OrbisPay, a 2-year-old startup stemmed from an intuitive desire to improve the lives of those living paycheck to paycheck and barely getting by.
Two years back, nearly 78% of the US population was living paycheck to paycheck, and not having instant access to their earnings. (Friedman, 2021) When met with an accident or a financial emergency, they had to rely either on their friends, families, or short-term payday loans to meet their expenses.
The gap between meeting everyday expenses and the scheduled payday for workers was what bought OrbisPay into being. Employees were compelled to turn to high-interest payday loans which caused them an APR of 400%, to meet their usual emergency expenses such as a car fix or a bill payment. (CFPB, 2022)
Let’s meet Jon, who played a key role in the formation of OrbisPay for what it is right now and the mission it tends to serve.
Jon is a very dear friend of Mo. He once shared a story of how he was ripped off by a payday loan. Jon took a two-week payday loan of $400 for an emergency car repair and ended up in a never-ending debt cycle. The loan cost him an APR of 400%, creating a deeper financial riot for him.
Upon hearing Jon’s story, the idea and vision to form OrbisPay strengthened and Mo was determined to take it further and make a difference in the lives of millions of workers who share a similar story to Jon.
Today, 125 million of the American workforce is living paycheck to paycheck (McCain, 2022) and struggling to make ends meet. The financial insecurities that have set in after the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing inflation are making on-demand pay solutions like OrbisPay, the need of the hour.
“60% of Americans now want instant access to their earnings at the end of the workday” (Mahoney et al., 2022)
Who Founded OrbisPay?
Mo Saeed is a social entrepreneur, who founded OrbisPay in 2019, with the idea of changing the way we do business in the US. Making an impact on someone's life is what has always motivated Mo.
It has always been his desire and motivation to make a difference in someone’s life which has brought OrbisPay from a mere idea to a financial wellness service that provides instant access to earnings for millions of workers, offering an alternative to predatory payday loans.
“My goal is to help democratize financial services for millions of Americans.” Mo Saeed
Besides OrbisPay, Mo carries extensive experience in developing business plans and transforming them into products and services. He loves to work with startups and helps them understand why business models are more important than technology, product, or service for the ultimate success of the business.
Apart from his professional life, Mo is a nature lover and is passionate about travelling and hiking in the mountains with his dog, Cleo.
What challenges did OrbisPay face as an early startup?
Challenges are an inevitable part of growth. Like every other startup, OrbisPay had to face similar challenges to reach a certain level.
As Mo Saeed mentioned in his recent interview:
“Startups and swiss cheese have one thing in common: both have holes”
Challenges ranged from streamlining business operations to building capacity on the sales, marketing, and product side to actually deliver what was promised. Mo further continued that, while dealing with challenges, it is mandatory to identify which hole to fill first (which challenge to cater to first). He said, just like you can’t fill all the holes of swiss cheese at once; similarly, you can’t cater to all the challenges at once.
When the idea of OrbisPay first struck, it was as simple as a 10-page slide deck. Mo further said:
“The idea was simple. If workers need money, we liquidate them and get the money back from employers at the pay period”
However, there is a lot more to it when you move towards the implementation of your business model. Stepping as a newbie into the fintech space, in itself, was a challenge. We did not only have to take care of the technology part. OrbisPay is a financial wellness application, so we had to look into the compliance side, as well. Compliance has various components. Each state in the US has different components. In order to launch a financial wellness solution, it was important that we were aware of the wage laws and compliance regulations for each state.
Coping with the Challenges
“The app we have now is just the tip of the iceberg, and there were a lot of challenges involved, to make sure that the application securely delivers to its users what’s promised.”
When stepping into a relatively new concept, it’s always a challenge to not only build that solution from zero to one but also to build awareness around that concept. Dealing with all those challenges as an early startup founder wasn’t easy for Mo.
In order to succeed in the ever-changing business landscape, early-stage startups need to adapt and pivot their strategies constantly until they find a product-market fit. Mo adopted a similar route and re-calibrated the strategy as per the changing needs of the workforce and new regulations while sticking to its core.
It’s very easy to get swamped with what’s going around and add more and more features to your app or get distracted by what competitors are doing. However, OrbisPay has stuck with its mission from day one: To democratize financial services so that everybody has access to it.
“ Focusing on the core problem and sticking with bridging the gap between how employees get paid is what helped us cope with the challenges.”
Where does OrbisPay stand today?
Today, more than 12 million Americans fall prey to high-interest short-term payday loans, digging deeper holes for themselves and trying to meet unexpected financial crunches. (CFPB, 2022) Amidst this, OrbisPay is providing a disruptive financial wellness solution that integrates with your payroll and allows millions of American workers to get their wages on demand by the end of their working day.
“I feel proud to have an app that can actually make a difference to somebody’s life like Jon.”
OrbisPay is providing a powerful alternative to payday lending and empowering employees and employers alike. Employers can have access to a financially resilient and much more productive workforce at zero cost. While employees can instantly meet their expenses without having to ask for a salary advance or opt for a payday loan or borrow money from friends or family.
Expanding teams at OrbisPay
As mentioned earlier, building the capacity to deliver a robust financial wellness solution was a prime challenge that OrbisPay faced as an early startup. Thanks to a bunch of talented folks who believed in and trusted OrbisPay, its mission and vision made a positive impact on the industry.
Now, we have capable teams for the product, activations, technology, marketing, sales, and customer support, spread out across the US, Pakistan, and Nepal, ensuring that employees are seamlessly onboarded and facilitated.
An insight into OrbisPay - 5 Years later!
The world is evolving, and so are technology and processes. Similarly, the concept of wages on-demand, which was alien to many not long ago, is now considered a top financial wellness benefit demanded by employees and adopted by employers to attract and retain top talent.
We are officially in an era of financial empowerment with the much-awaited disruption that was needed in our payroll systems. A new study finds that:
“More than 79% of employees now want to be paid on-demand” (Forbes, 2021)
This percentage is expected to increase as more and more employees are reassessing their existing financial situation and employers analyze potential extended benefits to prioritize the mental and financial health of their employees.
The demand for such solutions is only expected to grow upwards, making them the need of the hour. OrbisPay aims to make its customers financially resilient and empowered over the next five years while expanding its features to meet the changing needs of employers and their workforce.
Like Mo Saeed once said,
“If Jon calls me and tells me that he actually used our wages on-demand solution to meet an emergency expense and build financial resiliency; that is my success and our success”
We are optimistic that OrbisPay continues to serve its customers while being transparent, agile, and disruptive so that millions of people like Jon are en-route to financial empowerment.