As globalization spreads like wildfire, companies of every size find themselves conducting international business. This creates an immediate demand for global payables and automation technology to bridge the gap between operations and abilities.
Adding advanced automation and artificial intelligence to your payables workflow saves significant time, mitigates risk, and streamlines processes. It enables finance teams to free up their time from manual tasks and focus more on strategic initiatives that drive business expansion. When transaction volumes increase and new complexities are introduced, payables automation software is designed to support continual growth.
In this article, we look at two of the top global payables automation solutions: Tipalti and Stripe, including pricing, capabilities, and scenarios comparing which solution works best for your business.
Table of Contents
What Does Tipalti Do?
Tipalti is an end-to-end mass payments and AP automation solution designed to reduce 80% of your workload and handle every step of the payables cycle.
The system boasts a 66% reduction in payment errors and a 25% faster financial close, helping a business gain greater visibility over spend and financial controls.
The Tipalti solution processes transactions with six different payment methods, across 196 countries, in 120 currencies. They help a business rapidly scale its payable operations to automate remedial tasks and ensure global growth, from procurement to reconciliation.
Tipalti provides award-winning payables automation with a fully comprehensive solution that includes functions for tax compliance, a self-service payee management portal, FX management, in-depth reporting, and fraud detection.
Tipalti Product Capabilities Overview
Tipalti was designed to strengthen global compliance controls, reducing tax regulatory, fraud, and audit risk.
The Tipalti platform has earned a number of accolades over the years and you can expect some of these global capabilities:
Enhanced Payment Experience
Tipalti helps a business deliver a top-tier payment experience, offering key payment options, and ensuring on-time payments, all while keeping your brand front and center.
The platform offers strong payment visibility, with white-labeling and iFrame embedding capabilities. Send payments at scale, proactively prevent fraud, and be IRS tax compliant.
Companies can streamline payee management with a self-service portal that makes onboarding a quick and frictionless process with 26k validation rules to reduce payment errors by 66%.
Tipalti enables a business to easily generate self-bill invoices as required by governments for tax purposes. It’s easy to generate and upload a CSV pay file through the Tipalti Hub, FTP, or API for the situations and countries that require invoices.
Tipalti makes it easy for a business to send payments in minutes, all over the world. Anyone from startups to small businesses or enterprise organizations can use the mass payments tool to unify operations and ensure compliance across all entities.
Tipalti’s global payment capabilities operate in 196 countries in 120 currencies (compared to Stripe’s payout reach of 121 countries in 93 currencies). The system also offers 6 different payment methods (ACH, check, global ACH, wire, PayPal, prepaid debit).
If a business needs to make advanced global payments, Tipati also offers multi-entity, multi-FX, and FX hedging. Say goodbye to data entry across multiple bank portals, costly overhead, and extra fees.
Advanced AP Functionality
Tipalti offers advanced AP functionality for invoice-backed AP automation workflows and enhanced supplier management. Custom registration forms make for quick and easy onboarding, with centralized purchase requests, and greater control over spend.
Tipalti’s instant PO creation eliminates the need for manual data entry with automated, rules-based approvals to avoid invoice bottlenecks. Machine learning and optical character recognition (OCR) process invoice data at header and line levels, making the entire process touchless.
The Tipalti product will integrate with your existing tech stack. The system offers pre-built integrations with leading ERPs, SSO, email, and Slack to power a seamless process, ensuring all relevant data syncs automatically.
Tipalti integrates with ERP systems like NetSuite, QuickBooks, Xero, Oracle, Sage Intacct, Microsoft Dynamics, SAP, and more.
If you have a system in place that helps you calculate payments,Tipalti can integrate with those platforms as well. Expect a simple setup, and implementation completed in as little as a few weeks.
Tipalti uses a SaaS subscription-based pricing model starting at 129 USD/month. For an additional cost, businesses can add on advanced functionalities like procurement, multi-entity payables, and FX hedging.
What’s the best thing to happen to your payables this year?
It starts with full-fledged automation. Learn how end-to-end AP automation can help your whole business run more efficiently, seamlessly and securely.
