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#realpeople Archive - TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

TransSwipe - Merchant Services and Credit Card Processing

Archive for the ‘#realpeople’ Category

Dwolla for Education: Online Tuition Payments

It takes a special human being to be a teacher.

Teaching isn’t a 9-5 job—it’s grading papers, meeting with parents and students after work hours, and planning curriculum after putting their own kids to bed. It’s being kind, patient, and understanding, while often being strapped for time and balancing personal lives with after school programs.

Dwolla appreciates teachers; which is why we’re proud to be able to offer a payments tool that helps minimize some of the unnecessary headaches of the job.

Teachers all over the country are choosing Dwolla as a way to reduce time and financial costs, and to spend more time doing what they love.

Why chose Dwolla for education?

It’s straight forward: Dwolla provides greater visibility into cash flow, without all of the paperwork. Detailed emails, notifications, and monthly account statements make it easy to see who’s paying you, when you’re going to receive the money, and who you’ve sent money to.

Hassle-free: Reduce the administrative headaches, and spend more time teaching. Send and receive payments directly to and from your bank account, no waiting for checks to arrive or get lost in the mail.

Click of a button: Need to sign up new students for a class? Dwolla Form Builder is a simple tool that allows you to quickly and easily build a customized payment form to collect customer information alongside their payment.

Fees stink: We hate fees. Dwolla was born out of the notion that businesses owners shouldn’t have to lose so much revenue to high transaction fees, simply for the act of being paid.

Scheduled payments: The option to set up a scheduled payment is as easy as checking a box—literally. Send requests of students or parents that owe you money, or help them schedule their own payment to you on a monthly, weekly, or bi-weekly basis.

Kristin Fairfield, a performing arts teacher at Piedmont Performing Arts School in Oakland, uses Dwolla to collect tuition from her students. PPAS is a non-profit organization that seeks to help students discover themselves through performing.

Kristin Fairfield

Kristin Fairfield

Simply Music Teachers are ‘out of the box’ thinkers. Our method is innovative—and that’s how Dwolla is.”

With Dwolla, writing checks can be a thing of the past. Providing parents and students with a quick, safe, and secure online payments option is becoming a priority for many small to medium-sized businesses and non-profits alike. It’s also allowing those organizations to gain the financial visibility that they’ve always wanted, while forgoing the heavy fees traditionally associated with the movement of money.

“Make payments as easy as possible for parents,” says Fairfield, of their choice to utilize Dwolla’s payment network. “Dwolla saves me precious time. It’s easy to keep track of payments. It’s great because the parents also can clearly see their payments to me as well.”

When asked what’s changed the most since switching to Dwolla for tuition payments, Fairfield responded:

“I no longer need to make any trips to the bank to deposit checks, I don’t have to waste precious class time collecting checks, and I don’t need to hire an accountant. Everyone’s payment is right there in front of me in my Dwolla account. Collecting tuition can become a full-time job. I don’t have to do that ‘job’ anymore; I get to focus on my teaching. All the parents, when I explain this to them, understand where I’m coming from. Less accounting, more teaching music!

As a small business owner or a non-profit director, administrative tasks and accounting can easily take up the majority of your week, if you don’t have the proper tools in place. The team at Dwolla would love to help you integrate time and cost savings tools where it makes sense, so that you can get back to changing the world.

We often like to feature awesome people who use Dwolla. Don’t be shy—we are pretty passionate about our product, and enjoy hearing from you.

Get started now, and share your story with us: communications@dwolla.com

Founder Spotlight: Basha Rubin of Priori Legal


At Dwolla, we always appreciate hearing and sharing the perspective of other entrepreneurs. Recently, we chatted with Basha Rubin, founder and CEO of Priori Legal, an online marketplace connecting small businesses with top-tier lawyers at below-market rates. In this Q&A, Basha shared insights on the importance of laying legal groundwork early, as well as her own perspective on life in the startup scene.

“I think it’s important for small businesses and freelancers to realize that lawyers can be a lynchpin in whether a business survives or not. You need to find a lawyer that you click with, so they can help your business thrive.”

