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Tipalti vs. Trolley: Which Product Is the Best Fit for You?


In this guide, we’ll provide a comparison of Trolley vs. Tipalti. We’ve also paired it with “The Ultimate Payables Survival Guide” eBook

As the digital economy continues to grow, companies are scrambling for ways to pay their growing roster of partners across the globe. Whether you hire developers, streamers, publishers, creators, teachers, artists, or any other type of freelance worker, they all expect a fast and reliable payment experience. 

Luckily, there are mass payment platforms that can automate your entire partner payouts operation from onboarding through to payment reporting and reconciliation. Two of the more popular options on the market are Tipalti and Trolley.

So, which one is the best fit for your business? In this guide to Tipalti vs. Trolley, we compare the main features and capabilities of each platform, and discuss which solution works best for managing all of your mass payment needs.

What Does Tipalti Do? 

Tipalti handles Mass Payments workflows for high-velocity companies across the entire payment operations cycle: onboarding and managing global partners, instituting controls, executing payments around the world, and reconciling payables data across a multi-subsidiary organization. 

Tipalti Product Capabilities Overview

Tipalti enables high-growth companies to scale quickly by making payables strategic with operational, compliance, and financial controls. Companies can efficiently and securely pay thousands of partners within minutes.

Onboard partners with a multi-language, white-labeled, self-service portal that offers a choice of payment methods and validates payment and banking data in real-time using 26,000 global banking rules. The portal is accessible 24/7 for partner visibility into payments, and partners also receive proactive, branded Instant Payment Notifications (IPNs). 

Guide partners through digital W-9 and W-8 series tax forms. Collect and validate IRS and VAT tax IDs with a KPMG-approved tax process while generating 1099/1042-S tax preparation reports that can be submitted via Tipalti’s e-filing service.

Send cross-border payments to 196 countries in 120 currencies via 50 payment methods. Seamlessly trigger payments to your entire partner base with performance analytics from your performance marketing systems while integrating detailed, accurate transaction and reconciliation reports with your ERP system.

Tipalti transforms the entire partner payments operation for today’s fastest-growing, global, digital-first companies. Every creator, streamer, developer, affiliate, or publisher on your platform can count on a best-in-class partner experience above all.

Tipalti Pricing

The pricing model for Tipalti is specifically designed to grow with your business. Pricing starts at $149/month for the platform fee. As your business continues to grow in scale and complexity, you can effortlessly add capabilities like multi-entity workflows, for example.

What Does Trolley Do?

Trolley (formerly Payment Rails) is a payouts platform for the internet economy. Businesses use Trolley to automate and manage payouts, and collect recipient tax and banking information. Trolley enables mass payouts for online marketplaces, on-demand and sharing-economy platforms, ad networks, affiliate platforms, and app stores.

Trolley Product Capabilities Overview

Trolley’s payouts platform is integrated with a global banking network, so you can pay contractors around the world. It manages the payments process from onboarding through to end-of-year reporting

There are four main functions of the Trolley platform:

  • Pay – This feature helps to automate payment workflows from payout creation to approvals and disbursement.
  • Tax – This feature streamlines the tax process with income coding, auto-withholding, W-9/W-8 collection, 1099/1042 production, and e-filing
  • Sync – Connect Trolley to your ERP and automate the flow of data between your systems. Trolley offers a combination of natively built integrations and Zapier connections.
  • Trust – secure onboarding processes, tools to collect and verify identity documents, and a dashboard to manage fraud risk.

Trolley has some performance marketing platform integrations – Paladin and Refersion – and ERP integrations with Xero, QuickBooks, and NetSuite. Integrations with Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central, and Sage may be coming.

Trolley Pricing

Trolley offers two different plans depending on your needs. They are:

  • Standard – Pick and choose pay, tax, sync, and trust solutions as needed, each with monthly SaaS fees starting at $49 / month. Usage fees are charged for tax statements, ID verifications, and payment transactions
  • Plus – custom pricing and enhanced pay, tax, sync and trust features.

