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Customer types #

A Dwolla API customer is created programmatically by your CIP verified Dwolla Master Account via the Create a Customer endpoint. All of the Customer's required information will be handled through the API and the Customer will interact directly with your application to manage their account. As a developer, you will want to create a Customer that best suits the business case of your application. Below is a very high level detailing of the Customer types available with Dwolla.

Regardless of which Customer type(s) you choose to create for your application, keep in mind that all users onboarded as Customers must be US persons of age 18 or older.

Customer types reference

Customer TypeCIP VerificationDwolla balanceTransaction LimitTransact withPersonal verified CustomerYesYes$5,000 per transferAll Customer typesBusiness verified CustomerYesYes$10,000 per transferAll Customer typeUnverified CustomerNoNo$5,000 per weekVerified Customers, Dwolla Master AccountReceive-only UserNoNoN/AVerified Customers, Dwolla Master Account

As you decide what Customer types to create for your application, a good thing to keep in mind is Customer Identification Program (CIP) Verification. Remember that regardless of your application type, a transfer between two parties requires that at least one party must be CIP verified. It is your decision about which party completes this process based on your business model. Your own Dwolla Master Account can count as a verified party. You may also consider having both parties complete CIP verification, as we also require CIP verification in order for a customer to hold funds in the Dwolla network in the form of a balance.

Verified Customer #

Verified Customers are defined by their ability to both send and receive money. They can also interact with any customer type and hold a balance funding source within the Dwolla network. Think of the Dwolla balance as a wallet which a Customer can hold, send or receive funds to within the Dwolla network.

There are two types of verified Customer types your Customer can sign up as: Personal or Business.

Personal Verified Customer #

Personal verified Customers can be used in any funds flows, as they can both send and receive funds. This Customer type can also hold a balance. The individual being onboarded as a personal Verified Customer will need to complete the identity verification process prior to being able to send or receive funds from/to their bank account. CIP verification involves passing Customer data to verify them, including their name, date of birth, and last four digits of their social security number. For more information about verifying this Customer type in our Customer verification guide.

With a per-transaction limit of $5,000, this Customer type is able to interact with Dwolla and your application seamlessly.

Business Verified Customer #

Business verified Customers are unique in their sign up flow, as they need multiple parties to be verified. These will include:

  • The business (required)
  • The controller (conditionally required)
  • The beneficial owner (conditionally required)

Business verified Customers will need an Account Admin to signup the company during the onboarding process. This Account Admin is not identity verified. To become fully verified, a controller and/or a beneficial owner may need to be identity verified. A controller is any natural individual who holds significant responsibilities to control, manage, or direct a company or other corporate entity (i.e. CEO, CFO, General Partner, President, etc). A company may have more than one controller, but only one controller’s information must be collected. A beneficial owner is any natural person who, directly or indirectly, owns 25% or more of the equity interests of the company.

The Controller will need to provide information to be fully identity verified. This includes their last four SSN and date of birth for identity verification purposes. For certain business types, a business’ EIN will also need to be provided as part of the CIP process. For more information about adding a controller, check out our business verified Customer creation article.

Certain business types may also need to add and certify beneficial ownership. You can find more information about adding beneficial owners in our developer resource article. To learn more about certifying beneficial ownership, reference the certify beneficial ownership section in the business verified customer guide.

For a full series steps that goes in depth on business verified Customers, take a look at our Customer verification guide. This guide also goes into detail on the identity verification process for controllers and beneficial owners.

Unverified Customer #

An unverified Customer type requires a minimal amount of information : firstName, lastName email, and optionally businessName for businesses. While Customer creation and onboarding is light weight compared to a verified Customer, there are a few things to consider when choosing this customer type.

Unverified Customers have a default sending transaction limit of $5,000 per week. A week is defined as Monday to Sunday UTC time. If you have an unverified Customer looking to send more than $5,000 in a week, you may want to explore upgrading them to a verifed Customer type.

As this Customer is not CIP verified, they will only be able to transact with verified Customers or your Dwolla Master Account.

Receive-only User #

Receive-only Users are restricted to payouts only funds flow. This user type maintains limited functionality in the API and is only eligible to receive transfers to an attached bank account. This user type can only interact with verified Customers and a Dwolla Master Account.

Receive-only Users cannot send funds back. If you need this user to send funds back for any reason, you may need to resolve this outside of the Dwolla network.

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Financial institutions play an important role in our network.

Dwolla, Inc. is the operator of a software platform that communicates user instructions for funds transfers to our financial institution partners.

Dwolla is an agent of Veridian Credit Union. All ACH and Wire transfers are performed by Veridian Credit Union. Your Dwolla Balance, if any, is held in one or more pooled holding accounts held by Veridian Credit Union. These funds may not be eligible for share insurance by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund.

Sponsorship and Settlement of Push-to-Debit payment services provided by MetaBank®, N.A.
Push-to-Debit payments are typically available within 30 minutes.

Real-Time Payments are performed by Cross River Bank, which holds funds on behalf of the Receiver of such transactions in one or more pooled custodial accounts. These funds are not subject to FDIC pass-through deposit insurance.