-Basha Rubin

Can you begin by describing the mission of Priori Legal?

Priori Legal is a curated marketplace connecting startups and small businesses with high-quality lawyers at below-market and when possible, fixed rates. We do everything we can to make the process of finding, hiring and working with a lawyer as transparent and efficient as possible so our clients can focus on other tasks.

What sets us apart is the quality of lawyers in our network. Priori accepts only 20% of lawyers who apply; we want to make sure we have the top players in the field. From there, Priori does some of the legwork for you—we negotiate a 25% discount for our clients and make conference call scheduling easy. We’ve also built robust billing and invoicing tools, so working with a lawyer is as easy and pleasant as it can be.

Priori has recently expanded to California, now serving two states’ legal needs. As the founder, how has your role shifted?

I’m having so much fun running Priori, especially as the team is growing. I’ve really been thinking about my role a lot these days. A year ago, as the founder, my time was spent on everything short of being a developer. I ran our business development, social media, marketing, the list goes on… Now we have a team of ten, and I can focus on the bigger picture tasks and the company’s vision.

Running a startup, I’m constantly figuring out how my role changes as we grow.

Thinking back to the early days, can you discuss the biggest challenges you faced when first starting Priori?

I think my biggest challenge has been overcoming the fact that I’m a perfectionist.

I have always been a perfectionist. At one point, the idea of a typo horrified me to my core. (Ok, ok, not at one point, still a little true) I was trained as a lawyer, and some of the habits I developed were hard to shake when starting out as an entrepreneur. I had to realize that it’s not about perfecting every detail. You can spend years smoothing over every aspect of a product, and it could still completely fail.

Despite my insistence upon making everything ironclad, I realized sometimes you just need to put yourself out there.

Shifting the focus, how do you help your clients understand their biggest legal challenges?

To get our clients to understand their legal challenges, we do a lot of content marketing. It’s one of our most successful customer acquisition channels, lots of education and writing about the legal needs of small businesses.

We also have a very low barrier process to get our clients on the phone with lawyers. Our aim is to make their experience as seamless as possible.

What is the #1 piece of legal advice you would give to freelancers or businesses just starting out?

Talk to a lawyer early. Businesses are really anxious about working with lawyers because they are afraid that the costs will add up. If you work with a lawyer to draft a contract or protect your intellectual property upfront, you’ll ultimately be able to keep your legal costs down.

As a small company, be transparent about your budget, so your lawyer understands your parameters.

And, likewise, what’s the #1 worst piece of advice freelancers often receive?

We realized that a lot of freelancers found their contract online and then edited it or repurposed a friend’s contract. In many cases, these contracts don’t actually protect what freelancers think they do or want them to.

My advice to freelancers, make sure you have a good contract. One that is tailored towards YOU.

Turning over to finance, how have you been successful in managing the finances of your startup?

Keep the operation as lean as possible; keep costs down. And, viewing everything in one central location helps, too. For example, for our HR needs, we are about to transition to JustWorks, which allows us to consolidate those processes and see everything in one place.

Get your SMB Finances on Track with these five questions

Dear Louis C.K. (and Odwalla)

Dwolla illustration of Louis CK and Quote

Dear Louis C.K. and Odwalla,

In a recent email from Louis C.K. to his fans, the comedian announced that he’s now taking Odwalla–a popular fresh juice and healthy foods company–as payment for his newest digital release, “TomorrowNight.”As many of you know, Dwolla transactions that are $10 and under are completely free, offering Louis C.K. a pretty sweet deal compared to the other guys (5% + $.05 per transaction or 2.9% + $.30 per transaction). Odwalla must be driving a seriously good deal, but c’mon, man, we were there first.

We’ve decided to extend an olive branch to Odwalla with a deal.

For each Dwolla transaction on LouisCK.net in February, we will donate the fees that Louis C.K. would have paid with Amazon and PayPal to a nonprofit of Odwalla’s choosing. In exchange, Odwalla will renounce its new payments relationship with Louis C.K.


