of transaction.

Removing transaction fees to make way for more control & more features.

Dwolla has been quietly providing features, services, and custom software to specific clients for years and we’re excited to make these simple features available to other members of the network today.

We’re starting with a small list of paid features and will continue to expand.

Here is a sample of some of the features being made more accessible today:

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 9.41.03 AM

If you’re looking for more options, such as white label solutions where your customer can pay through a seamless experience that maintains your brand’s look and feel… Let us know.

Building a better network.

Creating an open way to exchange value for any type of transaction without bloated fees is why Dwolla was started and this is an important day for us continuing to drive that mission forward.

This move also helps us focus on helping developers who are going to create the next great innovation. Developers should be able to make a living building great software. It’s the reason we built the facilitator fee functionality. Our APIs will remain freely available, as will our network enhancements.

We hope you enjoy the new price structure and we are excited to see how you innovate with it.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 9.46.31 AM


Have questions? Join the discussion.

BBVA Compass goes live with real-time payments

Real-time is here for everyone and there’s no turning back.

It’s not just an idea. FiSync allows money to move like you’d expect it to: instantly. Dwolla’s FiSync protocol facilitates secure real-time payments that bypass traditional networks. Transactions initiated via FiSync are fast, secure, and available now through BBVA Compass.

What makes Dwolla’s technology so dramatically different is that when you hit the send button the money actually moves instantly and there’s no card or check used in the process at all. It’s completely digital. FiSync enabled transactions made to and from your financial institution can be done in real-time on any device connected to the Internet.

In fact, transactions through FiSync settle faster than most websites load. Once you see the confirmation page, the money has already moved.

FiSync allows users to move money directly from their bank account in real-time, 24/7/365.

FiSync allows users to move money directly from their bank account in real-time, 24/7/365.

Comparing speed between FiSync and a traditional ACH funded transaction makes a stark point.


Real-time payments are anytime payments.

In a real-time world, you’re in control of when your money stops, or goes. In a real-time world, money is just where it’s supposed to be when it’s supposed to be there.

What normally takes a business day or more now takes less than a second, and the network is always open to process a payment. FiSync uses Dwolla’s real-time ledger, configured to communicate with banks. It’s already been used to move billions in transactions and there are no settlement windows to mess with.


With this new technology, there’s no waiting for the Fed to open on Monday or at 8:30AM. You can stream payments anytime and do so. Big businesses like CME and local businesses like Mars Cafe can all use it. There’s no bias for who gets access.

For businesses banking at BBVA Compass, using Dwolla for payouts means, with a BBVA Compass account you won’t need to preload a separate bank account to disburse payments and receivers will get access instantly in Dwolla. That means the money can stay in your bank account longer. For merchants accepting payments, it means the second you receive a payment, that money is available to you even if that payment was made at 2AM on a Saturday.

New technology completely removes the need for sensitive bank account or payment information.

Most tokenization (or the replacement of sensitive information with unique, encrypted tokens) requires that users still provide sensitive payment account information to a third-party, like ApplePay, Square Cash, Stripe, or PayPal, before becoming tokenized. FiSync pioneers a new application of tokenization, one that removes the need for Dwolla to collect bank account information or credentials to connect a checking or savings account.

This not only reduces the information security risk associated with bank transfers, but creates a simple, safe, and fast way to link your checking or savings accounts.

Here’s what it looks like:

Add BBVA Account, 26s, reduced size

Developers can build real-time into anything connected to the internet.

There are no crazy hoops for a developer to jump through to build real-time into their applications or business operations. Registered members can head on over to docs.dwolla.com and have some fun.

Dwolla’s API is already up and running, being supported by a team of 10,000 developers strong. If you’re an international developer and want to build software you can leverage our sandbox without creating a full account.

You control who has permissions and access to your account.

Don’t want an application to have access to your Dwolla account anymore? Just remove the access. Simple, like it should be. The network doesn’t just use tokenization at the account level, Dwolla uses it at the network level too.

