Freelance jobs platform Freelancer.com said it has found a way to eliminate the problem faced by many Filipino workers in the “gig economy” today — non-payment for services rendered to clients.
According to the 2017 PayPal Global Freelancer Insights Report on the Philippines, 43% of survey participants reported not getting paid for their services once or twice. Conducted in October 2017 by fintech firm PayPal and independent research body Netfluential, the survey looked into freelance job markets in 22 countries including the Philippines. Over 500 current and wannabe freelancers participated in the Philippine survey.
To help address this problem, Freelancer.com secures payments via its onsite Milestone Payment System. According to Freelancer.com vice president for international Sebastian Siseles, the Milestone Payment System allows the platform to become part of the payment process.
For example, a project involving the creation of a new logo for an overseas company is awarded to a graphic artist from the Philippines. The artist and the company or employer agree on $1,000 as total payment. For deliverables, the parties agree that the artist will submit a first draft and a final draft with 50% of the total amount to be paid upon approval of the first draft. The remaining 50% will be paid upon approval of the final draft.
The employer sends the initial $500 payment to Freelancer.com. The platform will notify the artist that the money is already available and therefore, he can begin working on the logo. For the meantime, Freelancer.com holds the money on escrow.
When the artist submits the first draft and the company approves it, the latter will instruct Freelancer.com to release the money to the artist.
Before the artist begins working on the next stage of the job, the employer will again send $500 to Freelancer.com. The process repeats itself until the final draft is approved and the money is released to the freelancer, thus completing the job assignment as well as the payment.
“It is safe for you because you know that as long as you work, you fulfill all the requirements and you comply with the deadlines, you will get the money. And [the employer] will know that if you don’t do work [which] you two agreed, I will give her the money back at no cost,” said Siseles.
Releasing of payments is done via wire transfer to the freelancer’s bank account or credit transfer to PayPal. “We are working with most of the worldwide payment gateways. If not, we can issue you with a debit card. It’s up to you,” Siseles added.
Freelancer.com has 30 million registered users and an average rate of $196 for jobs posted on the site.
The Philippines is the fourth highest ranking country in terms of number of users, with 1.1 million. Data entry clerks, PHP developers, graphic designers, Excel experts, and Photoshop designers are the five leading job categories for Filipino freelancers using the platform. Meanwhile, topping the list of leading employers or clients for local freelance workers are India, USA, Philippines, Australia, and UK.