New site requires escrow payments to ensure freelancers get paid


In this era of unemployment, many people who grew accustomed to working for a single employer have turned to freelancing for a lot of different clients. The problem, though, is that freelancers do the work and then the commissioning business doesn’t pay up.

When I get calls from a freelancers who have been stiffed, I haven’t historically had a lot of good advice to give them. In the past, I would suggest trying to shame a non-payer in some way online, maybe with a site like that one of my listeners started. But that often wasn’t enough to shake the money loose and it certainly didn’t pay the bills.   

But now there may be a solution. I read in The Wall Street Journal about a startup called that requires the hiring business to put the money it intends to pay a freelancer into escrow. Once the work is completed, Zintro releases the money into the freelancer’s account, generally through PayPal.

Now, I don’t know if this business model will be successful. But it deals with those calls I get so often.

Editor’s note: This segment originally aired in March 2011.

  • Show Comments Hide Comments