Try doing that with a check.

Available now.

Real-time accounts offered at BBVA Compass will work seamlessly with every business, non-profit, state and federal government agency, software application, and person who is already using Dwolla.

You can get a real-time-enabled bank account today for the first time in history. Head on over to BBVA Compass to get started.

If you’re a bank or credit union looking to join Dwolla’s network and start driving new revenues at your financial institution, we’d love to hear from you.

Real-time is here, folks. It’s fast, it’s secure. Today is a good day.

Have questions? Button


Vision for a real-time economy: Dwolla CEO Ben Milne & BBVA Compass CEO Manolo Sánchez

#ThingsWeAreExcitedAbout: Raygun, Mars and Thelma’s together

This past Friday a very good thing happened—three of our favorite Dwolla merchants got together to make one very exceptional destination in Des Moines.

Thelma’s Treats, Mars Coffee Bar and Raygun Shirts are now together under one roof, delighting the masses with quippy t-shirts, sweet treats and caffeine. They say you can never have too much of a good thing, and in this case it’s 100% true.

We’re not the only one’s excited about the new trifecta:

We also asked Dereck, from Thelma’s Treats what was most exciting for them:

…the location and the other businesses we teamed up with.  We are new to retail, our old kitchen had a small area you could step in and buy something but now we have a real store, so it was great to team up with experienced retailers to know what to expect.

The location and the building are really perfect for our brand.  You can stop in, watch us make cookies and see them coming out of the oven.  The whole time we can interact with customers.

Here are some of our pro tips for when you go to visit their new location on 505 East Grand:

Raygun is perfect for a new t-shirt or koozie. Get gifts here for the people in your life who have a sense of humor.

Raygun New Location

Order a drip coffee or a Sputnik at Mars Coffee Bar, both of which are phenomenal. We like to bring their handcrafted coffee into the Dwolla office every once in a while.

Mars Coffee Bar

Thelma’s Treats is your go-to for fresh cookies served warm right out of the oven.  If you’re looking for a cool treat on a hot day, indulge in an ice cream sandwich—with ice cream smushed between two of their mouth-watering homemade cookies. Our favorite involves vanilla ice cream and snickerdoodles.

Thelma's New Location

Dwolla to help U.S. Treasury go paperless, prepare for a secure digital future

Dwolla for government logoEach year the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service collects 400 million transactions worth $3.7 trillion.  Ensuring that its collection programs stay relevant, safe, and cost-effective, they recently launched a new Digital Wallet program. The new initiative aims to modernize the way our country collects and distributes payments through the convenient offering of safe and innovative payment options. In June of 2013, the Digital Wallet initiative issued a request for proposal, asking national payment platforms to help the 225-year-old Treasury Department improve its flagship revenue collections product, Pay.Gov.

dwolla and government payment us fiscal servicesWith existing partnerships with Microsoft Government and state administrations, Dwolla’s flexible architecture makes for an ideal partner in helping modernize public payments. Today, we’re excited to announce our selection as the U.S. Treasury’s first Digital Wallet partners, alongside PayPal.

What is Pay.Gov? It’s smart government.

Nearly 200 federal agencies, ranging from the Department of Interior to the Department of Defense, use the U.S. Treasury’s Pay.gov platform to create and host custom online payment forms, collecting over 100 million transactions worth approximately $110 billion per year. These simple forms, which hide a sophisticated software and accounting system, allow federal agencies to collect and track non-income tax payments for things like climbing Denali or court fees. It’s a lot like Dwolla Forms, but made exclusively for the federal government.

PayGov Dwolla federal payments solutionBy outsourcing their revenue collection needs to Pay.Gov, federal agencies not only provide taxpayers an improved experience but also streamline their own payment operations. In doing this, they reduce the operational costs, inefficiencies, and foregone payments. Simply put, Pay.Gov increases revenue for agencies and saves taxpayers money.

How is Dwolla involved? How would this impact me?

