• Important Guidelines for Processing Global Partner Payments

    Creating partner programs that entice the channel with cash incentives without taking into consideration the complexities of the back-end payment processing can delay payments or worse. Avoid the drama of soured partnerships by including your accounting staff in the design and roll-out of your global partner programs. Chances are, with their insight and expertise, they will spare you any operational headaches that may occur while processing partner payments.

    Here are a few guidelines to consider when you’re designing global programs that require processing cash incentives to partners.

    1. You must ensure compliance with State and Federal foreign currency controls which include Office of Foreign Asset Controls (OFAC) restrictions and compliance with Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) guidelines.
    2. OFAC restrictions are based on US sanctions, drug trafficking, and terrorist activities.
      • The US Patriot Act increased payment restrictions
      • The list of restricted countries can change at any time because of the volatility of governments and the global economy
    3. Know what banking details are necessary for each country and region.  The number of countries requiring international bank account numbers (IBANs) is increasing, which will help standardize the international banking system.
    4. Other examples of country/region-specific information:
      • Sort codes – UK
      • Transit codes – Canada
      • Clabe – Mexico
      • SWIFT/BIC – various countries
    5. Even when you do have the correct recipient information, payments to partners can be returned or delayed due to missing or incorrect intermediary bank details or if you do not have the exact name on the account.
    6. Some countries that are not on the OFAC restricted list may require additional information or documentation such as:
      • Reason for payment
      • Agency code
      • Copy of invoice and/or contract
      • Business owner’s name and phone number (some require owner to personally sign the approval of payment)

    OFAC’s current list of blocked countries:

    Country Currency Symbol
    Belarus Ruble BYR
    Burma (Myanmar) Kyat MMK
    Cote d’Ivoire Franc XOF
    Cuba Peso CUP
    Democratic Republic of Congo Franc CFA
    Iran Rial IRR
    Iraq Dinar IQD
    Libya Dinar LYD
    North Korea Won KPW
    Somalia Shilling SOS
    Sudan Dinar/Pound SDD/SDG
    Syria Pound SYP

    The ability to effectively deliver payments for global programs is based on a thorough understanding of international relationships and restrictions which, in some cases, are constantly changing. By including someone from operations as part of your global partner program design team you will avoid some of the common pitfalls related to global payments.

    Susan Crellin is Director of Finance and Administration with CCI: Channel Management Solutions. To read all blogs by CCI:  Channel Management Solutions, click here.

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