Freelance Workers Embrace Digital Payments

2032The way Americans get paid is changing. Where people used to get a paper check every two weeks, more and more workers now receive direct deposits that are automatically delivered to their bank accounts. For freelancers, however, getting paid has always been a little more complicated.

A recent survey by, a digital business payments company, showed that workers in the so-called “gig economy” still struggle to get paid reliably and conveniently, and therefore are embracing digital payments—even insisting on them in some cases.

Over 50 percent of these workers are still paid by check, 54 percent say it takes “too long” to get paid, 45 percent complain that clients don’t pay when they’re supposed to, and 30 percent say that processing fees charged by credit cards or payment services pose a problem.

“Small businesses struggle with cash flow, and self-employed professionals are no exception,” says Liz Steblay, founder and CEO of the Professional Independent Consultants of America (PICA). “Most corporations have payment terms of 45 days or even 60, which is brutal when you’re self-employed.”

Steblay says many clients still pay with paper checks, which adds even more time to the payment process. “With more and more professionals becoming self-employed, the companies that offer faster, more reliable payments will win the best talent.”

A better way to get paid

Faster and more reliable payments are exactly what digital technology can offer. The benefits of digital payments include quick, fee-free processing, and greater convenience than a check can offer.

Since 41 percent of more than 1,400 freelancers surveyed said that fast processing was their top priority, it makes sense that digital payments are their preferred way to get paid. Twenty-four percent said their top priority was no-fee processing, and 16 percent said they just wanted to be paid without a hassle.

The survey also found that 86 percent of freelancers prefer to receive digital payments, and 41 percent actually require it of clients. Nine percent of respondents said they’d lost clients because they could not pay them digitally, and digital payments are so important to them that they were okay with losing out on that business. Sixty-three percent of freelancers said they feel more valued when they’re paid digitally, and 81 percent said customers who pay digitally are more likely to pay them on time.

Digital payments can easily be applied to debit cards, mobile wallets, or prepaid cards, making them a seamless way to handle finances.

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