#HRTechChat with Josep Elias, Chief Strategy Officer at CloudPay
This was an especially illuminating episode of #HRTechChat. Chief Strategy Officer Josep Elias joined our video podcast to discuss the company's new offering for earned wage access (EWA), CloudPay NOW. EWA is another term for on-demand pay, and CloudPay NOW is "the only earned wage access solution that can be deployed in 130+ countries," the company's website notes.
Interestingly, CloudPay is bucking the trend in on-demand pay by targeting the entire world (or most of it, anyway). Much of the growth in EWA of late has been in the United States, but EY estimates that "a total of approximately $1 trillion is accrued in employer payroll accounts on any given day," as noted in a report published in September 2020.
That report by EY is a good read all-around regarding the potential for on-demand pay and the impacts of its unavailability. Additional research elsewhere adds grist to the mill. Nearly half of employees will tolerate no more than one mistake or problem with their paycheck, according to The Workforce Institute at UKG. And, according to a 2020 survey by the American Payroll Association, more than two-thirds of employees would experience financial difficulty if their paychecks were delayed by just one week. Just as worrisome, data from CareerBuilder shows that nearly fourth-fifths of people (in the United States, at least) live paycheck-to-paycheck.
Notably on this last point especially, as Josep pointed out, it's a dynamic just as apt to dog the six-figure set, not just entry-level or low-wage staff. It would be a major mistake to attribute a gathering momentum in the growth of solutions for on-demand pay, or EWA, solely to a growing appreciation for employee sentiment and wellbeing vis-à-vis their pay. This is one factor undeniably driving adoption, sure, and socially conscious vendors want to meet the need. Swoop up and out another 20,000 feet, however, and you'll notice something....
Cultural expectations among the newer generations have changed. Generation Z (a.k.a. Zoomers) genuinely wonders why it takes one or two weeks, sometimes a month, to get paid and in just a few ways (e.g., direct deposit to a bank account or, perhaps, via pay card). These limitations fail to align with their expectations of flexibility, instancy and immediacy. To the younger generations, their expectations are compelling.
But expectations such as theirs alone still would not constitute enough of a groundswell to bring EWA to all. No, it's the technology that has caught up, as well, to eviscerate heretofore entrenched limitations -- because, let's be honest: No matter our age or station in life, we've all at some point wished we could get paid right away without incurring some penalty or taking a risky loan out against income that we'd already earned and needed or just plain wanted right then and now, but couldn't have till the next payday. Together, the technological and regulatory landscape have only recently made the wish possible. The old impediments that made our agreed-to conventions tolerable in the realm of getting pay are falling away rapidly, and so will the traditional pay period, eventually.
Josep's insights into the relationship between people and their pay are deep and intriguing. I highly encourage you all to watch. To learn more about CloudPay NOW, you can visit CloudPay's website site.