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Payments Integration Archive - TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

Archive for the ‘Payments Integration’ Category

Payment platforms and what it means to be an ACH originator

This blog post comes from Ryan Hodge, Dwolla’s Financial Intelligence Unit Director, BSA & OFAC Officer.

“You authorize <your payments platform here> to provide ACH processing instructions to the Bank and for the Bank to initiate ACH debits and credits with you using that information. You agree to perform all acts required of an Originator under the NACHA Rules. You make to the Bank all representations and warranties that an Originator makes to an ODFI under the NACHA Rules.” — Verbiage pulled from popular payment platform’s TOS

Seems simple, doesn’t it? You give a payment platform instructions, and they carry them out. You can now focus on your core business. However, there is a key word fraught with meaning in this TOS agreement, one which passes on a significant amount of responsibility to your business: “Originator”.

What does it mean to be the Originator?

In agreeing to act as the Originator, you stand in a role with specific requirements you must fulfill per NACHA—the administrator of the ACH network. As the Originator, you are responsible for following the NACHA Operating Rules (the 2016 edition is over 500 pages) and other guidance around obtaining proper authorization for your ACH entries. This constitutes everything from the language of the authorization to the way in which you obtain and validate it.

Before agreeing to this payment platform’s TOS, it is important that you ask yourself: “How is my payments provider assisting me in meeting these obligations or even communicating them to me?”

On top of following the NACHA Operating Rules, you will also need to be conscious of following applicable industry regulations, a common one being Regulation E. Regulation E mandates that you provide proper notification and information to your consumers about the payments they have initiated or received, among other requirements (like dispute resolution). Is your payment provider going to assist you with this?

Aside from whether or not your payments provider is giving you the guidance you need in these areas—user notifications, dispute resolution—ask yourself: “Is the role of Originator even a role I even want to be responsible for?”

Origination & Dwolla

An advantage of working with Dwolla is that, in our partnership with our financial institutions (“FIs”), we maintain the role of the Originator, while giving you the information you need to facilitate payments for your business. For example, our robust APIs inform you when payments are successful or have failed, when notification is required, when a customer’s bank account has been verified, etc.

Further, in our role with our FIs, we have already undertaken additional work to deliver even more functionality to you. For example, because our payment platform has the power to keep your customer’s funds in their own “self-owned” Dwolla balance, Dwolla can power a variety of business models—savings applications, P2P, crowdfunding—without those businesses needing to take on the full regulatory burden that building it on their own system would require.

Dwolla’s expertise in this area has been earned over the years—we provide you with sound, audited practices you can extend to your customers. With our White Label product offerings, we can jump-start your business plans by providing you with a powerful bank transfer API to bake into your platform or application, while you customize the onboarding and payment experience.

Focus on growing your core business even faster, not building out the multiple departments that developing and managing an entire payments infrastructure in-house requires. Leverage our platform to power payments in the background.

Reach out to one of our integration specialists today to see how our platform can save you time, money, and headaches.

Introducing New Webinar: Upgrading to White Label

Over the last few months, Dwolla has been unveiling its improved version of our API, called V2. The new version offers businesses new features and capabilities that make bank transfer integrations easier, cleaner, and more flexible. Most notably, it allows paying partners to create native, custom, and integrated payment experiences for their users that look and feel like their brand—not ours. We call it Dwolla White Label.

The beloved old version of the API still offers free basic services and simple Dwolla-branded experiences, but existing customers of V1 have been knocking down the door to upgrade to Dwolla White Label. To make that process as easy as possible, we made the migration tool to help upgrade to Dwolla White Label.

