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UK card maker, allpay, and Denmark’s Blocser confirm contract for fast-growing UK gig economy – Retail Times

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Danish fintech Blocser has partnered with top UK card manufacturer allpay.cards with designs on the fast-growing gig economy.

Blocser has pinned their Butterfly Card to one of its biggest market moves yet – the UK offer to the near 5million now estimated as working in the nation’s gig economy.

Butterflies, says Blocser founder and CEO Henrik Danbjørg, are those who “dare to work on their own and only collect what they need”.

allpay.cards took that on board – and the butterfly took flight.

“At allpay.cards, we understand the importance of card design and the impact it can have on the market. 

Our designers created a wide range of stunning design options, all of which enhanced the card with multiple printing techniques, bringing the butterfly to life,” said Emily Lovelock, head of sales, allpay.cards.

“We are excited to be working with Blocser and look forward to supporting them through their launch,” she said.

From the off, Blocser’s offer has backed those working beyond the 9-5 model with an account, payment card, billing tool and digital business card. To draw a direct comparison with the gig economy, Danbjørg says: “Think of us as a ridesharing service but instead of rides you sell your work – build your work-life one deal at the time.

“We will help you find customers and use all the great free online channels that exist today if you are looking for extra income selling your skills and time directly to others.”

For a fintech offering a full range of solutions, Blocser believes cards still have a hold.

“You will find many advocating the death of cards. In China they pay with face recognition, Apple pay and Google Pay converts smartphones into payment vehicles and wearables are on the rise as well – but the fact is that card payments hold a huge proportion of payments,” says Danbjørg.

“It is universally accepted and with the rise of Fintech, it has become a cornerstone of a lot of the new valuable services offered to freelancers, cross border workers, ex-pats and everyone else who is marginalised by traditional banks. 

“Cash is declining and the first ones to get hit by that are people who would normally get paid in cash – primarily “The blue-collar freelancers”. 

“These people live from gig to gig, the absence of a monthly paycheck makes them irrelevant to banks and Tax authorities struggle to collaborate with them – they get marginalised… stigmatised… underserved…”

Blocser’s partnership with allpay.cards offer the UK gig market transition support allowing digital payments directly to the Butterfly card.

Those payments are pitched as instant and fee-free between blocsers.

“And it will feel like cash because they get a card they can use in more than 30 million stores and three million ATMs,” says Danbjørg. 

Michelle Pacey, director of allpay.cards, said getting ahead of the gig economy is one of the biggest challenges facing UK fintech.

“Our work with Blocser demonstrates what can be done with cards as the sector rises to this challenge – a challenge we’re ready to lead on at allpay,” she said.



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How to Work as a Consultant in a Gig Economy – TAPinto.net

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California Voters to Decide Gig Economy’s Fate – Voice of America

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Part Time UFO Is The Gig Economy Almost Done Right – But Why Tho?

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Part Time UFO

Part Time UFO, an adorable physics game developed by HAL Egg and published by HAL Laboratory, was surprise-ported onto Nintendo Switch after beginning its life as a mobile game in 2018. The game features a crash-landed UFO who puts their giant claw to use helping the folks around town with their lifting and moving problems, all for some nice, equitable pay.

I can’t imagine how this game played as a mobile title as the joystick controls are perfectly reminiscent of a claw game at the boardwalk or arcade. Your UFO friend drops its claw down, wide-open and ready to grab something. When you latch on, whether to a box of fruit, a piece of a construction project, or a very patient cheerleader, your claw starts swinging around and your grip becomes precarious. The controls are very sensitive, but always fair as you work to carefully hold onto and balance each object. You can also bump objects, try to flip them, and use the momentum of your swinging claw to get extra advanced in your manipulation.

The objectives in each level range from stacking items up high, building objects with slightly lopsided elements, collecting things as fast as possible, or manipulating heavy objects in a proper series to make the load bearable. They’re all cutely themed too, where in one level you may be helping a farmer, the next, a museum curator, and the next, a fisherman.

