Do you have an affiliate program?
The short answer is NO.
Our strategy is to offer the lowest transfer fees in the
world. We are serious about this. We believe that banking fees are
exorbitant and that there are alternatives for making online payments.
Consequently, we cannot offer an affiliate program because any affiliate
program will increase the fees to our members - you. We want our members
to enjoy the lowest
possible fees. As a happy member, we hope you will tell your friends
and trading partners about iGolder, and our network will grow. The more people join
iGolder, the more it will attract independent exchangers, and specialization
will give you more affordable payment options.
Below are the main reasons why we do not have an affiliate program
(please note that we are NOT
- An affiliate program is a privacy breach to our members. First,
it is very difficult to track who referred a new member to us. To
have an effective affiliate program, we must implement a sophisticated
mechanism to track visitors. Many of these mechanisms require a third party
performing independent monitoring for credibility. Since the affiliate
earns a percentage on your transactions, the affiliate may easily
reverse-engineer all your transactions, and find out how often you make
payments and the amount you transferred. Since your privacy is our top
concern, any affiliate program will go against our goal of having a private
payment system. This alone should be enough to end the discussion, but
you should read on to find out more.
- An affiliate program increases the fees for everyone. If we
promise a 75% commission to our affiliates, as some affiliate programs do,
then all your fees are automatically quadrupled. If we promise a 50%
commission to our affiliates, then all your fees are automatically doubled.
Even a cheap 33% commission to our affiliates would translate in a fee
increase of 50% to you. And this is just the tip of the iceberg; the
affiliate program has many other costs, including developing the
program itself, maintaining it, giving support to affiliates and spending time to
handle fraudulent affiliates.
- An affiliate program requires time to design and implement. We
prefer to use our resources to add new features to the iGolder platform,
rather than spending time writing special code and web pages for tracking the commission of
our affiliates. Since we want to offer the lowest fees, we spend our
time writing code to improve our platform enabling new transaction types such as delayed payments
rolling reserve, dispute reserve, promise to pay,
100% money-back guarantee,
security vault, as well as providing tools to automate
recurrent transactions. We are also craving to implement
state-of-the-art system to measure the performance and reputation of our
members. Although the reputation
Karma is always displayed
next to the member name, the reputation summary and feedback comments are
private. iGolder offers a great flexibility regarding your reputation
details to accommodate your business. For instance, you have the
option disclose your reputation details on your public profile, and even
display the best feedback comments on your website via
Web Services. If you prefer for
more privacy, you have the option disclose your reputation details only to
selected members. This can be useful to increase your credibility when
negotiating with a new customer.
We also want to
develop the best network for dispute resolutions with independent competing
mediators and arbitrators. Our
private messaging system plays an
important role when negotiating private exchanges and/or resolving disputes. iGolder's private chat offers more privacy and
security than any other instant messaging or email service.
fee schedule is based on the number of
transaction you made, total amount transacted and how long you have been
with us. The longer you have been with us and the more transactions
you made, the lower your transaction fees will be. Your transaction fees
increase when you earn Demerit Points
from disputes. Another feature is having a comprehensive Online
Directory to classify products and services sold by our members. The
online directory would have a search facility and display the merchant
reputation as well as comments from customers. We also have plans to
have an interface to post classified ads.
All those features
require time to implement, and having to track affiliate commissions for
every transaction would increase the complexity of our platform,
in addition to slow down each transaction. Speed is crucial to our
platform, as sometimes a transaction must be done in real-time as it is the
case of a debit card at an ATM cash machine. As you can see, we have
plenty of work without the need of additional work from an affiliate
- An affiliate program does not allow flexibility. Let's say we
promise a commission to our affiliates on all transactions, but we offer
a promotion, or decide to waive the transaction fees to our best members.
The affiliates will feel cheated because we promised them a percentage on
all transactions, and now they can no longer earn a commission on the
transactions we decided to offer free of charge. Likewise, say we offer a new service, such as an
insurance against currency fluctuation, without paying tribute to the
affiliates - then the affiliates will feel cheated again. It appears
once we have an affiliate program in place, there is little room for
innovation. Since we do not want our customers nor our affiliates to feel
cheated by us, iGolder offers the same lowest fees to everyone.
