It used to be that employees got their paychecks once a month. Then it was down to bi-weekly. Now, most of my clients are paying their people every week. But people, it seems, just have no patience nowadays.
That’s why Vancouver-based Instant Financial introduced a service earlier this year that allows employers to pay their people by the day. Restaurant News reports that hourly employees can use a smartphone app to access money for hours worked and have it deposited on a debit card. The amount is limited to 50 percent of what’s earned and–to discourage impulse buying–employees only have an hour after their shift to access the money. There’s no fee for the worker, but businesses pay Instant Financial $1 per active user per month.
Would this encourage binge-spending? No, says the company’s CEO Steve Barha. He said people are using the available cash for more relevant things, like paying for gas, groceries, medicine and other bills. “An employee who can fill a tank or replace a flat tire is an employee who shows up to work the next day on time and less stressed,” he told Restaurant News. “For the business owner that means not just a loyal employee but one whose mind is on work and not whether they have to go without food or leverage a high-expense option such as a payday, title or pawn loan.”
Barha is aiming to put a dent into the burgeoning payday loan industry, which was used by approximately 12 million Americans in 2015. His service is also being looked at as a potential recruiting and motivation tool by employers, particularly in — but not limited to — the retail and restaurant industries.
According to a recent USA Today report, almost 150,000 employees at more than 50 companies like McDonalds, Outback Steakhouse and Dunkin’ Donuts as well as other restaurants and retailers, trucking companies and staffing firms have access to the service. The company expects this number to rise to about one million workers in the next two years. Large payroll firms like Paychex and ADP are likely to offer the technology in the future.
“This is helping our people a lot,” Ed Shaw, an executive vice president of Caspers Co., which owns 53 McDonald’s franchises in the Tampa, area, told USA Today. “There’s a loyalty to the company because they appreciate the fact that we’re thinking of them.” Since adopting the service Shaw says his company’s turnover rate has decreased by 10 percentage points.