There's an interesting evolution taking place in the labor market between employers and workers and the expectations each have of the other.
Employers want valuable workers that are engaged with the company mission. Workers want employment that provides financial support beyond traditional paychecks and benefits.
OrbisPay, a Boston, MA financial wellness organization, finds itself in the center with a solution that works for employers and their workers. OrbisPay breaks the cycle for workers living paycheck-to-paycheck by making payday everyday.
You might have seen OrbisPay at September’s HR Tech Conference in Las Vegas, or at a recent Fenway game. Now, OrbisPay hits its next phase of growth by delivering a benefit that attracts employees with daily access to earned wages.
Contributing to this growth is OrbisPay’s new Director of Marketing, Sagger Khraishi. In a recent interview, Sagger shares a glance at the horizon and what to expect in 2023. Attention to user experiences and a deliberately simple application are key this coming year.
Sagger breaks down the shake up in marketing and how OrbisPay is overtaking the competition.
Coming out of COVID, most owners were hit with unprecedented challenges in their businesses. The cost of employee turnover and employee burnout are at record highs as the War for Talent, the Big Resignation, and Quiet Quitting all circulate apprehension for workers and their employers.
According to new findings from Microsoft, 50% of workers surveyed are suffering from burnout. (Smith, 2022) When workers are worn down, performance suffers, engagement suffers, and employees are more likely to leave an employer for a job that promises better quality of work-life. This leaves companies with alarming turnover rates. In a recent survey, 35% of employers reported an employee turnover rate increase as high as 30%. (Sierra, 2022)
Marketing financial wellness in a time like this is a sensitive practice that can come with some heat, but this is Sagger’s strong suit.
“My friends describe me as someone who likes fires; I can stand close to the flames, and I can feel the flames, but I don’t get burnt.”
Over the last several years, Sagger has worked with clients in terms of brand awareness, adoption, and engagement. He helps them gain traction in social media and grow audiences at critical points.
“During the pandemic - a favorite example- we were working in the COVID space, trying to track down people who have COVID in terms of from friends and whatnot, and trying to market that. So, it’s setting up marketing campaigns like, ‘Okay, we're fresh into the market. People hate us. They think that we're fake. How do we market ourselves? And it's approaching challenges like that. That's really fun.”
It’s not just marketing challenges that attract this leader to on-demand pay. It’s solving bigger problems for hard-working Americans, and the companies they work for.
PwC finds that in 3,000 recently surveyed employees, 34% of respondents said that financial worries have caused major or severe mental health issues for them. Nearly as many respondents have had major or severe interruptions to their sleep. More than a fifth have indicated the same impact on their physical health. (“2022 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey,” 2022)
Negative impacts to the mental and physical health of half the workforce is a huge challenge. Employers are hit hard with a loss of productivity and efficiency when workers take time off to recover from the pains of stress. This interruption can easily trickle down to the bottom line and impact revenue growth.
At the same time the challenge is coming into focus, product marketing leaders like Sagger are bringing the solution into focus.
Break the Cycle
The COVID-19 pandemic left financial damage and apprehension for workers, and now the growing concern over recession compounds it.
“It’s something like 70% of people live paycheck to paycheck in the US. I mean, it's an insane number. How many of them rely on stuff like payday loans or things like that, which will put you even further in debt. It’s insane. What we need is a way to break the cycle and that's what drew me to OrbisPay. It feels like they can break the cycle. It’s possible. This company is a few steps in the right direction.” (Dickler, 2022)
It’s a problem that affects each side of the pay scale. Whether a worker makes minimum wage, or a six-figure salary, Americans are struggling to make ends meet and respond to unexpected expenses.
“The ability to get payments for work you've already done is great. You have the Uber drivers that want access to their earnings the same day. You have delivery workers that want to access wages the same day. “
And why wouldn't any worker want access to earned pay without having to wait for payday?
Some would argue that access to daily wages impedes on learning how to budget properly or save wisely. This is not the case. It might prompt people to budget differently, but ultimately, individuals want financial stability; they want to pay bills on time and put money into savings. However they get paid, they’ll still want to budget their money. On-demand pay gives them more agility and control over that very budget.
“I just feel like it's about time, honestly.”
Sagger is coming in at a crucial stage in brand awareness for OrbisPay, and he brings the tools and strategies that foster transparency and authenticity. This cultivates strong relationships with their audience and gives users time and space to be heard. One of the best ways to break the cycle is to go to the source and get real.
“We will be pulling in from our audience, and asking them about their experiences.”
OrbisPay will focus on a range of customers and perspectives and listen to the employers and end-user employees that rely on daily access to earned wages. Sagger and his marketing staff are eager to listen and have a strong understanding of “customer speak”.
“I studied English literature and business administration …that was the biggest benefit of studying English Lit; learning how to speak designer speak, learning how to speak developer speak, learning how to speak business speak.”
