So can we all agree that 2020 felt like it dragged on forever? Yeah?
Maybe we can also agree that 2021 feels like it went by in a flash? They say time flies when you’re having fun, and throughout the year, there was no shortage of virtual celebrations as we released impactful features and products to our clients.
As we built, we lived by our belief that everything we produce helps power innovation with sophisticated account-to-account payment solutions.
Disrupting the System
The United States banking system is a complicated monolith of an institution that is slowly but surely catching up with the rest of the world. At times it feels like the banking system is closed off to innovation, but our technology is helping to bring payments into the 21st century. The open banking revolution is just beginning in the U.S., and the infrastructure is starting to take shape.
Becoming a Real-Time Payments Company
ACH is the backbone of our payments API. To address some of the limitations that come with ACH and give our clients more control over the timing of their disbursements, we became a real-time payments company.
As part of our effort to continuously improve the Dwolla Platform, in early 2021 we launched real-time payments to combine the finality of cash payments with modern technology. Funds sent via the RTP Network® are available to the recipient within seconds and can be sent 24/7/365—no more nightly, weekend or holiday restrictions. Funds transfers are powered by Cross River Bank.
From an individual transfer to 5,000 transfers batched into one API call—all with available added remittance data—real-time payments represent a significant step forward in enabling our innovating clients to gain greater control over their disbursement processes. Clients utilizing Dwolla’s RTP feature now see the advantages of instant settlement, not only for customer satisfaction, but also for reconciliation.
“Payment reconciliation has never been easier. Before RTP, each day we would go one by one with every transaction to verify which transactions were processed, which needed to be canceled and which transactions were still waiting to be settled on the ACH Network. Now, we can answer client questions about their payments without having to wait days or hours for them to settle.”
Virtual Account Numbers
At times, the U.S. banking system seems closed off to other payment ecosystems. From card networks to digital payment wallets and crypto, being able to connect to a bank via any means simply and directly has never been easy.
The open banking revolution is just beginning, and the infrastructure is only starting to crystalize. Think of being able to serve the unbanked by generating an account and routing number to represent a Dwolla Balance or being able to pay a bill without providing your personal bank account information. Imagine being able to send funds from your fintech application’s balance, such as Venmo, to your Dwolla Balance in one transfer.
With Virtual Account Numbers (VANs), connections to fintech players, clients’ applications and the U.S. banking system has never been more intuitive. Use a Virtual Account Number to generate a unique account and routing number to represent the Dwolla Balance of your verified customer and send funds to or from any account.
VANs are available to select pilot clients as we work toward a full release in early 2022. To get early access to this feature, sign up for the waitlist.
Listening to Our Clients
Building compelling products doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Being an agile software organization means not only releasing, but measuring, and ensuring the releases continue to improve over time.
Drop-in Components Updates
After releasing drop-in components in late 2020, our team gathered feedback from developers to understand how we could make them better and what we could build next. We made a few significant changes based on feedback from developers, including:
- Creating a business verified customer creation drop-in.
- Robust document upload and review status drop-in that integrates with our personal verified customer drop-in.
- Squashing a few bugs and making multiple quality of life improvements.
Making Dwolla even easier to integrate and maintain means our clients can spend more time building the important things within their own applications instead of worrying about maintaining their Dwolla integration.
Document Verification Enhancements
Dwolla is actively making improvements to our account verification process. One component of that process is the document verification drop-in. We made an enhancement to help ensure there is clarity on the status of a document in the account verification process.
To make the verification status of a document more clear, Dwolla added a new API field entitled “documentVerificationStatus.” This field indicates the status of the document after being reviewed by Dwolla. Values can be pending, accepted or rejected. This field can be used to find out if the document was accepted or rejected. If the document was rejected, the “allFailureReasons” object within the same document resource can help determine the reason for rejection.
The overall account verification process is a continued focus for our team. Look for more improvements in 2022.
Accessibility in OpNotes
Not all updates are glamorous. Small changes that affect our clients and end users can come down to making tweaks to communications. Dwolla’s Operational Notification functionality sends email notifications when specific events or actions occur within the Dwolla Network. When an event occurs, it triggers an email to the email address tied to the account.
To improve accessibility of these notices, we updated Operational Notifications to include better text contrast with background colors and improved support for screen readers. These small quality of life changes speak to our commitment to all experiences, big and small, no matter how impactful.
We Are Never Done
While 2021 was full of exciting releases, 2022 is already shaping up to be an incredible year.
Providing our clients access to real-time payments is an exciting milestone and the first in a larger faster payments initiative. As open banking and account-to-account payments gain more traction in the United States, Dwolla will continue to innovate and integrate with these developments.
Our team is committed to discovering advancements in technologies like Request for Payment and FedNow so we can continue to delight our customers and meet their needs.
Over the next 12 months, we will double down on expanding our partner ecosystem where businesses can complement their current offerings with an integrated element of account-to-account transfers to their payments solutions. The account opening API gives Dwolla partners the ability to easily onboard and service their partner clients. This allows anyone to add Dwolla’s API payment functionality to its own suite of services and provide their customers with the ability to initiate account-to-account transfers for even the most sophisticated use cases.
Why keep our progress to ourselves? Coming in 2022, we plan on branching out to other countries to ensure we can power sophisticated account-to-account payment solutions for innovators around the world.
Another Trip Around the Sun
While this isn’t an exhaustive list of the things we built or everything that we will build, it’s always good to reflect on some of the accomplishments we’ve made over the last 12 months.
As we look to the future, we’re optimistic the next 12 months will bring even more progress.
As 2021 comes to a close, we continue to be inspired by our clients building innovative applications and transforming their businesses. We plan on continuing to change the game in 2022 with an account-to-account payment solution.