Articles & Notes

There’s a Paper Jam in Your Worker Experience

TL;DROffice printers are the definition of poor user experience. Chantielle explains how many worker payout systems offer a similar friction-filled experience, while also offering a integrated solution for two-sided marketplace platforms. 

For someone who works in tech, I am surprisingly tech-unsavvy. Bricked smartphones, possessed Roomba vacuums, the ominous spinning wheel of death on my MacBook… if it has a computer chip or an OS, chances are good I’ll break it the minute I touch it. This is especially true when it comes to office printers. That scene in Office Space? The one with the baseball bat beat down in the field? That exact Geto Boy’s song plays in the back of my head every time I have to send a document to print.


Printers hate me: malfunctioning scanners, jobs that “disappear” into the Bermuda Triangle of our office network, forever frozen job statuses. I’m positive our office printer just makes up a new error code every time it sees a request from my specific workstation.

Office printers... now that’s the definition of user-unfriendly. Click To Tweet

Irrational? Absolutely. But when a machine can reduce a grown man to tears with the mere suggestion of a paper jam… that’s the definition of user-unfriendly.

An Inconvenient Pay Check

The on-demand economy is built on seamless user experiences. Invisible payments when you catch an Uber, photo-based shipping when you fire up Shyp, and unlimited late night noshing options with DoorDash; these apps are designed to instantly gratify user needs, creating a seamless, shared experience between customers and your platform.

But what about on the other side of your marketplace? Are your workers happy with their experience, or are they waiting in the wings with baseball bats?

Supply-side workers expect the same level of usability within their #ondemandeconomy experience Click To Tweet

From customization and personalization to social scalability, on-demand platforms do everything they can to simplify the consumer’s experience. What many marketplaces forget, however, is that their supply-side workers expect the same level of usability within their experience. Think of it this way: on practically any on-demand app, a customer can easily select, submit, and use their preferred payment type for an order (Visa, MasterCard, Debit, PayPal, American Express, etc.). Limiting your payment acceptance to a singular payment type would be retail suicide as it would create a huge point of friction for would-be customers. And yet, this same flexibility and user-friendly approach to worker payouts is nonexistent on the supply-side of the Circle of Success. What’s up with that?

Insisting workers can only accept their payments into a bank account is the equivalent of the office printer refusing to print a black and white document when it’s out of magenta toner; it makes no sense. How a worker wishes to accept his/her earnings shouldn’t have any impact on whether or not they can join a platform or accept an order/job/reservation.

Integrating multiple #payment providers into your platform? That's ridiculously inefficient. Click To Tweet

A Square Peg in a Round Hole

A truly seamless worker experience must match the level of simplicity, transparency, immediacy, and flexibility that’s native to the front-end of your platform—which isn’t always easy, especially when it comes to payments. This is because there is no ubiquitous solution (no Visa-like acceptance network or “rail”) on the outbound payment side. Platforms that want to offer multiple payment types to workers are required to weave together a patchwork solution of wires, bank deposits, prepaid cards, and mobile money acceptance offers using a myriad of providers and systems. It’s a complicated fix, and one that’s far from streamlined. Kind of like how now, instead of printing my own documents, I send them all to a coworker and ask him to do it for me.

Ridiculously inefficient, right? Well, so is having four different payout providers integrated into your platform.

A truly comprehensive worker payout experience provides supply-side workers with freedom, independence, and control of their earnings through a single, integrated environment.

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