Why Getting Paid as a Freelancer Sucks

Nov 8, 2018

Why, for freelancers, getting paid still sucks

In the good old days, if you weren’t on the company payroll, you fed your family with the cash you got handed, or a bank note if you were feeling fancy. Even in the older days, back when freelancers carried lances, getting paid meant marching to where the money is and praying for payday.

Throughout the whole history of freelancing, there has never been anything good about the old ways of getting paid, and all that time, the old ways have changed very little. Today, freelancers represent a third of the workforce and a bright spot in the economy. And yet the old-and-not-so-good ways of getting paid are still a regular, if not daily, pain in the ass for the self-made folk who make up the freelancing population.

PYMNTS.com released some research earlier this year that revealed the sad reality that many solopreneurs and small businesses face today.

How they get paid still sucks.

Cheque, please? No, thanks.

The research found that nearly half of gig workers dealing directly with consumers still get paid in cash, and more than four in 10 still get paid by cheque. Well, if this news shocked you, you can roll your tongue back in a little bit: at least some kind of digital solution was still in the mix for these side hustlers.

Nearly half of gig workers dealing directly with consumers still get paid in cash, and more than four in 10 still get paid by cheque

More than a third said they try to use Paypal transfers to get paid. No huge surprise that the legacy leader of online payments would be in there somewhere. The real question though is whether that’s actually a good thing for these freelancers.

When every payment you’re expecting comes with a built-in three- to five-day delay, is the platform really doing you a favour?

Those freelancers dealing directly with another business reported often getting paid by direct deposit, which may sound simple or familiar, but it means waiting even longer for the money you earned to come through, likely until the company’s next payroll cycle.

So when you make your money on your own, getting paid sucks because it costs you time.

Time to get to a bank during business hours, with all your cheques from the week or that awkward wad of cash you’ve been carrying around. Days of watching for that cha-ching email notification or weeks of waiting for a corporate envelope in the mail.

What else could getting paid cost you, aside from time? Oh yeah, money.

You shouldn’t have to pay, and pay, and pay to get paid

It’s no secret that big corporations get big advantages simply by being bigger.

Financial service fees get lower when you have large needs and larger negotiating leverage. Hardware gets cheaper when you can buy in bulk. A finance department handling thousands of transactions over years and years wins efficiencies of scale and expense that one person building a business on their own simply cannot fathom.

But building a business from scratch brings its own advantages. It means having the opportunity to grow smart and stay lean.

So what kinds of costs and expenses will a freelancer face when setting themselves up to receive payments? And what money traps should they hope to avoid along the way?

Well, first you’ll need a platform for payments, some way of accepting and processing the transaction, plus a system for keeping track of how much has come in.

A cash register, piggy bank or a safe might play the same role — if you were an all-cash business and Elvis was still on tour.

Since you’re reading this in the 21st century, you know that in order to do business with the average human being, you’ll need to be able to accept credit or debit cards.

Here, you could take the traditional route and invest in a credit card machine and the necessary accounts to back it up. Buying the classic credit card hardware outright will cost you several hundred dollars, or you could rent one for a ongoing monthly fee. Supporting this usually takes a merchant account, separate from your normal business bank account, where the transactions are settled, which also carries its own set of fees.

Or you could sign up for something like Square and take a more digital route, paying with every swipe or tap according to whatever fee scheme, but only after paying for the hardware that makes reading the card possible. This could be a dongle costing a dozen dollars a pop, or a digital POS terminal that will ding you at least three figures.

No matter what mish-mash of hardware and software you piece together to let you read cards, process payments, digitally track them and finally get the funds to your business coffers, we are talking about costs upon costs, both upfront and recurring, sometimes from a hodge-podge of providers.

And that’s not even getting into what you’ll need to pay to be prepared for when the terminal breaks, or when the card reader gets finicky.

You deserve a POS, not a P.O.S.

A constant headache is a constant problem when it’s bringing down the head at the head of the company. Freelancers, contractors, entrepreneurs, I’m looking at you. You know that nothing rolls in your business unless you’re pushing it, so nagging frictions that might otherwise be just a nuisance actually strike at the heart of your business’s productivity when it’s you they are nagging.

