Hastee has launched the world’s first earnings-on-demand payment card – and here the fintech’s CEO explains why it is important now, and how it works
It’s patently obvious that the world of today is different from five years ago, very different from a decade ago, and compared to 20 years ago we now have a vastly different set of expectations and experiences. Society, technology, and our institutions have all changed. It is for this reason that now is the perfect time to introduce the world’s first earnings-on-demand payment and debit card.
Today, nearly everything we want we can receive on-demand. As consumers, we now enjoy online and super-fast mobile shopping and services – from the traditional, like banking, to the modern, such as binge-worthy boxsets and films on Netflix, goods from Amazon Prime, or services from Uber or HelloFresh.
Thanks to breakthrough technological innovations, our expectations have evolved, when it comes to the pace of delivery. Not just for consumers, though: the same trends have impacted the workplace. And perhaps as individuals and as employees some demands may become very important to change how work works for us. Moreover, the coronavirus pandemic has shown an uptick in demand for all things instant and online, for obvious social-distancing reasons.
Every new service that promises quick fixes trains us a little more. We expect to be catered to because the frictions that held back better service levels are disappearing.
So what is an earnings-on-demand payment card?
Let’s go back in time a little to give context. The genesis of the fintech innovation that became Hastee came from my experience in setting up Brightsparks – an organisation staffed by students – when I was at university. I noticed that people were not showing up to shifts where they might earn, for example, £200, because they couldn’t afford a £10 train fare to get there. This seemed crazy given that some of these students had at times already worked a full week in that month – the problem was they hadn’t been paid yet.
In my mind, this challenge helped crystallise the fundamental liquidity problem that the traditional monthly pay cycle creates. Monthly pay doesn’t help the majority of us who naturally think in weekly cycles, or just need access to our already-earned money earlier than most employers are able to give it out.
An earnings-on-demand payment card is straightforward. It enables people to spend what they’ve earned already. It’s that easy.
There are guidelines built-in. For example, users cannot access more than 50 per cent of their earned income. But if it’s theirs, why not let the worker claim some of it when they need it? It’s designed to help during unusual times or in day-to-day life such as shopping or bill payments, thereby giving workers liquidity and preventing the need to rely on high-cost credit.
Some people might wonder why they’d want to alter with the standard monthly pay cycle. But consider this: monthly payroll via a cheque only arrived in the 1960s as an Act of Parliament. Prior to this, most people were paid weekly in cash. The first major firm that moved to monthly payment did so for cost-cutting reasons. It worked for the employer more than the employee. In fact, that firm’s employees had rejected their employer’s change of payment type when it was first attempted a decade before (read about Pye Radio here). So the way that workers and organisations interact around pay is not set in stone; it changes as technology and society changes.
The way we use money keeps evolving. Apple Pay, Monzo, and PayPal have completely changed the way payments can happen, yet payroll still remains largely unchanged. It’s only a matter of time before disruption becomes more widespread as technology and society keep on changing.
Looking at it from the employer side, it works out well too. Before the world turned upside down, businesses were accommodating enhanced workplace benefits such as no-desk policies, flexible or remote working. In all cases by offering more the business experiences benefits in productivity and retention too. Earnings on demand, giving liquidity to workers, is a differentiator.
Earnings on demand is a perk that presents an ethical alternative to high-cost credit options such as payday loans, credit cards and overdrafts. For employers, it presents an opportunity to ease financial stress, increase wellbeing in the workforce and ultimately protect and increase workplace productivity. And existing solutions offer zero impact on payroll processes, zero impact on the cash flow of the business and are designed for quick, simple integration.
The Hastee earnings-on-demand card is an evolution of this, building upon and enhancing the user experience by reducing friction and offering immediate spending power as well as a path to greater benefits such as cashback and rewards in the not-to-distant future.