BBVA Compass, Dwolla team up on real-time payments

November 17, 2014


BBVA Compass took a significant step in its evolution to become the best bank of the digital age, announcing an agreement in November with payments innovator Dwolla that will open the bank’s real-time technology platform to the Iowa startup.

The deal makes BBVA Compass the largest bank to partner with Dwolla and puts it at the forefront of the financial industry’s mandate to develop faster payments networks. It’s also the bank’s first such move inspired by the open standards that pushed forward other industries.


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“We believe that the best way to become the best bank in the digital century is to combine our in-house capabilities — our real-time core banking platform, for one — with startups whose very existence is designed to redefine the financial services industry,” said BBVA Compass Chairman and CEO Manolo Sánchez. “Dwolla, and its real-time payment infrastructure, is leading the modernization of the payment process, and we expect their technology to accelerate our own vision for banking in the digital age.”

The partnership, which Quartz journalist Tim Fernholz reported will result in the only real-time banking solution available in the U.S., will allow BBVA Compass account holders to make safe and quick payments in a way that’s as direct and transparent as email. A faster, cheaper alternative to ACH and wire transfers, the Iowa startup’s real-time payments system is expected to be especially attractive to small business and enterprise companies.

Dwolla CEO and Founder Ben Milne told American Banker that the company has been seeing a large and growing business in building one-to-many payment processes for businesses.

“The people they're paying might be other businesses or consumers — either way, they want to get that money to a receiver as fast as humanly possible,” he said.

Dwolla’s proprietary architecture and tools allow any business, organization or individual with a U.S. bank account to move money in real-time and at a cost that cannot be matched by traditional networks. Transactions more than $10 cost a flat fee of 25 cents, while anything less is free.

In the first stage of the agreement, BBVA Compass will use Dwolla’s FiSync protocol to move funds for BBVA Compass customers to anyone through Dwolla's real-time network. BBVA Compass and Dwolla will continue to roll out additional features and updates to their relationship in subsequent months.

For more information on what this means for BBVA Compass, click here.