Note from the Publisher: I grew up in Illinois farm country, not more than 100 miles from the Iowa border, and I’m sure I’ve been to Iowa MANY more times than most of FintekNews’ readers. It’s an interesting part of the world, and even though the mainstream perception is that of a sleepy farming state (don’t get me started on farming!!), there’s some very interesting manufacturing and medical innovation going on there.
However, I must say that I’ve never looked to it for fintech, until I saw this piece today discussing Des Moines-based Dwolla. A little aside – Des Moines was apparently a stopping point for settlers who had traversed across the Mississippi looking to get to Gold Country, but ended up plopping down there instead (at least according to a AAA travel book). Always thought that was a funny story! But regardless, Dwolla is one of only two firms (Paypal being the other) in the US Treasury Department’s digital wallet. A fintech to watch.
“…..Des Moines-based Dwolla has positioned itself at the forefront of emerging payments. Founded in 2008 by Ben Mine, Dwolla was born out of frustration with the costs to transfer funds online. The firm specializes in ACH, the cheapest way to transfer money short of driving a garbage bag full of cash to your friend’s house. Dwolla provides users with services inside the holy trinity of payments: sending funds, receiving funds, and facilitating fund transfers.
Although ACH is pretty cheap, it still has a pretty big issue: speed. Credit card transfers are instantaneous, but bank transfers can take at least two to three days to clear. Dwolla has been focused on trying to modernize the payment industry and speed up ACH, launching a real-time back transfer service to its clients in 2011 called FiSync.”