Salaries for people in the gig economy is unpredictable and sometimes become unstable. This is the problem Trezeo is trying to solve. Created in 2016, Trezeo is a company that was created to provide financial stability for self-employed workers in the gig economy by turning unpredictable income into steady weekly pay based on average annual income. This service is called income smoothing.
Trezeo co-founder Garrett Cassidy thinks there is a significant market out there for the company’s product, with approximately five million self-employed in the UK. By 2027, the majority of US workers will be freelancers. The company describes its efforts as crucial to solving future problems for these workers.
“There’s a lot of noise around the gig economy. But the world is moving that way and we’re very much like ‘that’s fine, you can push back all you want, it’s going that way and we need to create the services that will work for these people.” said Garrett Cassidy, co-founder of Trezeo.
Trezeo will serve as an alternative lender, providing small loans to customers, which is paid by their income that comes at a later date.
This service is interest-free, and the company instead gets its revenue from a weekly membership fee of £3.
“OUR ULTIMATE VISION IS IF YOU CHOOSE TO BE FREELANCE OR SELF-EMPLOYED WHY SHOULD YOU CUT YOURSELF OFF FROM FINANCIAL SECURITY…”
“We want to allow them to build their own financial resilience and also start looking a bit more useful for traditional financial institutions to engage with,” Cassidy explained. “Our ultimate vision is if you choose to be freelance or self-employed, why should you cut yourself off from financial security, why should you trade flexibility for security, and, therefore, that’s the whole ethos of the income smoothing.”
Trezeo plans to add new features that would further benefit the end-users. These features include an income verification system that will help workers be approved for larger loans such as mortgages from banks. Another feature they are looking to add is an opt-in pension in which customers could pay 5% of their total income for that period.
Trezeo has already released personal accident and disability insurance. Both covers customers for £300 per week for six months in the case that they are unable to work. This sounds as if Trezeo is becoming the workers’ surrogate employer but Cassidy emphasized that this is instead a new system built to reflect the opportunities presented by technology, distant but reminiscent of the employment structures that came before.
“We’re trying to recreate [the structure] in a way so that a self-employed person controls it and over time can decide what they want… We’re not trying to make them employees, we’re very careful about that, but we’re trying to make it an employee-like experience for them so that they can very easily manage their finances and see them like an employee traditionally would… Platforms are making it easier for people to make the choice of flexibility.”
The UK is Trezeo’s only market at this time. The company is looking interestedly abroad to Western Europe and America with plans to expand.
“This is a very big niche globally,” Cassidy remarked. “And as we’ve gone along, we’ve realized how much of an impact we can have.”