58% of Freelance and Contract Workers Would Pay to Get Paid Faster

freelancer with laptop

Consumer satisfaction with payment methods

Nearly three-quarters of consumers want their disbursements paid to them instantly, but only one-third actually receive them instantly.

Whether they are getting earnings, income payments, Social Security payments, tax refunds, insurance payments, loan disbursements or some other type of payout, PYMNTS Intelligence data found that nearly 75% of recipients want instant payouts. But availability can be a problem.

According to “Measuring Consumer Satisfaction With Instant Payouts,” when people get instant payouts, most are highly satisfied.

Seventy-eight percent of consumers are very or extremely satisfied when receiving disbursements via an instant payment, compared to 70% who said they are equally happy with non-instant payouts.

Satisfaction with instant payments is the highest for government disbursements, at 89% — 15 percentage points higher than the 74% of consumers who said they are pleased with non-instant government payouts. Similarly, 79% of those collecting income and earnings instantly reported satisfaction, a larger share than the 73% of consumers who are fine with non-instant methods. That consumers in both categories value instant more than non-instant payouts suggests payment issuers not offering an instant option may be missing out on a chance to solidify customer relationships.

Another dataset from the same report underscores how eager some consumer segments are to get paid instantly.

Some consumers are so enthusiastic about getting payment distributions quickly that many are willing to pay a fee in exchange for the privilege.

Willingness to pay for instant disbursements

This is especially true for those consumers who might be dependent on getting the money. More than 58% of consumers who are receiving payments for freelance, contract or consulting work said they would be willing to pay a fee to collect those earnings instantly. In contrast, 22% of those earning payouts in exchange for gig hospitality work are willing to do so, which indicates that those gig earnings might be so small that forfeiting a fee may not be worth it. On the other hand, 45% of renters said they would pay a fee in exchange for faster refunds, while one-third of those expecting some form of winnings said they would pay a fee to get their jackpot quickly.

Sixty-nine percent of consumers told PYMNTS Intelligence they are highly likely to continue working with a payment issuer if that issuer offers free instant payments. For comparison, 39% said they would maintain a working relationship with an issuer that offers multiple payment options but not an instant option.

The takeaway here is that a high percentage of customers and workers are willing to pay in exchange for instantaneous payments. If customer satisfaction or employee retention is the goal, then instant payouts might be worth considering.