Gig Economy

Mastercard, Stride Enable Portable Health Benefits To Gig Workers

Mastercard is working with portable benefits program Stride in order to help companies offer U.S. workers access to affordable healthcare plans, according to a press release emailed to PYMNTS.

The release stated this is the first time that "differentiated health, dental and vision benefits will be made available via a payments network." FinTech Mobility Capital Finance (MoCaFi) and Jobble are two of the first companies that will provide workers with healthcare through the partnership, the release stated.

The move is being made, according to the release, because of the need for accessible benefits among gig and independent economy workers, who don't often have them — alongside the flexibility to keep benefits as they change jobs.

Stride's portable benefits platform provides a marketplace of benefits, including access to health insurance, dental and vision insurance, discounted telemedicine and prescriptions, income and expense management tools, and tax withholding estimation and help, the release stated.

Users can customize their own preferences for tools and services, according to the release. There are also different packages for benefits depending on loyalty, engagement and productivity, among other criteria.

In 2021, Mastercard cardholders will be able to use their cards to pay for these benefits on Stride's platform, the release stated.

Mastercard said in the release that its involvement in the project is reflective of its commitment to financial inclusion and will be the start of several initiatives to provide gig workers with benefits. Other efforts being planned include insurance, financial management and education.

The gig economy has only expanded amid the pandemic. As it gains influence, payments choice will become increasingly important to retaining gig workers.

“Digital connectivity tools empower employees to work with companies around the globe on their own schedules, a development that partly explains why 68 percent of all gig workers joined this economy in the past five years,” PYMNTS reported. “The expanding sector must work to satisfy these workers’ payment needs, however, as companies may lack specific payment processes devoted to freelancers."

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