Being your own boss is about having independence, making your own decisions and moving quickly.

In 2019, the number of self-employed workers in the United States reached 44 million, compared to 10 million in 2017. And 14% of those workers said being an independent contractor was their primary job. Many of these independent contractors use their own vehicles for business, providing taxi, delivery and other services.

To help independent driver-contractors get paid, Cabicash Solutions Inc. launched its Ualett® mobile app. Since launching in 2018, Ualett® is active in 41 states and has roughly 90,000 contractors on the app. Drivers download the mobile app, verify their personal information and transaction history, then sign up for credit to make repairs to their vehicles.

Funds can be available to the driver within minutes of approval.

Quickly getting funds to drivers after services are rendered is Ualett’s differentiator in a crowded market. Using Real-Time Payments and the RTP® Network, Ualett sends funds to the driver and collect funds for repayment. Dwolla powers the sophisticated account-to-account solutions that have helped Ualett customize a branded experience using the ACH and RTP® Networks to meet their needs.

“More than 80% of our workers have RTP-enabled bank accounts,” says Cabicash Co-Founder, Ricky Michel. “RTP with Dwolla has given us such a competitive advantage. Before, drivers would wait up to 24 hours to have money in their bank account. For some, that means their business stops. With RTP, funds are in their account in minutes. RTP is the preferred payment method we keep hearing from our clients and Dwolla has simplified that for us.”

Finding Their Wallet

The Cabicash team had no intention of building a proprietary payment API integration because they needed the Ualett app to go live quickly. In 2018, with a launch date less than a month out, Michel said their initial idea for a payments partner fell through.

They needed an API with clear documentation that they could integrate quickly and support their various payment funds flows.

Dark Logo: Ualett "More than a cash advance"
“When we found Dwolla, we were panicking. The integration with Dwolla was only crazy because of our internal timelines. We integrated in less than 20 days. The speed, the professionalism, Dwolla was what we needed to launch this app and grow it.”
Ricky Michel
Co-founder

Providing a seamless payment process for the initial users helped give these first adopters confidence in Ualett. In the last year with Dwolla, Ualett has seen more than a 15% growth in the number of monthly transactions, averaging more than 25,000 each month.

“In the eyes of new drivers coming to our platform, we had credibility,” Michel says. “Dwolla’s technology and the team behind it provides that layer of trust for us.”

Becoming a Real-Time Payments Company

POST https://api-sandbox.dwolla.com/transfers
Accept: application/vnd.dwolla.v1.hal+json
Content-Type: application/vnd.dwolla.v1.hal+json
Authorization: Bearer {your-app-token}
Idempotency-Key: 19051a62-3403-11e6-ac61-9e71128cae77

{
   "_links": {
       "source": {
           "href": "https://api-sandbox.dwolla.com/funding-sources/7dc2e1df-9a88-4d9a-868f-90b46f1defcc"
       },
       "destination": {
           "href": "https://api-sandbox.dwolla.com/funding-sources/ecca9092-901d-4581-b8f3-6174de437387"
       }
   },
   "amount": {
       "currency": "USD",
       "value": "1000.00"
   },
   "processingChannel": {
      "destination": "real-time-payments"
   },
   "rtpDetails": {
      "destination": {
         "remittanceData": "ABC_123 Remittance Data"
      }
   }
}

...

HTTP/1.1 201 Created
Location: https://api-sandbox.dwolla.com/transfers/e3631d36-d0ff-4cf4-b695-1b88395b5d3a

POST https://api-sandbox.dwolla.com/transfers
Accept: application/vnd.dwolla.v1.hal+json
Content-Type: application/vnd.dwolla.v1.hal+json
Authorization: Bearer {your-app-token}
Idempotency-Key: 1f845105-8245-4423-bb8c-ad4b37d385cb

{
   "_links": {
       "source": {
           "href": "https://api-sandbox.dwolla.com/funding-sources/ecca9092-901d-4581-b8f3-6174de437387"
       },
       "destination": {
           "href": "https://api-sandbox.dwolla.com/funding-sources/7dc2e1df-9a88-4d9a-868f-90b46f1defcc"
       }
   },
   "amount": {
       "currency": "USD",
       "value": 123.45"
   }
}

...

HTTP/1.1 201 Created
Location: https://api-sandbox.dwolla.com/transfers/f5c85b62-b752-ec11-813a-ebf9f1240ece

As the platform attracted more drivers, faster payments became a common request and really an expectation, according to operations manager Mayrian Sanz.

“Independent contractors need to fix tires, get oil changes, pay for tools, fees—those types of expenses can prevent them from continuing their business if they don’t have the funds,” Sanz says. “By offering Real-Time Payments, clients are repeating more business with us because they know they can get funds right away and because of that speed, we become their first choice.”

“The direct line of connection to technical support was priceless.” Sanz said she and her team worked with their dedicated Account Manager at Dwolla to get assistance when rolling out their new payment method, as well as gain additional insights on timelines when to expect new updates related to faster payment enhancements.

“We were able to get all of the necessary details to know when to expect the product to be available, so we were able to create processes to protect the security of our platform and the client,” Sanz says.

To offer real-time payments to drivers, Ualett® requires the drivers to have successfully completed one ride–or be repeat users. Ualett® also requests updated bank statements from the drivers to confirm that the account actually belongs to the driver.

From an operational standpoint, Sanz says Real-Time Payments help with reconciling transactions.

“Payment reconciliation has never been easier,” Sanz says. “Before RTP, each day we would go one by one with every transaction to verify which were processed, which needed to be cancelled and which were still waiting to be settled on the ACH Network. Now, we can answer client questions about their payments without having to wait days for them to settle.”

Accelerating Into 2022

Since going live with Dwolla, Cabicash has averaged more than 20,000 transactions a month, sending and receiving over $130 million since 2018. Michel says they are projecting volume to increase by nearly five times in 2022.

“Clients continue to ask for faster payment options, so we’re looking to expand on that area as we work towards our goal of 500,000 clients,” Michel says. “And Dwolla has been a main reason for that growth. It feels like we aren’t dealing with a third-party.”

 
 

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