- Sometimes it is almost impossible to determine the affiliate's
commission. Let's say you make a payment to someone and decide to
split 50-50 the transfer fee, or pay the entire transfer fee. Which
affiliate should get the commission, assuming both you and the recipient
have been referred by a different affiliate? What if later, the
recipient gives you a partial refund? The code to perform a partial
refund is complex enough, without having to take care of the affiliate's
commission. What if the affiliate account is empty... should we
collect the affiliate to reverse his commission fee? By the way, we
not addressing the topic of affiliate fraud which increases the complexity
by a tenfold.
- An affiliate program invites fraud. We have
personal experience with affiliates. In 2001, we created an
affiliate program for our first business. Our affiliate program was
simple: giving a $5 commission per sale.
Naively, we thought our users would join the affiliate program.
Instead, people who never used our product joined our
affiliate program and we started having fraud. Our "affiliates" would
use stolen credit cards to make purchases hoping to pocket the $5
commission. We spent a lot of our time
writing code to track visitor patterns, IP addresses, emails, and so on, in
the hope of reducing fraud. Every transaction involving an affiliate
had to be verified manually. Fraud was a daily activity. Two years
later we scrapped our affiliate program. Since then, we have not had a
single chargeback despite having much larger sales.
- An affiliate program opens the door for theft. There
are people spending their whole day trying to exploit cracks in a system.
Those people never learnt that trade is not a
zero-sum game, so for them it
is perfectly acceptable to get rich on the backs of others. If we
offer an affiliate program where a member can earn a referral commission of
a few milligrams of gold per transaction, then sooner or later, an
unscrupulous individual will find a way to make a transfer, earn the
commission reward, move the commission to another account, cancel the transfer to
get a full refund, and repeat again. With our automation interface,
the fraudster could repeat this process hundreds of times per minute, stealing
gold at an incredibly high rate. By the time we discover the fraud (a
few hours later), the gold would have already been exchanged or spent at the ATM
cash machine. Since the independent exchanger is unaware of this plot,
and therefore innocent, we have to bear such losses. Of course,
iGolder has a protection mechanism named
Transaction Protection Delay to reduce the velocity of gold spends,
however we do not want to rely on this security feature alone to protect us
against massive gold theft.
- Many affiliate programs are deceptive. Prior to co-founding iGolder,
joined many affiliate programs where we could convert genuine qualified
traffic into thousands of dollars per month. The affiliate programs we
joined were real, selling products and services to complement our product,
and sometimes we purchased these services ourselves. The story is,
however, that our business never made enough to pay the minimum wage for the time I spent reading
the affiliate agreement. I am sure you probably joined many affiliate
programs and wasted your time. We do not want iGolder to inherit the bad
reputation of having questionable affiliate programs.
- People often refer themselves to reduce the fees. Instead of
opening just one account, people open their first account, join the
affiliate program, and refer themselves to open a second account to save on
the transfer fees. We prefer to give you the lowest fees right away
saving your valuable time. Having an affiliate program increases our
costs (therefore transaction fees) because it requires more support,
including email changes and password recovery. Since our policy only
allows a single account per member, we give less incentive to our members to
open multiple accounts.
- An affiliate program does not generate genuine referrals. People
give biased recommendations when they can make money from their
recommendations. Also many people join the affiliate for the wrong
reasons and make deceptive publicity in order to make money. Having an
affiliate program will create deception to new members. We want our
members to refer other members because they are using iGolder and it is
beneficial to them, not because they wish to collect gold from other's
- An affiliate program incites spamming. When an
affiliate program is present, spammers often send mass emails inviting
people to buy the product or subscribe to the services offered.
Sometimes, spammers are more sophisticated, spamming other websites, such as
forums or classified ads, by posting messages containing referral links to
the website offering an affiliate commission. By not having an
affiliate program, we do our share reducing spam pollution.
- Greedy individuals often join an affiliate program to lure others into
the same greed. Those individuals are not interested in our low
transaction fees or our innovative services, but in the affiliate program
itself. When a referral program encourages the recruiting of
newcomers, it becomes just another pyramidal scheme. Many join only
affiliates giving 80% commission or more, otherwise they are not interested.