If you’re getting frustrated with replacing card readers, or tired of holding your clients’ hands through complicated payment processes, that’s your CEO getting frustrated and tired, and you’ll soon see the impacts of that reflected throughout the business. You got into this side hustle because loved it, right? So it’s bound to suffer when something starts sucking the joy out of it.

Freelancers need a solution that makes the full process of getting paid, start to finish, consistently simple and reliably consistent.

Spending hours of your week running to the bank to deposit cheques and cash? Those are hours when your most important employee is not doing the work that makes the money flow and the business grow.

That’s why the solution to this old story of payment pains needs to not only save you, the freelancer, the time it takes to get the money into your account  — it also needs to serve as a big fat Tylenol liquid gel for all the headaches both you and your clients have gotten used to encountering along the way.

Freelancers need a solution that makes the full process of getting paid, start to finish, consistently simple and reliably consistent.

Don’t freak out: there’s real danger to deal with too

Hate to break it to you: getting setup to accept payments for your freelance business means dealing with more than annoyances, inefficiencies or even expenses. There are real dangers to face too, and taking the wrong shortcuts with your payments could expose you every time you get paid.

Fraud is a real, everyday risk for basically every business that makes money. The evolution of technology, the online-ification of our world, and the rise of hacking that natural followed have proven to be a perfect recipe for multiplying the number of ways money and sensitive information can be stolen from you.

It’s happening more often than ever, too. Since 2012, research shows the average number of fraud attempts per month has grown by nearly 400 per cent, to more than 600 per month today.

As of 2018, after sharp increases in recent years, the hit that retail merchants take from fraudulent transactions now represents an unprecedented 1.8 per cent of revenues. Compare that to the 2-point-something that merchants typically lose to transaction fees, and it’s clear that crime not only pays, but takes a respectable cut.

Whoop-dee-doo, what does it all mean, Basil? It means that starting a business isn’t enough anymore. You have to know how to protect it.

It means that settling for a payments platform that’s simple and straightforward (or maybe just cheap) isn’t enough anymore. You need something that’s not just reliable enough to push the transaction through. You need a platform that’s smart and secure, that helps you separate tainted transactions from trustworthy ones.

In the world of finance and payments, where regulations and compliance reign supreme, you also need to make sure that you yourself are following the rules. This world comes with a raft of legal musts meant to fight fraud, money laundering, and more.

That means, the minute you start accept card payments, you have to know the regulations that are in-play and how you’ll set up your procedures to follow them. Compliance will become, if not your new best friend, then maybe a slightly annoying sibling who you let follow you around because they can actually prove pretty handy.

Your best friend, in fact will be PCI DSS. It stands for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and it’s the leading standard for how best to handle credit cards to ensure security. Start studying on what PCI DSS entails and you’ll get a good taste for what best practices to follow.

Better yet, choose a payments platform that follows them for you.

Getting paid doesn’t have to be painful

The history of freelancing is an ancient saga of people getting paid in the most time-consuming, resource-eating, inconsistent and inconvenient ways.

That ends now.

The independents of the world have been calling out for a modern way to get paid that’s big on speed, smooth in its simplicity, and never skimps on security.

Glance has answered.

Available now is Glance PayMe™, the mobile POS made for the modern freelancer, that puts in your pocket the full, flexible powers of the mobile payments revolution, and gets your earnings into your account by next business day.

Glance PayMe requires no separate payment processing and no extra hardware. There are no hidden fees, no need to buy back-up equipment, and no more days spent waiting with your money in limbo.

Glance PayMe delivers low fees (just  2.5% in Canada & 2.59% + 10¢ in the U.S.!) and a global network of businesses and consumers to put you on the map for your soon-to-be customers.

With a free download to your iOS device of choice, and a fast, easy setup, you can start immediately leveraging tools like our built-in loyalty and rewards program, digital invoice tracking, and big data analytics.

All these features and more combine to make the Glance PayMe mobile POS a pocket-sized powerhouse for building your business.

And, with the top-performing security systems for which Glance Technologies has become known, you can sleep easy knowing you are not accepting risk every time you should be accepting funds.

Is payday a burden as much as a boost? Is the slow, clunky way you’re getting paid holding your self-made business back?

Download Glance PayMe for free for iOS and start getting paid today with fast and easy setup, no added hardware, and no more payments bottleneck holding you back.