What Does Stripe Do?
Companies of all sizes, from startups to Fortune 500s, use Stripe and its APIs to accept payments, send payouts, and manage their online businesses. The brand provides a “financial infrastructure for the internet,” but user reviews will tell you it requires a lot of fine-tuning. Stripe has over 100k customers, supporting brands like GoFundMe and Shopify.
The Stripe platform offers pay-in and payout in one simple system. That’s why it’s popular with developers and companies with an API-first approach. Stripe is a tool that integrates quickly, can be customized to your brand, and makes it easier to launch revenue-generating products.
Stripe Product Capabilities Overview
Stripe helps you easily accept global payments (at the point of sale), allowing a business to eliminate manual tasks and scale more easily. Some of their top capabilities include:
Accept and optimize payments on a global scale with Stripe’s payment collection features. Increase authorization rates, offer local payment methods, and streamline checkout conversions. The system offers a complete payment platform, with a tech stack for all your online payment needs; across channels. It also boasts an in-person payment processor. Stripe Terminal has pre-certified readers and Tap to Pay (like Apple Pay for iPhone or Google Pay for Android).
Stripe is engineered for growth, offering powerful APIs and customizable solutions designed to capture more revenue. However, when it comes to Stripe vs Tipalti, there are still some international payment limitations.
Companies can create their own physical or virtual credit cards. The Stripe Corporate Card is one of the easiest ways for business owners to handle expenses. Instantly provision cards and manage business spending in real time. Rather than deal with complex rewards, earn extra cashback on everyday use.
Stripe offers credit limits that grow with you. The credit limit is determined by your bank account history and payment processing. You can also upload a branded logo to the payment gateway to make the corporate card look and feel like your brand.
Fraud and Risk Management
The Stripe Radar tool detects and blocks fraud using machine learning that trains on data across millions of global companies. The system helps a business distinguish hackers from customers, and apply the Dynamic 3D Secure solution to high-risk payments.
The ML infrastructure lets the system retrain models, including those customized for your business, on a daily basis. The Radar algorithms quickly adapt to shifting fraud patterns and your unique business needs.
Billing and Invoicing
Accelerate growth with the Stripe Billing feature that allows a business to bill and manage customers whenever it wants; from simple recurring to usage-based billing and sales-negotiated contracts. Collect and retain more revenue, accept payments globally, and automate revenue management workflows.
Stripe also offers invoicing built for scale and speed, saving a business time and bringing in faster payments per transaction. Create an invoice and send it to customers in minutes, with zero code required. The advanced invoicing API makes it easy to automate accounts receivable, reconcile transactions, and collect payments.
Stripe is payment processing software that gives customers the ability to control and customize its partner UI/UX. The mobile-friendly solution offers an API organized around REST. The predictable, resource-oriented URL accepts form-encoded request bodies, returns JSON-encoded responses, and uses standard HTTP response codes, verbs, and authentication.
When comparing the system to others, like Stripe vs PayPal, it truly stands out. Developers can use the Stripe API in test mode so that it doesn’t affect live data or interact with banking networks. The API key to authenticate the request determines whether it is in live or test mode.
When it comes to pricing, Stripe Connect offers three different account types: Standard, Express, and Custom.
Express and Custom accounts
- $2/month per active account
- 0.25% of payout volume + $0.25 per payout sent
- $2.99/e-filed 1099 or mailed paper copy
For all accounts
- Instant Payouts are 1% of payout volume (min is $0.50)
- Currency conversion fees are 1% for US accounts and 2% for non-US
- International and country-specific fees apply
Stripe also offers instant payout capabilities for a 1% fee. Payers can markup fees further to generate revenue, but it may be counterintuitive to optimizing the payee experience. Stripe offers phone support to answer any complex pricing questions.
