Photographer: Mike Coppola/Getty Images for Lyft

More Gig Economy Workers Can Now Get Paid on Demand

Stripe, the payment processor that powers many on-demand apps, adds an instant-pay option for all marketplace customers.

The gig economy is built on people offering their services on demand. Now more of them will have the option of getting paid just as quickly. Inc., Instacart Inc., Postmates Inc. and several other marketplace providers will soon start giving workers the chance to cash out their earnings immediately, instead of waiting for the usual weekly deposit. That's because Stripe Inc., the payment processing service that underpins many of the on-demand companies, will introduce the feature to all customers for a fee.

Quick cash is a big draw for workers. Stripe originally built a version of instant payouts at the request of Lyft Inc., the largest U.S. ride-hailing app behind Uber. Lyft began offering same-day pay to its drivers in December. Since then, Stripe has processed $500 million in instant payments for Lyft, and half of all driver payouts now go through that feature, the companies said. "It shows us how valuable this product is to drivers," said Lachy Groom, Stripe's cards lead.

Lyft charges drivers 50 cents per transaction when they choose to cash out instantly and only allows payments of at least $50. Uber, which does not use Stripe, started an instant pay pilot program of its own in March and expanded it to most U.S drivers. Uber's version has no minimum payment and is free for drivers if they cash out to an Uber debit card or 50 cents otherwise.

Stripe customers can choose whether to provide instant payments. Groom said he expects many of them will implement the feature to keep workers happy. "It's the No. 1 request we hear from a lot of our marketplaces," he said.

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