Behind Wise, G-P collaboration on cross-border payments for independent workers
- Independent worker payment issues already existed before the pandemic but the recent surge in flexible, remote work has underlined this issue for growing small businesses.
- To expedite international payments for freelancers and contractors, Wise and G-P (Globalization Partners), have forged a partnership to enable businesses to offer timely flexible payments.
Covid-19 has accelerated the shift to remote work – for businesses and individuals alike. Additionally, a shortage of top talent and eliminating overhead costs have left businesses to reevaluate the traditional employment structure. As a result, more businesses are turning to freelancers to fill these gaps.
This shift is afoot with 80% of US companies reporting that they currently lean on a mix of freelance and full-time workers. The same number of US businesses plan to expand their use of freelancers in the next few years.
However, many of these businesses aren’t prepared to attune to this transformation, lacking the infrastructure required to enable flexible, freelancer payments. Data shows 71% of freelancers have coped with clients paying them late or not at all and 84% of freelancers would work more often if they were paid faster.
To expedite cross-border payments for freelancers and contractors, Wise and G-P (Globalization Partners), a global employment platform, have forged a partnership to enable businesses to offer timely flexible payments.
Currently, 36% or 58 million Americans identify as independent workers – contract, freelance, temporary, or side-hustle gig workers, according to a McKinsey survey. While freelancer payment issues already existed before the pandemic, the recent surge in flexible, remote work has underlined this issue for growing small businesses.
I spoke with Brian Linthicum, head of Wise Platform North America, and Srinivas Vadhri, vice president of fintech strategy, partnerships, and product at G-P, about how this collaboration aims to resolve pain points and enables businesses to have more control over their cross-border payouts.
How G-P and Wise worked together on this integration and what will it mean for G-P customers — both existing and new?
Brian Linthicum, Wise: In the simplest terms, Wise Platform has built a way for banks, businesses, and platforms to embed the Wise API into their existing infrastructure. That’s what we did with G-P — we integrated our API into their G-P Contractor offering to power cross-border payments for G-P customers.
Our two companies are aligned in working to provide the strongest solutions to businesses that are growing and scaling globally. Together, we’re powering an innovative, effective, and convenient platform for these businesses to leverage when it comes to paying international employees, freelancers, and contractors.
Srinivas Vadhri, G-P: For both existing and new customers, our partnership with Wise means total flexibility, transparency, and efficiency at a lower cost when paying contractors around the globe.
Companies can now fully customize their payment methods – from bank transfers to transactions to Wise wallet, ACH equivalent, credit or debit card, and more – and pay on-demand with a clear breakdown of transaction fees in 180 countries and in 50+ currencies. They can also follow every step of the transaction and real-time payment status to know exactly where the money is going, creating a more transparent process for customers and contractors.
All in all, our partnership offers great benefits to both customers and the everywhere workforce that will help G-P democratize opportunity and Wise further its mission of money without borders.
How will this partnership add value for Wise and G-P?
Brian Linthicum, Wise: For Wise, we’re continuing to grow the Wise Platform in the US — and North America — and this partnership with G-P is an excellent showcase of how we’re solidifying ourselves as a leading fintech and payments innovator. We are providing faster, more efficient solutions that are making cross-border payments easier, more convenient, and cheaper. This partnership with G-P showcases this front and center with another market-leading provider of solutions for SMB, mid-market, and enterprise businesses.
Taking a step back, fintech partnerships in particular are massively important in driving growth for the industry overall. For many businesses and fintechs there is a ton of value in making a partnership with a best-in-class player that will build a long-term product that services customer needs. We see that need in the cross-border payments space and are proud to offer a product that fills it.
Srinivas Vadhri, G-P: Wise is a global, well-recognized brand in the money movement space known for transparency, low cost, and a compliant way to transfer money. Similarly, G-P is the leading Global Employment Platform and the founder of the employer of record category – fueled by technological innovation, a SaaS-based platform, and unmatched legal, HR, and compliance expertise.
Delivering flexible payment options is critical to our mission to create a borderless and equitable world of work. This is why we needed an API-driven solution capable of wallet endpoint and bank transfer transactions that could meet the needs of the everywhere workforce.
How will this collaboration enable businesses to have more control and autonomy over their international payments?
Brian Linthicum, Wise: Businesses will have more control over their international payments by not relying on banks or multiple payroll solutions that are costly and time-consuming. Through G-P and Wise, we’re powering easier, more transparent cross-border payments that give businesses all the information they need to make informed decisions in one single place.
Srinivas Vadhri, G-P: Remote work has become the new normal and companies need to have more control over cross-border payments while being compliant. The world of work has changed, and professionals are demanding more flexibility in terms of working hours, location, and payments.
Our partnership with Wise lets customers choose the time, frequency, and preferred currency and have a detailed breakdown of transaction stages and real-time payment status with no hidden fees. It allows businesses to oversee the payment process and have unparalleled flexibility and transparency. This also means less time and effort on individual invoices while ensuring timely delivery of the money.
In the future, with fintech, there will be a myriad of possibilities such as getting into local jurisdictions and local tax authorities and using the bank payment rails for payroll. We’re going to see a lot of digital payroll methods being used through money movement platforms that will increase financial inclusion. At G-P, we will continue to democratize opportunity and unleash the everywhere workforce.
How important is transparency in international payments for small businesses?
Brian Linthicum, Wise: Small businesses have reported the complexity of making and managing international payments as a major deterrent to expansion. By bringing transparency into international/cross-border payments, businesses have a better understanding of where their money is going and the true cost to hire contractors abroad.
How is this offering different from other offerings of Wise for SMBs?
Brian Linthicum, Wise: Today, many small businesses have had to rely on a number of tools to run their business. It’s become difficult to have a transparent view of the payments process, which continues to be expensive and difficult with the more tools businesses have in place.
Our new integration is the same experience customers have relied on with Wise but now can be found where they conduct business in a more convenient way. By connecting the power of Wise into the same technology stack that business owners have come to rely on with G-P, customers can continue to manage their businesses and pay freelancers and contractors across borders in one cohesive manner.