Earned Wage Access & Financial Wellness

On-demand pay: What’s savings got to do with it? — Part 3

This is the third post in a series that explores why any tool to improve employee financial resilience must include proven ways to save.

Employers are in a place to influence employees’ lives

Now more than ever, employers are expected to support employees — especially those who might be struggling due to COVID 19. JUST Capital recently began tracking corporate America’s responses to the pandemic, highlighting which employers were setting strong examples, and which ones could be doing more. Leading businesses are starting to make changes, and are encouraging other employers to follow suit.

Amy Cohen, Director Total Rewards, Noodles & Company, explains why earned wage access is just the beginning:

“As soon as I heard about on-demand pay I thought it would become the future of payroll, but I wanted to find a partner that could do more. We did not want a band-aid solution, so Even’s holistic approach really stood out to us.”

– Amy Cohen, Director Total Rewards, Noodles & Company, an Even customer

Some companies didn’t wait for a global pandemic to start taking action to better the lives of employees. PayPal, for instance, launched its ambitious effort to analyze, measure, and improve the financial health of its workforce in October 2019. One year later, the company doubled down, joining the Financial Health Network, JUST Capital, and the Good Jobs Institute to call upon other CEOs to prioritize the financial wellbeing of workers. Companies are in a position to help because of the intimate give-and-take relationship between workers and employees.

“When I got hired at Walmart I was struggling very hard with bills. But they immediately asked me to download the Even app the day of my orientation. Without it, I would be in debt still, and homeless with 5 kids. I’ve set a goal and I’m officially out of debt. Thanks to the Even app for really saving me from lots of stress.”

- Jazmyne Tucker, Even Member

Employees already look to employers for many important elements of their lives: income, of course, but also healthcare and retirement savings in many cases. At the same time, employers look to employees to help the company realize its goals and achieve success. As PayPal CEO Dan Schulman is quoted as saying in the TED Ideas Blog, “If we want employees to fulfill our company’s mission and innovate and effectively deliver services, we simply can’t have them worrying how they’ll make ends meet every month.”

Because employers are already routing employees’ income through payroll systems, it’s a perfect opportunity to take advantage of what behavioral economists call “pre-commitment strategies.” Employers can look for a solution that empowers employees to designate part of their pay and set it aside before that money ever hits a bank account. This is the same mechanics that 401(k) programs use, and for good reason: Very few of us would be able to save the thousands of dollars we put into retirement accounts every year if the money showed up in our bank accounts first. Out of sight means out of mind — and safe from spending. By helping employees use the same strategies while saving for other goals, companies like PayPal can help redefine what long-term stability looks like for employees.

“Using Even has helped me tremendously with my savings! I’m saving up for a car and I tend to put my hand in my savings account. Having Even take it straight out of my check helps so much.”

- Angel Desiree Enojos, Even Member

Read our newest guide to learn the fundamental challenges behind building savings and outline how you as an employer can help.