Freelancers get paid once a project is completed and the employer is satisfied with his/her work. In terms of payment, there are three ways to transfer funds from employers to freelancers on the site.
Milestone Payment System
A Milestone Payment allows employers to set aside funds to pay for a project in full once it is done or pay the freelancer after each work accomplishment/objectives called Milestones.
Only the employer can create and release a Milestone Payment at any time. On the other hand, only freelancers are able to cancel a created Milestone Payment, otherwise known as a pending Milestone Payment, and request to return it to the employer if released. Using this system gives both the employer and freelancer a fair control over the transaction.
*Employers have the option to cancel a pending Milestone Payment if the project award is not yet accepted by the freelancer. Once accepted, however, only the freelancer will have the option to cancel it.
Why use the Milestone Payment System?
Employers and freelancers can access Freelancer.com's Dispute Resolution Service. This service can only be used when employers and freelancers choose to use the Milestone Payment System. When both parties are unable to resolve a project issue and they still have pending Milestone Payments, they can file a dispute for these pending Milestone Payments and allow the Dispute Team to settle the issue.
Using the Milestone Payment can help build reputation and status for employers and freelancers alike. For employers, having a good reputation can attract more freelancers to bid on their projects, while freelancers are placed higher in the bid rankings, increasing their chances of being picked for a project and earning more money.
This system helps freelancers with their Completion Rate. In turn, employers will have the security of knowing that their projects will be completed and will not be abandoned by a freelancer.
To manage Milestone Payments, go to your Financial Dashboard to either create or release a Milestone Payment.
Employers can also provide an extra payment or bonus to their freelancer by either creating an additional Milestone Payment after closing the project or a bonus payment while providing feedback.
Employers can also transact using the Transfer Funds option, enabling them to transfer payment directly to the freelancer. This option can be accessed via your Financial Dashboard by selecting the Transfer Funds tab.
Like the Milestone Payment System, transferring funds directly affects project completion for freelancers. However, for this type of payment, employers and freelancers cannot use the Freelancer.com Dispute Resolution System in case issues on the project arise. Additionally, transactions made with this option are final and irreversible. This is why for payments sent in advance, Milestone Payments are recommended.
Hourly projects are generally paid through invoices, which are generated automatically through the Desktop App that freelancers are required to download prior to starting work.
The Desktop App allows freelancers to track the hours they worked for and record screeshots of their activities for the generation of automatic invoices. For employers, this app gives them the option to monitor their freelancers' progress through screeshots of their daily work and view their work hours' weekly and monthly history.
Employers can use Milestone Payments to pay the automatic invoices or they can pay the invoices directly by setting up a payment source for automatic weekly billing. This process is detailed fully in this article: Managing Hourly Projects.
Aside from the automatic invoices, freelancers can also create manual invoices that employers can directly pay or pay using Milestone Payments. Invoices can be viewed through your Financial Dashboard as well.
For fixed-price projects, however, employers can get invoices for their Milestone Payments by asking their freelancers to create an invoice that they can pay using their Milestone Payment. Once paid, the invoice will be marked as paid and linked with the released Milestone Payment.
If a Milestone Payment is released before the invoice is created, both the employer and freelancer should contact Support by clicking the Chat Now! button below to have the payments linked.