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Dwolla’s payment platform powers billions of dollars in programmatic payments for millions of end users every year. Whether your end user wants their money faster or your business is looking to save on transaction fees, an integration with Dwolla’s payment API can give your business various payment options to meet your needs and those of your end users.

Using this guide, understand the differences in transaction methods offered through the Dwolla Platform. Payments using the ACH Network move at a different speed compared to a payments through the RTP® Network, but there’s more to deciding which transaction type to use than just speed. This guide will help you better understand the options available in the Dwolla Platform and the differences between them for you and your end users.

With all available payment options, Dwolla’s financial institution partners are an important part of our network and provide the actual funds transfer services based on your instructions. We know this can be a lot of information so please reach out with any questions—we are here to help!

While RTP and ACH payments are both a type of bank transfer, they utilize separate payment rails. There are some key differences between the rails and each payment type.

Perhaps the single largest differentiator between the RTP® Network and ACH is that funds sent via RTP clear and settle in real-time, 24/7 365 days a year. This unique advantage has the potential to greatly improve a business’s ability to manage cash flow and data. The immediacy and certainty of RTP is made possible by the RTP® Network’s good funds model, which requires participating financial institutions (see more about our financial institution partners here) to make the funds available in real-time. This provides a business with greater visibility into each payment and better data management.

ACH RTP Push-to-Debit Wires
Sent via the ACH Network Operators (either the Federal Reserve Bank or The Clearing House). Sent via the RTP® Network Operator, The Clearing House. Sent via Visa Direct. Sent via FedWire.
Rules issued by National Automated Clearing House Association (Nacha). Rules issued by The Clearing House (TCH). Rules issued by Visa. Rules issued by the Federal Reserve.
Funds can take 1-3 days to be available. Real-time availability of funds. Funds available typically within 30 minutes. Funds available within 24 hours.
Agreed-upon process for correcting erroneous transactions (i.e. reversal requests). Funds are irrevocable (although not guaranteed, a request for return of funds may be issued). Agreed-upon process for correcting erroneous transactions (i.e. chargebacks). Funds are irrevocable.
Limits only on Same-Day ACH transaction timing of $100,000 Limits: $100,000 / push (credit) Limit: The maximum single transaction amount allowed by the networks is $50,000 Limit: Dependent on the financial institution–starting at $50,000
Supports Push & Pull (Credit/Debit) Supports Push (Credit) only Supports Push (Credit) only Supports Push (Credit) only
Transactions are batched Transactions clear and settle individually Transactions clear and settle individually Transactions clear and settle individually

The RTP® Network is a relatively new payment rail and requires an agreement to participate. As such, not all financial institutions currently participate—but the list continues to grow.

Dwolla makes accessing the RTP rails easier for businesses while allowing them to keep their own bank. With Dwolla, change one line of code in your existing Dwolla integration and confirm that the payment destination is a participant on the RTP® Network.

Information on which banks participate in the RTP® Network can be found here.

Currently, Dwolla supports RTP for businesses sending payments or receiving payments. Here are few examples of how businesses might use RTP:

  • A business paying an invoice to receive goods or services faster.
  • An insurance company paying out a claim to a policyholder on the same day that the claim is dispositioned.

Card Networks: Push-to-Debit Graphic

A push-to-debit payment sent with Dwolla clears nearly as fast as RTP, processing in less than 30 seconds. The key difference between ACH, RTP and Push-to-Debit is the Push-to-Debit funds are sent over the card networks.

ACH and RTP go to and from bank accounts. A Push-to-Debit payment utilizes the receiver’s debit card number. This makes Push-to-Debit a convenient payment option for Business-to-Consumer disbursements.

Push-to-Debit also has the flexibility to service the unbanked population. Businesses can reach reloadable, prepaid cards in addition to those backed by a checking account.

Similar to RTP, Push-to-Debit payments are available 24/7/365, on holidays, weekends and after normal business hours.

Faster ACH Payments Graphic

A highly adopted transfer speed among businesses using ACH payments is Same Day ACH transfer timing. Same Day ACH transactions are very popular, with more than 250 million transactions initiated in 2019 alone. And with the recent increase in transaction limits from $25,000 to $100,000, businesses can move more money quickly—and safely.

Some businesses qualify for Next Day ACH transfers to shorten the time funds are made available in the Dwolla Network. A Next Day transaction refers to the debit portion of a transaction with Dwolla, when funds are debited from a bank account and sent to the Dwolla Network.

A standard ACH transaction with Dwolla can take up to five days to complete.

Wire Transfers Graphic

Wire transfers are a completely separate payment option outside of the ACH or RTP® Networks.

Wire transfers are not instant however they are quicker than ACH. A wire transfer can take several hours to process, with manual processing happening on both ends of the transaction.

Unlike bank transfers, a wire transfer can be more costly at $25-$30 for each transaction.

Learn more about the different payment transfer options that your business can build into your processes to advance the payment experience.

Dwolla’s Transfer Timelines

A Programmable Payments Platform

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