Upfront payments to freelancers before they do any work for a new client have become standard practice. It ensures that potential clients with unprofessional motives will be easily eliminated before they hurt a freelancer both financially and emotionally.
Smartcat helps its marketplace freelancers avoid unscrupulous clients with the default pre-payment system for any type of customers, be it a company with translation needs or an LSP. When a customer invites a freelancer to a task in a project, the approximate freelancer's fee is automatically withdrawn from the customer's balance.
If the freelancer accepts the invite and gets assigned to the task, as soon the task is completed and approved by the customer, the exact fee is automatically credited to the freelancer's account. The rest of the prepayment is credited to the customer's balance.
What if the customer invites several freelancers to work on the same task?
The customer can invite several freelancers to the same task by using Rocket or Bicycle mode. In this case, Smartcat assumes that the most expensive freelancer will do all the work. Therefore, the prepayment amount will be equal to the rate per word of the most expensive freelancer multiplied by the number of words in the document.
What if one of the freelancers (or all of them) declines the invite?
The freelancer can of course pass on the specific task, but usually another one agrees and the problem is solved. However, if all the freelancers decline and the customer must invite others, there is no need to make a prepayment again, because it is associated with the task. The customer can invite another freelancer from the marketplace. If the new freelancer's fee is higher, the difference will need to be paid.
What if the freelancer and/or the customer operate with a currency different from USD?
Pre-payments can only be made in US dollars. If the freelancer's currency is different, then there is a conversion at Smartcat's exchange rate to the dollar. The customer makes an advance payment using a card or PayPal. If the currency of the card is different from USD, then the conversion will be effected by the respective bank. The freelancer will always receive the payout in their own currency.