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Community Member

Fairer Payment System for Freelancers

I come to you with a proposition aimed at enhancing the fairness and efficiency of our platform's payment system. As freelancers, we are all too familiar with the anticipation and sometimes frustration of waiting for our hard-earned funds to reach our accounts after completing a project. It's time for a change.


The current practice of Upwork holding payments for five days after release from clients doesn't align with the standards set by financial institutions worldwide. In an era where instant transactions are becoming the norm, this delay feels unnecessary and, frankly, unfair to the freelancers who rely on Upwork for their livelihoods.


Therefore, I propose the implementation of a new payment system: one where freelancers receive their earnings promptly, within 24 hours of the funds being released by the client. This adjustment not only respects the time and effort we invest in our work but also brings Upwork in line with modern financial practices.Here are a few reasons why this change would benefit our community:


  1. Fairness: Freelancers deserve to be compensated for their work without unnecessary delays. This change would ensure that payments reach us in a timely manner, allowing us to manage our finances more efficiently.

  2. Competitive Edge: Adopting a faster payment system would make Upwork more attractive to freelancers, potentially increasing the pool of talent available to clients. This, in turn, could lead to more opportunities for everyone involved.

  3. Trust and Transparency: By implementing a system that delivers payments promptly, Upwork demonstrates its commitment to transparency and trust within the community. This fosters a positive environment where freelancers feel valued and respected.

  4. Adaptation to Industry Standards: In the fast-paced world of freelancing, staying ahead of the curve is crucial. Updating our payment system to reflect current financial practices shows that Upwork is responsive to the needs of its users and committed to innovation.

I believe that by making this change, Upwork can further solidify its position as a leading platform for freelancers worldwide. Together, let's advocate for a payment system that works for all of us.


I encourage you to voice your support for this proposal and share your thoughts on how we can collectively work towards a fairer and more efficient payment system on Upwork.

Community Member

Upwork is not a bank and is not held to the same practices.  Frankly, I am delighted that Upwork verified the payment authenticity before the money is available to me.  They do their best to assure that the funds are present and valid which I appreciate more than I can say.  I have made ove $80k on Upwork over the years and not once in all that time have I had any payment issue.  I find that to be remarkable in this day and age, given the cheaters, scammers, and nefarious creeps out there trying to get my money (and everyone else's) any way possible.

Frankly,  it's also essential to consider the broader implications of our payment system, not just from the perspective of security but also in terms of efficiency and fairness. While Upwork is not a bank, it is a platform that relies on timely and transparent transactions to support a thriving freelance community. The proposed adjustment aims to streamline the payment process, offering freelancers quicker access to their hard-earned funds without compromising on security measures. By implementing a faster payment system, Upwork can enhance the overall experience for freelancers, empowering them to manage their finances more effectively and focus on their work with peace of mind.

I believe, you can strike a balance between security and efficiency, ensuring that payments are both verified and expedited to meet the needs of freelancers in today's fast-paced digital landscape.

Community Member

When I used to have a "regular" job, I got paid every two weeks, not immediately after I completed each project. Five days is nothing by comparison. 


There are lots of scammers here, and sometimes even five days isn't long enough for someone to realise that their credit card has been stolen and report it. Upwork isn't going to decrease the holding period; in fact, I'm surprised that they haven't increased it.


As for trying to attract new freelancers - Upwork doesn't need to do that. They have too many already.

Christine, BITE YOUR TONGUE.  Please dont give them the idea of increasing the security period.  Bless your heart  but no, no, no...

i believe she has already given them


i believe she has already given them

Upwork is going to do whatever is best for their business, not what you or I suggest.

It's understandable that your previous experience with bi-weekly pay cycles may influence your perception of the current payment process on Upwork. Indeed, five days may seem insignificant compared to the traditional two-week wait. However, in the context of freelancing, where income can be project-based and cash flow management is crucial, even a short delay can have an impact on financial planning and stability. it's crucial to recognize that as freelancers, we work directly with clients on Upwork. Therefore, if the platform receives funds immediately after the completion of a job, it follows that funds should be transferred to freelancers promptly as well. A quicker turnaround time, such as within 24 or 48 hours, would better align with the dynamic nature of freelance work and the needs of independent contractors.

So did Chat GPT also explain to you that it would be even worse if a credit card ends up being stolen and Upwork has to claw the money back from the freelancer?

