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Global Payments in the Gig Economy: Capitalizing on a Booming Industry

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The gig economy has grown exponentially
over the past decade. With flexible work hours and independence, it is no
question why freelance work is becoming more attractive to many. According to a
2017 BLS survey, 36 percent of the workforce relied on gig work for some
portion of their income in the United States. This number is expected to grow
to 43 percent by the end of 2020.

Technology
has made it easier for workers to find gigs and employers to find workers.
Technology also removed geographical barriers fueling the need for global
payment solutions. Globally, the gig economy now “represents $2.7
trillion
in annual
disbursements”.

However, with rapid growth
comes challenges for businesses looking to pay gig workers, especially when
their workers are across borders. With the gig economy expected to grow by 17.4% through 2023, businesses need to adapt to meet the
payment demands of gig workers to remain competitive. So how can businesses
adjust their operations and strategies in order to meet these changing customer
expectations?

Economic and Regulatory Considerations

Thanks to the emergence of online digital platforms, it has
become easier than ever to connect workers to employers. With shifting demographics
and ages of workers, industries are being forced to adapt to the changing
workforce and even more so, provide cross border payments to international
freelance workers. Although the North American payments industry has been
traditionally slow to react to market shifts, growing demand is putting
pressure on government and businesses alike to meet customer demands. Now,
questions are being raised surrounding worker rights, benefits, payments and
labor issues.

Some government bodies are taking note on how to best
support, identify and manage gig workers, many of whom are utilizing freelance
work as full-time income. Recently, states such as California, implement law AB
5 to protect workers and deliver them proper worker incentives. It is no
question that this growing section of workers are gaining the attention of law
makers to ensure they are fairly paid.

Aside from the impact of new industry regulations, economic
instability and market uncertainty is weighing on businesses who rely on
freelancers globally. 85 percent of gig employees, whose
primary source of income is gig work, worry about the impact of an economic
recession. Thus, the need for gig companies to look at a seamless payment
experience for gig workers.

Payment Methods

Gig workers want to be paid immediately
after they complete their gigs. More and more we are seeing freelance workers
demanding immediate access to their financial information in addition to
on-time payments. So how can businesses meet the demands of their global
independent workforce? Partnering with payment providers who understand the
needs of gig companies and gig workers and can offer customized methods of
payment based on the regional preference of the gig worker is a must.

For example, unbanked gig
workers prefer e-wallets and card payouts. Amazon sellers prefer account
numbers and IBANs in their names to receive payouts in various currencies.
Vacation property owners prefer payment by wires. Some temporary works prefer
cash in some parts of the world. Others prefer to receive payment by bitcoin or
Ethereum. Having key payment partners who can offer businesses the ability to
pay their independent workforce in their preferred method and on-demand will ensure
businesses stay ahead of the curve in a very competitive gig economy.

Finding the right payments
partner can feel like a monumental task where there’s always a catch. Choosing
the right partners will also help ensure your gig workers remain loyal to your
platform and are ultimately satisfied with your service offerings.

ROI

Global payment processing can
reduce profit margins if businesses don’t do their due diligence when selecting
a payments partner that best suits their needs. Large banks such as Chase and JP Morgan are built on
top of legacy platforms, which themselves were built on legacy platform and can
hold payment restrictions. The systems can’t talk to each other. Banks don’t
have the technology to service. Therefore, it’s crucial for large FIs to
partner, fund, and acquire Fintech companies built on technology from the
ground up to service customers.

Companies such as Upwork, Lyft
or AirBNB that primarily rely on gig workers to keep their businesses growing
might be best served by working with a payments partners that make sense from a
business operational standpoint. Top things to consider in finding the right
partner include the types of services offered such as their expertise in
addressing challenges of meeting local payment dynamics, payout options and
currencies, global access, compliance, licensing, convenience, and most
importantly customer service.

Each organization has different needs and desires. In the
end it’s simple, gig workers want control over how, when and where they get
paid. Gig companies need to realize that the right payments provider will need
to understand these key considerations and pain points for workers in order to
meet the demands of this growing industry. More and more businesses need to
ensure their customers are satisfied and they are staying relevant among
growing industry competition by providing gig workers what they need – efficient
and accurate payments.

