With more and more people taking control over their hours, the future of work is looking vastly different than it did before the pandemic.
So, it comes as no surprise that with the rise of the gig economy, more and more companies are deciding to hire freelancers.
The gig economy is not a new phenomenon. In fact, the term was coined in 2009 and refers to the growing population of workers who have decided to move away from their traditional roles as W-2 employees and instead take on short-term specialty projects with companies.
As the popularity of the gig economy continues to grow, so does the number of freelancers. It is projected that in 2027, 86.5 million people will be freelancing in the United States and will make up 50.9% of the total U.S. workforce.
In this article, we’ll look at the best alternatives to paying your freelancers and gig workers, and how to measure your success.
An Easy Way to Pay Freelancers
As global business continues to expand, you may find that some freelancers are international. Fear not! An alternative to paying freelancers directly lies in online payment platforms. These freelance payment methods are in a highly-diluted market, so it’s important to keep your payment options open.
Here are a few different payment systems to consider:
Bill.com is a cloud-based payment gateway that helps to manage cash inflows and outflows. The brand offers simple integrations for all your payment needs from accounting to invoicing, money transfers, and expense management.
- Send wires to influencers in over 137 different countries
- Intuitive approval-routing platform to simplify the invoice and checkout approval process
- The system prints and mails checks or pays electronically on a set schedule
Bill.com is invoicing software that specifically targets small businesses and the SMB market. The brand is seeking to persuade companies to process payments digitally and replace the typical bank transfer for freelancer payments.
- Improves upon the accounts payable and accounts receivable processes
- Complements QuickBooks and other popular fintech integrations
- Easy to enter invoices, track bills, and research updates in a central dashboard
- Customer service can be a little difficult to reach
- Money can be held for a long time in the account for security purposes
- Little room for report customization or in-depth payment analysis
Organizations that send ACH payments through Bill.com pay 49 cents per transaction. Subscriptions range from $45 to $80 (USD) a month depending on your business size and needs.
PayPal has now become a major player in the B2B financial services space since the company started in 2003. The platform helps to pay TikTok freelancers all over the world and offers a variety of payment methods from global ACH to credit cards, debit cards, wire transfers, and EFTs.
- Mobile app to manage entire payments system on the go
- Financial data is kept secure in your PayPal account using sophisticated encryption
- Pay across 203 global markets without the need to convert currency
PayPal is available in more than 200 countries and supports 25 currencies. The brand services everyone from startups to SMBs, freelance marketplaces (like Upwork and Fiverr), and enterprise 500 companies.
- Recurring monthly payments set to automatically send
- Easy to use dashboard with a small learning curve
- No transaction amount limit, with a mass payments option
- Compared to other platforms, PayPal business fees can be high
- There can be long delays in sending and receiving funds
- It can be very difficult to get ahold of customer service
A PayPal basic account is always free, but online invoicing and other features will cost you. A PayPal business account starts at $30/month with a transaction fee of 3.49% +$0.49 per transaction. PayPal credit card transactions also have a different fee.
QuickBooks is also an alternative to paying freelancers the old-fashioned way. It’s available in both a desktop and online version, each offering slightly different features, templates, and pricing. The basic plan allows for unlimited invoices and estimates, expense tracking, data import/backup, and much more.
- It can be used for bookkeeping, payments, accounting, payroll, and budgeting
- Maintain live data across different systems, locations, and freelancers
- Reporting is in-depth and easy to navigate
QuickBooks is most often used by companies with 10-50 employees and $1-10 million in revenue looking for PayPal alternatives.
- Includes free data backup and customer support
- Easy to use with a large video library for instruction
- Third-party app integration for AP and AR automation
- System can be glitchy and support is not much help
- QuickBooks Online lacks industry-specific editions
- Can only support a maximum of 25 users for QBO (and 40 for Desktop)
QuickBooks Online plans start at $25/month. The Plus plan is $75/month and the Advanced plan will cost you $150/month. Rates for QuickBooks Desktop will vary as well.
Stripe is an online payment processor that is one of the best alternatives to PayPal. The brand offers custom APIs for mobile apps and ecommerce companies. The platform accepts multiple currencies and over 135 different payment methods. Stripe integrates with a variety of finance apps and is the best solution for running an online business.
- Available in 46 countries, including 5 countries where Stripe has invite-only service
- Quick transfer of funds to bank account with an instant email notification
- Endless integrations and API settings that cover all sorts of financial features
Stripe is a payment solution that any company can use to scale. Their target market includes both small startups and enterprise giants looking for fast and efficient payment services.
- The majority of e-commerce software already supports Stripe
- Intuitive dashboard that’s easy to use with full of features
- Instant Payouts (for a one-time fee)
- The platform does not support high-risk industries
- Not useful for traditional brick-and-mortar stores
- May need a software developer to integrate the API
There is a 2.9% + 30 cents fee per transaction. There is also an option to customize your solution with different price offerings depending on your needs.
Additional Freelance Payment Platforms to Check Out
- Wise (formerly Transferwise)
Enhancing the Payment Experience
In addition to the payment platforms above, there are tools available to streamline the freelancer payment process further and free up more time for value-based tasks. One of those is Lumanu.
If you want to really enhance the freelancer payment experience, solutions like Lumanu work in conjunction with big brands (like the ones above) to simplify the entire process.
While you focus on selling products and promoting your brand, Lumanu handles all the tedious onboarding, taxes, and influencer payments needed to keep the train in motion.
Plus, you can get access to instant working capital that spurs growth and enables you to invest more resources in other areas of your business.
- Pay influencers outside of the US at mid-market exchange rates
- Plugs directly into your existing AP/AR system
- Freelancers can access the EarlyPay feature to get paid ahead of the invoice due date
- Automated whitelisting to access influencer handles in seconds and hyper-target customers
Lumanu is an advanced solution where a business can manage payouts, access working capital, and gain advertising permissions in a single space. It’s truly an alternative to paying freelancers that is ahead of the game.
Unlike most of the options above, Lumanu plans start at free with zero processing fees.
The Business Lite plan is $99/month to streamline payables, send invoices, and accept payments. The Business Pro plan is $299/month and includes everything in the Lite plan, as well as mass payments, cash advances, and third-party integrations.
Ready, Set, Go!
Don’t hesitate. If you blink, they’ll be another platform with more competition. There are already 70 million freelancers today. The future of work is not rushing in, rather, it’s been here for years.
The easiest way to pay these freelancers is through an online payment platform that can handle the entire process for you. If you already employ a system like QuickBooks or Bill.com, Lumanu is the next step in successful business automation. They handle all the influencer payments so your freelancers stay happy, your audience engaged, and your employees inspired.
Schedule a demo to learn how you can use Lumanu as an alternative to paying freelancers today.