Geoff & Marion, The Glance Blog Team

 

Why, for freelancers, getting paid still sucks

In the good old days, if you weren’t on the company payroll, you fed your family with the cash you got handed, or a bank note if you were feeling fancy. Even in the older days, back when freelancers carried lances, getting paid meant marching to where the money is and praying for payday.

Throughout the whole history of freelancing, there has never been anything good about the old ways of getting paid, and all that time, the old ways have changed very little. Today, freelancers represent a third of the workforce and a bright spot in the economy. And yet the old-and-not-so-good ways of getting paid are still a regular, if not daily, pain in the ass for the self-made folk who make up the freelancing population.

PYMNTS.com released some research earlier this year that revealed the sad reality that many solopreneurs and small businesses face today.

How they get paid still sucks.

Cheque, please? No, thanks.

The research found that nearly half of gig workers dealing directly with consumers still get paid in cash, and more than four in 10 still get paid by cheque. Well, if this news shocked you, you can roll your tongue back in a little bit: at least some kind of digital solution was still in the mix for these side hustlers.

Nearly half of gig workers dealing directly with consumers still get paid in cash, and more than four in 10 still get paid by cheque

More than a third said they try to use Paypal transfers to get paid. No huge surprise that the legacy leader of online payments would be in there somewhere. The real question though is whether that’s actually a good thing for these freelancers.

When every payment you’re expecting comes with a built-in three- to five-day delay, is the platform really doing you a favour?

Those freelancers dealing directly with another business reported often getting paid by direct deposit, which may sound simple or familiar, but it means waiting even longer for the money you earned to come through, likely until the company’s next payroll cycle.

So when you make your money on your own, getting paid sucks because it costs you time.

Time to get to a bank during business hours, with all your cheques from the week or that awkward wad of cash you’ve been carrying around. Days of watching for that cha-ching email notification or weeks of waiting for a corporate envelope in the mail.

What else could getting paid cost you, aside from time? Oh yeah, money.

You shouldn’t have to pay, and pay, and pay to get paid

It’s no secret that big corporations get big advantages simply by being bigger.

Financial service fees get lower when you have large needs and larger negotiating leverage. Hardware gets cheaper when you can buy in bulk. A finance department handling thousands of transactions over years and years wins efficiencies of scale and expense that one person building a business on their own simply cannot fathom.

But building a business from scratch brings its own advantages. It means having the opportunity to grow smart and stay lean.

So what kinds of costs and expenses will a freelancer face when setting themselves up to receive payments? And what money traps should they hope to avoid along the way?

Well, first you’ll need a platform for payments, some way of accepting and processing the transaction, plus a system for keeping track of how much has come in.

A cash register, piggy bank or a safe might play the same role — if you were an all-cash business and Elvis was still on tour.

Since you’re reading this in the 21st century, you know that in order to do business with the average human being, you’ll need to be able to accept credit or debit cards.

Here, you could take the traditional route and invest in a credit card machine and the necessary accounts to back it up. Buying the classic credit card hardware outright will cost you several hundred dollars, or you could rent one for a ongoing monthly fee. Supporting this usually takes a merchant account, separate from your normal business bank account, where the transactions are settled, which also carries its own set of fees.

Or you could sign up for something like Square and take a more digital route, paying with every swipe or tap according to whatever fee scheme, but only after paying for the hardware that makes reading the card possible. This could be a dongle costing a dozen dollars a pop, or a digital POS terminal that will ding you at least three figures.

No matter what mish-mash of hardware and software you piece together to let you read cards, process payments, digitally track them and finally get the funds to your business coffers, we are talking about costs upon costs, both upfront and recurring, sometimes from a hodge-podge of providers.

And that’s not even getting into what you’ll need to pay to be prepared for when the terminal breaks, or when the card reader gets finicky.

You deserve a POS, not a P.O.S.

A constant headache is a constant problem when it’s bringing down the head at the head of the company. Freelancers, contractors, entrepreneurs, I’m looking at you. You know that nothing rolls in your business unless you’re pushing it, so nagging frictions that might otherwise be just a nuisance actually strike at the heart of your business’s productivity when it’s you they are nagging.

