At Upwork, it’s our company mission to create economic opportunities so that people have better lives. Our team works every day to craft innovations and improvements to our user experience.

Faster payments from Upwork have risen to the top of our users’ request list, especially facing the current COVID-19 crisis. We’re excited to announce that our latest update will cut payment wait times in half for Top Rated freelancers and agencies.

We have eliminated the five-day security hold on payments to Top Rated freelancers and agencies working on hourly contracts.

In the past, Upwork required a 10-day wait on all payments to ensure a safe and secure exchange for the marketplace, reduce risks in payment processing, and allow clients more time to review their freelancer’s billed hours and project progress before a payment is released.

We are prepared to take on additional responsibility associated with removing the security-hold period for Top Rated freelancers and agencies, especially in these hard times. We are enabling this for the marketplace’s Top Rated freelancers and agencies first. In the future, we hope to consider expanding this service to other freelancers, too.


I qualify for faster payments. It's Friday, and I don't see my funds. Why?

Cleared payments are released on Fridays by 5 a.m. UTC. If you live in another timezone, please calculate the time difference to determine when your payment will be available. We will also email you after your payment is applied and ready to be withdrawn.

If you issued a partial refund for your client, the rest of their payment to you will not be released according to the faster payouts schedule. A payment impacted by a refund will be subject to the 10-day wait on payments.

How does it work?

As long as your client’s billing method can be charged successfully and they don’t dispute your hours, we will apply their payment to your Upwork account five days earlier than before if you are Top Rated. You can then withdraw the money anytime you prefer by clicking here and choosing “Get Paid Now.”

If you have an automatic payment schedule set up and want your earnings sooner, you also can use “Get Paid Now.”


Who is eligible?

We are rolling this out to the Upwork marketplace’s most successful freelancers and agencies -- those who are Top Rated. In the future, we may consider expanding this to other freelancers.

Will this be more widely available in the future?

We will look at expanding this to other freelancers in the future. Stay tuned!

Will you take additional steps to help us get payments faster?

We have no plans to do so at this time. We do need to leave time for clients to review the hours you billed and your progress on the project.

Will the reduction on hold on funds be applied to fixed-price contracts?

The five-day security hold will still apply for fixed-price contracts. We are reviewing the impact of making these payments faster too; we will keep you posted.

Why doesn’t this apply to fixed-price contracts?

We wanted to quickly roll this out to as many freelancers as possible so we worked first to bring faster payments to hourly contacts since the majority of jobs on Upwork are hourly. In the future, we plan to look at ways to release payments for fixed-price contracts faster too. We will keep you posted.

Why is there a review/security-hold period in the first place?

There is inherent risk in payment processing, driven by the potential of fraud, disputes and chargebacks. We also want to give clients time to review their freelancer’s billed hours and project progress before a payment is released. That is why we established the ten-day review and security-hold period to begin with. But in these unusual times, we understand how important it is for you to get your money as quickly as possible. As a result, we are willing to take on additional risk and potential losses and remove the security-hold period for Top Rated freelancers and agencies so you can get your money five days sooner, if you choose.

Will this be available only during COVID-19?

While we plan to continue the practice after the COVID-19 pandemic ends, we will be monitoring how this change impacts our marketplace and business.

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