You don’t need to get into debt with payday loans, credit cards or other options just to pay your bills on time.
Your money is yours and you can access it with a program called Earned Wage Access (EWA).
You are just accessing it earlier than you normally doo.
The major advantage to EWA is that it creates a financial safety net when an unexpected bill arises and you don’t have the funds to pay for it.
It also reduces stress. If you have an unexpected bill you can access money when you need it, which could help you budget your money more effectively.
Several companies in Australia, the UK and the US allow their staff to access wages before the usual pay day under EWA programs.
How do Earned Wage Access programs work?
Rather than being an advance, EWAs let you access your already-earned pay before pay day rather than making you wait until your usual pay day.
For example, say you get paid monthly and are scheduled to work 60 hours per month – 15 per week.
If you have already worked 15 hours, you’ll be able to access your pay for those 15 hours now, instead of waiting for your usual pay day at the end of the month.
There is a slight catch with this, of course. EWAs usually charge an ATM-style fee. At Paytime, one EWA, an early withdrawal fee of $3 applies.
Paytime founder Steven Furman says: “We have three pricing options (one is employee pay); two is co-contribution by the employer, and the third is a full employee benefit.
“The majority of our current clients do contribute towards the cost and we do encourage employers to bear some, if not all of the costs, however this should not be a barrier to a company offering the solution to staff, if they choose not to pay or cannot as we do know that regardless of whether or not an employee pays 30-50 per cent do utilise the solution two to four times a month.”
A few thousand companies, primarily across retail, hospitality and mining have already signed up to the platform, with 30 to 50 per cent of those companies using the solution regularly.
Mr Furman says: “The days of employees having to wait for a fixed payday each week/fortnight is quickly becoming outdated. Employees, especially millennials, are demanding a solution that allows them to access a portion of their earned pay at any time in the month.”
“Over the medium term, many companies will revert back from their current weekly or fortnightly formal pay-runs to a once per month pay cycle without impacting the employees’ ability to have power over their pay as they can access their earned pay at anytime in the month.
“This has a tremendous amount of time and cost savings benefits to a business, by offering EWA as an employee benefit (i.e. the company pays for two to three free withdrawals per month per employee versus the current time and costs in running weekly/fortnightly pay cycles.”