We’re living in the gig economy – one where instead of being held down by one job, people distribute their tie between multiple jobs across multiple companies. While this has in many ways altered how businesses are run, the biggest issue is with payments. Gig workers may not be paid until days or even weeks later. This can create problems for those participating in the gig economy.
“Because the experience is so easy and smooth on the consumer side,” Mastercard SVP of Digital Payments Silvana Hernandez said, “it is easy to assume that the experience is just beautifully friction-free on the gig worker’s side when it comes to getting paid for that ride.
According to a recent study conducted by PYMNTS and Mastercard, of the 38.7% of the U.S. workforce engaged in the gig economy – particularly the 13.3& who live paycheck to paycheck and have no savings for emergencies – income instability and unpredictability create serious cash flow challenges.
“[We think] there is an opportunity to close the gap here and really match expectations – because the reality is these gig workers are also consumers,” Hernandez told Webster. “They expect to enjoy the exact same treatment they experience as consumers in their working lives, which means there is an opportunity to modernize the way these workers are being paid.”
In an attempt to seize the opportunity and solve the problem, Mastercard has launched an Early Pay Option for the Gig workers. Mastercard will be working in partnership with Evolve Bank & Trust and Branch to use the company’s push payment product, Mastercard Send, to enable early wage access.
“What we see in the broader perspective is that enabling optionality adds value,” she added. “When you restrict people – workers, consumers or businesses – to a certain method, you are always taking away flexibility. What we see is that just adding it as an option for the gig worker to use it when they need it is a huge value add.”