Several months ago a friend brought to my attention that PayPal’s policy changes included keeping 3% of everything deposited to my account — not just from my eBook sales. As a freelance writer, I’m paid from some publications via PayPal.com; so this was disconcerting news. PayPal was playing with my paycheck and I didn’t like it.
Let’s suppose I make $1,000 a month on my freelance writing (hypothetically speaking). Three percent of $1,000 is $30. With this policy change, PayPal was making $30 per month (or $360 per year) off my income. My brick and mortal bank only charges $7.00 per month for my checking account and they waive that fee because I keep a minimum balance.
Some quick mental gymnastics had me comparing the two. With my brick and mortar bank I get a friendly face to talk to should I decide to drive to town, checks, a debit card, online banking, phone banking, a pen when I don’t have one in my purse, a change machine, a dish full of candy, and a fridge stocked with Cokes or a free cup of coffee. With PayPal, I get a way to shuffle money online, cart buttons, and a debit card. When I realized what PayPal was costing me, I felt cheated.
The friend that enlightened me to my plight was also good enough to tell me about Dwolla.com. Dwolla is another way to shuffle money online. Thing is, that is all they do. No debit cards, no frills. However, they don’t charge 3%. So I opened a Dwolla account.
Comparing PayPal and Dwolla is like comparing Goliath with David. But here it goes:
Why You Will Like Dwolla
Opening a Dwolla account is super easy. All you do is and give them your email address and a password and you’re in. Of course, they are going to ask you to verify your account and give them some other personally identifiable information, but these days, who doesn’t?
Dwolla does not keep a percentage of your money. Dwolla charges 25 cents per transaction over $10. That’s it. No hidden fees or percentages to figure out. When I get paid from a blog I write for, Dwolla keeps 25 cents — that’s it. If I want to send my friend $20 for her birthday, Dwolla takes 25 cents — that’s it. Only one fee is charged. It just happens that the receiver of the money pays it, unless the sender opts to.
Dwolla does not charge to transfer money to your bank account. If I receive money in my Dwolla account and want to transfer it to my checking account at the brick and mortar, I do not have to pay anything to transfer it. This process only takes about two or three days.
You can send money using Dwolla through various means. If you want to pay with Dwolla, you can “send money to email addresses, phone numbers, Facebook friends, LinkedIn connections, Twitter followers, and businesses.”
Dwolla has a mobile app that allows you to transfer funds from your smartphone. You can use Dwolla from your iPhone, Android phone, online, or from a merchant’s kiosk or a Dwolla-enabled point-of-service.
Why You May Not Like Dwolla
Dwolla does not have a debit card. This has been hard for me to get used to. But with a little pre-planning, I can transfer funds to my checking account and use that debit card. Easy peasy.
Dwolla is relatively new and unheard of; therefore, you will not find it accepted by a lot of merchants. However, if you enlighten them, and they choose to open a Dwolla account, you get a $10 transaction credit to your account.
Your e-commerce platform may not support Dwolla. I use E-junkie, and they do not. Consequently, I continue to use PayPal for my eBook sales while researching the platforms that do work with Dwolla.
I have had my Dwolla account for several months now and have been very happy with it. I do not feel that they misrepresented themselves in any way and their customer service has always been prompt. What about you? Have you tried Dwolla?
Leave your thoughts on Dwolla in the comments section!