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Freelancers Are Not Free, But 58% Have Experienced Not Being Paid According To Survey

In a statement released today (1 March 2018), a new study by online payments system PayPal has found that 58% of freelancers in four Southeast Asia (SEA) markets have experienced not being paid.

The four SEA markets are Singapore, Philippines, Indonesia, and Vietnam.

11,324 freelancers and “freelancers considerers” across 22 markets participated in PayPal’s Global Freelancer Survey in October 2017.

There were 1,602 participants who were from the four SEA markets.

Freelancers Not Being Taken Seriously By Clients

PayPal found the key reason that freelancers are not being paid is that they are not being taken seriously by clients.

In recent moves to empower freelancers, the tripartite workgroup (TWG) has came up with recommendations to address freelancers’ concerns, has shown that the gig economy is on the rise.

Results of a survey conducted by three of our local universities found that the proportion of fresh graduates who are choosing to do freelance work in Singapore is going up too.

Mr Rahul Shingal, Managing Director of PayPal Southeast Asia and Head of Merchant Support for PayPal APAC, said, “We are seeing more young people choosing to freelance as being your own boss offers more autonomy and flexibility than a nine-to-five job.”

“As they become integral to the global economy, it is critical for them to be accorded the same respect that other professionals receive. We should do more to elevate the standing of freelancers as a community and empower them in their autonomy,” he added.

Digital Payments Common For Freelancers

Digital payment platforms have allowed payments to transcend geographical borders and financial services landscape of the region.

The survey found that digital platforms allow freelancers to receive payments easily and conveniently, as well as enjoy “access to new assignments and work opportunities”.

Singaporean tech writer and blogger, Paul Mah who works closely with Content.co, explained, “For the freelance writer, it provides a well-defined process for requesting and making changes to scope of work, as well as for payments – the latter can sometimes entail pages of paperwork.”

“In addition, payment options can sometimes be critical for a freelancer in securing a job. […] If a freelancer says, ‘I accept PayPal,’ it becomes much more straightforward for the companies to make payment, and so they would be more inclined to give work to the freelancer.”

More than 85% of respondents preferred to withdraw funds using PayPal, and the platform was also cited as the most widely accepted payment method in Singapore at 76%.

The study also revealed that international clients prefer to pay with PayPal, with an average of 76% of payments from international clients made via PayPal, while domestic clients prefer bank transfers.

Featured Image Credit: Unsplash, @muhraufan

 

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