Gov. Terry E. Branstad and Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds today joined Dwolla founder Ben Milne to announce a new partnership to provide Iowa taxpayers with an innovative electronic payment option.
Dwolla is a cash-based payment network that provides real-time, low cost, online and mobile payments. Instead of charging a floating percentage and fixed fee per transaction for goods and services or the administrative headaches of checks, Dwolla's easy-to-use network costs a flat 25-cent fee on any payment over $10.
Branstad said he was pleased to announce another step for innovation in state government, saying, "Iowa is always looking for better ways to do business, and this is a step in the right direction."
"Dwolla is a safe, secure payment method, and we are proud as a state to be partnering with such a great Iowa company," said Branstad. "This new method is an efficient, effective means of payment for Iowa taxpayers, and I look forward to expanding this service into additional areas within state government."
From collecting property taxes to issuing refunds, from renewing vehicle registrations to paying government contractors, Branstad and Reynolds say the state will be identifying the potential impact Dwolla's open, social, online and mobile payment technologies could have on every level of state government.
Today's first integration will focus on the Iowa Department of Revenue, allowing businesses, who already pay more than $100 million in cigarette stamp taxes, the option of paying via Dwolla. The option is cheaper and safer than mailing and processing a paper check. The speed and efficiency of the system also allows participating businesses to receive their tax stamps quicker.
"Our announcement today shows there is no geographic monopoly on innovation," said Reynolds. "Dwolla is a fantastic Iowa company that is providing dynamic solutions for consumers, businesses and now the state of Iowa."
"The number of state and federal payments are in the billions with transactions totaling in the trillions, meaning even a fraction of savings could have a profound effect on the economy," said Ben Milne, Chief Executive Officer and Founder of Dwolla. "This partnership is about creating a more sustainable, responsive, and convenient business climate for the state and its taxpayers, both today and tomorrow."
Eligible vendors and retailers interested in participating in today's announcement may go to www.dwolla.com/government to learn more.