Thought Leadership

Five Payout Principles You Can Learn From Star Wars

TL;DRHyperwallet’s resident Star Wars expert explains the five big parallels that exist between paying your workers and overthrowing the Galactic Empire: security, speed, global scalability, branding, and customer service.

I’m a firm believer that, regardless of the situation or circumstance, there’s always a way to relate it back to Star Wars. A coworker doesn’t think I can make that deadline? “Never tell me the odds.” I have to teach myself basic HTML? “There is no try.” With all the Star Wars buzz this year, I thought it’d be fun to put my theory to the test: I’m going to find lessons from Star Wars that companies—like yours—can apply directly to their worker payout and/or commission distribution process.

I know what you guys are thinking: “That’s impossible!” Well, I find your lack of faith disturbing. Read on for my list of five Star Wars payout principles.

Lesson #1: Secure Your Exhaust Ports

Whether you’re trying to send earnings to your workers or conquer the galaxy, taking steps to protect your organization from malignant outside forces is common sense. Unfortunately, the Galactic Empire didn’t get that memo. There are plenty of examples, but let’s consider the Death Star. We might forgive the Empire for not properly defending a single thermal exhaust port on their multi-trillion-credit orbital battle station—who could have predicted that an uppity womp rat ace from Tatooine would have the piloting skill to out-maneuver Darth Vader and torpedo a two-meter-wide ventilation shaft with his targeting computers disabled? Even in the fanciful universe of Star Wars, I think we can safely to chalk that one up to bad luck. But to rebuild that orbital battle station just a few years later with a near-identical vulnerability? Well, that’s just irresponsible, and the results weren’t exactly unpredictable.

Whether you're sending earnings or ruling the galaxy, protecting your organization is common sense. Click To Tweet

Protecting your company from financial vulnerabilities in the modern era isn’t as simple as putting a grate over an exhaust port. While your organization needs to secure itself against traditional threats—terrorist financing, money laundering, and so on—it also needs to defend against attacks facilitated by digital technologies. Because they make such appealing targets for cyber criminals, most outbound payment organizations go to great lengths to guarantee the security of the payment process. Here at Hyperwallet, we employ rigorous compliance and Know Your Customer (KYC) processes, coupled with an encrypted financial network, to ensure that our clients’ payments are protected from the beginning to the end of the payments process.

Lesson #2: Make The Jump To Hyperspace

Do you know why the Millennium Falcon is renowned all through the galaxy? According to Han Solo, “it’s the ship that made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs.” This quote has been the subject of considerable analysis and debate (a parsec is a measurement of distance, not time) but that’s beside the point. What Han is trying to illustrate is that the Falcon is fast. That’s important, because before he became a hero of the Rebellion, Han was a famed smuggler—and whether you’re running spice for the Hutt cartel or distributing high volumes of payments to a globally dispersed workforce on Earth, you need to make that delivery as quickly as possible.

Speed is especially important in the modern payments landscape. Just a decade ago, three-to-five business days was pretty fast—now it’s an eon. The digital revolution has dramatically altered our perception of what constitutes a quick delivery, and our expectation for speed has increased in all things. Regardless of who a company needs to pay—whether it be on-demand contractors or direct selling distributors—moving money quickly is crucial to an organization’s growth and ongoing success. With Hyperwallet’s rapid upload options, real-time payments processing, and flexible financial network, your workers can be sure that their transactions are happening at lightspeed.

Lesson #3: Establish Universal Reach

There’s a reason they call it the Galactic Empire and not the Several Planet Coalition. You don’t really get a sense of it in the films, but the Empire is massive. Though the official tally changes depending on the canon, it’s generally accepted that the Empire is comprised of at least one and a half million member planets and many times more colonial worlds and puppet states. Despite the sheer size of this galactic government, though, you never hear stormtroopers grumble about lost checks or complain that the Emperor is gouging them on transfer fees. What’s truly impressive about the Empire is that they manage to efficiently and cost-effectively pay a galactically dispersed workforce.

