The gig economy is rapidly becoming more attractive to more professionals worldwide: 68 percent of all gig workers joined this economy in the last five years, for example. These workers appreciate the flexibility ad hoc work brings to their schedules, but the less structured nature of the work can also mean facing certain payments challenges.
Many of these workers want to be paid as quickly as possible, something that is not always easy when a client is based in a market outside of their own. Cross-border payments come with their own challenges attached, even without taking into account the additional complexity of freelancer invoices and personalized payment needs, but companies relying on an increasingly global workforce need to adopt solutions to meet their needs.
In the latest Gig Economy Tracker®, PYMNTS examines how companies are responding to recent shifts in freelancer payment behavior, and what tools and technologies they are using to keep ad hoc workers satisfied. The Tracker also analyzes recent regulatory shifts and how they are impacting freelancers and businesses alike.
Around The Gig Economy Payments World
Firms such as OutVoice are looking to support freelancers seeking faster payments by linking the act of payment to the act of publishing. The company’s solution works by implementing its software directly into companies’ content management systems to make payments as quickly as possible. Freelance writers who are submitting stories will thus receive funds as soon as their content is published on the companies’ site. The aim of the solution is to eliminate some of the costly delays that can frustrate ad hoc workers, who often have to track down late or missing payments from past clients while they are working on their future projects.
Another way that firms could potentially mitigate some of the struggles with freelancer payments is through the introduction of technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). Using AI can give these companies a better view of their outgoing payments and make it easier for them to manage international payments that come attached with currency conversions and other points of friction. The use of such technologies could also help to eliminate some of the paperwork attached to freelancer invoicing, another factor that lengthens the payment cycle.
Payment challenges remain a top priority for both companies and their ad hoc workers, but changing regulations remain another major concern for many. California’s Assembly Bill 5, or the gig economy bill, is continuing to see controversy over its rule changes months after it first came into effect in January 2020. One of the amendments proposed by this rule that has seen much debate concerns how much freelancers are able to submit to one single publication, something many freelancers are still protesting against. This aspect of the bill is still seeing arguments from lawmakers who want to shift its rules slightly to add more benefits to freelancers.
For more on these and other stories, visit the Tracker’s News & Trends.
The sharing economy is entering new areas and industries, including those that typically have high costs attached, such as moving services. Customers moving from one home to another are used to hiring expensive full-scale movers, but hiring gig workers instead could help to better manage costs. Those ad hoc movers still expect to be paid as quickly as possible, however, especially because many of them belong to younger generations that are very familiar with digital payments. That is why gig economy moving platform Bellhops is sending wages to its ad hoc workers using mobile technologies and digital direct deposit, CEO Luke Marklin said in a recent interview with PYMNTS. To learn more about how Bellhops is creating faster payments support to keep its workforce moving, visit the Tracker’s Feature Story.
Deep Dive: Examining Local Currency Struggles For Global Freelancers
Cross-border payments have always had its frictions, but with more businesses and workers collaborating across markets comes the pressure to confront these difficulties. Freelancers are increasingly likely to work with firms that may be based in other markets, but they still want to get paid in their local currencies. The companies that find themselves unable to support cross-border payments could see new strains in their relationships with freelancers who are expecting these payments to appear in their accounts as instantly as possible. Firms worldwide must therefore examine the challenges of cross-border payments and how they are able to tackle them to win the loyalty of global freelancers. To learn more about how payments in local currency could provide positive impacts to freelancers, visit the Tracker’s Deep Dive.
About The Tracker