Can I temporally hold fund in users' bank account for later transfer?

Hi! I want to ask whether I can hold the user’s fund in their own bank account for a later transfer or cancel the transfer. For example, user A is a buyer and user B is a seller in my platform, we want to hold user A’s fund in his/her own bank account, so they cannot move the fund. Once we have confirmed that user A has received the goods from user B, we can transfer the fund of user A to user B, if we confirm that user A doesn’t receive the goods, we want to release the hold, so user A will not have a loss. Can Dwolla API help do this?

Hey there!

Dwolla does offer a Dwolla Balance, but when funds are held in this location they still belong to the customer and cannot be locked/withheld from withdrawal until a future date. From what I understand, it sounds like what you are looking for is an escrow service, which Dwolla unfortunately does not offer at this time.

Please let us know if you have any further questions!


Hi James, Thank you for your reply. I think my words confuse you. Actually, I don’t want an escrow service, what I mean is that I want to let the user’s funds stay in their own bank account but they cannot move it or use it because this is for later transfer. For instance, user A is a buyer and user B is a seller. I need to make sure user B will receive the fund only after user A has received the goods from user A and user A cannot move the fund at once he receives the goods. Briefly, I am wondering whether Dwolla can initiate a later transfer (let’s say after two hours) and if my platform can cancel this transfer at any time during these two hours. Thank you!

Hi @leo – I’m afraid we aren’t able to hold funds in the sender’s bank account such that they cannot move it since it has been designated for a later transfer. We also aren’t able to create later transfers. We create transaction resources as soon as we receive an API request, then during the next available ACH window we batch all transactions and send it via the ACH network for processing. Our standard ACH window is 4pm CT every business day. You have until this ACH window to cancel transactions, after which they are out of Dwolla and off to processing. The sender will usually see the debit posted on their bank the next business day, however Dwolla isn’t able to confirm that as we do not have visibility into the user’s bank account.

What James was suggesting is that perhaps you can hold the funds in User A’s Dwolla balance before crediting it to User B after User A receives their goods. This involves creating two transactions – one is a debit from User A’s bank into their Dwolla balance at the time of service, second is the credit from User A’s balance to User B’s bank once the goods have been delivered. However, holding the funds in the Balance does not prevent User A from withdrawing it back into their bank account.

Hope that helps clarifies things. Let us know if you have any questions!