Unified Payments FAQ

Get answers to commonly asked questions about Unified Payments

Andre Tan avatar
Written by Andre Tan
Updated this week

General Information

What is Unified Payments?

Unified Payments is Refersion by Pantastic’s payment platform and provides a way for merchants and affiliates to build stronger relationships through consistent, transparent payment processing. Merchants are able to automate commission payments and tax management for their affiliate program, and affiliates are able to rely on a consistent, monthly payment from all approved commissions.

What are the benefits of using Unified Payments over other payment methods?

For merchants, Unified Payments provides an end-to-end system for automating commission payments to affiliates. For all approved conversions, monthly commission payments are automatically distributed to your affiliates, which will strengthen your relationship with your network and instill trust. Your program will also stand out to other affiliates and premium publishers who prefer to work with brands who offer Unified Payments. Unified Payments also collects tax forms from affiliates to automate 1099 distribution.

For affiliates, commissions earned for approved conversions from participating merchants will come on the same day of each month, deposited into their Unified Payments Wallet. This results in consistent and more reliable revenue streams. The Unified Payments Wallet also offers a single payout where payments from all merchants are combined (as opposed to receiving multiple different payments from multiple different merchants every month). This should make it easier for affiliates to track their performance across more merchants.

Who is eligible to use Unified Payments?

Unified Payments is available to all US-domiciled merchants with an active Refersion account, and to all publishers, affiliates and influencers registered within the Refersion Marketplace. Certain industries are restricted by our payments partner, Dots.

Does Unified Payments support multiple currencies?

No, at this time Unified Payments only supports US dollar transactions.

Does Unified Payments support merchants and affiliates in different countries?

Unified Payments is available to US-domiciled merchants; affiliates can be located globally (except in sanctioned countries) but will need to be paid in US Dollars.

Is there a cost associated with using Unified Payments?

Signing up for Unified Payments is free, but there are some associated transaction costs.

Merchants pay a transaction fee of 1% of the funding, capped at $6.00 per transaction, and will pay an annual fee of $5 for each affiliate that has earned $600 or more for the filing of a 1099 form.

Important Note: If the ACH request to fund a merchant’s digital wallet is returned due to insufficient funds or a banking error, there is a $25 fee.

The fee for affiliates depends on their location in the world. For affiliates located domestically in the US, they will pay a $1.00 payout fee when withdrawing funds from their Unified Payments Wallet.

For affiliates located internationally, they will pay a $1.00 + 3% of the withdrawal amount payout fee when withdrawing funds from their Unified Payments Wallet.

What tax services are provided by Unified Payments?

Unified Payments will generate and file a 1099 or an 1042-S form for each merchant that any affiliate earns more than $600 within the calendar year.

If a merchant has paid any affiliate outside of Unified Payments, either because they join Unified Payments later in the year, or because the merchant makes some payments outside of Unified Payments, then the amounts paid outside of Unified Payments can be added to Unified Payments to provide a consolidated tax reporting statement.

Are there certain business categories that are unable to participate in Unified Payments?

Yes. While we try to support as many businesses as possible, there are certain business categories that are not eligible to participate in Unified Payments. These include but are not limited to:

  • Sale or purchase of illegal goods, including but not limited to stolen goods, illegal or controlled substances, and substances that pose a risk to consumer safety.

  • Cannabis-related businesses, including but not limited to manufacturers, dispensaries, and those engaged in the business of marketing, buying, growing, selling, or otherwise promoting medical or recreational marijuana.

  • Illegal services, including but not limited to counterfeit services, illegal gambling, Ponzi or pyramid schemes, and money laundering.

  • Adult entertainment, including but not limited to escort services, encounter clubs, and pornographic products and services.

  • Debt collection, relief, or counseling.

  • Gun sellers and firearm or ammunition sales.

If you have questions about your business's eligibility, send an email to [email protected], and we'd be happy to chat.

Terms you should be familiar with when signing up:

  • Dots: The company that Refersion partners with to help facilitate direct payments to affiliates.

  • KYB, or “know your business”: In order to send money through Unified Payments, merchants need to go through a KYB (Know Your Business) compliance process, which is required by our partner Dots in order to verify your business. These compliance standards are in place to prevent fraud, money laundering and other financial crimes.