Each level has three bonus objectives, one usually tied to completion within a certain amount of time and the other two based on visual puzzles. When you pause the game, images of what the game requires of you will show, but they are not always completely clear. If you can decipher what they mean though, you earn medals. These medals are required to unlock the next three levels, as well as may contribute to in-game achievements. Achieving all three in a given level unlocks a second, more difficult version of the level.

They also earn you more cash. For each item you help move throughout the game, as well as each bonus objective you complete, you earn money. Money can be redeemed at a store operated by a somewhat racist caricature of a genie-like alien. You buy absolutely adorable outfits for your UFO at the store, each of which comes with a different little emote-action your UFO does in-level if you press L.

That’s pretty much the whole game. The levels are fun and increasingly difficult as you go on. The incentives between new costumes and in-game achievements are worth pushing yourself to achieve all of the medals. There is also a “how high can you stack these random objects” mode that is extra challenging, but offers only a local leaderboard and more in-game achievements as a reward.

The music is excellent and catchy. It’s a simple theme that repeats over and over, but it has slight thematic variations in each level. Part Time UFO also has a local multiplayer mode on the Nintendo Switch. It is essentially the exact same as the game in single-player, just with a friend. The difficulty isn’t scaled or anything, you just have two UFOs working together now.

Part Time UFO Gameplay - But Why Tho

The thing about Part Time UFO that I find most interesting though personally, as a card-carrying, multiple 1099 wielding member of the gig economy, is just how starkly this game represents its various realities. When you first being the game, you cold open into the first level without even seeing a menu. Your UFO buddy is just by chance on the scene of a farmer in need of help. Wanting to do the right thing and enjoying using your claw to move things around, you help out. But then, the farmer offers to pay you. He literally makes a comment about how bizarre it is you’ve never been justly compensated for your labor before. He then gives you a lecture about the value of work and provides you with a magazine full of job listings to go off and make more money in the freelance world.

So, on one hand, I deeply appreciate that this farmer is prioritizing justice and equity in the labor he benefits from. As a basic moral value, his immediate propensity to pay you for your work, unprompted, is the way everybody should treat labor. But on the other hand, his schpiel about the value of hard work and the need for every young person to go out and earn their keep is concerning. Neither humans nor UFOs should be judged based on how much one man thinks they contribute to the workforce.

He’s also contributing to the hustle-fication of the UFO’s pastime. As so many folks are learning these days, it’s not always healthy to turn your passions into work. It can take the joy and relaxation out of it. Yet, the cute little living space that your UFO buddy hangs out in on the main menu indicates that clearly, the gig work they perform is for additional discretionary income, not basic survival. You use the money you earn to buy cute clothes for fun, not to pay your rent. So this quandary is difficult to assess.

In a time where so many folks are turning to gig economy work out of sheer necessity because it is the only kind of work that is available, and when companies like Uber and Lyft are fighting so hard to make gig labor less protected and less valued, I’m a bit uncomfortable with a game that is so explicitly romanticizing gig labor. While there are indeed romantic elements, and for many, it is a viable source of income or livelihood, it is not always a just or healthy system. At least Part Time UFO emphasizes just compensation for labor performed. I just hope our buddy here gets good health insurance, sets their own hours, and isn’t slammed on their tax returns.

Psuedo-serious discussion of labor justice aside, Part Time UFO is an adorable and totally fun little game worth the couple of bucks. The numerous challenging levels, in-game incentives, super-cute aesthetic, and very captivating gameplay make this game well worth the leap from mobile to console.

Part Time UFO is available now on Nintendo Switch, iOS, and Android.

Part Time UFO

8/10

TL;DR

Part Time UFO is an adorable and totally fun little game worth the couple of bucks. The numerous challenging levels, in-game incentives, super-cute aesthetic, and very captivating gameplay make this game well worth the leap from mobile to console.

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