Webinar: Upgrade to Dwolla White Label
Register now

Join us Thursday, April 14th at 11am CT for the 30-minute webinar, “Upgrade to Dwolla White Label”. The free presentation will discuss:

  • What is White Label?
  • Best practices when upgrading to White Label
  • Migrating your existing customers over to V2
  • Q&A with our Partnership and Integration experts

In the webinar, we’ll briefly touch on our improved API migration process from a Dwolla-branded experience to a White Label experience, perfect for:

  • Existing platforms using Dwolla
  • Developers or consultants for different projects
  • Platforms that want to build and go-to-market with Dwolla API, but eventually plan to upgrade to White Label

We look forward to you joining us on Thursday, April, 14th!

Register for the webinar now


Improve UX for subscription services with better payments

In the end, we’re all just trying to give customers the best experience possible—an experience that is pleasant and seamless.

Dwolla White Label helps businesses and platforms of varying shapes and sizes deliver a customized payments experience to users using ACH. Plug our API into what your site or platform, and get started with better pay-ins and pay-outs.

A good example of this is GOAT, who tapped Dwolla’s API to deliver better payouts to their users. The proof is in the pudding on this one, with a new integration GOAT was able to reduce complaints related support tickets by 80% and time to resolution by 50%  (read the case study).

To further our White Label product we’ve added various new functionality, including on-demand bank transfers.

What are on-demand bank transfers?

As part of the Dwolla White Label product, on-demand bank transfers allow you to bill your customer for varying amounts at a future date.

Take a look at the image below, you’ll see Dwolla’s white label, instant bank account verification form embedded into a website. With on-demand bank transfers, the additional step is adding a few sentences letting your customer know that by connecting their bank account they’re also authorizing the “bill later” function.

On-demand payments from Dwolla

Putting on-demand bank transfers to use

With on-demand bank transfers offered as part of Dwolla White Label, you gain the ability to bill in a more seamless way. Your customer authorizes this “bill me later” functionality, and the payments become less of a hassle.

Breaking it down more simply, you’ll begin by identifying the best flow of funds for your users. Next, work with a Dwolla integration specialist to identify the best solution for your needs—maybe you just need payouts, maybe on-demand payments are perfect for you. From there, you’ll integrate with support at your side. What you’ll walk away with is a payments solution that satisfies, and lends to a better overall user experience.

On-demand use cases

On-demand bank transfers are perfect for subscription-based services. For example, utility services charge monthly based on usage of the given utility—this usage amount is rarely the same from month to month. It wouldn’t make sense to set up recurring flat-monthly payments for the utility service, you want the functionality to collect variable amounts.

With on-demand bank transfers, you get just that. Your users are easily able to to authorize transfers for variable amounts from their bank account using ACH based on their usage, without having to reauthorize the transfer each month.

Other niches prime for on-demand payments:

  • Cloud computing services
  • Ride sharing or asset sharing platforms
  • Subscription-based productivity applications
  • B2B services that bill on a variable basis

Dwolla White Label has a host of options to provide you and your users the easiest on-ramp to ACH. It’s all about delivering the best solution, so you can give your user the best possible experience.

To learn more, chat with an integration specialist.

Reach out to an integration specialist now:

We’ll help you design your ideal payments experience.


Thank you

A Dwolla representative will reach out to you within one business day.


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Dwolla Case Study: How Sweep Uses Dwolla ACH API for Bank Transfers

How Dwolla’s White Label ACH API quickly allowed fintech platform, Sweep to get to market.

Download the case study as a PDF

slider-mockup-1According to Center for Financial Services Innovation, consumers who have regular savings habits are 4X more likely to be financially healthy than those who don’t. Unfortunately, 57% of Americans still struggle financially and more than 72% suffer from stress and anxiety related to money (American Psychological Association). Sweep hopes to fix that.

Problem: A consumer fintech platform wanted to offer its customers an automated savings product using bank-to-bank  transfers.  The company needed to meet all regulatory and compliance requirements in an aggressive timeline.

Results: The company integrated Dwolla’s White Label payments API to facilitate ACH transfers in around 40 hours and successfully announced product on-stage at Money2020.