About
Bob Dowd

Bob
Dowd is the CEO of moneycorp North America and is a
35+
year veteran of the foreign exchange and payments industry as well as a
certified treasury professional (CTP). His extensive industry experience
includes 25 years with Travelex Global Business Payments, where he was a member
of the North American Executive Board, 6 years with Cambridge Global Payments
where he was Managing Director and 3 years with Currency Exchange International
and its wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary Exchange Bank of Canada as Senior Vice
President, North America.

Bob joined moneycorp in April 2019 where he
oversees the overall business in the United States. His focus is on the
development of strategic plans, business development, marketing, platform and
application innovation, providing clients and its partners integrated, foreign
exchange services for both the US while exploring opportunities for expansion
in the Canadian market.

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Global Payments in the Gig Economy: Capitalizing on a Booming Industry

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Global Payments in the Gig Economy: Capitalizing on a Booming Industry

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According to a 2017 BLS survey, 36 percent of the workforce relied on gig work for some portion of their income in the United States. This number is expected to grow to 43 percent by the end of 2020.

Author

Bob Dowd

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PaymentsJournal

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Companies

Jobs bloodbath, income loss for SA gig workers

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The majority of SA’s gig workers lost their jobs entirely during lockdown, while those able to work have on average lost four-fifths of their income.

This is one of the key findings of a report titled: “Gig Workers, Platforms and Government During COVID-19”, compiled by The Fairwork Project, a collaboration between the universities of Oxford (England), Cape Town, Western Cape, Manchester (England), Institute of Information Technology Bangalore in India and the Technical University of Berlin.

The report provides an analysis of the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19)-related lockdown on the estimated 35 000 gig workers in SA – those performing work for digital platforms like Uber, Bolt, Uber Eats, SweepSouth, M4Jam and food delivery apps such as Mr D Food – and reviewshow they are being supported by their employers and government.

The report found the non-standard employment status of gig workers has made them particularly vulnerable during the current economic shutdown, resulting in hundreds of job losses and with many gig workers reporting that just getting food to eat is their top priority.

“While a small number of platforms have stepped up during lockdown − for example, SweepSouth and M4Jam have tried to offset income losses for their workers − the majority of platforms have taken no responsibility to compensate workers for by far their major problem: loss of earnings,” reveals the report.

“Yet our survey suggests a majority of gig workers have lost their jobs entirely, while those able to work during lockdown have, on average, lost four-fifths of their income.”

Today is day 61 of SA’s national lockdown implemented to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, which resulted in companies taking a huge financial blow, with markets suffering losses unseen since the 2008 financial crisis.

Digital economy firms Uber, Airbnb, WeWork and Lyft earlier this month announced they will retrench thousands of employees, as a result of the economic downturn.

The report highlights that given the control they exercise over the welfare and conditions of their workers, SA’s platforms could and must do more to help. It outlines a series of measures they could be undertaking, including reduced commissions, loan deferrals, physical protection, healthcare assistance, sick pay, improved communication, and engagement with workers and their representatives.

According to The Fairwork Project, the pandemic has highlighted the importance of SA’s gig workers: delivery services, for example, have been essential to society during lockdown, remodelling their original business models to cater to the delivery of essential goods.

However, the relative lack of response from gig economy firms is also evident. It is highlighted in a graph based on 169 responses from gig workers which shows there is evidence for action on only 27 – just under 16% of the total responses.

[PICTURE] Graph

In particular, the report points out little is being done in relation to workers who become sick and there is little evidence of platforms improving management and supportive processes.

“There was no evidence of platforms addressing workers’ concerns about their lack of contractual status as employees. Finally, there was no evidence of platforms receiving, engaging with or taking action on COVID-19-related demands from workers or their representatives; despite there being groups and mechanisms by which this could occur,” notes the report.

