With 2019 already here, it’s time to look back and remember the tremendous things we’ve accomplished in 2018 during our latest trip around the sun.
Infrastructure and Continuous Improvement
One of our biggest accomplishments of 2018 was receiving our SOC 2 Type 2 Report.
Our report covered the performance of the mapped security controls over a six month period with on-site audits, walk-throughs and testing of various operating procedures. Being able to effectively demonstrate operational effectiveness in our security practices not only recognizes the work from our InfoSec team, but also gives assurance to our customers who trust our API to move billions of dollars every year.
This being said, we are never done! We will be continuously audited every year to ensure our procedures are always being maintained at the highest level. For more information on our SOC 2 report, check out our blog post here.
Once you start integrating with Dwolla, we want you to go live as quickly as possible. We recently created a webinar outlining the steps that make the integration process more smooth and we identified improvements for customers in the future.
The biggest integration workflow improvement was the addition of our new application approval process. Our old application approval process involved lots of email and manual processes that needed some automation.
Realizing that email is not the most efficient way of communication for this workflow, our team worked hard at improving the integration experience. It started with fully mapping out the most efficient way to break out the required tasks into manageable pieces, and then implementing a seamless way to push this to Dwolla for review.
The finished product? Our new Application Approval process, which brings all the required steps to go-live into the Dashboard, letting your cross-functional teams work in parallel in a singular portal.
After we tackled the Application Approval, we still got feedback that things could be easier. One of the more common barriers to a quick integration was the emails required to be sent to end users after certain events, like a customer creation or transfers being completed.
Developing a method to listen to, consume and handle these events, as well as send emails to end users takes time and resources that could be used to develop other parts of your game-changing application. To help our API customers shave time off of their integration our engineering team developed Operational Notifications.
These emails maintain aspects of our API customer’s branding by keeping their logo while still providing a thoughtful and informative message.
We saw firsthand how both the Application Approval process and Operational Notifications helped save our customers time during integration. These time savings allow our API customers to perform extra beta testing and generate revenue sooner.
API Updates and Additions
One of the bigger projects that consumed most of spring 2018 was maintaining compliance with the customer due diligence rules. To help the government fight financial crime, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) issued a new rule under the Bank Secrecy Act in order to clarify and strengthen customer due diligence requirements.
The customer due diligence rule added a new requirement to identify and verify the beneficial owners of Dwolla’s API customers as well as the beneficial owner of those customers’ users that are legal entities.
While this wasn’t the most exciting API update, it was a friendly reminder that the payments landscape is always changing.
Keeping our API customers and end users up to date with the latest regulation and compliance practices ensures a stable platform for the future.
By staying in tune with our customers, we were able to identify the need for this feature and add support for an addenda record. With this functionality, Customers with business bank accounts can now keep their own end users informed on transfers. This can include things such as invoice numbers or other methods to add traceability, right in the bank statement detail.
General Ledger Support
The Dwolla API was born out of a need to move funds from a checking or savings account.
Nonetheless, we understand there are business use cases where sending transfers exclusively to a business checking or savings account will not work. Luckily, select API customers and Verified business Customers can now add General Ledger funding sources to transact with. This allows for greater flexibility and added granularity to which account you are sending from or receiving to. This feature request came from businesses who wanted to use Dwolla, but needed to support General Ledgers. As we develop our platform, we look out for what is exciting for us to build as well as listening to feedback from both our API customers and industry leaders.
We look to do the same in 2019.
One of the more exciting projects that our Developer Relations team is scoping out is a refresh to our developer docs and developer portal. Currently, our developer portal serves a purpose of being a one stop shop for referencing the Dwolla API. Being able to educate yourself is imperative to integrating with the Dwolla Platform.
Yet we think there is room to improve. Be it a choose-your-own-adventure style of docs where they are dynamically generated, or a full-service hub that benefits not only developers, but product managers or executives, the best thing we can do is think more about it.
2018 was about being able to build and scale with our customers in a way that allowed for the success for everyone. While we pride ourselves with being able to offer 99.9% uptime for our customers in 2018, we understand that we need to always improve our offerings to our partners and keep adding value.
How are we going to do this? We’re adding engineers to our team and plan on hiring throughout the company. This will help our overall team bandwidth and ensure that we are delivering on features that are asked for by our customers.
Another Trip Around the Sun
We are proud to be the engine behind the payments of some of the world’s most innovative companies and Dwolla has gone live with more companies in 2018 than ever before. Our list of customers includes interesting, groundbreaking, trailblazing organizations that we are thrilled to partner with.
There are the companies like Encast and Live.Give.Save that are making it easier for people to donate to nonprofits. There are marketplaces like GetMyBoat and Goat that are connecting people with the things they love. There are companies like EnergyFunders, Masterworks and Rally Rd. that are applying common sense to make investing and lending easier and friendlier. From real estate solutions like EquityMultiple and PayRent to personal savings innovators like Astra, KidFund and Tripcents to unique applications like CargoSprint, Bento and PopularPays, Dwolla is honored to be behind the companies that are changing the world.
These are just a sample, some of which launched with us in 2018, others have been customers for longer. Each one is unique, valuable and deserves to be profiled in a case study. We also launched #DWOLLApowers as a way of showcasing more of our customers. #DWOLLApowers expresses how payments underlie some of the most important work being done and how Dwolla is the spark that allows these businesses to do what they do best.
As I look back at the year, I am reminded by how we are equally powered by our customers who inspire us and drive us to be better every day. I can’t wait for what we can do together in 2019.