Amid growth of contract-based work in North America, a new study released today by TransferWise revealed that 30 percent of freelancers and other non-traditional workers in Canada are owed over $18.7 million in unpaid invoices.
As a result, the survey — conducted by Maru/Matchbox on behalf of TransferWise — found that Millennials are seeking out jobs in international markets. TransferWise is an international money transfer provider and is positioning its “borderless” transfer product as a solution to address the needs of Canadian freelancers.
Findings of the survey include that 50 percent of Canadian freelancers said “they had at least one unpaid invoice at the end of 2017, with an average amount $1,701.80 owing per freelancer,” the company said in its report. According to prior media reports, contract, freelancer and non-traditional workers in North America make up between 35 and 40 percent of the total workforce.
Researchers also said that despite problems getting paid, “Canadian freelancers listed acquiring clients as the most difficult aspect of freelancing, with 61 percent of respondents calling it very challenging.” The authors of the report went on to say that to overcome this obstacle, “many freelancers are now looking to international markets to increase their cash flow.”
The survey showed that Millennial respondents earn 27 percent of their total income from international clients, which compares to 18 percent for all freelancers in the poll. “Additionally, over two-thirds of young freelancers (69 percent) are looking to grow their international clientele in 2018, hoping to take advantage a bigger client pool and get paid in higher value currencies,” authors of the report said.
Regarding the method of payment, the poll found that 34 percent use bank transfers while 23 percent use online payments and 21 percent rely on mail. The report noted that banks and payment providers “charge high receiving fees on international currencies.”
TransferWise said its solution includes a borderless account that allows Canadian freelancers to pay and receive invoices in up to 28 currencies.
“The Canadian workforce is globalizing, so we developed the Borderless account to serve it,” said Andrew Boyajian, head of North American banking at TransferWise. “Freelancers are losing upward of seven percent of their income to costly bank fees and we think that’s unfair.”
The company noted that its borderless account “is like having a local bank account in another country, without ever having to set foot there. Both businesses and freelancers can get local account details (i.e. a unique account and routing number) for the U..S, Europe, and the U.K.”
For more business news from WWD, see: