Global Freelance Marketplace goLance has no full-time employees. Instead, the company is run by freelancers hired through its platform, and CEO Michael Brooks spends a lot of time flying around the world and meeting other entrepreneurs who find work through the service. This gives him a unique insight into his customers’ needs and the importance of the faster, cheaper payments that Ripple has made possible.
“I get on planes to places like the Philippines and meet these people face to face,” explains Brooks. “This helped me understand firsthand why freelancers are overly sensitive to the cost and time it takes to get paid. Thanks to RippleNet’s on-demand liquidity, we can make highly efficient and low-cost payments that keep our customers happy and grow our business. “
With more than 500,000 freelancers on its platform, goLance makes well-paying professional jobs and sustainable sources of income more accessible to talented people in developing countries. However, the growth of these new communities comes with challenges, particularly the high costs and long processing times of traditional cross-border payment services.
“Our freelancers have a real appetite for hard work and deliver results for clients,” says Brooks. “But they also have to be paid on time so they can feed their families and send their children to school. Arranging quick payments from one side of the world to another with multiple currencies and processes is not easy. “
After writing two books on electronic payments and digital assets, Brooks saw the transformative potential of blockchain for cross-border payments, especially in the lower amounts of value freelancers earn in countries like Mexico and the Philippines. Finding the right solution to get money to people faster with lower fees has become an important business strategy for goLance.
“The traditional way to send money to other countries is by wire transfer, which slowly moves from bank to bank to bank, each making a cut,” explains Brooks. “It takes days and doesn’t make sense for smaller amounts as the recipient will lose a large percentage of their income. The other way is to build relationships between banks in each country. However, this is complex, time-consuming and ties up liquidity. “
Joining RippleNet resolved both of the problems with traditional payments. Establishing partnerships with banks used to take at least six months. With RippleNet, however, goLance uses an existing global network of banks and other payment services to put new corridors into operation in just two weeks. Cross-border payments can then be made in real time and at a much lower cost, potentially life changing for freelancers.
“This is their livelihood,” says Brooks. “Our job is to make sure people can buy food. That’s why we chose a stable, utility-based digital asset like XRP. We could have used Bitcoin, but its value is too volatile and the recipient has the extra step of converting it into their fiat currency. When there is a problem, I cannot call Bitcoin. Ripple is a service provider. I’ve visited their offices around the world and worked with their teams to make our payment experiences faster and more efficient. “
Since goLance is expanding its service to new markets, the ability to set up new payment corridors quickly and efficiently gives the company a head start in a highly competitive market. Satisfied customers who receive their well-deserved payments quickly are likely to share the pain relieving solution with their network to ensure goLance’s continued growth.
“The most exciting thing is that we can travel to parts of the world that have great growth opportunities but are difficult to pay. Ripple is doing all the hard work to open these challenging corridors so we can offer faster, cheaper payments that freelancers can use to care for their families, deliver for their clients, and grow their businesses as we grow ours. “