Earning Extra: Finding the side hustlers within your institution

Research shows more people are leaning on side hustles to supplement their income. This year alone, side hustlers increased 6.3 percent to 15 million Americans, a number that has been on the rise, gaining more than 40 percent since 2016. In total, nearly 37 percent of Americans have joined the movement, recognizing the traditional 9-to-5-job isn't the only way to make cash.  

Among those individuals, meet Matt, a full-time communications professional who promotes Atlanta-based concerts on the side. Eight years ago, Matt launched a company to promote local artists by hosting music festivals. Interested bands are required to pre-sell tickets to guarantee their spot, and in exchange, they earn commission and have access to a low-cost venue. Each band collects payment differently – whether it’s PayPal, Venmo, Square or cash – and they pay Matt in advance of the shows. To collect, Matt would switch between the preferred form of payment and Microsoft Excel sheets, tracking and recording ticket sales and revenue, and then go to QuickBooks for post-show accounting. 

Managing the moving parts from vendors and bands to marketing and fans, Matt quickly became overwhelmed. He wasn’t as concerned with accounting as he was with finding a simple way to manage and track payments. Matt needed a solution that offered multiple forms of payments and a comprehensive view of his finances, especially since non-bank providers would take several days to process these payments. One day, he learned his financial institution could simplify this process altogether with a single integrated solution; all these moving parts finally seemed to work in tandem.

Side hustlers like Matt contributed to more than $1.4 trillion of our nation’s total income as of 2018. The gig economy is made up of freelancers and independent contractors; with the four most popular being home repair/landscaping, online sales, crafts, and childcare or babysitting. They often use this side job to generate additional income while still maintaining a flexible and adaptable work schedule. Side hustlers earn $686 per month, on average, with 59 percent considering these funds to be disposable. 

The rise of the gig economy presents an opportunity for financial institutions to strengthen banking relationships; attract and maintain more profitable and long-term customers; and support the financial health of their customers. Many of these side hustlers are in a key customer segment that financial institutions are seeking loyalty from, such as millennials who are more likely to have a side hustle than other generations, or the 15 percent of Gen Zers who already work full-time and have a side hustle. Offering these individuals, a simple way to manage their finances will be a critical component to capturing this market early as more individuals find value in the hustle. And having this type of solution for individuals to view their accounts more holistically may help the 63 percent of Americans who have less than 63% of $500 in emergency funds be more prepared should an unexpected situation arise.

Follow our blog to learn more about how you can identify and serve another unique niche within the small business segment like the self-employed consumers in the coming weeks.