Features of Tipalti vs. Stripe
Onboard payees with a client-branded portal and choice of preferred payment method, currency, etc. Can be embedded into your website via iFrame. 26K+ rules validate payments and reduce errors by 66%
White-labeled only available with custom accounts (co-branding otherwise). Bank verifications in beta. All payees go through KYC
Payees receive proactive, white-labeled payment status email updates and have 24/7 payment portal access to reduce inquiries
Lack of visibility for failed payments – have to get in touch with the bank directly to troubleshoot
KPMG-approved digital tax engine – collect W-9s, W-8s, generate 1099 & 1042-S prep reports and e-file. Local and VAT tax ID collection is available in 49 countries
W-9 and W-8 collection in beta. 1099 forms but not 1042-S. E-filing available but no global tax capabilities
Pay to 196 countries in 120 currencies, 6 payment methods – ACH, global ACH / eCheck, check, wire transfer, PayPal, prepaid debit card.
Send payouts to 121 countries, 93 currencies, ACH & card only. Only available for US accounts
Regulated MSB with MTLs across the US. E-Money licenses in the UK and EU
Money transmitter licenses (MTL) in the US and e-money (EMI) license in the EU
Manage multiple entities/subsidiaries/brands with different payout processes and workflows from a single Tipalti instance, and gain a consolidated HQ view
Limited capabilities – multi entity instances connected via Connect API
Prebuilt integrations with performance marketing platforms and ERPs. REST APis available for custom integrations
API-first approach requires a high level of development effort / resources to build, customize and maintain code.
Payee FX, Payer FX, and Multi-FX (intercompany bank transfers), plus FX hedging to reduce volatility risk
Payee FX but no Payer FX, Multi-FX or FX hedging
Automated invoice creation and submission to ensure global regulatory compliance for the situations and countries that require invoices for tax processes
A single solution for all payables – in addition to mass payments, handle procurement, invoice management, corporate cards, and expense management
No adjacent finance automation capabilities like AP or procurement
Which Solution Works Best for Your Business (and Why)
As the need for automation continues to rise, growing companies are looking for the best procurement solution on the market. Consider these common scenarios when choosing between Tipalti and Stripe:
When to Choose Tipalti
Your business needs robust global payout functions
Compared to Tipalti, Stripe has limited payment methods. Tipalti’s global capabilities extend to 196 countries, in 120 currencies. This is compared to Stripe’s payout reach of 121 countries, in 93 currencies (from the US only).
The six different payment methods offered by Tipalti are a key differentiator in the market, especially since PayPal is one of the options. The others are ACH, check, global ACH, wire transfer, and prepaid debit.
Tipalti offers a multitude of features that cater to the needs of global payments, including automated policy enforcement, as well as:
- Mass payment workflows
- Automatic reconciliation and invoice management
- Proactive payee screening (including OFAC/SDN lists)
- International tax compliance and audit trails
- In-depth analytics and metrics
Tipalti also offers a variety of FX solutions (FX hedging, Payee FX, and Intercompany Bank Transfers) that include currency conversions and multi-entity functions.
Tipalti is a regulated money services business (MSB) with money transfer licenses (MTLs) across the United States, and an e-money license in the UK and the EU.
The company works with blue-chip banking partners including Citi, JP Morgan, Chase, and Wells Fargo (plus PayPal and Visa). The solution offers fraud prevention, FX capabilities, corporate debit cards, expense management, and more.
You want to provide a best-in-class payee experience
Tipalti offers easy white-labeling and iFrame embedding capabilities, whereas Stripe requires significant engineering resources. The brand provides an unparalleled payee experience that includes payee choice of preferred payment methods and currencies.
All payee data is validated against 26k rules to reduce payment errors by 66%. Payees also receive proactive, white-labeled payment email updates and have 24/7 access to a payment portal for full visibility into payment statuses. This has the added benefit of reducing the time you need to spend handling payment inquiries.
You need strong financial controls or have adjacent needs
Stripe lacks many of the strong financial controls you will get with Tipalti. For example, Tipalti offers a more robust user role and permission configuration than Stripe. That’s 20+ user roles with Tipalti vs 5 user roles with Stripe. Tipalti also has payment approval workflows, which do not exist at Stripe.
With Tipalti’s self-billing functionality, digital bills can be auto-generated based on payment instructions. This helps you meet regulatory obligations in countries that require invoices.
