By: Adam,

In 2016, industry organizers took a significant step towards offering economical, faster payments. With the introduction of Same Day ACH Credits, participants are able to leverage existing rails to transfer funds to any customer’s U.S. bank or credit union account in the same day (as opposed to 2 to 4 days). Today, we’re bringing Same Day ACH out of pilot and making it available to all approved Access API partners.  

Same Day ACH is still new to the industry and the market. It’s hard to find out who offers it and how it works. The following blog post shares some of the behind-the-scenes challenges, solutions, and findings we’ve discovered during our recent pilot period.

Our findings

It was critical to understand how Same Day ACH Credits would or could benefit our Access API partners and their customers. We sent surveys to partners, conducted interviews and, in late October 2016, we launched the pilot with several existing Access API partners. Since that time, we’ve confirmed at least three ways platforms can capitalize on Same Day ACH Credits:

Customers have their funds, faster – With traditional ACH, customers wait longer to receive funds. This leads to greater support costs and customer frustration for businesses. With Same Day ACH, partners were able to reduce wait times from days to hours, improving overall customer satisfaction.

Streamlined cash flowsWaiting for large sums of money to transit through the banking system can impede a business’s ability to fulfill its accounts payable obligations. Using traditional ACH, the transit period may extend across weekends, month-end, or even fiscal periods. Same Day ACH reduces the time funds spend in transit by making funds available to the customer the same day, in most cases.

Differentiate platforms in the market – Digital business models and platforms differentiate themselves through service and cost. Our partners found that Same Day ACH allows companies to bolster their competitive advantage by offering expedited payments to their customers while maintaining acceptable profit margins.

In addition to benefit realization, we identified consistent product themes throughout each integration:

A powerful feature can be a simple solution

Keeping the implementation simple is critical to adoption, as every company has competing priorities and only so many resources. Our challenge was to make the integration as easy as possible.

“Same Day ACH with Dwolla only took a few hours to configure and has helped speed up payment turnaround times, made it easier to manage our books, and deliver a great customer experience.”  Charles Gorra, CEO of Rebagg

We chose a flexible approach and added a new object to the Transfer request endpoint, called “clearing”. This optional object allows partners to set Standard or Same Day ACH preferences at the transaction level. This flexible solution determines the fastest avenue to your customer’s account, without impacting current integrations. Adding Same Day ACH to your transfers is as simple as adding three lines of code to a transfer request.

POST https://api.dwolla.com/transfers
Accept: application/vnd.dwolla.v1.hal+json
Content-Type: application/vnd.dwolla.v1.hal+json
Authorization: Bearer pBA9fVDBEyYZCEsLf/wKehyh1RTpzjUj5KzIRfDi0wKTii7DqY
Idempotency-Key: 19051a62-3403-11e6-ac61-9e71128cae77

{
    "_links": {
        "source": {
            "href": "https://api.dwolla.com/funding-sources/707177c3-bf15-4e7e-b37c-55c3898d9bf4"
        },
        "destination": {
            "href": "https://api.dwolla.com/customers/07D59716-EF22-4FE6-98E8-F3190233DFB8"
        }
    },
    "amount": {
        "currency": "USD",
        "value": "10.00"
    },
    "metadata": {
        "paymentId": "12345678",
        "note": "payment for completed work Dec. 1"
    },
    "clearing": {
        "destination": "next-available"
  }
}

...

HTTP/1.1 201 Created
Location: https://api.dwolla.com/transfers/74c9129b-d14a-e511-80da-0aa34a9b2388

Managing cutoff times

Getting customers their funds with Same Day ACH has additional requirements that Standard ACH doesn’t. For one, transfers must be submitted earlier in order to be made available to customers the same day. Making partners aware of the cutoff times was key, but our team wanted to take it one step further to ensure that the experience would be simple. By specifying a transfer destination as “next available”, the transfer is set to programmatically default to the faster transfer time. The following illustrates transfer submissions on a typical business day, all times listed are in central time.

Same Day ACH File Submission Timeline

Dwolla’s webhook notifications alert partners that a transaction has been completed.

Customizing the Same Day ACH experience

There are multiple ways to apply and leverage Same Day ACH. For example, a partner wanted to leverage Standard ACH until a customer had established a trusted transaction history. Another wanted a way to upsell faster payouts to their customers. We designed Same Day ACH so that partners could configure each transfer and enable their preferred customer experience.

Pricing

Our Access API partners love consistency when it comes to pricing. It allows businesses to better manage their cash flow and avoid surprises with increased demand. This works well for traditional ACH, but the expedited value and additional costs of Same Day ACH create different considerations for businesses, such as whether transactions should be processed via Same Day ACH and which end customers should be eligible

To solve for this, we’ve created a consultative approach that extends two alternatives to partners:

Flat fee – A fixed monthly fee with no variations from month-to-month.

Bundles – A customized package that allows partners to scale with their growth.

Each of our partners provides us with a unique opportunity to help businesses deliver the best solutions for their customers. Same Day ACH Credits is one of many examples of how we enable businesses to attract and retain new customers through innovation. If you are interested in learning more about Same Day ACH or any of our other products, please reach out to our sales team below to learn more.

Get started with ACH transfers

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Financial institutions play an important role in the Dwolla network.

Dwolla, Inc. is an agent of Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank and all funds associated with your account in the Dwolla network are held in pooled accounts at Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank. These funds are not eligible for individual insurance, including FDIC insurance and may not be eligible for share insurance by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Dwolla, Inc. is the operator of a software platform that communicates user instructions for funds transfers to Veridian Credit Union and Compass Bank.