Features of Tipalti vs. Trolley 

Although Trolley and Tipalti both help companies automate their mass payments processes, each platform is designed with different features and solutions. Here’s a look at some of the differences between Tipalti and Trolley.

FunctionalityTipaltiTrolley
*Limited functionality 
Partner Onboarding
Effortlessly onboard partners via a client-branded portal or embedded iFrame. Offer a choice of preferred payment method, and currency. 26K+ rules validate payments, and every payment is screened against OFAC/SDN lists. Instant payment notifications delivered for complete visibility.
Branded portal or embeddable white-labeled onboardingexperience that Includes paymentvalidation rules. Screens against OFAC & other watchlists. Payment notifications sent to recipients.
Global Payments
Pay to 196 countries in 120 currencies with partner choice of payment methods including: ACH, wire transfer, check, global ACH, prepaid debit, and PayPal (“Mass Transaction” model)
Comparable country reach, currencies, and payment methods. PayPal “Account Direction” model used, which has funding limits, higher FX rates, and slower remittance
Payment Infrastructure
Regulated money services business (MSB) with money transmission licenses (MTLs) across the US. Resgitered as an MSB in Canada and authorized as an e-money institution in UK and EU. Blue-chip bank partners include Citi, JP Morgan & Wells Fargo, with built-in redundancy
Trolley is not a regulated MSB in the US. MTL coverage in 40+ states provided through banking partner. Registered as an MSB in Canada, authorized payment institution in the UK (not e-money institution). In the EU, payment services provided by CurrencyCloud. Registered with AUSTRAC as a remittance provider. Regulated by the Department of Internal Affairs in NZ
US Tax Compliance
KPMG approved tax engine, collect W-9, W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E, W-8EXP, W-8IMY, W-8ECI, W-4, Form 8233. Collect and validate IRS tax IDs against 1,000+ rules, 1099 & 1042 prep reports, withholding calculations and e-filing integrations & services.
Digital collection & completion of tax forms following IRS requirements but not KPMG-approved. Supports W-9, W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E forms. Validates TINs, including SSN, EIN & foreign TIN number formats. 1099 & 1042 reports, withholdings, and e-filing.
International Tax Compliance
Comply with the EU’s DAC7 reporting obligations for digital platforms – securely collect & validate details during onboarding & generate tax prep reports. Collect and validate local and VAT tax IDs in +50 countries with +3,000 validation rules to prevent errors & issues
Collect tax information and generate EOY reports for DAC7 compliance. No global tax ID collection and validation in +50 countries
Self-Billing
Easily generate self-bill invoices as required by government or tax processes and execute payments upon approval
“Invoices” feature available but it does not support payer and payee approval workflows
FX Solutions
Advanced FX solutions, including intercompany transfers between +27 currency accounts & hedging to reduce FX volatility risk
Transfer funds between different currency balances on your account. Support for fewer currency accounts and no FX hedging
ERP Integrations
Native integrations to NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Quickbooks,Xero, Acumatica, and Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central. File-based integration with all other ERPs via pre-built connectors using a no-code approach.
Integrations withNetSuite, Quickbooks, and Xero available.
Performance Marketing Integrations
Pre-built integrations with several performance marketing systems to directly tie performance analytics & data to partner payments
Performance marketing platform integrations with Paladin and Refersion. 3rd party connecter, Zapier, used to connect Trolley with other business applications.
APIs
Connect seamlessly to our robust global payments network and platform capabilities via REST APIs supported by world-class documentation and a developer hub
Strong APIs and out-of-the-box developer tools to automate payout operations, build customized workflows, etc.
Multi – Subsidiary Payables
Multi-subsidiary capability allows for customized pay & tax workflows per brand or subsidiary
No multi-subsidiary capabilities
Adjacent Finance Automation
In addition to mass payments automation, Tipalti offers solutions for AP automation, procurement, corporate cards, and expense management
While you can automate invoice payments with Trolley, it does not offer formal solutions for AP, procurement, cards or expense management

Which Solution Works Best for Your Business (and Why)

Purchasing any type of software for your business is a commitment, so it’s important to take your time during the decision process. This is especially true for your partner payments operations, where providing a best-in-class partner experience is critical to the success of your business. Here are a few key scenarios we’ve established to help you decide which system works best:

