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Debit Cards

Overview

Utilizing the Dwolla API to facilitate the movement of money allows for flexibility in your payment types and transfer methods offered to your end users. One of the ways to add value to your application is to diversify the options for users to receive funds to different payment accounts. The ability to leverage debit cards as a mechanism to receive funds is available only for the payouts funds flow use case.

Funding source types within Dwolla include:

  • Balance - A funding source automatically created for a Verified Customer. Dwolla Balance functionality is similar to a “wallet” that lives within the Dwolla Network where funds can be sent to, received from and held at Dwolla's financial institution partner.
  • Bank Account - An account at a financial institution to send or receive funds to.
  • Debit Card - A reloadable prepaid or bank-issued debit card that can be used as a funding source type to receive funds in near real-time.

The Use Case

Adding a debit card as a funding source type allows your customers to receive funds in typically within 30 minutes rather than hours or days. By sending funds from your Master Dwolla Balance funding source, you can directly “push” these funds out in near real-time to a customer’s reloadable prepaid card or bank-issued debit card.

Prime use cases include dual sided marketplaces and task-based employment - just to name a couple.

Tell Me More

When a payout is initiated to a debit card, funds will move from your Master Dwolla Balance to an end user’s payment account via the card network, to the specified debit card. In most cases, funds will be available to your users typically within 30 minutes, 24/7/365--no need to worry about weekends or banking holidays.

In order to send money over the card networks, Dwolla will need to register your business as a merchant with Mastercard and Visa. It will require providing a few pieces of information in order to submit your application such as Merchant Category Code (MCC) (the goods and services category that payouts will be initiated for) and billing statement descriptor (how your company is displayed on your end- user’s billing statement). Dwolla will work with you to identify the MCC and statement descriptor that most closely matches your profile.

Billing statement codes can be 1-20 characters in length and we will set that on your behalf.

Transaction Limits

These limits apply regardless of whether your application is approved for increased transaction limits for your end users on the Dwolla platform, as these are enforced by the card networks.

  • The maximum single transaction amount allowed by the networks is \$50,000.

Funding Source Types: Debit Card vs. Bank Account

When comparing the differences between adding a bank account vs debit card as a funding source type, it’s important to weigh the pros and cons for each method. While debit cards make funds almost immediately available for a customer, the functionality is only supported for a subset of funds flows and pricing tiers.

Refer to the table below for more information.

Funding Source TypeRequired InformationTransaction TimingTransfer AvailabilitySupported Funds FlowsSupported Pricing TiersDebit CardFull Name
Card Number
Expiration Date
CVV
Nickname*Typically within 30 MinutesEvery day (24/7/365)Send (Sourced from a Dwolla Balance)Scale and Enterprise pricing tiersBank AccountAccount and Routing Number OR Online banking credentials1-6 business days, depending on transfer timing specificationBusiness days and non-banking holidaysReceive, Send, Facilitation, Me-to-MePay-As-You-Go, Scale and Enterprise pricing tiers

Push-to-Debit Failures

Funds pushed over the card networks will be available for use in near real-time, eliminating the possibility of a return. If a debit card is ineligible to receive funds, the transfer will fail and the applicable error message will be returned via a customer_card_transfer_failed webhook. In the event of a failed transfer, funds will not leave your balance.

When a push-to-debit transfer is unable to be completed, its status will be updated to failed. The response from the API when retrieving the transfer should contain a "failure" link that your application will follow to retrieve the transfer failure reason.

List of push-to-debit failure reasons
CodeMessageUnknownThere was a problem with this card transaction.InvalidInstrumentThe account number does not exist. Please make sure the account number is correct or contact your issuer.ExceedsIssuerAmountLimitTransaction violates issuer amount limit. Please contact card issuer for more information or try with another card.ExceedsIssuerCountLimitPlease attempt with another card or contact card issuer for more information.CallIssuerPlease contact card issuer for more information.DeclinedPlease contact card issuer for more information.LostOrStolenCardPlease contact card issuer for more information.SuspectedFraudPlease contact card issuer for more information.ComplianceViolationThis transaction does not fulfill compliance requirements and cannot be processed.

Example push-to-debit transfer failure reason

JavaScript
var transferUrl =
  "https://api-sandbox.dwolla.com/transfers/8997ebed-69be-e611-80ea-0aa34a9b2388";

appToken.get(`${transferUrl}/failure`).then((res) => res.body.code); // => 'Unknown'

Creating a Debit Card Funding Source

Create a debit card as a funding source type via the dwolla-cards.js client-side library. Similarly to Dwolla.js+IAV functionality, this allows you to securely transmit sensitive customer card data without the data passing through your server.

Info
For more information on implementing our dwolla-cards.js library into your application to add a Debit Card, follow our Developer Guide.

Wrap-up

Much like choosing the correct customer type, considerations on which funding source types to create can greatly impact the functionality and flexibility of your application when it comes to sending or receiving funds. From functionality of transfer timing, down to the preference in user experience, each method provides its own characteristics that can be tailored to fit your application’s desired use case. Enabling a Debit Card as an option for a funding source type for end users can open up many possibilities within your application.

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Financial institutions play an important role in our network.

Dwolla, Inc. is an agent of Veridian Credit Union and all funds associated with your account in our network are held in one or more pooled accounts at Veridian Credit Union. These funds may not be eligible for share insurance by the National Credit Union Share Insurance Fund. Dwolla, Inc. is the operator of a software platform that communicates user instructions for funds transfers to Veridian Credit Union.

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