How Digital Payments Are Powering the Creator Economy

July 7th, 2022 by Felix Cheruiyot


Digital payments power the creator economy. Learn how online payment platforms enable anyone with a smartphone and Internet access to operate as a business.

Globalisation, the rise of the sharing and creator economies, and a shifting consumer mindset have led to an emergent need for new business models that facilitate transactions at all ecosystem levels.

The creator economy has witnessed exponential growth thanks to social media and digital tools that make it easy to create, promote, and sell creative work.

More than providing infrastructure to request and accept payments online securely, digital payment providers are now a critical infrastructure through which creators manage inventory and track sales.

This article will discuss 5 ways digital payment providers are powering the creator economy.

Let's get started.

What is the creator economy?

The creator economy groups everyone who earns an income through something they are passionate about. Enabled by the internet and social media platforms in particular that allow people to express themselves and make money off their knowledge, special skills, and followings.

Today’s creators are not just content creators; they are small businesses with a personal brand, small shops with a loyal customer base, and big brands ready to extend their reach through an e-commerce platform.

Think of a creator with a YouTube channel, a blogger, a freelance writer, a podcaster, or a social media influencer with a huge presence across several social platforms. The creator economy brings together side hustles that people start when they decide to follow their passions, which eventually grow into independent businesses.

Content creators on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram with large followings can make a lot of money by tapping into the power of influencer marketing. But these creators need specially adapted payment systems that recognize that they aren’t traditional businesses for which cash, cheque, and account-based payments don’t really work.

Creators need digital payment systems that recognize their unique needs

More digital payment and e-commerce solutions are emerging every day that give creators and social media stars more channels and methods to sell their digital products and generate revenue through ad deals, brand partnerships, revenue streams, exclusive content, and sponsored posts.

Payments for creative work are no longer restricted to cheques and wire transfers. You can now receive payment through digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum that are faster, cheaper, and safer than traditional payments that can take days to arrive.

This is a huge benefit for independent artists and creators whose businesses might suffer if they don't receive their payments on time.

Pioneer digital payment providers like PayPal have been accused of abusing their market advantage by charging high fees. So emerging payment providers like IntaSend that allow bitcoin payment receipts could not have come at a better time for creators.

Bitcoin also provides a safe digital wallet for creators to store their money without the risk of fraud or theft that can occur with traditional payments.

It's exciting to see the digital currency market continue to expand as a payment option for creators, and as IntaSend we are proud to be part of its growth.

Digital payment systems have more robust fraud prevention tools

One of the biggest challenges in the digital payments industry is fraud, costing creators and consumers billions of dollars yearly. The old model for fraud detection - which relies mainly on manual checks - is slow, inefficient, and often incorrect.

The old manual ways of checking payments for fraud and improprieties creates a financial disincentive for creators to provide high-quality content to their audiences because they know they may have to pay fraud fines when others use their content.

Instead of relying on outdated and ineffective systems, we need to innovate and experiment with new approaches to solve the problem of fraud.

Digital wallets have democratized access to credit

But while digital payments are great in their own right, they are not enough to support a healthy creator economy. To do that, creators need access to other financial services, such as loans, lines of credit, and credit cards.

The problem is that traditional banks have been slow to provide access to these services to creators in the online space. But there are now several online-only banks that provide these services, and many of them have been expanding their reach to the creator economy.

Improved access to banking services expands the customer base for creators

Digital payments have ushered in a new age of convenience and accessibility to financial services, allowing anyone to pay content creators and creators directly. This is a boon for creators, who now have more ways to receive revenue, and the ecosystem is only continuing to evolve.

In 2018, digital payments accounted for more than half of all consumer payments in the United States, which simply means more people can and feel safe enough to pay online. This is a significant milestone, allowing creators to reach new audiences and monetize their work more efficiently.

The momentum will only continue as digital payments are projected to grow at an average annual rate of 20% for the next three years. This will enable creators to increase their revenue and expand their audiences.

Over the past year, the amount of money spent on digital payments for content has increased significantly and is expected to continue to grow at a similar rate over the next year.

The amount of money generated from digital payments is beginning to surpass the amount generated from traditional sales. This means that the creator economy is growing faster than ever, and is poised to continue to do so in the future.

Digital payment providers offer easier ways to pay and get paid

Accepting payments from international businesses/clients as an African creator was never easy because digital payment providers were reluctant to avail full services here.

To this day, PayPal users in many African countries cannot receive payments into their accounts. But PayPal is only too happy to process payments for the same users, principally because it gets to collect fees.

There are, however, payment providers like Payoneer that are more accommodating to users from developing countries. Homegrown digital payment platforms like IntaSend have also emerged to fill the gap.

As the digitization economy continues to grow, so does the acceptance of these new payment methods by merchants, shoppers, and consumers. International clients and suppliers accept digital payments in various forms, including through credit cards, bank transfers, direct deposit, and mobile wallets like M-Pesa.

Digital payments are cheaper and faster to complete

Another reason why you should choose digital payments over any other option is that they're cheaper to use. When you use a traditional method of payment, such as cash or a check, you're paying a fee to the bank or merchant for every transaction.

With digital payments, however, you're only charged a small network fee when you use your card to make a purchase online or over the phone. It's a lot more convenient and cost-effective to use digital payments over traditional ones.

A digital payment provider like IntaSend offers fees as low as 1% for every mobile money transaction, 3.5% for local card payment deposits. When you compare these fees to what traditional banks charge for their services, you can see why digital payments are the way to go.

