Thor Technologies may be named after a millennia-old Norse god of thunder, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t teaching the world new tricks.
Through its contractor management portal Odin, Thor is bringing new thinking to the old practice of hiring independent contractors. Odin is a one-stop contractor management platform for businesses that employ independent contractors and is the first blockchain-ready payments portal in the United States that allows businesses to easily manage and track all outbound payments to their contractors.
With 1 of every 10 workers being an independent contractor, Thor Technologies saw a tremendous opportunity to take a hammer to the inefficiencies of managing contractor payments. Companies that bring on temporary seasonal staff, use freelancers for short-run projects or hire independent contractors for any reason can leverage Odin to send, manage and track outbound payments without the tedious backend work or error-prone documentation processes.
Odin by Thor is built to offer two independent systems, David Chin, co-founder and CEO of Thor Technologies, explains. One will entirely be fiat based, meaning all transactions on that system will be made in U.S. dollars through the ACH Network.
This system utilizes Dwolla’s ACH API.
A blockchain component is offered as well to allow on-demand companies to purchase “Thor Credits” and use them in a closed-loop system. Companies that make international payments to contractors can leverage the blockchain aspect of Odin by Thor.
Chin says they are prepared to help the 1099 workforce get paid in a gig economy with the Odin platform.
He says businesses that are the early adopters of Thor’s contractor management platform—businesses that manage fewer than 60 independent contractors—have seen direct savings around 30% in cost and time as it relates to onboarding, paying and managing a full-time contractor in the workforce.
That’s roughly $30,000 annually as it relates to salary and overhead.
Chin says they are finalizing discussions with companies that manage more than 1,000 independent contractors. With a workforce that size, he estimates those businesses could see savings 10 times as much using Odin.
Without Dwolla powering Odin’s payments—making payment transactions reliable and cost effective across the ACH Network—those savings wouldn’t be possible.
“We don’t have a traditional business model, so we really appreciated that we could talk with Dwolla about what could be, as opposed to what is,” Chin says. “The Dwolla team was willing to think outside the box and work hand in hand with us to find solutions that worked for us and our customers.
“It was very impressive.”
To provide a convenient and intuitive way for on-demand companies to pay their contractors, Thor Technologies searched for a white-labeled payments integration that had easy-to-understand developer documentation and could be tested in a sandbox environment, without having to first talk with a sales representative.
Thor’s eventual partner needed to be forward thinking and able to work with Thor to identify the best way to capitalize on its payments integration and leverage the ACH Network.
After searching the internet and hearing different recommendations, Chin says his team narrowed the search to Dwolla, Shift and Braintree.
“We had an aggressive timeline,” Chin says. “So we came to Des Moines for a visit. We appreciated that we were able to sit down with decision makers within the company and that we weren’t being thrown into a bureaucratic sales funnel. We could see that Dwolla took us seriously and wanted to get things done.”
The positive experience of that meeting—along with the ability to get to market quickly—made Dwolla the right fit for Odin.
“Dwolla has this forward thinking mentality where they are willing to work with us where we are today but also where we are wanting to be,” Chin says. “With Odin and Dwolla, there is no product quite like ours on the market to manage payments for a 1099 workforce. We can offer a single solution for businesses to manage their contractors that includes both a contractor management portal and wallet functions for contractors on our mobile platform.
“With so many independent contractors in today’s gig economy, we can get them paid quicker thanks to Dwolla.”
Support As A Superpower
Having found its ideal payment solution, Odin was able to fully integrate and begin using the Dwolla Platform in fewer than 50 days.
In order for that to be possible, Chin says Dwolla’s customer success and developer advocate teams were “game changers” and “impactful.”
“Dwolla’s availability has been key to our relationship,” Chin says. “Our questions get answered promptly, which keeps business running smoothly and our team really appreciates the response time. From the dedicated integration manager to help with onboarding and a seamless handoff process to the dedicated account manager, the support aspect of Dwolla’s service has been one of the most impactful and memorable aspects of our partnership.
“Dwolla has been fantastic.”
To Be Continued
With freelancers expected to become an increasingly larger part of the U.S. workforce, service providers like Thor (and its relationship with Dwolla) will become even more important. Dwolla’s ability to support businesses as they scale gives Thor the peace of mind that can continue to advance its business, even after the Valhalla of the gig economy is built.
With Thor already in conversations with larger providers, Dwolla’s forward-thinking mentality will continue to be an asset as Thor continues to grow and evolve with the demand of its users. Dwolla’s nimbleness and responsive attitude are the perfect compliment to Thor’s trailblazing mission.
For companies, like Thor, that are innovative superheros in their industries, Dwolla has proven to be the perfect sidekick.