Each day, we work with businesses to build upon and improve their payments process. Sometimes they come to us with specifics in mind, and other times businesses come with problems or questions that we help them find the answers to.

Whatever the situation that brings us together, we work with our customers to provide an understanding of how their payments could be processed better, specifically using the ACH network.

For example, integrating Dwolla’s API helped a real-estate lending platform improve transfer times by 50% and an Instagram advertising platform reduce payouts processing costs by 31% in the first month.

In both cases, the customers used Dwolla to serve their unique payments flow. At times, the customer’s funds flow was straightforward and made more efficient with basic functionality but other times the solution called for one of our lesser-known, advanced features to complement their payments needs.

In this blog post, we’ll walk through five of those unique value-adds of Dwolla, and how they might work within your business.

1. Pre-Authorized Payments, aka On-demand Bank Transfers

On-demand Bank Transfers, or pre-authorized payments, allow you to collect variable payments from a bank account with the authorization of the person that’s paying.

If you’re a company with a usage-based business model, this feature is very effective. For example, utility companies or advertising platforms can collect authorization from their users in order to receive payments for variable amounts on future dates.

Skip an ACH authorization form and use On-Demand Bank Transfers instead.

2. Bank Account Balance Check

A common issue when using the ACH network is the potential to receive an ACH Return Code. In order to help mitigate that frustration, we created an API endpoint that allows our customers to check the user’s bank account balance before debiting the account when using Dwolla’s Instant Account Verification. As an application, you would get permission from the account holder to check their account balance when they connect and verify their funding source.

Moving forward, you should be able to do a preliminary check that the user has sufficient funds before debiting.
In our API documentation, we refer to this as Bank Account Balance Check, and the functionality can help make your payments process a little more painless.

3. Facilitator Fee

The Facilitator Fee allows you to take a portion of the transaction moving through your application. For example, if you’re a marketplace and someone purchases a product from a seller therein, you would be able to take a portion of that payment as it processes through your system.

You choose the structure of the fee, whether it’s flat or percentage-based if you would like to debit the amount from the sender or receiver, or even decide if you’d like to apply multiple fees.

Additionally, you set the amount for the fee, whether it’s flat or percentage based, as long as it’s more than $0.01 and less that 50% of the total transaction amount!

4. Hold a Balance

Dwolla offers you a unique option to “hold a balance” within your Dwolla account, a sort of “stored value” capability.

If you’re a Dwolla customer, you can use this feature to allow your users to hold their own balance—while you customize how the balance is displayed in the application to suit your user experience.

The transfer of funds is facilitated by Dwolla, but the actual funds are held in pooled holding accounts at the Veridian Credit Union, our financial institution partner. The ability to hold a balance is great for delivering mass payouts or building a “piggy bank” functionality into an application.

5. The Dwolla Dashboard

The dashboard is one of the most time saving and exciting value-adds of Dwolla. All within a thoughtfully designed interface, you can manage your customers, search transaction information, and view key business insights.

Not only does the Dashboard and Admin save you time on day-to-day operations and support as it relates to your integration, but your developer team doesn’t have to pour hours into building an interface for managing the data collected by the API.

To learn more about any of these features or to get a payments flow consultation call with one of our team members, just reach out below!


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