The Dots Blog

What to Know About Staying Compliant With 1099 Workers

Compliance for Independent Contractors and 1099 Workers: What to Know Independent contractors and freelancers can be a useful source of work for employers. They can help your business pick up the slack in certain areas or they can bring unique expertise without having to create a new department. Of course, it’s important to remain compliant when your business utilizes 1099 workers. In this guide, we’ll walk you through what makes a 1099 worker, how to remain compliant, and more. Book a Demo w

Connecting the Dots: Collabstr

Starting out, our biggest limitation was what we were previously using–Stripe Connect. We kept running into roadblock after roadblock. Initially, it was fine, as we were just using it for basic use cases, but once we needed more flexibility, that's when we were banging our heads against the wall. Since integrating with Dots, we've been able to increase our signup rates exponentially. More specifically, Dots integration has increased our creator signup conversion rate by 31% for a few reason

What Marketplaces Need to Know About the INFORM Consumer Act

What is the INFORM Consumer Act? The INFORM Consumer Act, which stands for Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers, was passed December 29, 2022 as an addendum to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 bill. This new act applies to online marketplaces defined as any business that conforms to “consumer-directed” platforms that “facilitate or enable third party sellers to engage in the sale, purchase, payment, storage, shipping, or delivery of a cons

Tips for Streamlining Your Payment Processes

Every business can benefit from streamlining its payment infrastructure. However, restructuring your payment processes and workflows can be difficult and time-consuming. But it doesn’t have to be that way. With the Dots API, you can make your payment processes more efficient and save time while also making sure your payout infrastructure is more secure and reliable. Not only can businesses reap huge rewards by streamlining financial transactions, but it can also greatly simplify your customer an

How the Dots Digital Wallet Works

One of the best ways to streamline your payout ecosystem is with a digital wallet. Instead of transferring money to a payee’s bank account, you can send their funds directly to their digital wallet on your platform. This keeps funds in your system until users’ funds reach a certain amount or they decide what they want to do with them. Not only does this put more power in your users’ hands with how they use their payments, but they also get access to their money much faster. Digital wallets offer


Connecting the Dots: Forward Forestry

Since implementing Dots, just about everything–time, speed, user interface–is better. At every turn, we were disappointed with Stripe’s performance, especially regarding speed. It was so slow for us that mailing a physical paper check to the customer was faster than the time it took for them to payout on their ACH transactions. Our customers would also get frequent account holds as most of our customers don't have websites or an online presence so Stripe’s automatic verification system just w


What Is Form W-8BEN?

A Brief Overview Many employers have international workforces, allowing them to get skilled employees from around the globe. Not only does this open up the talent pool, but it can also help you enter new markets and grow your business. W-8BEN Forms are a critical part of hiring foreign employees and contractors. These forms are important to make sure their country of residence is certified and in line with tax regulations. It’s important for both employers and employees to have their taxes pro

What Are ACH Transactions And How Do They Work?

An Overview Banking is much faster and more efficient in the modern era. Rather than dealing with cash transactions or transactions through checks and cards, you can now transfer money electronically through ACH, also known as the Automated Clearing House The ACH network has been in operation for decades now, and it’s easily one of the safest and most convenient methods of transferring money. The ACH network can also be used internationally, making it easy to transfer money worldwide, all with

ACH Payments vs Wire Transfers: What’s the Difference?

An Overview Technology has made it much easier for individuals and businesses to exchange funds. Sending money online is more convenient and affordable than ever, with various methods to do so. Some of the most common methods are ACH payments and wire transfers. While the two methods seem similar, they do have multiple differences. Both methods allow you to send money directly from a bank account, but the method, cost, speed, and availability differ. In today’s guide, we’ll walk you through th


Monetization Strategies For Your Online Marketplace

Implementing a Good Strategy Online marketplaces are a multibillion-dollar industry, with many businesses getting their piece of the pie. However, to get the biggest share possible you need to have the right monetization strategy in place. The question is, which monetization strategy should you use? The common strategies all have their pros and cons, and there is no “right” answer. The answer will depend on your user base, your industry and what the marketplace is used for. In this blog, we’ll


Connecting The Dots: Vantage Sports

The biggest value for us has been organization and time. We've really been able to streamline the service and easily manage our high frequency of low volume transactions. We have a lot of coaches, who are our contractors and used Venmo to pay them out previously, which was free, but inconvenient to keep track of all their handles. And when some people didn't have Venmo, we needed to use CashApp, and when some people didn't have either, I needed to resort to something else. But Dots brought ev


Why Paying Your Contractors On Time is So Important

An Overview Many businesses outsource tasks to freelancers and contractors. This can help organizations get more work done and save money for specialized tasks that don’t require full-time employees. However, just because they don’t work at your company doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be paid in a timely manner. Some organizations will try to pay contractors in a way that is beneficial for their cash flow and accounts payable, but this often hurts contractors. You have to consider the way contract


The Best Methods for International Payments

An Overview Accepting payments is essential for any business and with globalization more widespread than ever, accepting international payments is becoming just as important. However, there are numerous different methods for sending and receiving global payments. These methods each come with their own set of pros and cons, and the right method often depends on the situation. If you’re a business that sends or receives international payments, you need to decide which payment methods to offer. W


Dots Payouts API: What is it and How is Your Privacy Protected?

