The landscape of the workplace has undergone a dramatic transformation recently, with factors like financial stress among employees becoming a critical concern for employers. With nearly two-thirds of employees living paycheck to paycheck, the strain on employees is more than just personal – it’s a business issue.
Financial stress transcends your employees’ personal lives, leading to a host of workplace challenges. From absenteeism to poor productivity and a lack of focus, it’s a catalyst for turnover and operational disruption.
Enter Earned Wage Access (EWA), a modern solution that’s changing the game. EWA enables employees to access their pay ahead of the usual bi-weekly or monthly paycheck schedule. This innovative approach provides immediate financial relief to employees, which in turn benefits employers through reduced absenteeism, lower turnover, and a more focused, productive workforce.
Let’s dive into why alleviating employee financial stress is not just beneficial but essential for your business, and explore some of the leading Earned Wage Access companies.
Why Financial Stress in the Workplace Matters for Employers
Did you know that 65% of your employees live paycheck-to-paycheck? HR.com explains that the number one driver of employee stress is finances, and many of them are tied to having enough money available to make ends meet.
Making matters worse, there’s a serious misalignment between the benefits offered to workers and their financial needs. Programs like EAPs, 401k plans, and paid time off are important – but they don’t solve the immediate financial challenges of not having enough money to pay a bill or tackle an emergency expense.
Still, you might be asking, why should I care about employee’s financial stress? I pay them a working wage, after all!
But financial stress ends up manifesting itself in ways that significantly hurt your business:
- A lack of focus due results in reduced productivity, or worse, costly mistakes or on-the-job industries
- Last minute shift cancellations as employees seek opportunities that get them more money or quicker access to pay, like driving for Uber
- Tardiness or no-shows because employees don’t have the money for gas or public transit
- Jumping ship to a new employer for a minimal hourly raise
And while you may think your employees have options at their disposal to counteract this – most of these options come with significant downsides:
- Pay advances can disrupt a company’s cash flow and are not a sustainable solution.
- Payday loans, notorious for their high interest rates and fees, can trap employees in a cycle of debt.
- Credit card usage, on the other hand, often leads to accumulating high-interest debt and negatively impacts credit scores. And, many employees who are struggling to make ends meet may not even be able to open a credit card.
Moreover, none of these addresses the underlying issue: the mismatch between when employees earn their wages and when they need access to that money. Traditional pay cycles are out of sync with the immediate financial needs of many workers. As a result, employee stress continues to grow and harm your business.
It’s not surprising, then, that over a third of the workforce in America wants to have access to their wages as they earn them. And being able to do this makes business sense, too: over 9 out of 10 employers say offering access to earned wages helped with retention. In fact, a recent survey found that millennials with immediate access to their earned wages are more likely to take a job.
Earned Wage Access Uniquely Solve Your Employees’ Financial Needs
Earned Wage Access (EWA) is a financial service that allows employees to access a portion of their earned wages before their regular payday.
Unlike payday loans, EWA is tied directly to the work already done by the employee. It offers a flexible solution for employees to get immediate access to their earned wages as soon as shortly after a shift ends, helping improve financial wellness and avoid the need to obtain high-interest and predatory payday loans.
While EWA can be valuable in a range of industries, in particular, industries like restaurants, nursing, and retail stand to gain significantly from implementing EWA. In the restaurant industry, employees often rely on a combination of wages and tips. EWA allows them to access these earned wages immediately, rather than waiting for a traditional payday. This is crucial for their financial stability, especially in a sector known for its high degree of turnover.
Similarly, in the nursing field, where shifts can be long and unpredictable, EWA provides a sense of financial control and support for those who might need immediate access to funds for emergencies or unplanned expenses.
Retail is another example that benefits highly from EWA. The industry often involves part-time or seasonal work, where income can vary week to week. EWA offers a flexible solution that aligns with the variable nature of their earnings, helping retail workers manage their finances more effectively.
What to Look for in Earned Wage Access Companies
Choosing the right Earned Wage Access company is crucial. The right decision in this department can help improve multiple parts of your business. Here are a number of key factors companies should consider while analyzing.