If you’re getting frustrated with replacing card readers, or tired of holding your clients’ hands through complicated payment processes, that’s your CEO getting frustrated and tired, and you’ll soon see the impacts of that reflected throughout the business. You got into this side hustle because loved it, right? So it’s bound to suffer when something starts sucking the joy out of it.

Freelancers need a solution that makes the full process of getting paid, start to finish, consistently simple and reliably consistent.

Spending hours of your week running to the bank to deposit cheques and cash? Those are hours when your most important employee is not doing the work that makes the money flow and the business grow.

That’s why the solution to this old story of payment pains needs to not only save you, the freelancer, the time it takes to get the money into your account  — it also needs to serve as a big fat Tylenol liquid gel for all the headaches both you and your clients have gotten used to encountering along the way.

Freelancers need a solution that makes the full process of getting paid, start to finish, consistently simple and reliably consistent.

Don’t freak out: there’s real danger to deal with too

Hate to break it to you: getting setup to accept payments for your freelance business means dealing with more than annoyances, inefficiencies or even expenses. There are real dangers to face too, and taking the wrong shortcuts with your payments could expose you every time you get paid.

Fraud is a real, everyday risk for basically every business that makes money. The evolution of technology, the online-ification of our world, and the rise of hacking that natural followed have proven to be a perfect recipe for multiplying the number of ways money and sensitive information can be stolen from you.

It’s happening more often than ever, too. Since 2012, research shows the average number of fraud attempts per month has grown by nearly 400 per cent, to more than 600 per month today.

As of 2018, after sharp increases in recent years, the hit that retail merchants take from fraudulent transactions now represents an unprecedented 1.8 per cent of revenues. Compare that to the 2-point-something that merchants typically lose to transaction fees, and it’s clear that crime not only pays, but takes a respectable cut.

Whoop-dee-doo, what does it all mean, Basil? It means that starting a business isn’t enough anymore. You have to know how to protect it.

It means that settling for a payments platform that’s simple and straightforward (or maybe just cheap) isn’t enough anymore. You need something that’s not just reliable enough to push the transaction through. You need a platform that’s smart and secure, that helps you separate tainted transactions from trustworthy ones.

In the world of finance and payments, where regulations and compliance reign supreme, you also need to make sure that you yourself are following the rules. This world comes with a raft of legal musts meant to fight fraud, money laundering, and more.

That means, the minute you start accept card payments, you have to know the regulations that are in-play and how you’ll set up your procedures to follow them. Compliance will become, if not your new best friend, then maybe a slightly annoying sibling who you let follow you around because they can actually prove pretty handy.

Your best friend, in fact will be PCI DSS. It stands for the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and it’s the leading standard for how best to handle credit cards to ensure security. Start studying on what PCI DSS entails and you’ll get a good taste for what best practices to follow.

Better yet, choose a payments platform that follows them for you.

Getting paid doesn’t have to be painful

The history of freelancing is an ancient saga of people getting paid in the most time-consuming, resource-eating, inconsistent and inconvenient ways.

That ends now.

The independents of the world have been calling out for a modern way to get paid that’s big on speed, smooth in its simplicity, and never skimps on security.

Glance has answered.

Available now is Glance PayMe™, the mobile POS made for the modern freelancer, that puts in your pocket the full, flexible powers of the mobile payments revolution, and gets your earnings into your account by next business day.

Glance PayMe requires no separate payment processing and no extra hardware. There are no hidden fees, no need to buy back-up equipment, and no more days spent waiting with your money in limbo.

Glance PayMe delivers low fees (just  2.5% in Canada & 2.59% + 10¢ in the U.S.!) and a global network of businesses and consumers to put you on the map for your soon-to-be customers.

With a free download to your iOS device of choice, and a fast, easy setup, you can start immediately leveraging tools like our built-in loyalty and rewards program, digital invoice tracking, and big data analytics.

All these features and more combine to make the Glance PayMe mobile POS a pocket-sized powerhouse for building your business.

And, with the top-performing security systems for which Glance Technologies has become known, you can sleep easy knowing you are not accepting risk every time you should be accepting funds.

Is payday a burden as much as a boost? Is the slow, clunky way you’re getting paid holding your self-made business back?

Download Glance PayMe for free for iOS and start getting paid today with fast and easy setup, no added hardware, and no more payments bottleneck holding you back.

Geoff & Marion, The Glance Blog Team

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