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Operational Failures on Global Affiliate Payments

Posted on 7.30.2015

Affiliate marketing is incredibly appealing to millions of Web professionals, but the practice (for both brands and publishers) remains challenging. And for many, the troubles start and end with payments.

Tipalti just released findings from its survey of affiliates on satisfaction with the state of commission payments and the results reveal some particularly interesting insights.

The research revealed that nearly 41 percent of affiliates have stopped working with an affiliate network because of a payment issue. Of those who did not already end a relationship with an affiliate network, 65 percent say they would stop working with a network because of consistent payment problems. Affiliates expect to be paid on time (99.5 percent), to verify payment status online (99.5 percent) and to be automatically notified when payment issues arrive (98.1 percent). What's more, affiliate appreciate a broad choice of payment methods (93.6 percent) and being able to get paid when certain threshold numbers are met (90.1 percent).

Issues with payment are actually more serious for global affiliates versus U.S.-based affiliates.

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The Tipalti study found that both U.S. (52 percent) and non-U.S. (41 percent) affiliates have experienced late payments, but global affiliates also have issues with payments never arriving at all (34.8 percent of non-U.S. affiliates have had a situation where they did not receive payment compared to 13 percent of U.S. affiliates).

There are several differences between U.S.-based affiliates and those in other countries worthy of note for merchants/advertisers:

+ 66 percent of global affiliates want to be paid in local currency.

+ 68 percent of global affiliates say that W-8 collection is either not happening or they don’t know.

+ 9 percent of U.S. affiliates say payments need improvement, nearly 20 percent of non-U.S. affiliates say payment operations need improvement.

"Affiliate networks need to consider the influence their global affiliate partners have on their ongoing business success and how their commission payments processes are impacting their ability to recruit and retain the best affiliate marketers.” said Chen Amit, CEO and co-founder of Tipalti.

“Programs that employ operational best-payment practices, such as improving affiliate on-boarding, offering affiliates a secure portal to check their payment status 24/7, immediately notifying affiliates about payment progress or issues, and providing a range of payment methods and currency choices, will ultimately achieve greater network success and stability.”

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