By: Dwolla,

Author’s bio: A writer by calling, Oksana Tunikova creates remarkable content for Rentberry. Being well-versed in real estate, she writes for the company’s blog and contributes engaging educational content as a guest blogger.

Integrating A White Label Payment API

As the world of tech startups continues to boom, the topic of white label integrations becomes the talk of the town—and with good reason. Overcoming immense obstacles and surprise challenges with creative solutions is an inevitable (and significant) part of any business journey. In nearly all cases, these solutions fall into two camps: those built from the ground up by and specifically for your company, and those known as white label products. As experience confirms time and time again, building custom solutions from scratch costs more time, money and effort, while white label integrations help companies save on each of these resources while providing a tried-and-true solution from niche experts.

Given the obvious advantages of using a well-established service instead of building it from scratch, our company Rentberry decided to integrate with Dwolla’s Access API to extend the functionality of our rental platform. Since Rentberry’s major concern is to ensure people enjoy a transparent rental process, it was crucial to allow users to pay and collect rent online.

Rentberry needed a built-in payment system with both an intuitive interface and outstanding functionality. These two criteria led us to Dwolla.

It was quickly evident that our trust in Dwolla as our payments partner was well placed. While integrating Dwolla’s Access API, we realized that sharing our experience might help other partners looking to implement the robust payments API streamline the integration process. After all, sharing is caring.

Authorization is different on the test and production servers

The first lesson we learned while integrating Dwolla’s Access API was that there are key differences between a test and production server. As you can learn from Dwolla’s Sandbox Setup guide, you’ll start the integration process by working within their Sandbox testing environment, which is a replica of Dwolla’s major production environment. The Sandbox is completely separate from a production account and contains nothing but test data.

Once the build is ready, you have to move from a test server to your production server. As we found out, once in production, the process of authorization is slightly different than within the Sandbox. The access tokens on a test server are evergreen, but in production, the tokens only last an hour or so. The reason for these short-lived tokens is to mitigate security risks such as replay attacks and to proactively manage token life cycles.

Bonus tip for foreign companies: Since our developers’ team is working outside the U.S., we couldn’t access Dwolla’s test server right away. Because of Dwolla’s layered approach to security and our new, foreign IP address, we had to get in touch with the support team and request access.

Email notifications are part of the integration

We realized that we need to take care of email notifications regarding new users, completed payments, failed transactions, and much more. Although the required notification content is rather standard and strictly informative, designing the tone and look of those emails will be in your company’s court. It’s better that you prepare the content and design of your notifications well in advance. This will make it easier to meet your integration deadlines.

You still have branding control

Here at Rentberry, we care equally about both visual and functional components of each solution we implement into our core product. That’s why Dwolla’s Access API, which is white labeled by design, became our go-to payments API. Our decision to integrate the Access API gave us the best of both worlds—a great payment tool and a customizable end user experience. From our website design to the payment-related emails we send to our users, the final integration appeared to be so in-line with our platform that even our product designer, a head-to-toe perfectionist, approved (a rare occasion).

Rentberry’s CEO Alex Lubinsky praised the implementation, saying:

“Thanks to Dwolla’s white labeled Access API, we were able to build a seamless payments integration directly into our product. This was a big deal since users don’t have to switch between different interfaces to successfully interact with our platform. Our clients perceive payments as a part of Rentberry’s service, which ensures a better user experience.”

Alex Lubinsky, CEO at Rentberry

Given the above, it’s clear that Dwolla’s interface is a great fit for virtually any modern website or application.

And one last thing…

One last lesson we’ve learned from our partnership with Dwolla—communication is key. No integration process comes without questions and issues that pop up here and there. When obstacles happen, it’s crucial to receive support from the partner company. Given our first-hand experience, we can confirm that Dwolla’s communication with partners is a prime example of how partnerships should work. Using Slack as a major communication channel with Dwolla’s development team was fantastic, and we were delighted to receive prompt and informative responses should we have any questions or issues occur.

Thanks to Dwolla’s extensive API documentation, getting started guides, and professional support team, Rentberry’s users can now enjoy fast and secure online payments as part of our product offering. We hope that our experience will be of use to you when considering Dwolla as a payment partner, too.

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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.