Business

Bulk payments made simple: Dwolla's MassPay lets you pay up to 2,000 people at once

Who needs checks or wire services? The payment startup Dwolla is rolling out a new feature today that makes bulk payments cheaper and easier than ever before.

With Dwolla MassPay, you can send money to up to 2,000 people at once  — all the recipients need is a free Dwolla account. Even better, the company will offer its same low transaction fee of 25 cents per payment over $10. Payments under $10 are free.

The benefits are obvious to anyone who’s ever had to handle employee payment. You don’t have to deal with cutting and signing checks, and your employees also won’t have to wait for a check to clear. It’s also simpler than setting up multiple wire transfers. With MassPay, the money is instantly sent to the recipient’s Dwolla account (though you’ll still have to wait a few days if you want to transfer funds to your bank account).

MassPay is “another demonstration of how people are able to use Dwolla’s unique API for cool solutions,” said Dwolla’s communications head Jordan Lampe in an interview with VentureBeat. Companies can also tweak MassPay to better fit their company’s design and workflow. MassPay is launching with eight new partners, including Parking Panda, Major League Gaming, and GetAround.

Here’s how it works: Simply login to the MasPay site, choose a funding source, and enter an email where you’d like to receive a final report. Then you just need to plug in a CSV file and define the columns for MassPay. Dwolla’s also offering your first five MassPay batches for free — allowing you to test the waters and see how easy it really is.

Since Dwolla doesn’t charge anything for transfers under $10, Lampe says that MassPay could be useful for micropayments services.

PayPal also offers a bulk pay service, but it can only handle up to 250 people per batch, compared to Dwolla’s 2,000 maximum. (That number can easily go up for Dwolla, as well — last week the company told press the maximum was 1,000 recipients.) Lampe says that MassPay will also save you $750 per batch of 1,000 compared to PayPal.

While still a very young company (founded in 2009), MassPay shows that Dwolla is still innovating where its bigger competitors aren’t. And even though mobile payments is the current hot topic, clearly there’s still plenty of room for improvement when it comes to online payments in general.

Des Moines, Iowa-based Dwolla has raised more than $6 million so far, most recently in a $5 million round in February. Investors include Union Square Ventures, Village Ventures, and Thrive Capital.

Photo via Jayson Ignacio/Flickr


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