The company was founded in 2008 with services based only in Iowa, and having only two employees. After raising US$1.31 million in funding, Dwolla launched in the United States on December 1, 2010, with founders Ben Milne (CEO) and Shane Neuerburg (CTO), in Des Moines, Iowa, and with initially just a few small banks and retailers. By June 2011, Dwolla had grown to 15 employees, 20,000 users, and processed $1 Million in a week for the first time.
Dwolla began with Veridian Credit Union for banking services, while The Members Group of the Iowa Credit Union League processed their transactions.
Products and services
Dwolla provides a white label service consisting of APIs to use the ACH system and white label services expanded from payouts to include instant bank authorization for debiting bank accounts
On May 25, 2011, Dwolla released its FiSync integration, which aims to allow instantaneous transactions instead of the typical 2–3 day of the Automated Clearing House (ACH) transactions. As of June 2011, Dwolla has 11 financial institutions who have signed on, providing access to 600,000 potential customers.
Previously, Dwolla had charged flat fees of $0.25 per transaction over $10 (instead of a percentage fee). On June 2, 2015, Dwolla announced that was removing all fees. Dwolla has now switched to a Freemium model, with free basic sending/receiving of money (up to a $5,000 limit for personal accounts, or a $10,000 limit for business, government or nonprofit accounts). There is no cost for sending or receiving funds under those limits.
As of April 2013, the Iowa Department of Revenue allows businesses that pay cigarette stamp taxes to now use Dwolla as a method of payment. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad announced on January 6, 2014 that the state will expand the partnership to allow customers of Iowa Department of Transportation to pay fuel tax and vehicle registration costs online using the low-fee service. In February 2015, the US Treasury Department's Bureau of Fiscal Service added Dwolla to the system which allows US Federal agencies to issue and receive electronic payments.
Inadequate security practices
On February 27, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) released its first data security-related enforcement action against Dwolla, Inc. Relaying on its UDAAP-related authority, the CFPB alleged that Dwolla failed to maintain adequate data security practises notwithstanding representations made on the company website and in communications with consumers that the company has implemented practises that exceed industry standards. Dwolla has agreed to settle and must cease making any misrepresentations about its data security practices, among additional requirements.