London-based Wollit fast-tracks income-levelling service for freelancers hit by coronavirus

By John Reynolds on Monday 30 March 2020

Digital Banking

The Wollit Income Promise has now been earmarked for a May launch.

  London-based Wollit fast-tracks income-levelling service for freelancers hit by coronavirus
Image source: Image provided by Wollit.

A UK fintech has brought forward the launch of its first product—which tops-up the monthly pay packets of freelancers and gig workers—by several months in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Wollit aims to help with the financial wellbeing of the UK's 14m freelancers, gig workers and those on zero-hours contracts through a range of products.

The London-based fintech's first service is called the Wollit Income Promise and aims to regulate the incomes of those not in full-time work.

The Income Promise was due to launch later this year, but has now been brought forward to a May launch in the wake of coronavirus.

Wollit provides customers with an interest-free cash top-up whenever they earn less than their average monthly earning. A £9.99 fixed monthly fee is the only cost to customers.

So, if an individual agrees with Wollit that their average earnings are £2,000 a month, but one month they only earn £1,500, then Wollit will top up the £500.

The top-ups are repaid when the individual earns more than the £2,000. A credit limit is agreed beforehand between the customer and Wollit.

The London-based startup received £1m from BBVA, Anthemis and Plug & Play Ventures, Form Ventures, MAHR Projects and other angel investors earlier this year.

Gig workers have been hit hard by the outbreak of coronavirus, with many earning just £8.25 an hour and are less likely to have savings to fall back on than those working full-time.

Liad Shababo, CEO of Wollit, said: "While we welcome the support measures announced for the self-employed, we need to consider how quickly this money will become accessible and what happens to those who have only recently become self-employed to ensure they don’t fall through the gap.”

"This population of the workforce has an insecure income and often lives hand to mouth, and many are worried they will soon be unable to pay basic living costs."

"Maybe more importantly, we need to think about survival long-term and thinking about how we can remove stress beyond three months."

“In response to the financial insecurity brought about by COVID-19 we are working to speed up the launch of our income smoothing product, the Wollit Income Promise.

"Bringing forward the launch of Wollit will enable many self-employed workers to protect themselves from future shocks, giving them long term consistent support and stability after the current government support measures come to end."

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