6 Earned Wage Access Providers to Watch in 2021
November 18, 2021
A fifth of companies employing hourly workforces plan to give them Earned Wage Access (EWA) by 2022, according to Gartner.
If Gartner’s prediction is right EWA could become a booming part of global financial services.
Some EWA providers have spun their products off a core HR technology business. Others are pure fintechs that were founded solely to serve employees and employers interested in EWA.
Popular EWA Providers and Their Business Models
Savvy digital lenders that want to enter the growing EWA industry will need to understand the providers and players who already have a head start.
Here are six of the most successful EWA providers to watch.
Refyne was established in December 2020 and it’s the newest EWA provider here. Refyne’s mobile-first platform helps companies give their employees access to income in real-time. Refyne’s ideal customers are businesses with more than 1000 employees. Because the company was established during the pandemic, its entire team has always worked remotely. Clients include BMW and Procter & Gamble.
PayActiv describes itself as a leader in EWA. Founded almost a decade ago, the business pairs its EWA product with solutions for paying bills, saving, budgeting, and financial education. Companies that use PayActiv don't have to provide employee banking information. And employees don't even need a bank account. The PayActic app includes seamlessly integrated financial services and its clients include major companies, such as Walmart. PayActiv integrates with well-known human capital management (HCM) and payroll software, ADP.
Wagestream is a UK-based EWA provider that is attempting to bring the product to a wider market in Europe. Wagestream prefers to use the term income streaming to describe their product. They are now offering it in eight European countries, plus the US and Australia. In the UK, the company counts Britain’s National Health Service (NHS) and major healthcare insure Bupa among its customers.
Clair built an app that lets workers get paid as soon as they clock out. App users receive spending and savings accounts and a debit card with free withdrawals at thousands of ATMs. Clair also provides a virtual card, which can be connected to Apple Pay, G-Pay and Samsung Pay. Clair’s app also provides users with smart tools like saving reminders.
With the ability to deploy the product globally, CloudPay NOW also lets employees track their upcoming and past withdrawals. And it includes embedded employee tools resources on financial literacy. CloudPay NOW targets companies that have a global workforce.
Square Payroll’s on-demand pay product is designed to help employees access up to 50 percent (or $200) of their wages during a pay period. Employees can also transfer this pay to a linked debit card for a fee or send it to Square’s Cash App for free. Square claims this helps employers put wages into employees’ pockets faster so companies can run payroll less often.
Serving new customer segments with Earned Wage Access
EWA could have an interesting future.
The pandemic has heightened financial stress for millions around the world and employers have realised that many of their employees want more from companies.
Hourly workers have been crucial to keeping many industries and economies ticking over during some of the most challenging periods of the pandemic.
Smart digital lending executives and product managers just might be able to serve this emerging market segment.
But to do so they will need to go one better than some of the fintech and HR tech companies that have already left their mark on EWA.