The Situation

How Sweep Uses Dwolla ACH API for Personal Financial Planning App

Sweep was created to help young, millennial consumers save and stay ahead of their needs.  After downloading Sweep’s mobile app, users connect the platform to their bank accounts and then organize their funds into “buckets” for goals, expenses and bills.  

From the very beginning, the vision and roadmap included automating these savings behaviors to fill those buckets and grow savings according to the user’s needs.  For example, a user who created a “Wedding” bucket would be able to automatically transfer $100 from her main checking account at a multinational bank each payday to a savings account associated with the goal—in this case, say, at her local credit union. Unfortunately, Sweep encountered a number of regulatory and technical hurdles that prevented them from including and automating bank-to-bank transfers in its initial launch earlier in 2015.

The Challenges

Lacking this functionality to programmatically transfer funds meant users had to visit separate online banking portals and manually transfer funds between banks to fulfill their savings goals. Automating the process was critical for millennials and they didn’t have it, yet. 

FinTech Application Sweep Uses Dwolla API for Bank Transfers

“Unfortunately, our ideas were too new for the banks and traditional payments processors. We considered building our own payments gateway but the banking relationship and compliance requirements would have blown up our roadmap and crippled our product plan.  We needed an innovative technology partner with a proven banking relationship.”  

CEO and Co-founder, Jackson Gates

Jackson - Sweep

Time to market

An end-to-end payments solution would require a direct banking relationship and 3-6 months of development time, not including the upfront compliance and regulatory hurdles.  Other payment gateways were working on new banking relationships but couldn’t guarantee a timeline or necessary functionality.  Sweep needed an immediate solution.

Solution: Unlike other payments solutions, which used non-descriptive and difficult to parse XML, Sweep leveraged Dwolla’s “clear and concise API documentation and excellent engineering and customer support” to build the solution in around 40 hours.

Outcome: With Dwolla’s White Label API, Sweep was testing live payments within days, and completed all production testing in-time for its Money 2020 announcement.

Regulation and compliance concerns

In addition to the time and cost associated with compliance and regulatory requirements, the uncertain and shifting regulatory climate made it difficult to predict the mid- to long-term needs of supporting a proprietary payments infrastructure.

Solution: Through Dwolla’s API and built-in processes, Sweep outsourced its payments back end, including bank transfers via ACH, to Dwolla. By partnering with Dwolla, Sweep leveraged Dwolla’s experience for managing the compliance, fraud, and security elements of its payments experience.

Outcome: Sweep launched its automated savings product with fixed and comparatively minimal direct and indirect costs. By leveraging Dwolla’s banking relationships, Sweep avoided holding customer funds or inserting itself in the funds-flow, thereby reducing regulatory and compliance challenges.

Core functionality and user experience

Sweep’s strength is its ability to create a simple, beautiful mobile interface and user experience.  The company was wary of integrating any functionality that would feel foreign to the app or confuse the customer.

Solution: Dwolla’s payments platform helps with handling KYC, customer records, adding bank accounts, and initiating ad-hoc and recurring transfers using event-based webhooks. The white-label API allows Sweep to offer a seamless user experience while maintaining the look and feel of the Sweep app.

Outcome: Today, Sweep users enjoy a full-featured, powerful savings tool embedded in a Sweep branded, beautiful mobile experience.

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Interested in learning more about an ACH API for better payments? It’s simple. Reach out to an integration specialist to learn more.

Reach out now, green

5 Qualities of a Good Payments API for Bank Transfers

Payments API

There are APIs abound for integrating credit card transactions into your platform or application, but what about an API for ACH transfers? Here’s what you should be looking for when determining if an ACH solution is right for you:


ACH transfers aren’t always a bed of roses, especially if you’ve explored building your own solution with a financial institution. What you save in a relatively low initial integration cost can add up in dedicating months of your time and energy to meeting all of the compliance requirements and building all of the processes necessary to pass any financial industry test. That’s why many companies and developers are turning to software companies that have built and open sourced their own ACH APIs. These APIs allow you to tap into their network of experts and functionality in order to make ACH transfers work for you, in a way that fits with your business and customer needs.


