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When you accept a bid in a project that is not a Salary project, you must transfer the funds to escrow before the Coder starts working. This process is called "making an escrow payment". After you accept the bid, you will find the link to "Transfer funds to escrow" in the status tab of the project page.
If you don't have enough money in your account to make the escrow payment, the system will prompt you to add funds to your account before making the payment.
Once you have made this payment, Workspace tab is enabled in the project page and the Coder can begin working on the project.
Escrow payments are a safe way for both parties
Escrow payments offer a safe working environment for both parties: the Coder and the Buyer. When the Buyer adds money to escrow, the Coder knows the money is there. But the only person entitled to transfer the funds from escrow to the Coder's account is the Buyer, when he accepts the work. Should a dispute arise between both, it will be resolved by the Arbitration process.