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Vietnam Today

68% of Vietnamese freelancers not paid at times

Released at: 22:18, 02/03/2018

68% of Vietnamese freelancers not paid at times

Photo: PayPal

Figure at 58% in four Southeast Asian markets surveyed in latest PayPal global survey of freelancers.

by Hong Nhung

Digital platforms are having a positive impact on the freelancer community in four Southeast Asian markets: Singapore, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Vietnam, according to the latest PayPal Global Freelancer Survey.

Vietnam scored highest among the four markets in terms of optimism, with 91 per cent of those surveyed saying they expect to do more or a lot more freelance work in the future.

The survey also found that at more than half (58 per cent) of the freelancers surveyed in the four Southeast Asian markets have had experiences of not being paid for their work and services.

The number in Vietnam is the highest among the four markets, at 68 per cent. On average, nearly half of freelancers (48.5 per cent) surveyed in these markets attributed payment issues to a prevailing attitude of not taking freelancers seriously.

“Southeast Asia is a key market given the region’s growing population and increasingly vibrant entrepreneurial economy,” said Mr. Rahul Shinghal, Managing Director of PayPal SEA and Head of Merchant Support for PayPal APAC.

“We are seeing more young people choosing to freelance, as being your own boss offers more autonomy and flexibility than a 9-to-5 job. As they become integral to the global economy, it is critical for them to be accorded the same respect that other professionals receive. We should do more to elevate the standing of freelancers as a community and empower them in their autonomy.”

Following an online survey of 11,324 freelancers and freelance considerers across 22 markets worldwide in October 2017, of which 1,602 freelancers or freelance considerers were from Singapore, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, PayPal’s “Global Freelancer Survey” revealed the extent to which digital platforms provide ease and convenience for freelancers to receive payments as well as to access new assignments and work opportunities.

PayPal and bank transfers were found to be popular payment methods for freelancers in these markets, with 85 per cent accepting PayPal payments and 79 per cent accepting bank transfers. PayPal was cited as the most widely accepted payment method in Singapore (76 per cent), Indonesia (88 per cent) and the Philippines (92 per cent), with the exception being Vietnam, where more freelancers accepted a bank transfer (87 per cent).

More significantly, digital payment platforms are also enabling a more seamless payment process, transcending fragmentations of the Southeast Asian market due to divisions in geography as well as within the financial services landscape of the region.

The study revealed a disparity in preferred payment methods among freelancers’ client base, as international clients opt for PayPal as the preferred payment method, with an average of 76 per cent of payments from international clients being made via PayPal. This compares to an average of 30 per cent of payments from international clients made via bank transfer, which are found to be the preferred payment method among domestic clients.

“At PayPal, we are committed to empowering communities and businesses to participate in the global economy through innovative financial payments solutions,” said Mr. Shinghal. “We recognize the importance of equipping freelancers with confidence and the right tools to help sustain their business across Southeast Asia and more.”

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