Bringing Cash Payouts To Freelancers, Globally

The age of the freelancer — the smallest of independent businesses — is upon us. MoneyGram and Hyperwallet are working together to speed payments to these independent earners across the globe, with an eye on the unbanked and underbanked.

Technology has done much to help level the playing field for businesses, both large and small, across borders, currencies and time zones. The paper check may be sticky beyond belief, but the tide eventually will turn toward payments that are flexible enough to be done in real time, in small amounts and at low cost.

Several areas within the B2B realm are ripe for such a transition, key among them payments between independent workers — individuals, really, and the firms that hire them for long-term, short-term or even piecemeal jobs. Hyperwallet, a payouts provider that covers the globe, facilitates payments to workers falling under this designation.

In an effort to streamline payment processing and the speed of getting money to the ultimate recipient globally, the firm has broadened its existing relationship with MoneyGram, a money transfer company.

Hyperwallet Chief Executive Officer Brent Warrington told PYMNTS that the extended relationship is a way for the company to “diversify the payout services we provide to the 8 million independent workers on our platform.” One way to broaden those services, he noted, is to incorporate cash pickup services as part of the payments continuum and where those cash pickups can be done at MoneyGram locations. Given the fact that MoneyGram has locations across 76 countries, said the executive, “this would be a great way to extend our reach to a broader worker base.”

With the transition to increased cash presence, Warrington stated, the numbers start to add up. “We know, for example, that if we only offer payments to bank accounts, this reaches near 3 billion people globally. That might sound like a wide reach, but many new economy companies need to pay workers who are unbanked or underbanked. By offering a range of other payment methods, including convenient cash pickup, we can extend this reach up to more than 7 billion people,” he told PYMNTS.

But the move to embrace such a redoubled market has its challenges, chief among them, said Warrington, the need for speed in getting payments, and eventually cash, into the hands of those who expect to be able to access those funds in a reliable manner. One edge to do that lies within the technology employed between Hyperwallet and MoneyGram, through an API, which the CEO said allows businesses across a gamut of industries to pay their workers.

Through its API, which was debuted and spotlighted by the company in the fall of 2015, companies paying their workers are able to build the Hyperwallet payout functionality into their own Web presence through both applications and portals. The company said last year that its annual processing is more than $5 billion across payouts, with bank deposits, prepaid and virtual cards and wire transfers, among other payments types.