Add Dwolla to your app

Use Dwolla with Plaid Auth to send and receive payments

Dwolla partnership

Plaid and Dwolla have partnered to offer businesses an easier way to connect to the U.S. banking system. Plaid enables businesses to instantly authenticate a customer's bank account, giving them the ability to leverage the Dwolla API to connect to the ACH network for sending and receiving payments. Dwolla’s solution offers frictionless ACH payments for companies looking to automate their current payments process and scale their business.

With the Plaid + Dwolla integration, your users can verify their accounts in seconds by inputting their banking credentials in Plaid’s front-end module. Plaid’s mobile-friendly module handles input validation, error handling, and multi-factor authentication–providing a seamless onboarding experience to convert more users for your business.

As part of the integration, Dwolla customers can access Plaid’s full suite of APIs for clean, categorized transaction data, real-time balances, and more.

Getting started

You'll first want to familiarize yourself with Plaid Link, a drop-in client-side integration for the Plaid API that handles input validation, error handling, and multi-factor authentication.

Your customers will use Link to authenticate with their financial institution and select the depository account they wish to use for ACH transactions. From there, you'll receive a Plaid access_token, allowing you to leverage real-time balance checks and transaction data, and a Dwolla processor_token, which allows you to quickly and securely verify a bank funding source via Dwolla's API without having to store any sensitive banking information. Utilizing Plaid + Dwolla enables a seamless workflow for sending and receiving payments.

Instructions

Set up your Plaid and Dwolla accounts

You'll need accounts at both Plaid and Dwolla in order to use the Plaid + Dwolla integration. You'll also need to be a Dwolla customer in order to add a bank funding source.

First, sign up for a Dwolla account if you don't already have one.

Next, verify that your Plaid account is enabled for the integration. If you do not have a Plaid account, create one. Your account will be automatically enabled for integration access.

To verify that your Plaid account is enabled for the integration, go to the Integrations section of the account dashboard. If the integration is off, simply click the 'Enable' button for Dwolla to enable the integration.

Use the Dwolla Sandbox to test the Plaid + Dwolla integration for free.

Create a link_token

In order to integrate with Plaid Link, you will first need to create a link_token. A link_token is a short-lived, one-time use token that is used to authenticate your app with Link. To create one, make a /link/token/create request with your client_id, secret, and a few other required parameters from your app server. View the documentation for a full list of link_token configurations.

To see your client_id and secret, visit the Plaid Dashboard.

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// Using Express
const express = require('express');
const app = express();
app.use(express.json());
const plaid = require('plaid');
const client = new plaid.Client({
clientID: process.env.PLAID_CLIENT_ID,
secret: process.env.PLAID_SECRET,
env: plaid.environments.sandbox,
});
app.post('/get_link_token', async (request, response) => {
try {
// Get the client_user_id by searching for the current user
const user = await User.find(...);
const clientUserId = user.id;
// Create the link_token with all of your configurations
const tokenResponse = await client.createLinkToken({
user: {
client_user_id: clientUserId,
},
client_name: 'My App',
products: ['auth'],
country_codes: ['US'],
language: 'en',
webhook: 'https://webhook.sample.com',
});
response.on({ link_token: tokenResponse.link_token });
} catch (e) {
// Display error on client
return response.send({ error: e.message });
}
});
Integrate with Plaid Link

Once you have a link_token, all it takes is a few lines of client-side JavaScript to launch Link. Then, in the onSuccess callback, you can call a simple server-side handler to exchange the Link public_token for a Plaid access_token and a Dwolla processor_token.

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<button id="linkButton">Open Link - Institution Select</button>
<script src="https://cdn.plaid.com/link/v2/stable/link-initialize.js"></script>
<script>
(async function(){
var linkHandler = Plaid.create({
// Make a request to your server to fetch a new link_token.
token: await fetchLinkToken(),
onLoad: function() {
// The Link module finished loading.
},
onSuccess: function(public_token, metadata) {
// The onSuccess function is called when the user has
// successfully authenticated and selected an account to
// use.
//
// When called, you will send the public_token
// and the selected account ID, metadata.account_id,
// to your backend app server.
//
// sendDataToBackendServer({
// public_token: public_token,
// account_id: metadata.account_id
// });
console.log('Public Token: ' + public_token);
console.log('Customer-selected account ID: ' + metadata.account_id);
},
onExit: function(err, metadata) {
// The user exited the Link flow.
if (err != null) {
// The user encountered a Plaid API error
// prior to exiting.
}
// metadata contains information about the institution
// that the user selected and the most recent
// API request IDs.
// Storing this information can be helpful for support.
},
});
})();
// Trigger the authentication view
document.getElementById('linkButton').onclick = function() {
linkHandler.open();
};
</script>

See the Link parameter reference for complete documentation on possible configurations.

