Dwolla: The credit card killer?

A startup in Des Moines, Iowa takes aim at transactions now routinely handled by credit cards

Widespread reliance on credit cards may have seen its heyday, thanks to a 12-person tech startup in—of all places—Des Moines, Iowa. Called Dwolla, it was founded by a 28-year-old university dropout named Ben Milne after he grew frustrated paying thousands of dollars to process credit card payments at his speaker business. Dwolla is an online payment mediator that allows people to buy things by transferring money from cellphones, email addresses and Facebook accounts. And rather than taking a percentage cut off every transaction—like PayPal and others that rely on credit card transaction systems—Dwolla charges 25 cents for every transfer over $10. For everything else it’s free.

The company already handles between $30 million and $50 million per month and has raked in more than $1.3 million from investors. “We don’t believe in credit cards,” Milne told Business Insider. “The current model needs to be blown up.” With momentum like this, Dwolla might end up doing just that.

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