Tiny Startup Dwolla Pushing Back Hard at Credit Card Companies, Paypal and Google Checkout

…and changing the way we buy (and sell) goods and services on the internet and around the corner.
I have been hearing a lot of good things about Dwolla, a startup based in Des Moines, Iowa. Their founder wants to do away with credit card companies in the next decade, and is already succeeding in replacing their bloated ripoff fee-heavy system with a new, simpler, transparent, and, yes, better way.

According to their website Dwolla is “a new payment network that works with your financial institution to offer a cheaper, safer, and overall better payment experience.”

This is so cool- you really should sit down, then read this excerpt from their blog written by Ben Milne, the mind behind Dwolla:

“Dwolla gives everyone the ability to exchange money without paying interchange (credit card fees). This is the core reason our network was created and we’ve grown considerably by concentrating on solving that single issue.
High fees, while exchanging money, is a pain point that millions of people share.

However, as we began solving that pain point, we began to realize just how fundamentally broken the whole system is, and that the fees levied were in place to subsidize the costs of an expensive legacy architecture that is over 50-years old. Consumers are losing their identities as merchants are eating the costs of compliance, and we are all paying the price:

    Why should you exchange your financial well-being for a latte every time you swipe your card?
    Why do billion dollar industries, which feed off of securing the financial information inside credit card transactions, need to exist if the data doesn’t need to be there?
    Why should transactions under $10 be considered “cost-prohibitive” for merchants?
    Why do you need a Harvard MBA to understand the fees?
    Why are there so many costs?
    Why can’t members be in control of their information?

So we built Dwolla, a new network that allows people to exchange money without bringing in the fees of other payment options. We deconstructed the rails, changed the game, and built our own.
How? We removed the threat of credit card fraud, built unique privacy controls, created new security standards, eliminated financial information from transactions, integrated new social technologies, and provided the nation with its lowest-cost sustainable payment network. More importantly, we created a company dedicated to finding and solving pain points.”

Wow, right? (I told you to sit down, silly blog reading person!!).

I love the idea of a company successfully offering an alternative to mega monster banks and especially greedy credit card companies. Theyu just implemented another facet of their service theu are calling “Instant” which gives loans of up to 500.00 without a bunch of inflated fees in real time, hence the name Instant.

Sounds too good to be true, but my instincts tell me this startup is legit and has promise. The press page on their site has hundreds of articles listed, most in very mainstream, venerable publications such as:
Business Insider
NY Times
Forbes
The Atlantic
Fox Business News
…the list goes on…

Visit their simple and straightforward website to learn more, then spread the word. I mean,  if they have something,  we ought to be trumpeting their name from the highest mountaintops.

Really, have any of you ever tried to deal with Google Checkout as a Merchant or tried to borrow just a small amount of cash for a short period of time? Still waiting to hear about that loan, right? Can’t believe the fees on every payment you receive from a customer with a credit card? Still waiting to get an answer from Google Checkout’s Customer Service? Yeah, me too…
Their site’s URL is http://dwolla.com
I might just sign up…

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Bent Out of Shape Over Copyright Thievery?

You should be!

This is a subject  similar to one I  wrote about a few months ago -losing your intellectual property rights by signing them away online. It’s a  different side of the same cube – having your written content, designs, photos, (“stuff”) stolen and used without attribution or remuneration.

It happens all of the time, not in a small way due in part to the internet’s vast and unrestricted frontier atmosphere. That, and some people are

  • unaware of intellectual property rights. or
  • pretty sure no one will ever find out, or
  • thieves

To read a very clear and concise article on this subject, please visit Freelance Switch . A really informative website and well worth a visit.

I am of a Reasonable Nature

I am so reasonable, in fact, that I offer the use of my photographs for limited or single use projects at a very reasonable fee. I use a sliding scale like many other photographers who license their images, basing the fee on several factors such as

  • for a private party/individual or for a  business?
  • how/where will they be viewed?
  • will there be any media distributed containig my images?
  • will there be vast amounts of wealth resulting from my images?
  • will there be reproduction of my images in another publication?
  • for how long?
  • how will this publication use my images?
  • is this a request for a charitable donation? 
  •  After a flat-fee is negotiated successfully I give the interested party permission the use my copyrighted work for a single purpose, with a time limit if needed. The image is then provided in whatever acceptable format they wish. 

    I’d like to mention a couple of artists who were very helpful to me, giving my photography a boost by seeking the rights to paint from my photographs.

    Continue reading “I am of a Reasonable Nature”