Dwolla to Exit Consumer Space, Focus on API Offerings

  • Philip Ryan
  • November 11, 2016
  • 1

© Can Stock Photo / sabphotoDwolla, one of the elder statesmen of the fintech startup world, announced today it will leave the consumer space and focus on its offerings for businesses. The change will take place soon — Dec. 7. As the Des Moines, Iowa-based company put it in a blogpost:

Dwolla is no longer the app you download to make a payment — it’s the API you use to build payments into your own app.

Dwolla is distinct from Stripe because it focuses on ACH transactions, while Stripe, like most payment platforms, is built for card payments. (Stripe began working with ACH payments earlier this year.)

An email went out to Dwolla users today announcing the change. The six-year-old startup still takes venture funding, despite its customers (including BBVA Compass), and still has consumer users who like avoiding the card rails, and paying direct from their accounts.

DwollaThis kind of functionality is receding across the space, as PayPal’s recent high-profile deals with the networks shows. But APIs are blooming across fintech as well, and Dwolla’s shift is also a testament to that. The company is a major player in the realtime payments space, and has found its niche and its customers.

This means significant changes for users of dwolla.com and the Dwolla mobile app, some of which are listed on the right. Peer-to-peer transfers are gone, but payments to companies remain, as well as payouts via ACH. For consumers, that’s it. No more Dwolla-based P2P.

For businesses, expect an expanded array of services from a company that is now focusing on those needs. As a company spokesman put it in an email today, Dwolla is doubling down on what is working.

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Philip Ryan is Senior Editor of Bank Innovation and Senior Director of INV Fintech. He began covering financial services in 2012 and has more than 15 years' experience in online journalism. He can be reached at pryan@royalmedia.com.

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