More women than ever are freelancing, and they are thriving at it. Many find that, when released from the shackles of a boss and society’s ingrained standards for the workforce, they can earn more working for themselves.

To get to the bottom of why more women than ever are choosing to freelance, Transpay ran a survey amongst female freelancers in the United States and India that tapped into the greatest benefits and biggest challenges of using online platforms to sell products and services.

We called this survey DigitalWomen.

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The poll was taken by 886 women, and the results were both fascinating and incredibly insightful – particularly for the payments industry.

Why Freelance?

To kick things off, we wanted to go back to the beginning (there’s no better place to start, right?). We wanted to really understand why these women chose to freelance instead of work a full-time, 40+ hours a week job.

One of the biggest responses was better money.

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In an age where women are still earning only 81% of what men are earning, the prospect of more cash to take home is enticing for women all around the world.

According to Fast Company, a study by the Freelancers Union showed that women are far more likely than men to freelance in order to make an extra profit. But they’re also more likely to strike out on their own to have flexibility within their schedule and “independence from such things as office dynamics.”

Our DigitalWomen survey also reflected this: 40% of respondents from India stated their profit is bigger and better when working online.

Research conducted by PeoplePerHour showed that self-employed women earn over 40% more per hour than employed women. And, on top of that, nearly 7% of women say they earn between 90% and 100% more than they did as an employee.

Staggering statistics, right?

But it’s not all about the profit. Our study also showed that a huge part of a womans decision making included the need for a good work-life balance.

A whopping 53% of US respondents and 33% of India respondents said they have a need for the flexibility that freelance work provides to balance the obligations they have to their family.

According to the research by PeoplePerHour, another study by IPSE found that the number of self-employed working mothers has almost doubled from 2008 to 2017, showing a huge 96% increase.

As the demand for freelancing gigs increases, so does the number of women freelancers. 

What About Freelancing Payments?

Pesky transaction fees on payments were one of the biggest concerns of the women freelancers we surveyed.

currency issues

90% of Indian respondents claimed that transaction fees were one of “the biggest challenges facing their self-employed online business”, while the US respondents followed close behind with 41% of women surveyed claiming they were fed up with extra costs on receiving their payments.

On top of that, 49% of Indian respondents and 24% of US respondents cited that currency issues were seriously detrimental to their businesses. This referred to things like forex fluctuation and limited acceptance of currencies. Factors associated with receiving foreign exchanges and currencies continue to slow down freelancer’s sales, with recipients often ending up with less money after their currency has been converted.

“In a time of great debate over gender-based pay, the growing digital economy is a supportive resource for women seeking empowerment and financial well-being,” said Peter Shore, General Manager of Transpay. “Transpay recognizes, however, that the transaction fee and currency conversion issues prevalent among traditional cross-border payment channels are diminishing digital entrepreneurs’ compensation and is committed to providing an alternative option that tackles these pain points.”

How Freelancers Get Paid

When Transpay asked these women how they get paid, the majority of respondents cited local bank transfers, e-wallets, and prepaid cards.

But, while this showed how freelancers get paid, it doesn’t necessarily reflect how they want to get paid. In fact, when we asked the women surveyed what their preferred payment methods were, 40% of US respondents and 48% of Indian respondents said local bank transfers.

But get this: 0% of Indian respondents (that’s absolutely no one) are actually paid via local bank transfers, despite this being their preferred method. Only 30% of US respondents are paid in this way.

In our DigitalWomen survey, it’s blindingly clear that the self-employed population’s preferred payment method is local bank transfers, as opposed to alternative methods such as e-Wallets.

india and us

The number of women freelancers is growing faster than ever.

Working for themselves provides women with a better profit, an improved work-life balance, and a larger amount of flexibility.

Women are tapping into the power of the digital economy to focus on work that they find gratifying, on a schedule that fits their lives, and on terms that dignify them as significant contributors to the world economy.

As payments contribute to one of the biggest challenges facing freelancer’s businesses, you can sleep a little more soundly knowing that Transpay is there for you.

About Transpay

For freelancers, as well as online sellers, publishers and other recipients worldwide, our Get Paid service gives you one of the easiest ways to receive fast and reliable payments from your US-based clients — without the hassle of ATMs, eWallets, debit cards, or hidden fees. See for yourself why Transpay can solve your most challenging payment pain points.

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