Plaid.create accepts one argument, a configuration Object, and returns an Object with three functions, open, exit, and destroy. Calling open will display the "Institution Select" view, calling exit will close Link, and calling destroy will clean up the iframe.

Write server-side handler

The Link module handles the entire onboarding flow securely and quickly, but does not actually retrieve account data for a user. Instead, the Link module returns a public_token and an accounts array, which is a property on the metadata object, via the onSuccess callback. Exchange this public_token for a Plaid access_token using the /item/public_token/exchange API endpoint.

The accounts array will contain information about bank accounts associated with the credentials entered by the user, and may contain multiple accounts if the user has more than one bank account at the institution. In order to avoid any confusion about which account your user wishes to use with Dwolla, it is recommended to set Select Account to "enabled for one account" in the Plaid Developer Dashboard. When this setting is selected, the acccounts array will always contain exactly one account.

Once you have identified the account you will use, you will send the account_id property of the account to Plaid, along with the access_token, to create a Dwolla processor_token. You'll send this token to Dwolla and they will use it to securely retrieve account and routing numbers from Plaid.

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// Change sandbox to development to test with live users and change
// to production when you're ready to go live!
const plaid = require('plaid');
const plaidClient = new plaid.Client({
clientID: process.env.PLAID_CLIENT_ID,
secret: process.env.PLAID_SECRET,
env: plaid.environments.sandbox,
});
try {
const exchangePublicTokenResponse = await plaidClient.exchangePublicToken(publicToken);
const accessToken = exchangePublicTokenResponse.access_token;
// Create a processor token for a specific account id.
const processorTokenResponse = await plaidClient.createProcessorToken(accessToken, accountId, 'dwolla');
const processorToken = processorTokenResponse.processor_token;
} catch (err) {
// handle error
}

For a valid request, the API will return a JSON response similar to:

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{
"processor_token": "processor-sandbox-0asd1-a92nc",
"request_id": "[Unique request ID]"
}
Make a request to Dwolla

Once you've obtained the processor_token, you'll then pass it to Dwolla as the value of the plaidToken request parameter, along with a funding source name, to create a funding source for a Dwolla Customer:

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POST https://api-sandbox.dwolla.com/customers/AB443D36-3757-44C1-A1B4-29727FB3111C/funding-sources
Content-Type: application/vnd.dwolla.v1.hal+json
Accept: application/vnd.dwolla.v1.hal+json
Authorization: Bearer pBA9fVDBEyYZCEsLf/wKehyh1RTpzjUj5KzIRfDi0wKTii7DqY
{
"plaidToken": "processor-sandbox-161c86dd-d470-47e9-a741-d381c2b2cb6f",
"name": "Jane Doe’s Checking"
}
...
HTTP/1.1 201 Created
Location: https://api-sandbox.dwolla.com/funding-sources/375c6781-2a17-476c-84f7-db7d2f6ffb31

Once you’ve received a successful response from the Dwolla API, you’ll use the unique funding source URL to identify the Customer’s bank when initiating ACH transfers. If you have any issues during the testing process, please reach out to Dwolla developer support.

Testing your Dwolla integration

You can create Dwolla processor_tokens in Sandbox (sandbox.plaid.com, allows testing with simulated users) or Production (production.plaid.com, requires Dwolla Production credentials). While Plaid also has a third environment, Development, used for limited live testing, it is not recommended to test this integration in the Development environment as the processor tokens created in that environment are not compatible with Dwolla's test and production environments.

To test the integration in Sandbox mode, simply use the Plaid Sandbox credentials when launching Link with a link_token created in the Sandbox environment.

When testing in the Sandbox, you have the option to use the /sandbox/public_token/create endpoint instead of the end-to-end Link flow to create a public_token. When using the /sandbox/public_token/create-based flow, the Select Account flow will be bypassed and the accounts array will not be populated. On Sandbox, instead of using the accounts array, you can call /accounts/get and test with any returned account ID associated with an account with the subtype checking or savings.

Get ready for production

Your account is immediately enabled for our Sandbox environment (https://sandbox.plaid.com). To move to Production, please request access from the Dashboard.

Support and questions

Find answers to many common integration questions and concerns—such as pricing, sandbox and test mode usage, and more, in our docs.

If you're still stuck, open a support ticket with information describing the issue that you're experiencing and we'll get back to you as soon as we can.