Security Is Our Top Priority The Dots payouts API makes it easy to send and receive payments on numerous payment platforms. Privacy and data security are top priorities for any business. With Dots, you can trust that our API makes sure customer and contractor data is safe, protected and compliant with the highest security and privacy standards. Learn more about the Dots API and how we protect the privacy of our users. Get Started with Dots Today A Brief Overview First, a brief overview of


Connecting The Dots: Table22

Before Dots, we used a combination of different services – ACH transfers, a lot of Venmo and Cash App. Cash App was important for us, because we're trying to meet our contractors, delivery drivers, where they are and Cash App is the method of payment that many of them are used to. Transaction fees, in that case, were not insignificant with 3% per transaction at a minimum and it required a lot of time and energy to manually manage payments, largely on phones by relying on one or two different


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Instant Bank Transfers with RTP Dots now supports and defaults to instant bank transfers over the Real Time Payments rail wherever possible. RTP is supported by most large financial institutions and has coverage over a majority of bank accounts. Instant bank transfers over RTP will be automatic for a payee once we have their SSN, Date of Birth, and address on file. ID Verification with Persona After many requests, we've added ID verification through Persona as an optional flow step that yo


What Is the Cost of Influencer Marketing?

An Overview A few decades ago, the concept of influencer marketing was nonexistent. The closest thing we had to influencers before the mid-2000s was movie stars and musical artists, and getting their endorsements wasn’t cheap. That all changed when social media blew up. Now, popular content creators are getting the attention of millions of adoring fans worldwide — just by being themselves and producing easy-to-digest content on social media! There’s something inherently down-to-earth about peop


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Dots API V2 Our API recently turned a year old and in the past 12 months we have received a lot of great feedback from our customers. After a few months of design and development, we are happy to release V2 of the Dots API. V2 improvements focus on improving the user creation and connection process, introducing transfers, and standardizing our endpoints. Read the Docs User Creation Improvements In V1 of the API, we would return a verification_id when the user was first created. This id c


How Long Do Global Wire Transfers Take?

Managing Your Payments Are there people outside of the United States you need to pay? With increasing numbers of companies working with global partners and contractors, international payments are more common than most realize. While there are many ways to perform these transactions, one of the most common methods is to do a wire transfer. Wire transfers let you move money from one bank to the next without taking out cash or writing a check. They’re pretty efficient when done domestically, but w


Ways to Pay International Employees and Foreign Contractors With an API

Streamline Your Payments Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to broaden your business horizons and operate on a more global scale. The days of being limited to independent contractors and freelancers in your area are over. Collaborators with the specific skills and unique perspectives you want are only a few clicks away. But one obstacle still prevents many companies from tapping into the international workforce: processing payments. Paying international contractors can get complicat


Connecting the Dots: Don't Tell Comedy

Before Dots, we had to pay a lump sum to every producer and make sure they would would divvy the comedians' payouts on their end. The process was super manual, untrackable and made collecting 1099 information really hard. Dots let us give money to comedians directly. We love Dots so much we're trying to add it to more stuff! They're incredibly responsive and add requested features quickly. Brett Kushner, Don't Tell Comedy COO Don't Tell Comedy has built a network of independent comedy


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Flows Save months of development time by implementing Dots Flows. Flows handle complex tasks like onboarding, collecting tax information and saving payout information. Flows consist of various steps that can be chained together to create your desired flow. For example, onboard users by having them them fill out their SSN, address and date of birth, then have them connect their bank account through Plaid. Once onboarded, payouts can be made through the API or pre-authenticated flows with just t


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Custom Logo Support Payout Links and Payout iFrames can now be customized with your logo which can be uploaded on the Settings page. More customization options will be added in over the coming weeks. Fixes and Improvements * Fixed the dropdown button on all tables * Added EIN formatting validation to request access flow * Enabled RTP for certain payouts * Added tracking for RTP and certain ACH transfers * Improved sign up flow for existing users * Added multi-application support * I


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Payee Dashboard We're launching a new payee dashboard at Currently this new dashboard allows all of Dots' payees to view their transactions histories and create Payout Requests as detailed below. Soon, this dashboard will also allow the management of a payee's connected accounts and other profile settings. Payout Requests Payout Requests allow you to send a dedicated link to your contractors, employees and even interns allowing them to submit a request for payment. This can be


3 lessons from YC batch that are more applicable than ever

💵Dots was part of the YC S21 batch. We built a developer-friendly API that lets businesses pay their contractors through just a few lines of code. Dots' manages the entire process: information collection (KYC), payments through any rail (ACH, Venmo, CashApp, Zelle, international, and many more to come), and even filing tax forms. Earlier this week, news broke of a Y Combinator letter sent out to all founders of YC companies. The contents of the letter went on to spark some debate on how much Y


Just Launched: Dashboard

Dots is excited to announce our new and improved Dashboard! While we push new features into production at Dots near daily, delighting our customers is truly our core KPI. So we've rolled out some highly requested features, all with a more beautiful experience. 📈Dashboard Features: - Insights into your payouts - Direct views into User and Transaction Data - Manual Payout Generator - API key and App Setting management - more to come :) Insights Our dashboard lets Dots' customers get valuable


Just Launched: Payout Links

The new Payout Links feature allows for payment between two parties with just a few clicks and no code necessary. Simply exchange a link and you can enable payout quickly and seamlessly. This link can be generated through the Dots API or through a dashboard. Payments can be sent and received using Dots’ integrated ledger and wallet system. Customers can choose to send or withdraw funds in a multitude of ways (payouts to Venmo, Paypal, CashApp, and many more), easily accessible from the Dots App


Connecting the Dots: Zappy

Implementing Dots even allowed our product to grow over 100% month over month!