Power your entire partner payouts operations

98%

Customer Satisfaction

$60B+

Annual Transactions

4M+

Partners

4,000+

Customers

99%

Customer Retention

When to Choose Tipalti

Paypal is a critical payment method for your partners

Both Tipalti and Trolley offer PayPal as a payment option for partners. However, Trolley uses an Account Direction (AD) model, in which a business’ existing PayPal account is used to direct payments. This leads to funding and payment limits, slower payments (usually 1-6 days), and higher exchange rates (3-4% per transaction). Plus, it hands over control of customer service to PayPal, with limited visibility & support available from the Trolley side if there are ever payment issues. The AD model also relies on PayPal AML screening and Trolley does not perform background checks on accounts or verification of PayPal email accounts.

Alternatively, Tipalti uses a Mass Transaction (MT) model, with no funding or payment limits, better FX rates that result in savings of upwards of 1 – 2.5% for partners, and faster payments that land after 1-3 Business Days. With the MT model, you also receive white gloved service from Tipalti’s customer support team that boasts a 98% satisfaction rate. Customers have a designated Customer Service Manager, Account Manager and Implementation Manager for support at all times. Finally, you also get Tipalti OFAC, Anti-Terror, or Anti-Narcotics list screening during onboarding and before each payment, even those processed via PayPal.

You need to manage multiple brands, subsidiaries, or entities

Your international payees want to be paid in USD

When to Choose Trolley

You have tax compliance needs in the US and EU

Trolley offer both IRS tax compliance for US sources payouts and DAC7 compliance for sellers in the EU. IRS tax compliance includes digital W8/W9 collection, automated withholding, and 1099/1042 reporting and e-filing. Its DAC7 compliance solutions allows you to collect required seller data, link payouts to reportable activities, and generate XML files required for all 27 EU jurisdictions. You need a Trolley Plus plan to enable both IRS & DAC7 tac compliance capabilities simultaneously.

Similarly, Tipalti helps solve both IRS and DAC7 tax compliance with a KPMG-approved guided digital tax process. Our team is always working to keep our tax solutions up to date so you remain compliant. For example, the US & Hungary recently terminated their tax treaty, which means US payers now need to collect withholding tax on payments to recipients in Hungary, and we adapt our solutions to accommodate these changes. 

Tipalti also supports local & VAT tax ID collection in 50+ countries with a built-in tax engine that validates against 3,000+ rules to prevent ID errors & issues for non-US businesses. 

You are looking for a low-cost solution

You need an ID verification service

What Our Customers Say

With Tipalti, partner interaction no longer requires any bandwidth from our team. Photographers can change bank accounts or switch payment methods between PayPal, ACH, or wire transfers—it’s all self-service.

Nicole Smith | CEO and Founder, Flytographer

Tipalti’s mass payout platform was exactly what we wanted. Our main priority was to find a technology solution that could digitize tax collection, improve reporting capabilities, and centralize multi-subsidiary payouts in one platform.

Irene Altman Becklund | VP, Controller, Hims & Hers

I think 50% of the people we’re paying are outside of the U.S. Not having to deal with any added work or stress of having to know  the tax and reporting implications in those various countries is super helpful. And the 1099 process for our finance team has been simplified as well.

Greg Kampanis | SVP Operations and Business Development, Omnia Media

Attract & Retain Your Top Partners With a Superb Payment Experience

A best-in-class partner experience is crucial to your success in the digital economy. With the rise in competition, businesses relying on a digital-first or marketplace model must prioritize the satisfaction of their partners, creators, publishers, or members. The tables have turned; partners  are in the driver’s seat, and platforms must build a best-in-class partner experience to succeed.

According to Tipalti’s research, 87% of partners experience payment issues and 35% of them stopped working with problematic platforms.

Whether your company supports 20, 200, or 2,000 partners, you need to ensure your operations are ready to scale quickly & are equipped to handle hyper-growth. Ensuring your partners have the best experience working with you will secure the long-term health of your company.

Get started with a free demo of Tipalti today.

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