Falling between the cracks

The breadth and depth of response by South Africa’s government in tackling the spread of COVID-19 has been recognised worldwide. However, as independent contractors, gig workers have been unable to access the support offered to formal employees, nor the support offered to those registered as small businesses, notes the report.

“If gig workers are to avoid destitution, government must take further action. Here, again, we outline a series of measures – pushing for gig workers’ de facto employee status to be recognised formally, but also ensuring the safety net of assistance covers gig workers.”

Last month, Uber and Bolt drivers and operators created a petition on Change.org, lobbying government to allow them to be included in the COVID-19 Relief Fund. They told ITWeb they feared their vehicles would be repossessed as their business had taken a huge blow during the lockdown.

In the longer term, The Fairwork Project suggests a legal resolution must be found to rescue gig workers from the employment-status limbo the pandemic has brought into sharp relief.

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Nevada launches system to accept gig workers’ weekly claims – FoxReno.com

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GiG strengthens iGaming offering to operators by adding Playtech’s iPoker to its platform – European Gaming Industry News

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International Game Technology PLC announces that it has today published its Notice of the 2020 Annual General Meeting (“AGM”) and 2019 Annual Report and Accounts for the period from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019. IGT provided information for the AGM, which will be held at IGT’s Registered Office, Marble Arch House, 66 Seymour Street, Second Floor, London, W1H 5BT, on June 25, 2020, at 3:00 p.m. British Summer Time (BST).

The Notice of the AGM and the 2019 Annual Report and Accounts can be found in the Investor Relations section of www.IGT.com, along with IGT’s 2019 Annual Report on Form 20-F. These materials can be viewed online and are also available for download in PDF format. IGT’s 2019 Annual Report on Form 20-F was filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on March 3, 2020 and is accessible at www.sec.gov.

2020 AGM and COVID-19  

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and in line with latest UK Government’s measures to restrict travel and public gatherings of more than two people, the AGM will be restricted to two attendees (for example, the Chairperson and one other Director), both of whom will be shareholders for the purposes of forming a quorum, in addition to the usual supporting staff, reduced to a minimum and bound to the strictest observance of the Governmental recommended precautions. The Company advises that other shareholders must not attend the AGM in person. Any other shareholder above the number necessary to form a quorum seeking to attend the AGM will be refused entry.

The AGM will be restricted to formal business only, and resolutions will be put to a vote on a poll. All shareholders are encouraged to vote using proxy voting in accordance with the instructions printed on the proxy form. Shareholders are strongly advised to appoint the Chairperson of the meeting as proxy to ensure their vote is counted. Details on how shareholders can vote via a proxy are available in the Notice of the AGM and in the accompanying proxy form. Proxy votes should be returned by 3.00 p.m. (BST) on June 23, 2020, in line with the requirements set out in the Notice of the AGM.

As usual, the results of voting on the proposed AGM resolutions will be published after the AGM and will be available on the Company’s website.

Shareholders can send any questions relating to the business of the AGM in advance of the meeting to the Company Secretary, International Game Technology Plc, Marble Arch House, 66 Seymour Street, Second Floor, London, W1H 5BT or [email protected]  Answers will be published as soon as possible in the Investor Relations section of www.IGT.com.

Further AGM updates  

Shareholders should be aware that arrangements for the AGM may change at short notice. The Board will keep the COVID-19 pandemic in consideration and recommend that shareholders continue to monitor the Company’s website and announcements for any updates in relation to the AGM.

 

About IGT :

IGT (NYSE:IGT) is the global leader in gaming. We deliver entertaining and responsible gaming experiences for players across all channels and regulated segments, from Gaming Machines and Lotteries to Sports Betting and Digital. Leveraging a wealth of compelling content, substantial investment in innovation, player insights, operational expertise, and leading-edge technology, our solutions deliver unrivalled gaming experiences that engage players and drive growth. We have a well-established local presence and relationships with governments and regulators in more than 100 countries around the world, and create value by adhering to the highest standards of service, integrity, and responsibility. IGT has approximately 12,000 employees. For more information, please visit www.IGT.com.

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