Digital payment providers make it is easy and fast to sign up

If you choose a payment provider like IntaSend, all you need to get started is to create an account, go through the verification process, create invoices, and start sending them out. You can do all this without ever visiting a physical banking hall.

IntaSend is an African payment provider that understands the importance of receiving on time because businesses on the continent have traditionally face many hurdles in that regard.

We have made creating invoices and requesting payment from anywhere in the world very easy through our invoice generator and no-code payment links.

In the past, businesses had to print invoices and physically mail them to their customers. Today, people use digital tools to manage their invoices, request payment and even to automatically send reminders for overdue payments. Through the same accounts, creators can pay service providers..

Here’s how IntaSend makes it easy to sign and start making and receiving payments online:

  1. Create an account

All, you need to sign up for an IntaSend account is a valid phone number and email address. Once you have an account, you’ll need to verify your information.

Verification involves entering a code we will send you via phone text. This step verifies your contact information and protects your account from unathorised access..

  1. Choose how you want to get paid

Once you’ve created an account, you must choose how you want to get paid. If you have a website for your brand as a creator, you might want to integrate an easy-to-use API to receive payments seamlessly from your clients.

With our payment gateway API, your clients can make payments on your website or app without having to contact you directly. It allows you to accept money from other people outside of your brand, which increases your sales.

To get paid as a freelancer or unregistered business, the process is fairly straightforward too. You have to create an invoice, fill in some details, choose your preferred payment method, and send it to your client who will then pay you by clicking on the link attached to the invoice. You can do all this within your IntaSend account.

IntaSend provides many ways for you to get paid. This include card payments, M-Pesa, bank transfers, and Bitcoin.

Further reading: Invoice best practices that help you get paid

Make scheduled, bulk payments with ease

As a creator you may have to pull together a team of experts, including other creators to help you make your dreams come alive. These can include video editors, animators, graphic designers, and even virtual assistants. The possibilities are endless.

As your team grows, you will face a few headaches paying them all at the same time. But not when you are using a digital payments provider like IntaSend that makes it a breeze to make bulk payments directly suppliers, contractors, or employees.

Our bulk payments functionality allows you can make scheduled payments to multiple people from a single transaction and keep track of everything. This helps protect your privacy and keep your transactions secure.

In this regard, digital payments make it easier to manage your money, so you don't have to waste time finding bills and tracking spending. With a full history of your payments, which should avoid generating too much paperwork, which wastes time and stretches your manpower resources.

Since you are making payments online, you can work on the road, completing payments even while on vacation. This way you can keep your suppliers and contractors happy and work can continue even in your absence.

With IntaSend can access your account information, transfer funds between accounts, and make digital payments from anywhere and at any time of the day.

Wallet as a service

Wallet as a service (WaaS) is a cloud-based service that integrates all your payment methods, including cards, mobile wallet, and other digital assets into one application where you can easily access them.

A brainchild of digital payment services, WaaS has proved to be such a hit that some traditional banks are already working on building out their own versions. WaaS simplifies the banking experience and brings increased security since you don’t have to share access to your sensitive information with a third party.

Wallet as a service enables you to automate payments and provides an easier way to reconcile. You can move money across wallets you own, separate funds, and easily disburse to mobile money and banks.

If you are working on starting a marketplace for creators, using the wallet as a service allows to separate funds for each creator and automate payments disbursements. Through IntaSend’s SDKs, you can save time and resources building your own WaaS product on top of an existing infrastructure.

Learn more about Wallet Service use cases - 9 best examples

Digital Payments Are Secure

In the past, people worried about the security of funds help in digital wallets. Now, digital payments are now considered to be more secure than traditional payments.

Some of the security features that have been built into digital payments include the abilities to verify the identity of the person making the payment, block suspicious transactions, and to produce digital receipts. All of these security features help to protect customers' payment information and make digital payments a better experience than traditional payments.

Most payment providers have now adopted the PSD2 security protocols, which grant access to recognized parties. This has allowed brands to communicate with authorized systems when a payment is required, rather than relying on the traditional one-way payment mechanism.

The result has been a more transparent customer experience, faster payment times, and increased security, which has boosted the appeal of digital payments.

Bonus point: Payment automation through API integration.

Whether you're a business owner or a content creator, integrating digital payments on your platform is a great way to increase your revenue. There are a number of ways you can implement digital payments on your platform, such as accepting card payments onsite, processing in-app purchases, and more.

If you sell products online, you need to set up a merchant account so you can accept customer payments on your website. There are many payment gateways you can use, but if you're an African creator, IntaSend remains your best bet. The company offers easy-to-use APIs and the lowest transaction fees.

Power your passion and chase your creative dreams with IntaSend

The creator economy has allowed many creators to build successful businesses and earn a living online. The role of digital payments in this cannot be ignored. In fact, the creator economy would not succeed without an enabling digital payments infrastructure.

Content creators can be as creative and work as hard as they can, but without equally creative digital payments infrastructure, getting paid or sending payments to contractors and suppliers will be a challenge.

The rise of digital payments has made it easier for creators to get paid and send payments. Now that you have the missing piece sorted, what’s stopping you from following your heart and earning a living working on your own terms and doing what you have always wanted to do.

Sign up with IntaSend to easily pay and get paid online so you can be the creator you have always envisaged yourself to be.

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