Our answer is we do not want those individuals as our members, never mind as
- An affiliate program is often a zero-sum-game. The affiliate
makes money on the backs of others without offering any value-added to the
transaction. If iGolder had an affiliate program, you would have to pay tribute to the
affiliate for the rest of your life just because you followed a hyperlink
from their website.
- We believe having an affiliate programs is useless for iGolder. If a
member likes our
services, he will use it regardless of our affiliate program. The best
way to satisfy our members is offering low fees and
excellence in our customer service. We prefer spending our time
serving our members than tracking our affiliates. Word-of-mouth is
an effective advertising strategy. We believe that word-of-mouth will
be sufficient, therefore keeping down our operating costs which will
translate to low transfer fees to our members - you.
- In the long run, you will save more by having lower fees than by earning a
commission on other's fees, and you will have the flexibility to offer lower
fees to your customers.
iGolder is NOT Against Affiliates
Although iGolder does not have an affiliate program, we welcome all
members having affiliate programs. There are many cases where it makes
sense to have an affiliate program. One example is having Google
advertising on your website. In this case, you supply web traffic and
Google supplies the advertising on your site. This is a perfect example of
the division of labor where
you supply content to your visitors, and Google supplies relevant ads,
tracks advertising statistics, deliver reports on advertising campaigns, collects money from sponsors and gives you a percentage
of the sales. This synergy benefits both you and Google,
however the day you stop displaying Google advertising, you stop receiving checks from
This is far different from a theoretical affiliate program where an iGolder member pays
higher transfer fees forever because he followed a hyperlink from a
website. The affiliate no longer supplies any value to the new member, yet the member
has to pay tribute to him for the rest of his life.
An affiliate program is not a pyramidal scheme. A pyramidal scheme
is when the focus of the business is recruiting new members instead of
selling its products or services. A pyramidal scheme often offers
generous commission to its affiliates, thus making the product or service
sold overpriced. The only reason why people join such a pyramidal
scheme is to recruit new members to do the same - not to buy the product sold.
Also, there is nothing wrong with getting rich quickly, provided you have not
used some dirty tricks to get wealthy.
Capitalism means allowing people to
get rich by serving the needs of others. There are thousands of people
who became wealthy by providing useful services to mankind. What
we are against is using iGolder for promoting deceitful schemes to get wealthy such as
get-rich quick programs.
You are welcome to become wealthy by selling quality product and services to your
customers, however you are not allowed to use the iGolder network to sell any kind of "underground wealth
secrets". Selling such "underground wealth secrets" is a
fraudulent activity - it may work for you,
however at the expense of your customers.
Our strategy to substitute our affiliate program
People are always attracted to low fees. We are dedicated in offering the lowest possible transfer fees in the world
which we hope will generate genuine referrals to iGolder. Our strategy is
By having many independent exchangers specializing in online payments, the
will ensure you will always get the best deal for your type of transaction.
Become an independent exchanger instead
You can make money while providing a valuable service to others by becoming an
independent exchanger. As an independent exchanger, you can exchange gold with your local currency. You decide what price you charge depending on the payment method
and currency. However, if your price is too high, you may only get a few customers
because people will use a cheaper exchanger. As an independent exchanger,
you will also earn a reputation similar as on eBay. If you have a great reputation, you can attract bigger
customers despite charging slightly higher fees than others.
network rewards reputable members by lowering the transfer
fees. As an independent exchanger, you will always get the lion's share
of a transaction because our fees are inexpensive. Say your fee is $5 for exchanging $100 worth of
gold. Assuming your reputation gives you our lowest transfer fee of 0.1%,
it would cost you only the equivalent of a dime ($0.10) to transfer the gold
from your account to your customer's account. You would keep $4.90 for
yourself, which represents 98% of the $5 fee.
We welcome suggestions and ideas. We are interested in establishing
a long term business relationship with our members and to serve them as best as
we can. If you think you have an idea that will benefit our members,
we will be happy to hear from you and we will do our best to establish a plan to
implement your idea to share the benefits.