By: Dwolla,

Since the inception of the Ubers, AirBnbs, and Etsys of the world, we’ve seen a huge uptick in platforms connecting service providers with those in need of a service.

From affiliate marketing apps to on-demand delivery platforms, each is striving to collect the largest user-base possible—that’s the ultimate end-goal, collecting as many users as possible and growing the platform’s network.

However, all of these online platforms share a unique challenge as they grow: Payments.

In this blog post, we’ll explore some unique payment challenges still being faced by most platforms and offer up thoughts for solving these problems.

Complexity and Compliance

You have the unique ability to reach a wide variety of customers and users from every corner of the globe; that opportunity creates a very complex environment for a company that wants to serve everyone, everywhere. Serving every part of the world means that you need to also serve all types of currencies, languages, tax systems, and compliance issues.

For example, the payments may need to be converted from one currency to another and address each country’s specific requirements related to that currency exchange, taxation, and transaction regulations. Suddenly, the complexity and compliance adds up to a very expensive opportunity that also can consume more time and become rife with human errors due to the lack of understanding of every country’s payment process.

As a platform, consider sticking with one country, city or state upon launching. This will allow you to perfect the process before expanding. For example, do a US-only launch and perfect your payouts with ACH.

Fraud and High-Risk Transactions

The risk of fraud can be more substantial for an online platform compared to an offline business. Although more technology solutions are emerging to add layers of security to the payment process, the threat is still real as tactics for fraud evolve.

As a platform, consider working with a payments partner who has some proven levels of security and fraud-checks in place.


Although many aspects of the online world work at a much faster pace, payments speed may be a lagging component. Often, when delivering payouts, whether it’s to your platform’s merchants or service providers, slow payments can lead to frustration. In a world where everything moves faster, users have expectations about the speed at which their money should be transferred or completed. While timing is critical, your business can’t afford to sacrifice in terms of quality and security with each transaction.

In building your platform, be conscious of these delays and look for payments partners that can improve or enable a better experience. For example, if you’re integrating ACH payments, Dwolla has opportunities for you to speed up transfer times—including Same Day ACH and Next Day.

Unique Challenges Call for Unique Solutions

I’ve just skimmed the surface of the different hurdles in building your online platform, but fortunately, there are ways to address these challenges.

At Due, we’ve found success in partnering with Dwolla. Dwolla’s flexible payment platform can be customized to meet the individual needs of different types of online businesses.

Working with an API gives you the flexibility to integrate within your platform and existing inventory, merchandising, CRM, financial software, etc. The result is a seamless experience for your customers and your business.

Integrating gives you a means of handling the aforementioned challenges on the backend of your online platform, so customers experience payments that work seamlessly for them.

This blog comes as a guest post from John Rampton, CEO of John Rampton is an entrepreneur, investor, online marketing guru, and startup enthusiast. He is the founder of the online payments company Due. Follow John on Twitter at @johnrampton.

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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.