It also enables an itemized breakdown of each payment for full audit trails, payer and payee bill approvals flows, and a more delightful payment experience. That’s because payees no longer have to send invoices, and you no longer have to verify the accuracy of those invoices. Stripe does not have comparable self-billing capabilities.
Tipalti also offers several adjacent finance automation functions in addition to mass payments including Procurement, AP Automation, Corporate Card, and Expense Management. Tipalti’s AP Automation solution includes features like:
- OCR (optical character recognition) with header and line-level data capture
- Custom fields and expense accounts are auto-filled based on predictive smart logic
- Two and three-way PO matching and PO management with tolerance thresholds and prepayments
- Custom approval flows or pre-defined approval rules based on business structure
- Change logic applied to future invoices using ML
Stripe does not offer comparable adjacent solutions for finance automation.
When to Choose Stripe
You are looking for a pay-in or payment acceptance solution
Stripe promotes ease of use as a top feature of its payment service and works great for collecting international payments. However, it may not be the best choice for managing a global payout operation.
Stripe cross-border payouts are only available to US customers and the standard funding method for payouts is via collected payments or pay-ins. While there is an ability to add funds directly to your Stripe account for payouts, it requires that payments are accepted with Stripe. The company’s core competency is pay-ins and its payout capabilities are more limited than Tipalti.
You are looking for industry-leading APIs and developer tools
Stripe is lauded as an API-first solution. If you have a developer on staff with the time, it’s a great choice for creating custom solutions. All Stripe accounts will require some level of development and engineering resources.
If you do not have a lot of extra time or money to develop custom tools, Stripe may not be the best fit. White-label partner onboarding is only available via the Custom account, which requires strong dev skills.
More than 50% of Tipalti’s customers are digital industry companies that demand a modern solution and who are satisfied with the prebuilt functionality that requires minimal developer effort.
Tipalti has a more long-term focus on payment ops and understands the importance of scalable solutions that balance fashion (UI/UX) with function (controls and risk management). In the instances where more customization and control are needed, Tipalti also offers REST APIs, documentation, and a developer hub.
You need embedded payment calculations or the ability to markup fees
Stripe has payment calculations embedded into its platform. Once a payment is settled, customers can easily use the dashboard or Stripe API to get paid.
The system also offers instant payout capabilities for a 1% fee. Payers can markup fees even more to generate revenue. However, this can be counter-intuitive to optimizing the payment experience.
Tipalti offers a variety of performance marketing integrations that directly tie performance analytics and data to global payments.
The system has fee-splitting capabilities that incentivize payees to adopt safe and efficient payment methods. It also offers payment thresholds that improve the cost-effectiveness of payouts, increasing the likelihood the payee will have a good experience.
What Our Customers Say
“It took us eight weeks a year to process hundreds of royalty payments manually, and with Tipalti, it is now down to less than an hour. AP invoice processing is also automated, eliminating another 36 days a year of workload.”
“A huge benefit to the team has been visibility. Tipalti provides a better interface to see where global cash is flowing each week and provides the full picture required for strategic planning in each of our entities.”
“We use Tipalti for its seamless brand payments in particular. There is high visibility for the business and the brands. We pull data from PayPal, Stripe, and bank statements. Tipalti syncs it into one system, gathers the invoices, and automatically reconciles. Tipalti has stepped in to manage quite a massive job.”
Summing It Up
Tipalti and Stripe are advanced systems that streamline financial operations and enhance mass payments. However, both systems cater to different aspects of financial management.
Tipalti’s purpose-built payment tools are trusted by top brands from around the world (like Uber, Twitter, and Twitch). The platform offers a comprehensive solution that streamlines global payments, payee onboarding, tax compliance, currency conversion, and more.
In comparison, Stripe is more focused on developer-centric features that can be molded into custom workflows. This often equates to more time and money, than a solution that works out of the box.
By highlighting both the similarities and differences between these two popular payment systems, the reader should take home some valuable insights that will aid in the decision-making process. Ready to explore more options for automating your international payment experience? Chat with one of our specialists today.