The most recent Gig Economy Index shows that 70 percent of U.S. gig workers who were paid via direct deposit were “very” or “extremely” satisfied with how they were paid – the highest-rated payment method in the survey.

What’s more, when asked about the digital marketplace payment method they used, some 38.2 percent of surveyed U.S. gig workers said they used direct deposits. That made direct deposits the second-most popular payments method, behind Paypal (41.9 percent), and ahead of cash, checks and debit or prepaid cards.

Direct deposits sent internationally are known as Local Bank Transfers, and so it follows that gig workers outside of the U.S. could also be expected to prefer Local Bank Transfers, sent directly to their bank accounts in their local currency.

The PYMNTS Gig Economy Index, published on April 8, is an update for the fourth quarter of 2018, and showed that marketplaces continued to be a major source of gig work. Of the U.S. gig workers surveyed, 38.4 percent said they both worked non-seasonal gigs and sourced their gigs through an online marketplace. The same percentage also said they pursued ad hoc employment because of its flexibility.

U.S. gig workers who used digital marketplaces to source work were more likely to be compensated by either Paypal or direct deposit and also were more likely to be paid faster and more often than nonmarketplace gig workers. The survey found that as much as 26.8 percent of those who used digital marketplaces to source work were paid instantly during the fourth quarter of 2018.

The report went on to state that because gig workers’ cash flow tends to be “unpredictable, and therefore difficult to manage,” faster payments are particularly appealing, and that digital marketplaces that help ensure that gig workers get paid faster (for example, either instantly or within a day of completing the work), could improve future adoption.

The latest report also details the need for speed, stating that as many as 26.8 percent of gig workers who found work through digital means were paid instantly.

“Direct deposits and checks give consumers immediate access to the funds in their bank accounts, enabling them to spend that money wherever they’d like,” the report states.

The demographic group with the largest percentage of respondents who said they were paid by direct deposit in the fourth quarter of 2018 was the 25-34-year-old group (43.5 percent), with 36.8 percent of 18-24-year-olds, members of the newly emerging “Gen Z,” also choosing direct deposits, along with 39.7 percent of 39-44-year-olds. In examining the specializations of gig workers and how each category was paid, sales, business and financial operations and computers and mathematics professionals were the groups most likely to be paid via direct deposits, the report said.

“We found that 44.2 percent of those working business and finance gigs were compensated via direct deposit in Q4 2018, as were 42.4 percent of those in computers and mathematics,” the report said, noting that “those who sourced via digital marketplaces tended to have highly specialized skill sets – including training in computers, math and finance.”

Check out our Digital Women Study to see how women freelancers prefer to get paid. 

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