Freelancer Payment Woes Due To COVID-19

A study conducted from data of 1000s of freelancers. Delayed and Partial payments are becoming the norm. 

We studied the impact of COVID-19 on the freelance community. The study was conducted on the thousands of invoices managed on the platform. The key trends discovered in the study are related to payment delays for freelancers. 

Insights generated through this study are clearly showing the early signs of the impact on freelancers.

Domestic Payment Are Delayed A Little

Domestic invoice payment time for freelancers is up by about 26% from an average of 19 days earlier to 24 days now. 

Due to the uncertain flow of work, most freelancers live from cheque to cheque which takes a dent due to this sudden rise in payment clearing time.

International Payment Are Delayed Drastically

International payments are the worst hit. The average payment clearing time has gone up by more than 100%. It is taking almost 28 days to clear an international invoice, while it took only 13 days in the pre-COVID-19 era, until 28th Feb.

Major delays are being observed in Payments from US, UK, and Australia-based clients while Middle Eastern countries like UAE, and Qatar are not showing any major change in payment behavior. 

This has also to do with the delays in the banking system due to reduced staff and technical glitches. Thankfully, we have not been facing any issues with our own payment gateway, we are able to process payments on time for our users

Part Payments

Part payments are another behavior that has seen an increase. Earlier, only 12% of Invoices used to be paid in parts, and now a whopping 41% of invoices are paid in parts. An increase of about  250%. The problem with part payments is that it disrupts the cash flow and the balance amount continues to be on a cliffhanger for a longer time.

As COVID-19 unravels itself in all its might, businesses are suffering like never before in the past several years.  IMF chief, Kristalina Gerogieva, has gone on record saying, “It is clear that we have entered a recession that will be worse than in 2009”. Freelancers are equally prone to this recession if not more.

This story was covered by the Economic Times, titled Covid 19 Impact: Pay Delays Leave Freelancers in Cold