Ever found yourself days out from payday with around $1.63 in the bank? That common problem could soon be a thing of the past.
Picture this: Payday is still two weeks away, your bank balance has dwindled down to next to nothing — and then your car breaks down.
But a new app is hoping to make that common problem a thing of the past — by letting workers access the wages they’ve already earned early at the click of a button on their mobiles.
The PayActiv app launched in Australia recently after first launching in 2012 in Silicon Valley in the US.
Since then, a slew of big companies such as Walmart and Jenny Craig have come on board, and 1.4 million employees from Walmart alone have signed up.
It is free for businesses to set up but costs a flat fee of $5 per transaction for employees.
There are no contracts or subscription fees involved, and workers are limited to two withdrawals per pay period and a maximum withdrawal of $1000 (or up to 50 per cent of earned but unpaid wages) as built-in protections.
Head of human resources at Jenny Craig Australia and New Zealand Joshua Nunan said financial insecurity was a “real issue” for many Aussies, and a number of staff members had already used PayActiv since Jenny Craig signed up several months ago.
“Unexpected things happen in life — whether it’s a bit of bill shock or getting a flat tyre — and sometimes you need to tap into a pool of funds, but a lot of Australians find that difficult,” he told news.com.au.
“For us it made sense to enable employees to tap into their own wages a little early without necessarily sparking up a conversation with their manager, which can be a bit awkward.
“This isn’t meant to be used all the time, and we’d prefer staff not to find themselves in that situation in the first place, but we understand life happens, and if people do find themselves in a tough situation, there is that safety net.”
The local launch of the app comes as new research reveals one in three Australians don’t have $500 up their sleeves in case of an emergency.