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As affiliate marketing continues to transform the way businesses promote their products and services, affiliate networks grapple with an array of challenges like how to manage payments on a global scale, navigating complex compliance regulations across different countries, and optimizing the affiliate lifecycle.
After announcing a partnership with leading payables automation platform Tipalti to launch an integration that simplifies and automates global payment methods for its clients, Phonexa hosted the latest edition of its Amplify webinar series featuring Zach Svendsen, Tipalti’s Vice President of Alliances.
Phonexa CMO Talar Malakian led a discussion with Svendsen to tap into his wealth of experience and profound expertise by thoroughly examining the intricacies of optimizing global payments.
Why is the topic so vital for discussion? A recent report found that 76% of finance executives struggle with manual tasks that consume an excessive amount of their teams’ time and effort, with 62% citing automated payments as a key area where applying digital technology is greatly needed.
Here’s a recap of the strategies Svendsen shared during the Amplify webinar, equipping you with the knowledge and tools to navigate the ever-changing affiliate marketing landscape.
Watch the recording of “Scaling Your Network: Payment Strategies for Influencers & Affiliates with Tipalti” by clicking here.
Common Challenges When Managing Payments On a Global Scale
Svendsen kicked off the conversation by shedding light on the challenges affiliate networks face when managing payments globally. He cited the payee experience as the biggest challenge networks encounter today.
“[The payee experience] has proven to be a make-it-or-break-it issue that needs to be addressed by most organizations because if it’s neglected, it negatively affects the payment experience, brand loyalty goes down, and you’ll lose affiliates,” said Svendsen. “Knowing your payees and giving them the best possible experience is critical to build trust, be authentic, and ultimately to succeed.”
As the affiliate marketing industry extends its reach across borders, businesses encounter complex challenges related to international payments. From currency conversion to tax regulations, navigating the global financial web requires careful consideration.
“Our customers tell us – and our partners too – that they need a white-glove experience for all their affiliates that looks and feels the same as what their network does, and it starts with the payee onboarding, which can be a really slow process,” said Svendsen. “Going into different countries, it’s difficult to maintain a lean operating model that scales … a lot of companies use multiple services [and] find that they have an inability to transact regardless if they’re using those services.”
Managing Compliance and Regulations Worldwide
Svendsen also cited fraud as another big challenge affecting most businesses.
“Companies are often on the hook for noncompliance penalties, tax penalties, and GDPR [violations],” said Svendsen. “It can be very expensive from a time consumption perspective, and it’s generally just a huge waste of resources.”
Svednsen identified compliance as a pivotal aspect of affiliate marketing. Each country has its own set of rules and regulations, making it essential for networks to stay on the right side of the law.
“It’s bigger than just the payment side of it – there’s a laundry list of things that need to be done as companies go global. The first thing is just understanding the [local] compliance requirements in each country where you’re operating,” said Svendsen. “It behooves a lot of [networks] out there to partner with a company or build their own in-house system that has strong controls and fraud detection, checking against [Office of Foreign Assets Control] and other sanction lists to avoid noncompliance penalties and improve financial controls.”
Leveraging Automation for Increased Efficiency
Automation is transforming the way businesses handle their affiliate networks.
Phonexa, for one, is leading the charge by giving customers who are already using Call Logic, LMS Sync, and Lynx the ability to automate a variety of accounting tasks for free by using Books360 – a perfect integrated platform that allows clients to pay publishers directly, and invoice buyers accurately, safely, and efficiently.
Svendsen asserted that by leveraging automated solutions, companies can streamline operations, reduce errors, and provide a smoother experience for affiliates.
“[When] building a tech stack, it’s important to understand if it can solve multiple needs for multiple departments … the first thing is making it easy for everyone to onboard,” said Svendsen. “We try to promote self-service and reduce the amount of time it takes to onboard someone and then reduce all the status inquiries, too.”
Svendsen shared that areas where automation can reduce payment errors and increase efficiencies include:
- Verifying bank information
- Proactive payment status communication, such as emails
- Validating tax IDs, W9s, W8s, and other forms to ensure tax compliance
- Generating 1099 and 1042-S forms for clients and their payees
“The ability to pay in multiple countries in multiple currencies shouldn’t be overlooked, especially when scaling globally,” said Svendsen.
The insights shared by Svendsen are crucial for transforming network payment processes to streamline payments on a global scale in the modern digital era. As we move forward, these insights and strategies are the cornerstones for navigating the ever-changing affiliate marketing landscape, setting the stage for a more efficient, compliant, and successful future.
Stay tuned for more in our ongoing Amplify webinar series, and continue to connect with us for the latest updates.
To learn more about upcoming Amplify webinars, connect with Malakian on LinkedIn.