Time Inc. has opened up a fantastic new market: charging its freelancers for the privilege of being paid for their work in a timely fashion.

A tipster forwarded us an e-mail that Time Inc. freelancers got this week from JPMorgan, which administers the company's invoicing. Under the cheery subject heading "Time Inc - Accelerate payments at year end!", it outlined the company's PayMeNow program, whereby you can speed up payment of your invoice for a fee, kind of like when you get a payday loan at the check cashing place down on the corner so you can afford to buy lottery tickets for the week. Here's how it works, according to the JPMorgan web site that handles the program:

Pay Me Now

Pay me now allows you to accelerate payments on approved invoices in exchange for a nominal discount. Click the Pay Me Now button next to an invoice to see a prompt with a confirmation page that presents you with an analysis of the early payment opportunity. Included in the analysis is the earliest possible payment date and the associated discount amount.

If you choose to actually get all the money Time Inc. owes you, our tipster says, you usually get it within a month. But if you want it faster, here is the payment schedule—on the left are the number of days you have to wait to get paid, on the right is the portion Time Warner will skim off the top for the service.

  • 25 days - 0.5 percent
  • 20 - 1 percent
  • 15 - 1.5 percent
  • 10 - 2 percent
  • 5 - 3 percent
  • 3 - 4 percent

No word yet on whether the payments are in dollars or "Time Incgots" redeemable at your nearest company store.

Given how desperate freelancers are to be PAID NOW, largely because companies like Time Inc. never pay them on time, this is a pretty genius idea. In fact, if you take it to its logical conclusion, Time could just pay its freelances nothing instantly, thereby significantly reducing its content costs.

Here's the full e-mail urging Time Warner's freelancers to take advantage of this amazing offer!

Happy Holidays!

If you are receiving this email, you are the JPMorgan Xign administrator and you, or someone from your organization, is submitting electronic invoices or receiving electronic payments via the JPMorgan Xign solution on behalf of Time Inc. I apologize for the blind distribution but I wanted to protect everyone's privacy while sharing this important information.

As year end approaches I wanted to ensure that you were aware of the PayMeNow functionality, which allows you to _accelerate payment for invoices that have already been approved_ by TIME. This is an excellent tool to help with your cash management at year end! This does not change your payment term on future invoices, it simply accelerates the payment on the ones you specifically request.

* If you are receiving this email, it means you have approved invoices that are pending payment and can be accelerated for payment this week or any day before year end. *

* *

This is a purely optional service that is available to you by following these easy steps:

1) Log into your JPMorgan Xign account at xign.net.

2) Look for the green $$ and click the link.

3) This will display all available invoices

4) Either select the fastest date to be paid, or select "Lower rates" to schedule payment later in the month, but still before your year end.

Thanks very much and please let me know if you have additional questions related to cash acceleration. For all other inquires, please contact our Support Team at 800 485 XXXX.


Linda Piazza


Vice President, Relationship Management

[Photo via Flickr by Taber Andrew Bain.]