37% of Freelancers Use Instant Payments to Ease Financial Stress

Life as a freelancer is not for the faint of heart. Freelancing often requires constant hustling, as these workers generally look for new projects even before current projects are completed.

And concerns about getting paid add to the aggravation. After all, people who work on a freelance, contract or consulting basis almost always operate in a cloud of uncertainty as they wait for their remittance to arrive.

This aggravation certainly explains why the average freelancer is 17% more likely than the average consumer to select instant payment options when it is time for their funds to be delivered. In fact, our data finds that 84% of freelancers would select instant payments if given the option, and nearly half say they would be willing to pay a fee in exchange for instantaneous payments.

chart, freelancer pay

These are just some of the findings included in PYMNTS Intelligence’s “Generation Instant: How Freelancers Use Instant Payments to Reduce Financial Hardship,” a report created in collaboration with Ingo Payments that explores the growing popularity of instant payments in the freelance community.

Ask the average consumer why they prefer instant payments and speed and convenience are the most common responses. (We know because we’ve asked them.) But when you ask freelancers and contract workers why they prefer instant payments, they are much more likely to say instant payments mean instant relief from financial angst.

As the accompanying chart illustrates, 37% of freelancers — 15% more than the sample average — say instant payments alleviate financial stress in their lives.

Other data points within the chart underscore the popularity of instant payments among freelancers. Thirty percent say instant access to their funds helps them keep pace with their bills, while 28% recognize instant payments are simply cheaper than other alternate payment methods, helping them save money. Twenty-three percent — 18% more than the average consumer — report that receiving funds instantly enables them to avoid borrowing money (and this also saves them money indirectly, because it means they aren’t accumulating interest on those loans).

Those who hire freelancers, contractors and consultants and want to ensure they stay on the payroll should take note: 89% of consumers who have done freelance work say they are very or extremely satisfied when they were paid instantly. That share is 10% higher than the satisfaction rate among those who were paid through non-instant means.

The high levels of interest and satisfaction among freelancers using instant payments suggests that popularity will only rise over time as the firms they work with catch on. Those choosing to pay freelancers only using traditional payment methods may find talent to be in short supply.