Silicon Prairie News

Dwolla makes major enhancements to its money transfer service

Des Moines May 11, 2010 by Geoff Wood Only 15 days until Big Omaha. Get your tickets before they sell out!

I recently caught up with Ben Milne, founder of Des Moines-based online money transfer service Dwolla, to hear about his startup's recent major enhancements:

  • HUB pages
  • Recurring payments
  • An Application Programming Interface (API)

Ben describes the enhancements in the following exchange:

Silicon Prairie News: What exactly are HUB pages within Dwolla? How would a merchant go about using them?

Ben Milne: The HUB page (left) is a branded landing page for payments. It's easy to turn on and easy to accept single or multi-payments. It's ideal for: individuals who want a easy way to link someone to pay them (i.e. http://dwol.la/benmilne), non-profits with minimal web resources who want to take advantage of Dwolla's low cost processing, religious organizations whose members are beginning to tithe electronically and consultants or free lancers who are working on a retainer basis. Beyond that we are seeing a lot of applications with salaried payroll and fundraisers. What the hub really does is quickly allow anyone with a Dwolla account to have a link to accept payments.

I see the API as more ideal for medium and large merchants. This way it can be built into their existing shopping cart software. The HUB page will work for merchants but most likely smaller ones just getting started. Eventually we still suggest going the shopping cart route. We're big fans of OSCommerce, Magento, and CRE Loaded. We also have plugins/support for those platforms currently.

SPN: You're also releasing a new recurring payment feature – how does that work?

Ben: Through the HUB page, by logging in and clicking Multi-payment link. From there you can configure payments to be made weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly. We wanted to keep it very straight forward. Most of the initial feedback we got on the feature was pushing us toward these three options.

SPN: You've been hinting around at a new API recently. When will that be available and who is looking at using it to integrate with Dwolla?

Ben: The API right now is alive and open on the web. Most of the larger merchants we are talking to will likely wait until we have a national release to integrate it.

There is a lot of discussion in the area about plugin integration with things like Quickbooks and Freshbooks but those haven't developed into working tests quite yet.

Here's a screencast from Dwolla's website providing an overview of HUB Pages:

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