ACH (Automated Clearing House) transactions are processed at predetermined intervals throughout each business day. With Dwolla, businesses can connect with the ACH Network to program their payments and offer ACH payments as an alternative to checks or credit cards.

This resource explains Dwolla’s payment processing timelines, including examples of faster ACH payments. Dwolla also offers real-time payments for businesses with verified users that are holding a balance within the Dwolla Network and transferring funds to another verified user.

Note: All examples are given in Central Time.

Most ACH transactions with Dwolla are actually two separate transfers: from the sender into the Dwolla Network (the debit) and out of the Dwolla Network to the receiver (the credit).

A standard ACH transaction with Dwolla can look like this:

Standard ACH In Graphic

Standard ACH Debit: A standard ACH debit through Dwolla will be made available in the Dwolla Network three to four business days after the transfer is initiated. As a way of mitigating the risk of an ACH return, funds associated with a standard ACH debit are not made available within the Dwolla Network for three to four business days.

The reason? Dwolla is not typically notified of an ACH return until at least two business days after the transaction is initiated

If a return is not received (and there are no concerns of fraud) within that window, funds are made available in the receiving account (in this case, the Dwolla Network).

How an ACH Transaction Becomes an ACH Return Code

Standard ACH Out Graphic

Standard ACH Credit: After the funds are made available in the Dwolla Network, the “credit” to the recipient will take place. Assuming the ACH credit transaction is initiated prior to 4 p.m., funds will be in the receiver’s bank account on the following business day.

Standard ACH 5-Day Graphic

A bank transfer initiated from a sender’s bank account at 4 p.m. on Monday would be received by the recipient’s bank account on Friday morning. Transfers initiated after 4 p.m. will start the ACH processing timeline on the next business day.

The standard ACH processing time for bank to bank transfers is typically five business days.

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Dwolla offers multiple ways to expedite ACH payment processing times as a premium feature within our programmable payments platform. Expedited transfers come at an additional cost because of the increased risk associated with faster bank transfers.

Next Day In Graphic

Next Day ACH transfers refer only to the debit portion of the transaction.

With Next Day ACH, a transfer initiated before 4 p.m. on a Monday would be available within the Dwolla Network on Tuesday.

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Same Day Out Graphic

Same Day ACH transfers are only available for the credit portion of the transaction.

As long as the transaction is initiated prior to 12 p.m., funds will arrive in the receiving bank account by the end of business that same day.

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Balance-to-Balance Transfer Timeline Graphic

Real-time payments with Dwolla happen when funds are sent between two Verified Customers that are holding a balance within the Dwolla Network.

Funds tied to these accounts can immediately be accessed by the end user.

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Because each transaction with Dwolla is broken into two separate transfers, a business can expedite the ACH payment processing time by combining transfer speeds for specific parts of an ACH transfer.

For example, a transaction could use Next Day ACH for the debit portion and Same Day ACH for the credit portion of an ACH transfer.

The end result is transferring funds faster between bank accounts and making funds available sooner.

Standard ACH Debit + Same Day Credit Graphic

When a standard ACH bank transfer is initiated at 4 p.m. on Monday, if no ACH return codes are received by Thursday, funds are made available in the Dwolla Network on that day.

A Same Day ACH credit will go out at noon on Thursday, sending those funds to the receiver’s bank account. They will arrive in the receiving customer’s bank account by the end of business on Thursday.

Next Day ACH Debit + Standard ACH Credit Graphic

If a transfer is initiated at 4 p.m. on Monday, funds are debited from the sending account and made available in the Dwolla Network on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, a credit to the recipient will be issued and will settle in the receiving customer’s bank account at the end of business on Wednesday.

Next Day ACH Debit + Same Day ACH Credit Graphic

A transfer initiated at 4 p.m. on Monday is made available in the Dwolla Network on Tuesday.

Assuming the Same Day credit is issued before 12 p.m. on Tuesday, funds will arrive in the receiving bank account by the end of business on Tuesday.

*Note: All transfers may be delayed by either the sending or receiving financial institution, including Dwolla’s partner financial institution.

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