Yes, ChatGPT informed me that Upwork should penalize such irresponsible individuals who fail to manage their credit cards properly and have them stolen, and there should be an insurance policy in place to address such situations. ðŸ˜€




Penalise victims of credit card fraud? Sure, that'll really help Upwork to attract more clients. No wonder I don't use Chat GPT, if it comes up with ideas like that.

Well, your chatbot needs serious, immediate reprogramming. This is the only time I have ever seen a person or a predictive language program blame the victim of credit card fraud. I'm sure you have heard of all the ways credit card numbers are stolen. No one ever needs the actual card. That's why people don't know thieves have stolen their personal data.


I suggest you focus on having an excellent profile and sending amazing proposals. Use the Academy link at the top of the page to learn how to set up a great profile. Currently, it is far too long, and clients will stop reading before they ever see your portfolio. Form the material into no more than four or five concise paragraphs. There is redundancy in the text.



Community Member

Do you realize how crazy that sounds?


I know you love ChatGPT, but please understand that it often goes round and round just to make a very simple point, where it's often wrong as well.


Fluent English speakers might be able to read and understand those text of yours easily but people like me need more effort to understand it and it's like "huh?¿?¿" when I do.


It's better for me to read a grammatically messed up but to-the-point posts, than reading those text.


And this topic of yours has been discussed so many times. I personally agree that a security period is weird today, but this place is not a normal place. Tons of scam freelancers will be happy if there's no wait period.


Stolen card info are everywhere. It'll be fun to use them to 'extract' real money from Upwork (because the real card owners will be able to get the money back with chargeback) if there's no security period involved. And this is just one example.


Fluent English speakers might be able to read and understand those text of yours easily 

Nope - I usually have to re-read Chat GPT nonsense two or three times before I understand what someone is trying to say, and usually my eyes glaze over with boredom before I can get through the wall of text. But it IS possible to enter prompts in Chat GPT like "rewrite this with a more conversational tone" or "make this shorter and avoid big words". I copied one of these posts into Chat GPT and used the prompt, "rewrite this and just get to the point" and it came up with, "Your experience with bi-weekly pay cycles makes sense, but in freelancing on Upwork, even a small delay matters. We work directly with clients, so if Upwork gets paid right away, we should too. Faster payments, like within 24 or 48 hours, would match our freelance pace better."


Much better, right? I understand why people who aren't confident with their English want to use Chat GPT, but it doesn't take that much effort to learn how to use it better. The aim should be to communicate more effectively, not to impress people with big words.

Community Member

OMG... I totally agree with you. This new update is very frustrating. I get my salary through upwork direct contract. This month my client couldn't able to give me salary on time because of some issue on upwork. Now i have to pay bills and my payment is pending for 10days. I mean what the hell. 

Freelancing isn't like employment. In the physical world, most businesses run on 30 days, not an immediate payment. Unless you have been hired as an employee, and don't just have a contract, you do not receive a salary. Usually, the issue is a problem with the client's card. How do you know it has anything to do with Upwork?




OMG... I totally agree with you. This new update is very frustrating. I get my salary through upwork direct contract. This month my client couldn't able to give me salary on time because of some issue on upwork. Now i have to pay bills and my payment is pending for 10days. I mean what the hell. 

I don't know how Upwork can verify your identity, since you're not using a proper profile photo - could that have something to do with it?

Community Member

I think most of us prefer real thoughts. I know I certainly do. ChatGPT gets it wrong, again.


You are claiming Upwork is a "financial institution." Really, and running in the red forever?


"Fair" is a subjective term. Its use in business is nonexistent. Freelancers are responsible for everything. If you are running so tight on funds that you have to be paid immediately, your business will fail, it's just a matter of how soon.


The very last thing Upwork needs is more freelancers. If they were skilled, it would be different. Competition can be good for the platform and the users. However, just bringing in more people will help no freelancer or client.


Upwork is already transparent. Everyone is paid the same way.


I don't know what you are comparing Upwork to, but businesses do not run on immediate money transfers, and it marks anyone trying to do this as desperate and unskilled - because why do they need to be paid immediately?


The system works. It may not work fast enough for some, but it does work in the vast majority of cases. I'm not advocating for shorter time before funds are released because Upwork has pending issues they need to deal with ASAP. In business, you provide a service or product, and usually bill or invoice. Freelancing is not like a coffee shop, where you pay immediately for the product.

Community Member

Does it really make any difference that they have a 5 day clearing system since that is fairly quick?

Community Member

Five days is nothing, compared to the 30/60 days associated with lots of companies. Just move on.

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