BBVA Compass opens platform to Dwolla

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BBVA Compass is now the largest bank to partner with Dwolla, opening up its technology platform to the Iowa payments startup.

BBVA Compass customers will now be able to make real time payments. In the first stage of the latest agreement, the bank will use Dwolla’s FiSync protocol to move funds for BBVA Compass customers to anyone through Dwolla’s real-time network.

In 2012, BBVA Compass invested $362 million in a technology platform that allows for real-time banking, and in May enlisted tech-powered lender OnDeck to help it assess small businesses looking for loans.

“We’ve set our minds on being the best bank in this digital century,”  said BBVA Compass chairman and CEO Manolo Sánchez. “We believe strongly that the best way to get there 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.” 

Dwolla’s platform bypasses the constraints of the Automated Clearing House, or ACH, a system that has not changed since the 1970’s, and is still legally required in the US. ACH is the reason it can take days to transfer money between two accounts at different banks, even when the actual transaction is a digital exchange. ACH also requires fees of 15 to 95 cents per transaction.  With Dwolla, transactions over $10 will incur a flat fee of 25 cents and will be free for smaller value amounts.

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