By: Dwolla,

Let’s set the scene. You have the next big idea for an online marketplace that allows people to connect and mutually benefit from that connection, whether they are selling shoes, providing consulting services, or painting a portrait of your beloved poodle, Skittles.

One of the most important elements in building a successful marketplace is a seamless payments integration. Yeah, it’s not as sexy or exciting as the actual marketplace idea itself, but payments are an essential part of getting your platform off the ground and growing.

While you’re building out the next great “Etsy for …”, there are a lot of checkboxes to cover when it comes to providing a payments solution, and you may not have the time or resources to responsibly check each individual box. It’s in these situations that turning to a SaaS-based payments provider can help you build the right payments and verification functionality into your platform, and in a way that won’t take months of time and make you want to rip your hair out.

Getting payments from buyer to seller, and why SaaS payment platforms are the answer

In 2017, there is practically an API for everything, in turn making it possible to build professional grade services right into the platform that you are building. The beauty of code is that most times it’s only constructed and visible on the backend of your application, allowing you to brand the front-end portion of the integration in a way that looks and feels like your platform. That seamlessness ensures your customers aren’t interrupted by jumping from one site to another or opening new windows with other companies’ unfamiliar logos on them.

Dwolla allows you to easily facilitate payments from person to person on your platform.

You’ll be able to designate where funds are sent to and from, as well as pay yourself by taking a cut of the payment in the form of a facilitator fee. Platforms can choose whether the fee is taken out in a set flat amount, a percentage of the transaction, and even split a single transfer to go to one or more bank accounts.

Dwolla gives platforms an easy on-ramp to the ACH network, or in other words, it makes the ability to move money from one person’s bank account to another simple to integrate. The API includes tools for things like customer and bank account verification, webhook notifications, and expedited transfers—using whichever programming language best suits your development team (Ruby on Rails, Python, Javascript, PHP, etc.).

Our Developer Evangelists have created guides that provide best practices for building out the ideal functionality within your application, whether you’re building in mass payouts functionality or facilitating transfers between users on your platform. In the guides, you’ll learn how to create customers, link funding sources, and route transfers to their designated locations.

But don’t just take our word for it, read about a real world example in our GOAT Case Study

GOAT is a luxury shoe marketplace that receives funds via various payment networks on the front end from the buyers, and then uses Dwolla’s API to initiate payouts to their sellers on the backend of the transaction.

By owning the customer experience from end to end, GOAT eliminated the need to redirect sellers to multiple third-party sites in order to register for different digital wallets to receive their sneaker payments to their bank accounts. By replacing this cumbersome process with Dwolla, sellers’ time to liquidity was reduced from up to 7 days down to an average of 2.

Further, GOAT decreased cash-out related support tickets by 80%. Sellers also had a new option to retain their funds in a GOAT “cash balance” in order to turn around and make purchases in their marketplace. The API integration time took only 10 days.

Interested in building Dwolla into your marketplace to facilitate P2P transfers? Contact our sales team to get started.

Get started with ACH transfers

We'll help you design your ideal payments experience.



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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.