Dwolla customers are able to preload their Dwolla balance with a wire transfer, in order to electronically transfer funds from one bank account to another.


Wire Transfers vs ACH Transactions

Wire transfers are distinctly different from ACH transactions. Wire transfers allow for funds to be electronically transferred and settled directly between bank accounts, typically within a few hours.

ACH transactions are processed in batches by an intermediary and tend to have a lower fraud rates than other payment types. These benefits come with a cost however—speed. ACH transactions can take 3-4 banking days to process and while Dwolla offers faster—yet secure—payment options like same day ACH and next day ACH, even those features can’t compete with wire transfers for expediency.

Dwolla’s API primarily leverages the ACH Network because the benefits for businesses far outweigh its deliberate process. Still, we recognize there are times when our customers need to move funds faster. That’s why we offer our customers the option to use wire transfers to preload their Dwolla balance for automated payouts.

The Best of All Worlds

Dwolla primarily utilizes the ACH Network because it offers businesses the most cost-effective way of sending and collecting payments. For most transactions, factors like automation, security and predictability—which Dwolla provides through its ACH API—are more important than speed.

However, companies that generate mass payouts to a number of suppliers, merchants, etc. may need to expedite the disbursement of funds. In these cases, Dwolla offers its customers the ability to wire transfers to its own Dwolla balance. Once the wire clears, the funds are immediately available for Dwolla’s customer to use for mass payouts via ACH.

Precise Transactions

Unlike ACH transactions which have a robust number of return codes that can keep erroneous transactions from settling, cancelling or unauthorizing a wire transfer is much more difficult to do because of the immediacy with wiring funds.

Processing Timelines

While wire transfers can settle within hours, ACH transactions are processed in batches, creating more predictable and standard processing times. To expedite settlement times, innovations like same day ACH and next day ACH have been introduced to the market.


Most ACH transactions are inexpensive or free. Wire transfers can cost anywhere between $10-$40 per transaction depending on the bank or credit union.


Wire transfers can be difficult to automate, which can make them less convenient than ACH transactions.

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