  • KYC, or “know your customer”: In order to receive money through Unified Payments, affiliates need to go through a KYC (Know Your Customer) compliance process, which is required by our partner Dots in order to verify your identity before they can transfer money to you.

A more in-depth glossary of relevant terms can be found here.

For Merchants

What are the high level steps to get set up with Unified Payments?

The summarized steps to get onboarded with Unified Payments as a merchant are as follows:

  1. Sign up to use Unified Payments from the Account>Unified Payments tab.

  2. Once notified to register, provide us a contact email address (where we will send all notification emails regarding Unified Payments and funding events), agree to the Unified Payments Terms and Conditions, and acknowledge that $25 can be pulled from your linked bank account as a security deposit.

  3. Submit compliance information for the KYB process and await approval.

  4. Link your bank account and await verification.

Know Your Business (KYB)

Why do I need to perform a KYB verification?

Using a service that transfers money for you is a carefully regulated business in the US, and the KYB is a verification standard that confirms the legal status of a company and its compliance with Anti-Money Laundering and other regulations. KYB procedures include ultimate beneficial ownership (or UBO) as a transparency mechanism. Establishing UBO allows revealing who is directly benefiting from the business profits. In essence, KYB makes it harder for criminals to disguise illegitimately obtained funds as income.

How long is the KYB process?

The process can take up to 2 weeks, but is frequently faster. After you submit your business information, it will be reviewed by our payment partner’s compliance team for verification and approval. Depending upon this review, you may be asked to submit additional documentation.

What kind of information will I need to provide about my business on the KYB form?

KYB checks require a diverse set of data including general business information such as your business's legal name , business address, and website URL. KYB also requires specific business details such as incorporation type, incorporation date, and Tax ID (EIN).

In addition, the process also asks for information about the individuals owning more than 25% of your company (referred to as UBOs or Ultimate Beneficial Owners). These individuals will be emailed and asked to upload a photo of their ID.

What are suitable forms of ID for confirming the identities of individuals who own part or all of the company?

You’ll be able to use a Passport, Drivers License or other State issued ID.

Who is the best person from my company to complete the KYB form?

We suggest having a director or another senior member of your company that has signing authority complete the KYB form.

Payments & Tax (for Merchants)

How often are funds withdrawn from my bank account and added to the Unified Payments Wallet used to pay affiliates?

Refersion will make a withdrawal from your bank account on the first Monday of every month to fund your Unified Payments Wallet.

When/how often will affiliates be paid through Unified Payments?

Withdrawals from your Unified Payments Wallet will be made on the second Tuesday of the month, funding each affiliate's Unified Payments Wallet on that day.

How can a merchant know the amount they should have available in their bank account to fund their Unified Payments virtual wallet?

A week prior to funding day, merchants will receive an email with the maximum possible funding amount. The maximum funding and the upcoming funding amount will be displayed to merchants on the Payments>Unified Payments Wallet tab at all times.

The maximum funding amount is determined by the value of all Approved or Pending conversions that:

  • Are not paid yet.

  • Have existed for a minimum of 30 days on the next funding day (first Monday of every month).

The upcoming funding amount may be lower than the maximum funding amount because the actual funding amount will include only commissions for conversions that are Approved, not Pending. For example, if you have pending conversions that are 30 days old but then you deny those conversions, then commission would no longer be owed and funds would not need to be withdrawn from your bank for these newly denied conversions.

The maximum funding amount also includes unpaid commissions earned by all affiliates, whether they are participating in Unified Payments or not.

The maximum funding amount helps ensure there are sufficient funds in your account on funding day. Please note that a $25 fee will be charged if your bank account lacks sufficient funds to cover the actual funding amount, or in the event of errors processing transactions stemming from issues with your bank.

Why does Refersion ask merchants to deposit $25 in their virtual wallet when signing up for Unified Payments?

This $25 is an insufficient funds security deposit to cover any potential ACH failure fee that is assessed for failed transfers from the merchant’s bank account into the Unified Payments Wallet upon funding day.

What happens if money fails to be withdrawn from my account?

You will receive an email notifying you of the funding failure and prompting you to verify that you have sufficient funds in your bank account in order to continue using Unified Payments. Your $25 insufficient funds security deposit will be utilized to cover the ACH failure fee, and a new $25 insufficient funds security deposit will be included in your subsequent funding day transfer.

