Taking advantage of growing overseas opportunities, 1.5 million Filipinos are now registered in international online platforms for freelancing services.
This was according to mobile wallet app GCash and financial services firm Payoneer’s report on the state of the national gig economy released Friday, August 26.
The survey also covered 5,560 GCash users nationwide who revealed that freelancers working with local and overseas clients earn 57 percent more per hour than those who work with just local clients.
“As Filipinos are renowned for their creativity, work ethic, and customer service-orientation, it is not surprising that more and more international businesses are willing to pay for Filipino talent," says Creative Economy Council of the Philippines President Paolo Mercado.
"This should motivate more freelancers in the Philippines to take their freelancing journey to the global stage and benefit from higher earning potential,” according to Miguel Warren, Vice President of Payoneer for South East Asia.
In Payoneer’s Global Gig Economy Index 2019, the Philippines landed in sixth place as the fastest-growing market in the world, with a 35 percent growth in freelance earnings.
At the onset of the pandemic, more Filipinos turned to freelancing as a way to generate income despite mobility restrictions.
This accelerated the gig economy trend in the country and increased the ranks of Filipino freelancers in 2020-21.
Despite the unpredictability of a steady income stream and job stability, Filipino freelancers continue to take advantage of the benefits of freelancing such as job flexibility, workload control, and greater earning potential from multiple income streams.
Given the many benefits of freelancing, many Filipinos now prefer this flexible livelihood option that suits their lifestyles better than traditional employment.
With the government promoting entrepreneurship and digital innovation, freelancers in the Philippines are driven to find work opportunities through online marketplaces and apps.
Digital platforms have made it easier for Filipino freelancers to find clients who need services such as photography, blogging/vlogging, graphic design, writing, videography, as well as architecture and engineering.
Interestingly, while most freelancers still source their jobs in the Philippines, the survey showed more Filipino freelancers are in demand overseas - in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan, and the United Arab Emirates.
One thing that holds back Filipino freelancers from pursuing overseas clients is the challenge of securing timely payments from foreign clients.
Delayed or denied payments can negatively affect freelancers’ finances.
To ensure timely and secure payments, freelancers need a reliable payment platform that connects them to clients from anywhere in the world.
With a payment platform, freelancers can conveniently request payment from both local and international clients.
According to the survey, freelancers consider security and accessibility when selecting payment platforms.
They also choose payment platforms based on other factors like transaction fees, the convenience of transferring to bank accounts, fast crediting, exchange rates, and live technical support.
Recognizing freelancers’ need for secure and timely payments, Payoneer simplifies payment for cross-border and manages the complexities of moving money through its easy-to-navigate, secure, and affordable payment platform.
As many freelancers mainly use GCash to receive payments from local clients and Payoneer for receiving overseas payments with higher rates, Payoneer has partnered with GCash to provide freelancers a more seamless and convenient payment experience.
By signing up and linking a Payoneer account via GCash, users can receive foreign currency overseas with Payoneer and withdraw the funds locally in Phippine Pesos instantly for free via the GCash app.
This enables freelancers to receive payments from global clients in foreign currencies like USD, EUR, GBP, AUD, and more.
“With the feature that allows users to link their Payoneer and GCash accounts, we hope to encourage more freelancers to provide their services to international clients," Warren noted.
Payoneer has over 5 million customers and serves over 2,000 top marketplaces and digital platforms, sending tens of billions of dollars a year to Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) worldwide.