Legal & Regulatory

Regulatory Labyrinth Gig Economy Payments

November 22
6:00 AM 2016

Gig economy is now gaining traction all around the world. Even as work becomes increasingly decentralized and jobs permeate international barriers, cross-border payout friction remains.

In an interview with PYMNTS' Karen Webster, Mike Monty, EVP and head of financial partnerships at Hyperwallet, delved into the issues facing enterprises expanding their payout processes overseas in the brave new world of the gig economy.

Payments conundrum was described by Webster as "nasty underbelly of making these payments to any worker in an environment."

Issues can also arise when firms are working alongside the unique expectations of unfamiliar cultures. Some markets demonstrate certain preferences in how workers receive payment for their work. As an example, Monty explained that, in Mexico, prepaid cardholders might use their cards more at ATMs, while workers in another locale like, New York City, might use those cards more at the point of sale.
Brazil is also another example , a country that has been marked by hyperinflation, has a "very complex payments system," and "even if you have a local entity in the marketplace," businesses must grapple with satisfying tax authorities and different rules governing different types of transactions.

Monty described how, for Hyperwallet, the process entails not just understanding payments flows across borders and the rules that govern each jurisdiction but also recognizing the different challenges that may be faced by different industry verticals. Additional steps include KYC compliance, as well as anti-money laundering processes.

Hyperwallet can serve its corporate customers through local direct-to-bank/ACH payments - the cheapest and most transparent way to make payments. In other cases, payments can be delivered through prepaid cards, wires and cash pickups.

Webster asked about the complexity of delivery (and stickiness and loyalty) when there are no large banks - or even much in the way of local bank options - available to complete gig worker payments. The flexibility in payment options gives payees choice in how they're paid, meaning that Hyperwallet's corporate clients can pay their gig workers in almost any locale while maintaining "full control of the end-to-end user experience."

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