Of course, it doesn’t hurt to love the service your company provides. OrbisPay, founded by Mo Saeed in 2019, was born from a critical need for equity and access to financial wellness. Too often, it seems that tools and services for building financial wealth and stability are reserved for those who already have it. OrbisPay aims to change that.
“After the first few startups, I tend to focus on either economically or socially responsible companies. That's been my driver. Like: you have a vision, you have a mission. What's the mission? That sounds good. Sounds like you're trying to change the world for the better. I want to work with you. I don't care what it is, let's get you to a better place. It also stems from: I want to use their product. I like their product and I want to see it come to fruition so I can use it.”
To get the job done right, Sagger depends on powerful tools that deliver efficiency, accuracy, and automation. For task management and content pipelines he uses Trello, for marketing strategy and roadmap he uses Confluence, and for blogging he trusts Ghost. He regularly tests cutting edge marketing tech and tactics and recently, AI-generated content has caught Sagger’s attention.
“Something that's been really fun, especially since the pandemic, is using AI generated arts. It’s honestly a game changer. It’s a powerful tool, and something nobody has seen before.”
In addition to staying on the pulse of industry tech and technique, Sagger is part of a networking ecosystem in downtown Boston.
“Each week at the CIC in Boston, a startup network called Venture Cafe, people come and attend classes, talks, things like that. Go and have a beer and talk with like-minded people in the community. It’s a great way to network. If you’re in the Boston area, I would totally recommend checking out Thursdays at the CIC.”
From entertainment, to food, to travel, it's apparent that consumers are settling into an on-demand lifestyle. With so many options just a click away, it makes sense that access to earned wages is on-demand, too. OrbisPay hears consumers asking for immediate financial flexibility and control, but it’s not just that. Users want simplicity.
According to research in the ninth edition of Siegel+Gale’s World’s Simplest Brands study, 76% of people are more likely to recommend a brand that delivers simple experiences. (Alonso, 2021)
Sagger and his team embrace this and together with product development, engineering, and sales, deliver a user experience that is deliberately simple.
“We're the ones that don't offer all of the bells and whistles that people don't need. Other companies are offering so many different options, like, ‘We'll give you a debit card!’ I already have a debit card. ‘We'll give you some savings options!’ I have that. What I need is just an app to access my payroll. Simple. Trust me, I’ve lived my life for 33 years. I know what I want. Just give me the basics. Just give me access to my earnings. I trust myself to delegate what happens with it.”
It’s often said that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, but what Oscar Wilde famously points out with this expression is mediocrity. When consumers dip into the pool of fintech financial resources, imitation is found regularly. One company introduces a product or service, and their competitors scramble to devise a similar solution. A lack of confidence in that service can lead to fluff. Extraneous features and functions that distract the user and detract from the simplicity that should be a part of a remarkable user experience. This is mediocrity. Sagger’s marketing team is on trajectory to connect with real users in 2023 by standing apart from that imitation.
“So working with the leadership team directly, I was coming in like, ‘Hey, why don't we do this? Based on the research, we should probably look into doing this.’ There's some exciting things to look forward to in the coming year. I say it’s exciting because it's nothing that our competitors are doing. It's something that, without going into too much detail, something that will definitely change things for the market.”
Sagger is ramping up the momentum for OrbisPay’s marketing initiatives in 2023, but it’s still the same OrbisPay you know and trust.
“We are still the same brand. We're just letting you know, in a different way.”
Thanks to the strong leadership of Sagger Khraishi, marketing is tuned into feedback to keep the user experience deliberately simple. Expect the OrbisPay community to buzz and expand with engagement from both employers and workers in 2023.
You’ll continue to see OrbisPay leaders giving talks and hosting booths at conferences and conventions in the next year, and you might even catch them at the next Red Sox game. Wherever you run into them, Sagger guarantees,
“We're going to be making a lot of noise.”
2022 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey. (2022). PwC. https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/business-transformation/library/employee-financial-wellness-survey.html
Alonso, D. (2021, December 21). World’s Simplest Brands | Siegel+Gale’s ninth edition study. Siegel+Gale. https://www.siegelgale.com/as-the-pandemic-makes-life-more-complex-people-crave-simpler-brands/
Dickler, J. (2022, October 24). 63% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck — including nearly half of six-figure earners. CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/10/24/more-americans-live-paycheck-to-paycheck-as-inflation-outpaces-income.html
@orbispay (@orbispay) /. (2022, October 24). Twitter. https://twitter.com/orbispay?lang=en
Sierra, S. (2022, March 31). The Great Resignation 2022: Where are all the Bay Area workers? ABC7 San Francisco. https://abc7news.com/the-great-resignation-2022-turnover-rate-covid-return-to-work/11688711/
Smith, M. (2022, October 6). 50% of workers are burned out and “productivity paranoia” could be making it worse: “People are just worn down.” CNBC. https://www.cnbc.com/2022/10/06/microsoft-50-percent-of-people-are-burned-out-at-work.html