If you have a well-established product, you’ve spent the time, money, and burned the brainpower growing your customer base and brand. You may be leery of introducing your customers to another platform to create another account for making or receiving payments via your app or site. A quality API allows for various customization options and control, and is adaptable for specific use cases and scenarios. The ability for an API to scale alongside your business—whether it’s on the front or backend of your product—can make for a winner.

Intuitive and complete documentation

Nothing is more irritating than searching an entire site or forum for what you need, bouncing between different tabs, and trying to piece together information. Software providers that have removed the busy work, and put in the time to accurately and simply document their APIs in a way that a developer would need to read it while coding alongside is invaluable.

Working examples

Finding a payments API with working examples of its integrations out in the wild is always attractive. The more variety of use cases, the better—these use cases demonstrate the possibilities after putting a little creativity into developing a tailored solution that works best for your unique needs.

Great support

When developing payments into your platform, there may be questions that you just need to float by someone that works on that API for a living. There’s great value in finding a service that is committed to getting you and your product to market before you rip every last hair out trying to Google the answer.

Are you looking for a better ACH solution? If so, we’d like to invite you to contact one of our integration specialists so we can introduce you to a solution that fits your needs. Or, take a tour of our developer portal, where we offer extensive API documentation, starter guides, and other resources to help you begin building.

Let's talk aCH payments

Getting Started With Dwolla OAuth Account Creation

We’ve recently made some huge improvements to member onboarding, with the addition of OAuth account creation to Dwolla’s OAuth implementation.

What does this mean? It means that you can now host your customers’ Dwolla account creation and bank verification without sending them to Dwolla.com.

What does this look like? This process takes shape in one of three ways, which we briefly touched on in one of our latest blog posts, A Peek Inside The Product Pipeline: Member Onboarding.

  1. Direct account creation with minimal routing instruction
  2. Direct account creation with bank verification
  3. Traditional account onboarding with both account and bank verification

In all cases, customers will be creating Dwolla Direct or full Dwolla accounts, agreeing to the scopes that you provide, then adding a financial institution as a funding source.

Adding a funding source to a Dwolla Direct account can be done two ways:

  1. If the user needs to be able to send money, the Send scope is requested. This will trigger the Instant Account Verification (IAV) process and allow the user to verify and connect a funding source by entering their online banking credentials.
  2. If the user only needs to receive money, the Funding scope is requested. This will trigger a flow where the user will add their bank or credit union account and routing numbers, but the IAV process will not be included.

Direct account creation with minimal routing instruction

For users who are looking to simply receive funds within the Dwolla OAuth flow, there is minimal routing instruction required and the Funding scope will be requested—it’s a thirty second setup experience for first time recipients.


Customers create a Dwolla Direct account by simply providing an email, password, account and routing number. These customers will only be able to receive funds from your business or organization.

Direct account creation with bank verification

Below we’ve briefly outlined the flow for a user creating a Dwolla Direct account with a verified bank, allowing the user to both send funds to and receive funds from your business or organization by requesting the Send scope.

OAuth---DirectCustomers create a Dwolla Direct account by supplying an email address, password, and verifying their financial institution through instant account verification (by entering their online banking credentials). These customers can transact with your business, whether they are sending or receiving funds.

Traditional account onboarding with both account and bank verification


Your business or organization can also direct your customers to create a full Dwolla account through your OAuth implementation. In order to create a full Dwolla account, a customer will be prompted to select the type of account—personal, business, government, non-profit—and enter in information such as name, birthdate, address, etc.

If your customers are creating business accounts, they may be asked for additional information to complete verification.

After completing account registration, the user will be asked to grant permissions to the application. If the Send scope is requested, they will be prompted to add a verified bank account via IAV.

To learn more about Dwolla’s implementation of OAuth or to get started with an integration of your own, visit Dwolla’s developer library.

©2018 TransSwipe


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