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Freelancers can benefit from quicker and safer payments

by Mark Mwongela: Sales Development Director at PayPal, for Africa
The growing acceptance amongst local and global businesses for remote and gig economy workers, offering short-term, or on demand employment opportunities is helping freelancers to grow and expand their business. This trend is also pertinent in South Africa, as freelancers can offer a range of services, including web development, graphic design, copywriting, and virtual assistance, among others. They can be hired by clients from all over the world via online platforms, such as Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer, or through their personal websites or referrals.

In addition, local freelancers offer competitive rates, compared to many other countries, while still providing high-quality work on time. Another advantage is that South Africans are fluent in English, which is a widely used language in international business.

Freelancing is certainly a liberating way of working, but it comes with its fair share of challenges – just like all industries. From the fluctuating income, unpredictable workloads to the constant struggle of managing administrative tasks, legal and contractual terms of work, whilst also managing to get paid for the work completed. Freelancers must navigate a tricky path to success. The issue of payment terms is especially critical, with every project and industry having its unique demands.

In an informal poll conducted recently among South African freelance groups on LinkedIn and Facebook, we tested freelancers’ biggest pain-points when it comes to payment. The choices were:
  • Payment disputes – the client not paying for the work delivered;
  • Payment delays – not getting access to funds immediately;
  • Payment security – when using new or unfamiliar payment methods;
  • Payment fees – some methods charge a % of the transaction fee.
152 freelancers responded to the poll, with 55% stating that payment delays are the biggest issue when it comes to payment, followed by 37% selecting payment disputes as the second biggest issue. What’s more is only 5% selected payment security, and only 3% selected payment as a pain-point when it comes to being paid.

Cashflow - and easy access to their money - is especially important for freelancers, and getting paid in a timely manner for their work would help in keeping a steady or predictable income.

Therefore, it is particularly important to select a payment method which offers benefits to both the freelancer as well as the client, as it increases the likelihood of seamless transactions. Global leaders like PayPal provide a seamless and fully integrated payment platform where freelancers can receive payments quickly and easily, with funds typically available for withdrawal or transfer within minutes. It also includes other services like invoicing templates, a personalised PayPal.Me link to be shared with clients via text, email, or messaging app to get paid quickly, and Seller Protection on eligible transactions. PayPal is a widely used and familiar payment method worldwide, making it easy for freelancers to receive payments from clients all over the world.

For clients, PayPal is an easy and convenient way to make payments to freelancers, as it eliminates the need for manual payment methods such as bank transfers or cheques. Furthermore, it is a secure payment method that uses encryption to protect users' financial information and offers peace of mind with buyer protection on eligible transactions in situations such as if the freelancer fails to deliver the agreed-upon work.

In summary, PayPal can provide a secure and efficient way for clients to pay freelancers, and for freelancers to receive payment for their work. Its ease of use, low fees, and dispute resolution services make it a popular choice for both parties.
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