Dwolla Lets Shoppers Use Network without Signing Up 

Dec. 3, 2012

Dwolla , the Des Moines, Iowa-based online payment network, late last week said it is offering consumers the ability to make online purchases using Dwolla without requiring a Dwolla account. In a blog post, Dwolla’s Communications Director Jordan Lampe said the move was an attempt to short circuit the chicken-or-the-egg conundrum that plagues new payment technologies.

“Dwolla merchants have been dependent on whether or not their customers have a Dwolla account to pay with Dwolla,” said Lampe. “This ‘members-only’ mentality contains and limits the payment experience, but has been a hallmark of the electronic payment industry for some time.”

So, consumers who want to pay online at participating merchants via their bank account using the Dwolla network can do so using the guest checkout option.

“Traditional wisdom in the payments space says, ‘you get a customer’s data, monetize it, tax it, and never, ever—under any circumstances—share it [unless someone pays handsomely].’ We feel like that kind of sucks, and we know it doesn’t need to be as unfair, expensive, or insecure as many would like us to believe. Bottom-line, in our system, this ‘secret-handshake’ mentality has become a pain point for our business trying to sell something and a consumer wanting to acquire something. Our job is to find and remove those pain points that get in the way, even if it’s us.”