In the event of a failed funding event, affiliates will be notified that they will not receive payments via Unified Payments for the month.

You’ll need to ensure your bank account has appropriate funds to attempt another withdrawal either next month on the next funding day, or you can reach out to our Customer Success team at [email protected] to facilitate a one-time off-cycle funding date.

I received a fraudulent transaction alert from my bank account after submitting payment information for Unified Payments. How can I verify that the transaction is legitimate?

Depending on the automated fraud monitors set up at certain banking institutions, you may receive a transaction verification alert when Dots attempts to make a withdrawal from your bank account. The company name listed on this transaction may be one of the following: Divisible, Dots, Dots Method or GrailPay.

Please keep these company names in mind in the rare case that you need to manually approve the transaction with your bank.

Can I pay some affiliates through Unified Payments and others via another payment method such as a check or gift card?

Yes, Refersion will continue to support integrations with PayPal, Trolley, Shopify Automated gift cards (for select merchants), and Manual Gift cards.

Affiliates that have opted into Unified Payments will receive automated payments through Unified Payments; affiliates that do not sign up for Unified Payments will still be able to receive payment via other methods. This of course ensures that the appropriate payment method will still be available for any affiliates that are not paid in USD.

What if I want my funds refunded to my bank account after they have been withdrawn?

Funds will only be withdrawn from your bank account to pay for approved conversions, and cannot be returned to your bank account. In the case that excess funds are withdrawn from your bank account, then they will be used to pay for future conversions. For example, if your Unified Payments Wallet is funded as usual on the first Monday, but you then contact Refersion to un-approve a previously approved conversion before the payment is made on the following Tuesday.

How do I (as a merchant) change the bank account that is being used for Unified Payments?

Should you (as a merchant) ever need to change the bank account that your company is using for Unified Payments, then you can do that by returning to the Account>Unified Payments tab of your account and clicking the 'Update my bank account' button at the bottom of the page.

Please note: The option to update your bank account will only be available to you once the initial $25 security/insufficient funds deposit has been processed successfully.

Will payments made to affiliates before enrolling in Unified Payments be included on 1099 forms at the end of the year?

Yes. The amounts paid to affiliates outside of Unified Payments can be communicated to Dots before the end of the year, so the correct 1099 and 1042-S forms can be generated.

For Affiliates

As an affiliate what are the high level steps to get set up with Unified Payments?

  1. Begin the registration process and agree to the Unified Payments Terms and Conditions.

  2. Submit compliance information for the KYC process.

  3. Submit your tax information.

  4. Link your payment information.

Know Your Customer (KYC)

Why do I need to perform a KYC verification?

Services that transfer money are carefully regulated businesses in the US. KYC is the mandatory process of identifying and verifying a customer’s identity. Refersion must comply with KYC regulations and anti-money laundering regulations to limit fraud, and thus we must ensure that affiliates are genuinely who they claim to be.

What kind of information will I need to provide on the KYC form?

You will need to verify your phone number and provide your legal name that matches your government issued ID. You’ll also need to provide tax information so that TIN matching can be done.

How long is the KYC process?

The process may take up to 1 week, but is frequently faster. After you submit your personal information, it will be reviewed by our payment partner’s compliance team for verification and approval. Depending upon this review, you may be asked to submit additional documentation.

Payments & Tax (for Affiliates)

How often are affiliates paid out on Unified Payments?

When an affiliate signs up for Unified Payments, we set up a Unified Payments Wallet for that affiliate. Funds are deposited into their wallet on the second Tuesday of every month.

Affiliates are completely free to make withdrawals on their own schedule, although if you have a verified payout method connected and if you have funds sitting in your Unified Payments Wallet for 30 days after a merchant sends you a commission payment, then Dots will automatically transfer those funds from your Unified Payments Wallet to your preferred payout method.

How can Affiliates move funds from their Unified Payments wallet to their own, non-Refersion account?

Affiliates have several options for moving funds from their Unified Payments Wallet to their own, non-Refersion account. The options available will vary depending on the affiliate's region, but some common options are listed below:

  • (Instant) bank transfers

  • PayPal

  • CashApp

  • Venmo

What if I no longer wish to receive payments via Unified Payments?

If you would like to offboard from Refersion’s Unified Payments system, please reach out to [email protected].

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