Chances are that you’re familiar with Dwolla by now, but if not, the quick version is that Dwolla is a peer-to-peer payments platform that is aiming to facilitate cheaper, faster and more hassle-free transactions. But it goes deeper than just person-to-person, because businesses are increasingly turning to Dwolla for payments as well.
I think that the Dwolla blog post sums up the problem that its users have encountered quite nicely:
“There are 27.7 million businesses in the United States, and how you find one of Dwolla’s 15,000 has never been easy.”
But, according to CEO Ben Milne, the fix goes deeper than just providing a page full of listings. It’s with that in mind that Dwolla is today introducing Places. You can think of it like a network, inside of Dwolla. Users will be able to quickly find locations (both physical and online) that use Dwolla, and they can add suggestions of others that they’d like to see.
Now, when you find a place that doesn’t take Dwolla, but you’d like it to, you can head to the Dwolla site and do a quick search for it. For instance, Facebook headquarters:
If you find that it’s already listed, clicking the Want button will add your vote and help Dwolla to organize its networking efforts more effectively. If the place that you’re looking for isn’t listed, you can just add it yourself. When you Want or add a location, you’re automatically entered into a notification queue that will send you a message when the place that you want starts accepting Dwolla payments.
It’s a smart move from Dwolla. While other p2p payments systems have come and gone, the company has managed to secure a $5 million round of financing from names like Union Square Ventures and Village Ventures. It has built its team out considerably and manages to push out new features such as instant bank transfers with impressive speed.
Places is the logical next step, helping Dwolla to put that money to good use while securing more places that its customers can use the payments service.