Being able to quickly disburse funds was critical during the COVID-19 pandemic as cash flow for many local businesses came to a screeching halt.

During a webinar earlier in 2021, California-based Community Bank of the Bay shared its experience as a local bank that struggled to quickly disburse Paycheck Protection Program loans. Community Bank of the Bay did not participate in the RTP Network® and, therefore, could not fund PPP loans outside of traditional wire transfer hours. Disbursements via wire transfer are costly—both in time spent on tasks and the actual cost of each transaction.

Bank leaders admitted they did not have partnerships with the right fintech company, which ultimately prevented their clients from accessing PPP loans through their accounts at the bank.

“It is important to stay on top of what fintechs are innovating, and financial institutions partnering with the right technology partners to stay compatible with product offerings is going to become the standard,” Chaula Pandya, SVP and CTO at Community Bank of the Bay, told Payments Journal. “Integrations with fintechs is totally unavoidable for banks.”

Disburse Funds 24/7/365

An ACI Worldwide and GlobalData study enforces this trend toward faster payments, reporting a 41 percent surge in real-time payment (RTP) transactions in 2020 (70.3 billion RTP transactions worldwide) compared to 2019, “as the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically accelerated trends away from cash and checks toward a greater reliance on real-time and digital payments.”

Real-Time Payments (RTP) with Dwolla, powered by Cross River Bank, can be initiated at all hours of the day. These are balance-sourced account-to-account transactions that clear and settle near instantaneously. A disbursement from account to account in real time is the ultimate form of control for a business. You choose when to initiate the payment—knowing the transaction will be final in seconds. Goodbye processing time!

RTP: Creating a Competitive Advantage with Gig Workers

RTP is just one of several account-to-account products we offer to help businesses manage complex payment flows and transaction timing. Rather than contract with a card provider or bank, you can easily integrate the full range of account-to-account payments—including RTP. With one API, Dwolla can offer your business a one-stop shop for account-to-account payments.

Real Time Payments Flow Diagram

Real-Time Payment Use Cases

The instantaneous functionality of RTP, combined with push-to-debit, allows innovative companies in the cargo industry to pay truck drivers in real time so drivers get their money when they need it—not when the banks open.

Rethinking America’s Trucking Industry, Starting with Daily Payments

Until Haul—a platform connecting trucking companies to truck drivers—launched its InstantPay feature, the company was limited to paying drivers an hourly rate with weekly settlements. Now, once Haul approves a driver’s hours, a payment is transferred in real time to the driver’s RTP-enabled bank account, giving workers easier access to their money and businesses greater control over the disbursement.

But it’s not just the gig economy that benefits from RTP.

Real estate companies and the fintechs facilitating earnest money transfers benefit from the capital management aspect of real-time payments. Property managers and landlords become more efficient when cash is not held up by a bank’s funds validation process. The days of waiting 3-5 days for an earnest money payment to go from the buyer’s bank account to the mortgage company’s escrow account are over. Instead, the entire end-to-end process takes a matter of hours.

With help from the real estate company, a home buyer can send an earnest money payment in real time by having funds instantly withdrawn from their Dwolla Balance to the mortgage company’s escrow account. In addition to speed, RTP transactions offer the finality and remittance data essential to companies engaging in real estate transactions. In a competitive housing market, transaction speed could be the difference between a happy home owner and disheartened buyer.

Insurance companies are reimbursing policyholders via account-to-account transactions that disburse in real time—not checks that take days to mail, deposit and process. It’s a win-win situation. The insurance company creates a better experience for the policyholder, and the business controls its funds at a more affordable per-transaction price.

Becoming a Real-Time Payments Company

When deciding whether to make RTP part of an account-to-account payment solution, you need to know if your end user’s bank account is eligible to receive RTP transactions. Currently, these these are the banks participating in the RTP® Network. This list is updated constantly by The Clearing House, which launched the RTP® Network in 2017.

Once you know your end users’ bank accounts are RTP-enabled, customers can get up and running in three steps.

  1. Onboard a Customer
  2. Attach an RTP-enabled Bank Account
  3. Initiate an RTP Transfer
   "_links": {
       "source": {
           "href": "{sourceFundingSource}"
       "destination": {
           "href": "{destinationFundingSource}"
   "amount": {
       "currency": "USD",
       "value": "10.00"
   "processingChannel": {
       "destination": "real-time-payments"

Today, the RTP Network’s real-time payment capabilities are accessible to financial institutions that hold 73% of U.S. demand deposit accounts (DDAs). The RTP® Network currently reaches 60% of U.S. DDAs.

When Dwolla launched real-time payments in April, the network reached about 56% of DDAs, illustrating the rapid growth of this account-to-account payment rail.

The Federal Reserve’s RTP rail, FedNow, is expected to further accelerate real-time payment adoption in the U.S when it goes live in 2023.

RTP is one of the ways you can disburse funds fast—24/7/365—through the Dwolla Platform. Ready to get started?

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