It’s standard practice to receive your paycheck every couple of weeks. But now Caviar, the food delivery service from Square, is launching an option for delivery drivers that’ll make the process of getting paid instant.
From today forward, all of Caviar’s couriers will have the option to receive payment immediately after completing a delivery, so long as they receive the money inside Square’s Cash App. From there, they can choose to transfer the money to a bank account, or spend the money right away using the app or one of the app’s physical cards.
“It really economically empowers couriers, and we believe it changes how on-demand workers access their earnings,” Gokul Rajaram, who leads Caviar, said on a phone call.
“Faster access to money is a top ask.”
Caviar currently pays couriers once a week by depositing money in their bank accounts. There are no fees associated with the instant payment option, and the new policy means that even people without a bank account will be able to work for Caviar. Rajaram said there were no circumstances in which Caviar would go back in and remove a driver’s earnings, even in the event of a dispute with the order.
There are around 25 markets in the US where Caviar is operational, so the amount of people who can take advantage of its instant-paying gig work is limited. Rajaram wouldn’t share how many people currently work as deliver drivers, but said it was “a large number and growing fast.”
And then, of course, there is the bigger limitation that — like Uber drivers and so many others — Caviar’s couriers are ultimately independent contractors, without benefits. This instant payment option emphasizes that. It also adds what may be a meaningful perk.
Rajaram said it’s “too early” to say whether services outside of Square might be able to adopt the instant payment option, too. “In general,” he said, ”we’ve seen that every type of customer that Square has ... faster access to money is a top ask.”