- Commitment to Customer Service: Look for providers that have a strong commitment to customer service – both to the employer and the employee. In particular, many EWA providers have poor reviews from employees.
- Seamless Integration: The service must mesh well with existing payroll systems. Smooth integration equals fewer headaches.
- Robust Security: Security is a top priority, and you must ensure your EWA provider upholds stringent security and compliance standards.
- Employee Benefits: Not all EWA programs are the same in terms of the benefits offered to employees. Seek providers that offer comprehensive benefits like low or no fees, flexible withdrawal limits, and real-time transfers.
- User-Friendliness: Easy-to-use platforms are key. Both you and your employees should find the service intuitive and straightforward.
These qualities are non-negotiables. Make sure your choice of EWA is informed, empowered, and forward-thinking.
Breaking Down the Top Earned Wage Access Companies
Now that you have an understanding of EWA and how it can help your business, let’s discuss the top providers. Here, we break down key features, pros, cons, and other valuable information for decision-making.
Juice is a seasoned veteran that’s been disrupting the financial space for decades. Over the years, Juice has processed billions of transactions for millions of customers. Juice’s solution, called Earned Wage Advance, is ideal for businesses of all sizes. Juice offers a Quick Start solution that can get an EWA program up and running faster than the competition.
Best For: Businesses of all sizes seeking a zero-cost, quick-to-implement EWA solution.
Key Features: Quick Start solution allowing businesses to get started in days rather than weeks or months, seamless integrations, and strong digital wallet compatibility.
Pros: Rapid access to funds, robust infrastructure, co-branded apps, and cards for enhanced employer brand recognition. A heavy focus on exceptional customer service for both the employer and employee.
Cons: While Juice has been in the market for decades, it is less well-known than some legacy EWA providers.
DailyPay specializes in pay strategies to strengthen employer-employee relationships, with a sole focus on EWA solutions.
Best For: Large enterprises looking for reliable EWA services.
Key Features: Integration with payroll systems, access to 100% of DailyPay balance, and user-friendly platforms.
Pros: Easy implementation, personalized payment, and efficient tracking of hours and wages.
Cons: A high volume of negative reviews on some third-party review platforms.
Catering to primarily mid-sized and small businesses, ZayZoon offers on-demand wages and a financial wellness platform.
Best For: Mid-sized and small businesses focusing on employee financial wellness.
Key Features: A financial wellness platform and simple pay request process.
Pros: Reduces financial stress, is cost-effective, and offers savings programs for employees.
Cons: Lack of transparency around getting started for employers, both pricing and timeline.
FlexWage provides pay solutions that focus on improving the financial well-being of employees.
Best For: Businesses of all sizes looking for adaptable EWA solutions.
Key Features: Tailored payment solutions for various categories of working professionals.
Pros: Flexible solutions for different employers and a robust app.
Cons: Lack of transparency around employer solutions, including ease of getting started, customizability, and cost.
Clair is a FinTech company that offers a digital app with on-demand access to earned wages.
Best For: Businesses looking to offer employees fee-free, instant access to earnings.
Key Features: Clair Debit Mastercard, no service fees, and easy app navigation.
Pros: Fee-free access to earnings, extensive ATM network, and user-friendly platform.
Cons: Lack of a “quick start” solution allowing employers to quickly start offering EWA to employees.
Why Juice’s EWA Is a Cut Above Other Earned Wage Access Companies
Juice Financial stands out among other Earned Wage Advance companies. Backed by our decades of experience in the market and billions of dollars processed, Juice can get you up and running quickly with our Earned Wage Advance solution.
However, Juice’s pay card solution goes beyond EWA. With the Juice Payment solution, you can:
- Instantly issue payment cards to employees, including seasonal and temporary workers, that can be used in digital wallets such as Apple Pay and Google Pay;
- Add an electronic and convenient payroll disbursement option for employees underserved by the traditional banking system.
- Access reports in a centralized administration portal for ease of use and day-to-day functions.
- Have the flexibility to offer off-cycle payments, such as same-day pay and nightly tip payout, 24/7, 365 days to keep employees satisfied.
- Quickly issue last pay to departing employees in a matter of minutes.
- Issue fully customizable and branded cards & carriers to promote your business.