Not all homeowners are skilled at installing new faucets, mounting televisions on walls or thoroughly cleaning their homes, and many hire home services professionals to accomplish these tasks. Finding a trusted handyperson who is skilled enough to tackle a job can be a hassle, though. Consumers must often scour online reviews before they can find a trustworthy professional, negotiate a price and schedule an appointment. After the service is complete, customers must often use cash or checks to pay these home service professionals.
To circumvent these hurdles, several marketplaces, like TaskRabbit, Takl and Nextdoor, have emerged to help homeowners get in touch with handypersons via their smartphones. In addition to giving consumers on-demand access to home service professionals, these marketplaces give workers on-demand access to their wages. Workers who have completed a job can request that their earnings be instantly deposited into their bank accounts or disbursed to a debit card instead of waiting a week or longer during a payroll cycle.
One such platform is Handy, which was founded in 2012 and allows users to hire housekeepers, plumbers, electricians and others. It also gives professionals several payment options, including on-demand access to wages. Handy's CEO, Oisin Hanrahan, recently spoke to PYMNTS about how these workers can enjoy greater career flexibility through faster access to funds.
“It really does change the way in which people think about earning money,” Hanrahan said. “The fact that you have the ability to draw down money very quickly really empowers [workers] to think in a more structured way about [their] financial lives.”
A Handier Way To Get Paid
Homeowners are not the only ones affected by unexpected expenses. Home repair professionals who encounter unexpected expenses, such as vehicle issues or fixes of their own, often cannot afford to wait for a weekly pay cycle to get their funds. Providing these workers with same-day disbursement to their bank accounts can help them remain on steady financial footing, Hanrahan said, and it’s imperative for on-demand platforms to offer more flexible payout options.
Handy accomplishes this by enabling workers to get paid not just through weekly direct deposits, but also with two faster payout options. The company’s Cash Out Now service offers workers on-demand access to their earnings, with funds disbursed to their accounts on the same day they are requested, while Cash Out Daily allows workers to access funds within 24 hours of completing a job. Disbursements are deposited directly into workers’ bank accounts or to their debit cards.
On-demand wage access is proving popular with home services professionals, and Handy reports that 30 to 40 percent of its users utilize the Cash Out Now option during any given week. Hanrahan pointed out that Handy professionals range from those who are primary caregivers to college students who must balance work and school duties, which means they value flexible fund access.
“They’ve got the ability to earn money wherever they want, whenever they want,” he said. “That gives them flexibility to do other things in their lives.”
Taking Friction Out Of The Handyperson Hiring Process
Hanrahan explained that connecting professionals and customers can prove to be a clunky and friction-filled experience for both parties. Handypersons, including independent contractors and small business owners, often have to decide whether to buy advertising or leads to find new business opportunities. The hiring process also presents challenges for customers, who might have to seek services online, check referrals and sometimes negotiate final prices for certain jobs. Customers also have to determine whether professionals wish to be paid by cash, check or credit card.
Digital platforms are removing these frictions by helping homeowners and professionals more easily find each other. They also simplify the payments process by removing cash, checks and negotiations from the equation. Instead, consumers can enter their credit card information, schedule appointments and approve payments, and funds are disbursed to the workers when the job is done.
It’s not just consumers who are turning to these platforms, either. Hanrahan stated that Handy is partnering with well-known brands, including Walmart and Wayfair, to offer consumers the opportunity to schedule services when they purchase items online that require assembly. According to Hanrahan, these retail partnerships can benefit both consumers and professionals.
“[For consumers], we’re really solving the problem of how you find service professionals you can trust and transact with in a clear, transparent and crisp way,” he said. “For pros, the problem we’re [solving] is, how do you find work at a time [and place] that you want ... and a price point you’re OK to work with, in a flexible way?”
This flexibility can help professionals find jobs and assignments that best fit their needs and schedules, while tapping into a market that is valued at approximately $400 billion, by some accounts. Solutions like Handy offer consumers a simpler way to find and transact with handypersons, and home services workers are likely to find that on-demand wages can help them keep their finances in order.