UPDATE - more details on the new payment system for freelancers
Mollie C. 86 posts - United States - Joined Mar 11 2010
UPDATE: The first mandatory scheduled payment has been moved forward from August 28th to September 25th. (Applies to users who had not set a schedule and were defaulted to Monthly payments.)
Update: The ability to set up a scheduled payment has been moved to July 25th. All other dates remain the same. Sorry for any inconvenience.
It's obvious from our previous post that this community has a lot of questions and concerns about the new payment system we announced a couple weeks ago. We have an update on the timing of the new scheduled payment system. And, we have answers to your questions. You can also view our help article on scheduled payments for more information.
Setting Your Default Payment Method and Schedule:
Starting on July 25th – your User Settings will have a Get Paid section where you will be able to set a default payment (formerly withdrawal) method and a payment schedule. Once you set a schedule, your payments will start according to that schedule.
For those who don’t set a schedule, scheduled payments will start August 28th. (see details below.)
Scheduled Payment Days:
Starting on July 25th, you can choose from the following payment schedules:
Weekly – payments occur every Wednesday
Twice per month – payments occur on the first and third Wednesday of each month
Once per month – payments occur on the last Wednesday of each month
What Triggers a Scheduled Payment:
Payments are not triggered when you hit the $1,000/$100 balance. Instead, on each of your scheduled payment dates we check to see if your balance equals or exceeds $1,000 for non US freelancers, and $100 for US freelancers. If your balance meets this limit, your balance is paid out. There is one exception to this, if you are on a once per month or twice per month schedule, and if your entire balance available to be paid became available on your payment day, no payment will occur. However, if you had a balance prior to your payment day, your full balance will be paid out.
For example, if you set your payment schedule to once per month, on the last Wednesday of every month we will check your balance. If it equals or exceeds $1,000/$100, and you had a balance on the previous day, your full balance will be paid out.
While the payment schedule allows you to make automatic payments, you can always choose to make your own “Get Paid Now” payments, of any amount, to any active payment method in between your scheduled payments.
When does this start?:
Starting July 25th you will be able to set up your preferred payment schedule and payments will begin according to that schedule. If you select weekly or monthly, your first payment will be July 31st, and twice per month will be Aug 7th.
If you do not set up a payment schedule, starting in August you will be defaulted to a once per month payment schedule to be paid out to the last payment method used. If you are defaulted to this schedule, and you reach the balance limits, your first payment will be made on August 28th. You can change your schedule at any time after July 25th in your User Settings.
And, a few other questions that were raised:
Fluctuating payments: We understand that you are concerned with fluctuating payments. Between scheduled payments and the ability to withdraw at any time, by managing your payments actively, you can still maintain an even cash flow.
Large payments: If you have a large balance that may cause a problem with the account you are withdrawing to, we suggest you make several payments over the next few weeks. Do not set your payment schedule. We will default you to monthly in August, and your first payment will be made on August 28th. After that date, you should set your payments to the schedule that best meets your needs.
Paying Contractors: Some of you are concerned you won’t be able to pay your contractors from your own earnings. This option is already being discontinued. You will need to add a separate payment method in order to pay contractors you hire.
Refunding clients: To ensure you have funds available to refund clients, we recommend you make refunds during the weekly review period. You can also maintain a balance of under $1,000 for non-US freelancers, and under $100 for US freelancers, by using the Get Paid Now functionality to ensure your balance is always below these limits. If you make a refund without funds available, it will be paid when you have earnings to cover it.
Increased withdrawal costs: We are always looking for ways to reduce withdrawal fees. ACH payments will remain free. For non US freelancers, the Local Funds Transfer is one step in this direction and offers an affordable option in quite a few countries. We will let you know as other options become available.
Agency financial accounts: Agencies will have the same balance limits and ability to schedule payments as individual contractors. Please note, this system does not pertain to oDesk Payroll (W-2), since these employees do not withdraw their earnings through their oDesk accounts.
We hope that you now have a clearer view of how scheduled payments will work. Please feel free to respond with more feedback and questions.
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