One of the more disruptive startups to come along recently is Dwolla. Their mission is to eliminate credit card fees and to a greater extent credit cards from the payment equation. We’ve kicked the tires of Dwolla for a while and can see where the benefit lies. They can clearly provide a simpler payment option for consumers while delivering more profit to merchants.
Dwolla works as an intermediary between your bank or credit union and the payment receiver. Most consumers interpret their credit cards as intermediaries and they are correct. The Dwolla difference is that payments are made in a more direct, secure way.
Payments are sent from Dwolla, which pulls the exact funds necessary to pay for a transaction from the associated bank account or credit union. In many ways like a debit card, though the card is removed from the process.
Dwolla can boast about added security because they don’t use credit card type means and methods to send and receive funds. Where a credit card will store personal and sensitive information within a card, Dwolla avoids that by issuing payments directly. Consumers use their Dwolla account either from a smartphone or computer.
As consumers, we’re all too aware of fees that come with using those pieces of plastic. As long as you use them, you’ll be paying a fee at some point unless you manage to pay them off entirely each month. If you use a debit card, then you may be paying a price regardless. Merchants on the other hand pay fees regularly to credit card banks. It’s the cost of doing business and a way for banks to offer up those “Points” deals consumers enjoy.
One of Dwolla’s huge draws is their lack of fees. Consumers pay nothing, zeros across the board for Dwolla standard service. Merchants and payment receivers pay .25¢ per transaction over $10. Anything under $10 is free. As an example, a small business shelling out 2.7% of their profit to an online payment center would pay $2.70 on a $100 transaction, whereas on a Dwolla transaction the cost is .25¢.
There are no limits or thresholds involved with the fee system. The flat rate is part of Dwolla’s simplicity in handling the payment process.
Social & Personal Payments
Dwolla has been positioned to appeal to individuals looking to sell items to friends and colleagues through social networks. The service allows users from several social networking sites to send money to your connections. Places like Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Foursquare are already working with Dwolla.
Dwolla Instant is a way for users to go a step further with their usage. Instant provides real-time access to funds. Participation in the program is $3 monthly and there are no contracts involved with sign-up.
Dwolla is still trying to propagate to more merchants so finding those that accept Dwolla payments will be a challenge at first. Luckily, Dwolla has an Android and iPhone app which helps locate places that accept Dwolla payments.
For merchants, Dwolla is a great option to have but isn’t a complete replacement yet. Until Dwolla’s popularity reaches or exceeds that of a Paypal or similar, the ability to accept credit card payments is a must.
Individual sellers and consumers should give Dwolla a serious look. The security benefits for consumer payments alone is worth it and with the “Want” feature, users can suggest Dwolla pursue payment partnerships with their favorite retailers.
If you enjoyed or found this article useful, please show us some support by liking us on Facebook or by sharing us on your favorite social website. Thanks!