Have you heard about the flexible pay benefit empowering workers across the US, UK, and other regions? As a result of the financial constraints experienced throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, an increasing number of workers want access to the money they’ve earned before their company’s official payday (Murillo et al., 2022)
ENTER: On-Demand Pay. Also known as Earned Wage Access (EWA) or Early Pay Access, this employee benefit is helping workers manage their budgets, pay bills on time, avoid costly overdrafts, and steer clear of relying on credit cards and payday loans. In fact, recent studies show growing interest from employees and employers alike for on-demand pay. (Elone, 2022)
But with popularity comes a safe amount of skepticism. To some, on-demand pay sounds like a scary cash advance that creates a cycle of debt and shreds credit scores. However, it’s the complete opposite.
OrbisPay is here to clear the air and set the record straight on on-demand pay. Here are four major misconceptions about this flexible pay benefit and the truth that can set you free.
Myth #1: “It’s just a payday loan disguised in bright, new graphics!”
It’s easy to understand how early access to earned wages can be confused with a payday loan or a payday advance, but they are quite different, and it’s not flashy graphics and bold colors that separate them.
The confusion comes from the need to access money before payday. More than half of workers (58%) in the U.S. are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent report by the LendingClub. When an unplanned financial stress pops up, many of us seek ways to get money between pay periods. A payday loan is an advance of money from a lender to a borrower, and it’s marked by a very high interest rate and often comes with expensive fees. If you borrow $300 from a payday loan, you can expect to easily pay double that in return- or more. On-Demand Pay is a healthy alternative to these predatory payday loans. It’s access to wages you’ve already earned, but on demand. You can instantly receive the money you’ve earned; with no interest rates, no hidden fees, and no waiting until payday. (Dickler, 2022)
Myth #2: “It’s a burden on employers!”
It’s true that On-Demand Pay is an employee benefit implemented by employers, but it’s virtually effortless to supplement existing payroll systems, and it costs absolutely nothing to do it.
On-Demand Pay is super simple to set up and once it’s in effect, there are numerous ways it saves employers on costs. Perhaps the most significant impact to employers is the huge savings in ongoing hiring and training costs. It’s no secret; workers want financial wellness, and a shocking 76% of job seekers jump to companies that prioritize employee financial well-being. Adding a flexible pay option that gives workers access to their wages attracts high-caliber talent and retains them over a longer period of time, reducing the revolving cost to hire and train. (PwC, 2022)
Myth #3: “Get paid earlier, go broke sooner!?”
It’s reasonable to worry that access to earned wages before payday brings the potential to develop negative spending habits, but the lack of financial literacy is the true cause for overspending and accumulating debt.
On-Demand Pay gives workers more control over their financial status. Like any tool, On-Demand Pay can be used to build or damage. The key is in how the tool is applied. Early access to earned wages is a powerful tool for individuals who develop their personal understanding of finances. Chances are, if an individual has poor spending habits, it stems from a lack of financial literacy. When used responsibly, On-Demand Pay actually empowers better budgeting and offers more control over how and when to spend. In fact, workers can only access up to 50% of accrued wages, which restricts any damage that could result from a lack of financial literacy.
Myth #4: “On-Demand Pay will hurt your credit!”
It’s understandable to be wary of choices that impact credit in negative ways, but since it’s not a loan, On-Demand Pay doesn’t touch your credit history.
According to the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau), a U.S. government resource and regulator, programs like On-Demand Pay are not an extension of credit, and therefore do not impact credit records. This is because the money accessed does not exceed accrued wages, and no interest rate is applied to the service. Since the money is not a loan, there is no debt collection. The money a worker accesses before their pay period is automatically balanced by payroll services and/or the service provider when the official payday arrives. (Hosie & Capurso, 2021)
From Myth to Reality
Look at that. The scary legends being told around the financial campfire won’t frighten you. Now you know the truth about flexible pay programs like On-Demand Pay. This employee benefit facilitates better spending habits and more financial control for workers. It may even become the new normal as on-demand pay gains popularity across the U.S. and beyond. Want to find out how your company can implement this zero-cost benefit? Don’t be shy, visit: orbispay.me to learn more.
Dickler, J. (2022, June 27). More than half of Americans live paycheck to paycheck amid inflation. CNBC. Retrieved December 15, 2022, from https://www.cnbc.com/2022/06/27/more-than-half-of-americans-live-paycheck-to-paycheck-amid-inflation.html
Elone, E. (2022, June 23). Study Shows Interest in Earned Wage Access for Workers, Employers. Bloomberg Tax. Retrieved December 15, 2022, from https://news.bloombergtax.com/payroll/study-shows-interest-in-earned-wage-access-for-workers-employers
Hosie, J. B., & Capurso, C. (2021, March 11). Earned Wage Access and the CFPB: A Path Toward Regulatory Acceptance? American Bar Association. Retrieved December 15, 2022, from https://www.americanbar.org/groups/business_law/publications/blt/2021/03/earned-wage-access/
Murillo, J., Vallee, B., & Yu, D. (2022, March 27). Fintech to the (Worker) Rescue: Earned Wage Access and Employee Retention March 27, 2022. Harvard Business School. Retrieved December 15, 2022, from https://www.hbs.edu/ris/Publication%20Files/FinTech%20to%20the%20Worker%20Rescue%20-%20Earned%20Wage%20Access%20and%20Employee%20Retention_2d9994e9-705d-499c-8d27-6ffb98d5ee14.pdf
PwC. (2022). 2022 PwC Employee Financial Wellness Survey. PwC. Retrieved December 15, 2022, from https://www.pwc.com/us/en/services/consulting/business-transformation/library/employee-financial-wellness-survey.html