Dwolla today announced a major shift in its business model that moves the company away from its roots as a developer of a mobile app for person-to-person payments, and firmly into the realm of a payment platform for third-party partners.

Beginning Dec. 7, the Des Moines-based company will scale down some of the person-to-person payment functions on its website, Dwolla.com, and its mobile app. Additionally, it will no longer make its iOS, Android, and Windows mobile applications available in the app stores. Instead, the company will focus on sales of its application program interface (API) to third-party businesses and financial institutions.

"By putting our infrastructure in the hands of developers, Dwolla has gotten far closer to providing the ideal way to move money than Dwolla.com ever could," said Jordan Lampe, a company spokesman. "These branded, mostly consumer experiences that date back to 2010/2011 no longer align with the company's SaaS (software as a service) direction."

Dwolla was founded in 2010 by Des Moines entrepreneur Ben Milne, who developed the proprietary software system that enables users to transfer funds online without using a debit or credit card.

With the transition, which Lampe said has been 18 months in the making, some Dwolla features and buttons will go away, some will stay and others may have restrictions applied based on their account type. However, all of Dwolla's capabilities remain fully available in the API, he said. The company provided links to frequently asked questions for users in this blog post.

Lampe did not have an estimate of how many customers will have to shift from using the app.

"While we're strongly encouraging a complete migration of activities to the API, we understand that may not be practical for some small businesses," he said. "That's why we're actively recommending alternative options inside our existing product portfolio, as well as some of our API partners, like JotForm."

In June 2015, Dwolla announced it was eliminating the 25-cent transaction fee it formerly charged per transfer, as a move toward enabling businesses and financial institutions to charge their own fees without having to pay Dwolla for connectivity. Earlier in 2015, it announced it had entered into its largest partnership to date with BBVA Compass, one of the 25 largest commercial banks.

Dwolla's new version of its API, which enables businesses and developers to build the payment infrastructure into their own applications, has led to an average 20 percent growth in month-over-month revenues, Lampe said. The company currently employs about 45 people locally and is hiring, he said.