Many modern companies rely on workforces that are spread all around the world. Professions that, in the past, forced individuals to work from a centralized office have been unchained by advances in communication technology. Real-time collaboration, virtual meetings—with digital tools, there are few jobs that truly require people to be in the same location in order to work together. In fact, direct selling organizations and marketplace companies thrive as a direct result of the decentralization of their workforce—it allows them to rapidly expand around the globe with minimal cost in human and financial resources.

Global organizations pay a global workforce, and for that, they need a global payments solution. Click To Tweet

Of course, global organizations need to pay a global workforce, and for that, they need a global payments solution. Offering a truly comprehensive payout service requires a global financial network with near-universal coverage. Can your organization facilitate cash pick-ups in Tonga, or direct deposit in Ireland—all in the local currency? Hyperwallet supports payout options in over 170 countries with more than 150 currencies to help our clients expand their own business empires.

Lesson #4: Get A Cool Uniform

Brand recognition is important to every organization, and the Galactic Empire is no different. With their signature grayscale color scheme and their patented ‘always-miss’ blaster rifles, the Empire might just have the most recognizable brand in the galaxy. From Alderaan to Dagobah, when you run into the Empire, you know it—but branding on that scale isn’t cheap, and most organizations don’t have the spending power of an interplanetary government. As the cost of traditional advertising increases, companies are increasingly looking for new and unexpected ways to build their brands.

Commission payment firms, like Hyperwallet, are in a unique position to help organizations improve their marketing efforts. Checks, prepaid cards, online pay portals—all of these represent opportunities for companies to increase their brand visibility at a minimal cost. Hyperwallet offers branded payout options that help our clients build affinity with their payees, which can reduce workforce turnover. After all, who would ever leave a job with a uniform like this?

Lesson #5: Speak Alien Languages

C-3PO might not be the most popular character in the Star Wars universe, but the protocol droid does have one redeeming quality: he’s fluent in over six million forms of communication. That may sound excessive, but his mastery of the spoken word facilitates his rise to Ewok god-king and helps him convince the indigenous population of Endor to join the Rebel Alliance in their attack on the Empire. The tribal teddy bears prove to be bafflingly efficient warriors, playing a pivotal role in disabling the Death Star’s shield generator—this, in turn, allows Lando and a small Rebel squadron to breach the battle station’s defenses and destroy it from the inside. So, in a roundabout sort of way, C-3PO is responsible for toppling the Galactic Empire.

Who knew C-3PO had so much to do with improving worker payouts? Click To Tweet

The lesson? Multilinguality is nothing to sneeze at. Our world is becoming increasingly interconnected, work is continuing to decentralize, and the number of worldwide organizations supported by globally dispersed workforces is growing. These companies are sending commissions and earnings to people who speak a wide range of languages, and they need a payout provider with comprehensive, multilingual customer support. Yeah, six million languages might be overdoing it—but just remember that not everyone speaks Galactic Basic.

Together We Can Rule The Galaxy Develop A Better Payout Process

Of course, there’s a lot more to providing a comprehensive outbound payment experience than the points I’ve listed here. If I know Star Wars—and I like to think that I do—I’d wager that we can squeeze out some more parallels between the films and the payments industry. If you feel so inclined, hit me with your own comparisons in the comments below and help me continue to get paid to talk about Star Wars.

If there’s one final point I’d like to convey, it’s that global payouts are complex—like, say, the Force. Bear with me. Luke was always in tune with the Force (after all, the Force is strong in his family) but it wasn’t until he had guidance from Ben Kenobi that he was able to truly unlock his potential. Without Ben, he’s just some whiny moisture farmer from Tatooine. Point being, sometimes even great people—or great companies—need a little help from an expert to take things to the next level.

Hyperwallet wants to be the Ben Kenobi of your company’s outbound payments. Reach out to a Hyperwallet representative today and learn how we can improve your payout process. Heck, you can even call us Obi Wan, if that makes it more magical for you. It’s a name we’ve not heard in a long time…

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