Dwolla is now a live payment option for many US agencies (and this will grow over time)–allowing any taxpayer with a U.S. bank or credit union account to use Dwolla’s simple and secure online checkout experience to pay for a whole host of federal fees, products, and permits.

No cards. No checks. No pre-existing Dwolla account required. No sharing of sensitive payment information with the federal government.

What is Dwolla? A secure and modern way to make bank transfers.

dwolla for government comparison chartWhen we began building the Dwolla payment network in 2008, we set out to create the ideal way to send money. What we quickly found is that the ideal way to move money has changed since the 1960s and 70s, and the only way to solve the problem was to start over.

Starting fresh with over 40 years of technological advancements, Dwolla was able to create an end-to-end payment network that modernized the legacy bank systems—making it easier to use, more accessible, and more secure. Today, we work with anyone or anything connected to the Internet, from solopreneurs to publicly traded companies, exchange infrastructures to software developers, state governments to financial institutions.  We help our community rethink their payment operations, product offerings, and user experiences.

Create new standards in security and privacy: Dwolla has baked new technologies into its network, like authentication and tokenization, that eliminate sensitive financial information from a typical transaction.

Solve problems for all: Free turnkey products, like MassPay or Dwolla Forms, make it easy for anyone to send or receive funds without any existing technical know-how, while a healthy library of developer docs and APIs make it easy to plug Dwolla into nearly any platform, existing operation, or your own creation. Additional levels of support and customization are available and affordable.

Create a powerful, but flexible infrastructure: A simple, and dynamic platform, Dwolla was designed to handle the unique considerations of governments.

Create a platform for future innovation: Whether its mobile applications, real-time payments, or tokenization, Dwolla benefits are freely accessible via our API and developer documentation, allowing the network to scale and solve for the unique needs of an evolving payment landscape.

So what Dwolla can do for you? Grab a brochure from Dwolla.com/government or sign up for our upcoming webinar by emailing government@dwolla.com.


New Year, New Smarter Dining Option with Mixed + Dwolla

Salads can be boring. For people like me, I go to the grocery store with good intentions and lofty goals—I will prepare an amazing salad for lunch to take to work, and it will keep me on par with my New Year’s resolution of healthy eating.

More often than not, I make one or two salads for the week with common yet lackluster ingredients, and my excess greens wilt away in the fridge.

What if there was a healthy lunch or dinner place to get your leafy fix, with more options and fresher ingredients than what your typical salad bar has to offer?

Enter Mixed.


Mixed is a new concept in the fast-casual dining experience. They serve fresher, better-for-you food and offer wraps, paninis, and soups alongside what they are best known for—salads. With 45 different ingredients to choose from and 31 dressings, you’ll never find yourself wanting.

Salad from Mixed

Following the mantra of “green is the new grease,” Mixed strives to provide a healthier food option for us in a dining industry overflowing with burger joints and pasta parlors. As a tribute to their green and healthy mindset, Mixed prepares and serves their food sans fryers, stoves, or grease cookers. Even their cups, straws, lids, plates, napkins, etc. are made from 100% recycled products.

After opening in August of 2014, Mike Hopson, the owner of the Mixed location in West Des Moines, soon realized the high cost of accepting credit and debit cards. After researching some alternative payment methods, Hopson introduced Dwolla as an additional payment option to help cut down on some of the card fees.

“We are always looking for secure, easy to use payment methods which are reasonably priced so we can keep our prices as low as possible for our customers. Using a local, innovative company such as Dwolla makes this even more exciting for us. We are always looking to promote our local businesses.”

Small businesses everywhere are crumbling under the high processing fees associated with swiping your credit card. Many of them are forced to pass the cost along to you, the customer, in the form of higher prices on food, services, and other goods.

Be conscious of how you pay at your favorite local store or restaurant. With options like cash or Dwolla, small business owners are able to add more to their bottom line. Plain and simple.

©2018 TransSwipe


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