Gig Economy Banking Is Booming

(And Banks Are Missing The Boat)

Established banks are finally waking up to the opportunity to bank the gig economy. No wait, that’s not true. They’re not waking up to it–they’re getting hit upside the head with it. Recent articles on the topic include:

  • Fixing the Banking and Payment Needs of the Gig Economy. According to this article, “The so-called gig economy [is] getting a lot of attention these days from the fintech and payments industry. Workers who don’t receive a regular paycheck will often find getting approved for banking services through a traditional provider doesn’t always work.”
  • The Challenger Banks Catering to Gig-Economy Workers. One freelance consultant is quoted as saying “If you’re a true sole proprietor or freelancer, there are not a lot of options out there.” with article going on to say that “he is just one of several gig-economy workers who felt their banks failed them and set out to create an alternative.”
  • How Fintech is Changing Financial Services for Gig Economy Workers. The article states that “small but growing number of fintech companies have been responding to the changing workforce with solutions meant to help them manage the ups and downs of their money.”

How Many Gig Economy Workers Are There?

Articles about the gig economy often include estimates of the millions or bazillions of people who are gig economy workers. The estimates are all over the map.

On one hand, a 2017 survey from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) concluded that, at the time, there were “approximately 1.6 million workers using apps and online platforms to find gig work, or about 1% of the total employed workforce.”

That’s a narrow definition, however, as just 60% of gig economy workers use a digital marketplace to find opportunities according to In fact, a survey from the US Census Bureau found that that between 657,000 and 4.6 million people may have been uncounted in the BLS estimate.

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