In the dynamic world of the gig economy, freelancers often struggle with invoicing and timely payments, and managing transactions with clients can be a big administrative burden. FREE.fi noticed that freelancers in Finland sorely need an easy financial tool to make getting paid easy.
To fit the needs of independent workers, Free.fi imagined a “reverse invoicing system,” tailored to the unique demands of the gig economy. This system transforms the payment process: money is sent first, and an invoice is automatically generated upon payment receipt. Enabled by virtual IBANs, this approach allows Free.fi to instantly generate virtual IBANs, streamlining payments and collections for clients. This significantly cuts down the administrative load for everyone involved.
By integrating virtual IBANs into their offering, FREE.fi has crafted a user experience that is both easy and efficient for freelancers managing their invoicing. It ensures funds are collected and managed with ease and compliance while offering an overarching view of all financial transactions.
Imagine you're a freelancer who's landed a project-based gig with an organization, but you lack a formal company setup. The challenge of invoicing arises, particularly in Finland, where handling such transactions without a registered business is a major hurdle. This is especially true for small-scale tasks, for instance, charging 10 euros for an hour's work. The logistical burden of managing numerous small invoices can be overwhelming for both the freelancer and the paying organization.
Turning invoicing upside down — with virtual IBANs
Free.fi reversed the usual way of invoicing. Typically, a freelancer completes a job, issues an invoice, and then receives payment. Free.fi streamlined this for the gig economy: the freelancer completes work, processes a payment, and an invoice is automatically generated to match the payment.
A new era in financial management for freelancers in the gig economy
Free.FI provides freelancers with a financial management hub, where they have their own virtual account and manage all transactions through Free.FI's system. Not only is invoicing simplified, but freelancers can easily track and manage funds. The focus shifts back to their core work, liberating them from the time-consuming mess of financial management.
To enhance the capabilities of their financial platform, Free.fi strategically embedded banking services into their product. Ville Rontti, CTO at Free.fi recognised the need for a robust banking partner and chose Swan for this pivotal role. Swan empowers Free.fi to seamlessly integrate banking features and build the user experience freelancers need.
Banking features for the ideal gig-economy invoicing system:
- Collection of payments via virtual IBANs
- Comprehensive visualization of funds and transactions
- Automated tax and fee deductions
For Ville, the decision to collaborate with Swan was driven by the combination of flexible pricing and quality APIs:
“One of the benefits of Swan is a very flexible pricing model. Virtual IBANs at Swan are free of charge, whereas at our bank in Finland, you had to pay for every single one. Beyond Swan’s flexible pricing, their robust APIs had the quality we needed. This made Swan’s BaaS very attractive.”
As an agile company, it is vital for FREE.fi that we implement modern tools with robust APIs. Swan’s platform had all the features we needed to quickly implement financial services into our product. In addition, Swan also offered a very flexible pricing model which was closely aligned with our business model.
A smooth and practical embedded banking experience
Once Ville’s team began working with Swan, they found the solution technically smooth:
”The Sandbox was helpful because you can practice there. I liked it a lot. And in the end; the proof of concept worked. I don’t see any doubts, Swan was very practical. The model works.”
A testament to the potential of embedded banking in Finland
Free.fi is at the forefront of innovation in Finland, having harnessed the power of embedded banking to improve financial management for freelancers and their clients. In the long term, Free.fi is interested in embedding the full gamut of banking products to make financial management as easy as possible for workers in the gig economy. This means going beyond accounts, and IBANs, to cards, and even embedded lending. Keep an eye on Free.fi — at the forefront of financial services for the gig economy!
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