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 6 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.
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 W-8 tax forms or multi-entity payables, 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 two 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
Trolley integrates with other business applications via a third-party connector. It has a couple of performance marketing platform integrations – Paladin and Refersion – and some ERP integrations with Xero, QuickBooks, Microsoft Dynamics, and NetSuite (beta)
Trolley offers three different plans depending on your needs. They are:
- Grow Plan – $49/month – (no tax or multi-currency balances for payouts)
- Platform Plan – $199/month
- Enterprise Plan – Contact sales
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.
Effortlessly onboard partners with a client-branded portal, preferred payment method, currency, and payment thresholds. 26K+ rules validate payments, screen against OFAC/SDN lists
Embeddable white-labeled signup experience that Includes bank validation rules. Screens against OFAC & other watchlists
Pay to 196 countries in 120 currencies with partner choice of payment methods including: ACH, wire transfer, check, global ACH (eCheck), 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
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 and VAT tax ID (49 countries) against 3,000+ rules, 1099 & 1042 prep reports, withholding calculations and e-filing services.
Digital collection & completion of tax forms following IRS requirements but not KPMG-approved. Supports W-9, W-8BEN, W-8BEN-E forms only. Validates TINs including SSN, EIN & foreign TIN number formats. 1099 & 1042 reports, withholdings and e-filing. No ex-US tax capability.
Easily generate self-bill invoices as required by government or tax processes and execute payments upon approval
“Invoices” feature available but it does not have any associated approval workflows
FX conversion visibility for partners + advanced FX solutions including intercompany transfers & hedging to reduce FX volatility risk
FX conversion rate visibility for partners only & no other advanced FX capabilities
Native integrations to NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Quickbooks & Xero. File-based integration with all other ERPs via pre-built connectors using a no-code approach.
Trolley leverages 3rd party integrations, which are known to be issue prone. NetSuite (beta), Quickbooks, Xero & Microsoft Dynamics ERP integrations available.
|Performance Marketing Integrations
Pre-built integrations with several performance marketing systems to directly tie performance analytics & data to partner payments
limited performance marketing platform integrations, only with Paladin and Refersion
|Controls & Governance
20+ role-based permissions help enforce segregation of duties by configuring who can initiate disbursements, fund accounts, create approval flows, run reports, etc..
5 permission roles
REST APIs accompanied by world-class documentation and a developer hub for creating automated processes to quickly and efficiently handle payments around the world.
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 on which system works best:
Power your entire partner payouts operations
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
Tipalti’s end-to-end global partner payments platform future-proofs your operations, so you don’t have to keep allocating more resources to payables as you grow. Tipalti’s Multi-Subsidiary capability enables payers to manage a large number of subsidiaries within the same instance of Tipalti, allowing for centralized controls and financial reporting.
Coordinate and manage partner payments across multiple subsidiaries with features including: Independent branding, payment methods, tax onboarding flows, partner communications, reconciliation, reporting, and modules per subsidiary. Trolley does not have multi-entity capabilities.
You want to strengthen tax compliance and controls domestically or globally
Tipalti solves the complex, highly-manual process of collecting tax information through digital capture directly during the onboarding flow, ensuring information is validated before payment is ever processed. We help ensure IRS tax compliance with KPMG-approved tax form data validation and withholding calculations. We also collect W-9, W-8 tax forms, validate IRS and VAT tax IDs, automatically calculate withholdings and generate 1099 / 1042-S tax prep reports plus provide e-filing services. Trolley’s tax capability is not KPMG reviewed & approved for IRS and may expose you to errors & added time from collection through to filing.
While Trolley can only support foreign TIN number formats for US businesses, Tipalti supports local & VAT tax ID collection in 49 countries with a built-in tax engine that validates against 3,000+ rules to prevent ID errors & issues for non-US businesses. Additionally, for European countries, Tipalti supports document collection so partners can provide additional information when needed and self-billing invoices where partners must approve invoices before payments can be processed.
When to Choose Trolley
You are a small business with low volume payments
Trolley’s customer roster consists of mostly small businesses and its solutions are relatively unproven at scale with large digital industry players with global partner payment workflows. Trolley is a small business itself with less than 100 employees and while it provides intimate support, it may have difficulty supporting your needs as you grow.
Meanwhile, Tipalti has +4M global payees, +$36B in annual global payments with a 99%+ payments success rate, +2,500 global customers including some of the world’s most respected companies like Twitter, Uber, Roblox, 99% customer retention (10 years), 98% customer support satisfaction, strong reviews, multiple awards & recognition and more.
You are ok with lighter security features, risk, and fraud mitigation
Both Trolley and Tipalti screen against OFAC and other watchlists, during onboarding and before payment, to inhibit bad actors. Trolley and Tipalti also verify partner data, but only Tipalti automatically validates collected info against 26k global banking rules to proactively reduce payment issues.
Tipalti has advanced fraud detection with Tipalti Detect, which uses AI to proactively identify fraud patterns. This has resulted in +7.4k payees blocked and $4M in potential savings to date.
Fraud detection is not available today from Trolley. Tipalti also offers 20+ role-based permissions to enforce segregation and nuanced access levels. Five permission roles exist at Trolley with a few more currently in beta.
You have simple integration and FX needs
Trolley has integrations with two performance marketing systems – Paladin & Refersion. Tipalti has several performance marketing integrations to directly tie performance analytics & data to partner payments, gain visibility into the complete publisher performance-to-pay lifecycle & easily sync onboarding data from publishers, affiliates, influencers, content creators, or other marketplace partners. Trolley’s ERP connections are also limited to Quickbooks, Xero and Microsoft Dynamics. Netsuite is in beta. All Trolley integrations are via a third party connector called Zapier whereas Tipalti has direct API integrations with NetSuite, Sage Intacct, Quickbooks and Xero, plus integration with all other ERP’s via pre-built connectors using a no-code, drag-and-drop interface. Lacking connections can lead to more manual effort & time spent on the financial close & payment reconciliation process.
While Trolley provides FX conversion visibility to payers and partners that is the extent of its FX offering. Tipalti provides advanced solutions in addition to FX rate visibility such as intercompany transfers that save you time & money on currency conversions for payouts across global entities or FX Hedging to reduce volatility risk.
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.