– Dwolla





#realpeople: True Cost Farm

Jack McCann and his wife Betsy had a passion for cooking, and were always on the search for better tasting and higher-quality ingredients. After discovering they could get the best products from farmers that practiced sustainable pasture-based farming, Jack got an idea. While he had no previous exposure to farming, he had always had an entrepreneurial spirit.

“…a theme in all my professional experience is that when I see something that doesn’t exist but should, I want to build it. When I see something that could be done better, I want to improve it.” – Jack McCann

The McCann’s decided that they would start their own operation, emphasizing non-factory farming genetics. They would also raise rare, slow-growing breeds for the best in taste, texture and nutrition. What started with no infrastructure and 30 chickens has grown into a successful sustainable farming operation 40 miles west of downtown Minneapolis, named True Cost Farm.

The McCann’s were introduced to Dwolla while looking for a way to accept payments for their farm’s subscription service. By using the online payment network and cutting out credit cards, they’re able to take the cost savings and split it with their customers, giving them more product for their money while simultaneously increasing their own margins.


This is a series we’re producing with our friends Garrett & Theron as they travel across the country doing Maddie On Tour. If you’d like to have these guys tell your story, drop us a line at communications@dwolla.com.

A focus of this series is telling the story of real people in real businesses. Not a reality show rendition of the world. Just the rest of us…making a living.

Want your business to accept Dwolla for payments? We’d love to help.


#realpeople: Rogue Territory

Five years ago, Karl Thoennessen started Rogue Territory, born out of his passion for denim. His dream was to create something different, something  relevant. He wanted to make  quality products made by individuals that  focused on fit and attention to detail. At Rogue, Karl approaches each new piece as a work of art, sometimes sitting on a fabric for months until he decides what it’s going to be. It’s this patience, emphasis, and passion for quality that allows Karl and his team to tell a story with each new design.

But our story with Rogue Territory is different than you might think: Consumers can’t use Dwolla to buy his jeans (yet).

For the past year, Karl has helped Rogue Territory, his suppliers, and his “stockists” (vendors that buy his denim) save hundreds by paying each other with Dwolla. He’s created his own payment community, centered around his passion.

We’re happy to embrace Karl and his story:

“The fact that Dwolla uses a $0.25 fee per transaction is huge. We use other forms of receiving payment that are percentages, and as a small but growing business you obviously need to look to save money wherever you can. Moving forward one of our goals is to get as many of our stockists on Dwolla as possible.”

Dwolla is one network, used by thousands everyday in a thousand different ways. What’s your story?


This is a series we’re producing with our friends Garrett & Theron as they travel across the country doing Maddie On Tour. If you’d like to have these guys tell your story, drop us a line at communications@dwolla.com.

A focus of this series is telling the story of real people in real businesses. Not a reality show rendition of the world. Just the rest of us…making a living.

Want your business to accept Dwolla for payments? We’d love to help.


#realpeople: Penn’s Corner

A group of over 30 farms make up Penn’s Corner, a cooperative that delivers fresh produce to individual customers and restaurants in the Pittsburgh area. With so many farms involved, they’re able to offer a wide diversity of produce, from orchard products to specialty greens, giving customers the ability to cook with the high-quality ingredients that chefs have been using for years.

We’re proud to say that Penn’s Corner is also a member of the Dwolla network.

“…it is very, very costly for the coop to accept credit cards so I was really happy to offer this other alternative. We usually tell members when possible we prefer Dwolla payment. It’s certainly much more affordable.”

We hope you enjoy their story as much as we do.

Want your CSA to accept Dwolla? Learn how we can help.

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This is a series we’re producing with our friends Garrett & Theron as they travel across the country doing Maddie On Tour. If you’d like to have these guys tell your story, drop us a line at communications@dwolla.com.

A focus of this series is telling the story of real people in real businesses. Not a reality show rendition of the world. Just the rest of us…making a living ;)



©2018 TransSwipe


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