DailyPay’s CEO Reflects on Juneteenth

In commemoration of Juneteenth, DailyPay CEO, Jason Lee, penned the following letter to his staff:

DailyPayers,

Per my note, earlier this week, I hope all of you take the opportunity to observe and celebrate Juneteenth either this Friday or next. During the past week, I’ve been reflecting on our journey as a company, and how exceptionally proud I am of the inclusive culture we have been building at DailyPay since Day 1. 

Importantly, as I’ve shared on our weekly check-ins, DailyPay is more than just a Great Place to Work, it is a place of action. We do what we say we’re going to do. We follow up. We are committed. I see that in how you drive our business every day, and I see that in every decision you make and initiatives you pursue. 

In my job, I have the opportunity to tell our story to a variety of stakeholders — investors, business partners, new employees, and several others. One of the elements of that story that I love sharing is how, from Day 1, we have intentionally and methodically been building our company’s culture – a culture that not only prioritizes diversity, but one that understands and deeply internalizes that diversity is both a core value of how we work and one of our key competitive advantages. I once shared at a company meeting that “At DailyPay, diversity is not the ‘right’ thing to do. It is who we are, and it is how we win.” That will always be the case. 

In reflecting on Juneteenth, I was struck by the leadership and support surrounding DailyNoire which began about a year ago. This progression will be a special part of our history. More broadly, I know our history is important to all of you. Within the first three months of operation, we were proud to have women and minorities among the first 10 employees of the company. When the company had 22 employees, we founded our first Employee Resource Group – DailyWomen – which kicked off the exciting start of several other Employee Resource Groups at DailyPay. Some of our proudest moments include welcoming Dr. Donna Hamlin to our Board of Directors back in 2017 and adding Jeanniey Walden to the three-person C-Suite in 2019, both extraordinary female leaders. 

But with every success, I see so many areas for continued progress here at DailyPay. When a company triples in size over the course of one year, it is virtually impossible to get everything right. The important thing is making sure we are pointed in the right direction, and that we are putting action behind our words. I believe in all of you. I believe that every single person who chooses to work here believes in their own ability to create real change, both in the marketplace and here at DailyPay. I believe that each of you did not come to “join” a company, but rather to shape it, to challenge it, and to improve it. That’s who you are, and that’s who I am. 

This time of reflection on the past has also given me profound hope for the future, with the appropriate amount of caution. Yes, we are absolutely on the right course DailyPayers, but we have to be vigilant to not let inertia and busyness drown out even the best of our intentions. This is why I am so focused on systems of accountability – creating the necessary mechanisms to ensure that real change continues here at DailyPay and that our culture remains intact as we scale to the next 200 people. Concrete actions such as the establishment of the Diversity Leadership Committee, building out our Employee Resource Groups (a new one to be announced shortly!) and establishing transparency in our policies and processes are natural next steps in our Day 1 Strategy to build a generational company. 

As we get ready to observe Juneteeth over the next two Fridays, I hope all of you take the day and have an opportunity to reflect on the significance of this day and what it means for you and your role here at DailyPay.

Jason


Helping Frontline Heroes Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic

Despite the tragic loss of millions of U.S. jobs as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are a number of key industries that are powering today’s economy, providing access to essential services in ways no one ever dreamed possible. While some industries, such as restaurants, entertainment, and travel and leisure have been shuttered for the foreseeable future, others, such as grocery stores, hospitals and health care, and cleaning/facilities services have increased their hiring efforts due to an unprecedented need for additional frontline workers.  

There is even growth in industries that we never could have envisioned. For example, there is an increased need for workers in janitorial services to perform nightly deep cleanings in supermarkets and hospitals. There is a boom in the medical waste industry as hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare facilities grapple with the need to safely and securely handle waste from the most contagious virus ever to infect an ever-growing number of people. 

Industries that are hiring frontline workers, those who are keeping our economy going, need to be ever mindful of the health and safety not only of the customers whom they serve, but their workers who are themselves at risk of contracting coronavirus from an infected customer or coworker. We’ve seen many of these customer-facing industries offering bonuses, raising their hourly wage and paying sick leave to workers who test positive for the virus. Some, like Walmart, are taking employees’ temperatures as they arrive at work and sending those who are sick home to quarantine, with paid sick leave for 14 days. 

As this pandemic unfolded, we at DailyPay started to think about what we could do to support these frontline workers in our partner companies, including Kroger, Parker’s Kitchen, Leevers Supermarkets, Dave’s Markets and Loop Neighborhood, and so many others.

In an effort to support financial flexibility during the pandemic, the first thing we did was to eliminate next-day ACH transfer fees for employees of our partner companies to allow them to access their earned income at no cost. At that time, our data reveal that 43% of employees using DailyPay were accessing their pay early for COVID-19-related expenses, a 400% spike in number over three days.

Next, we released the DailyPay Workforce Index that analyzes data based on changes in hourly staff and working hours across four different industries — hospitals, call centers, supermarkets and Quick Service Restaurants (QSR). This index was created to educate and inform media about the disruption caused by COVID-19. The index showed changes that differ greatly by industry, verifying that while some industries are reducing hours or workforce, others are, in fact, staffing up to meet demand. 

Several new partners asked for an accelerated, ahead-of-schedule launch of DailyPay for their employees, and we made a commitment to get them, and any other company that wants to offer DailyPay, up and running as quickly as possible.

The material changes in business and unexpected business needs that we have seen thus far are likely just the beginning. We are proud to be partnered with such forward-thinking companies during this challenging time and can’t wait to move into the next phase of the pandemic and rebuilding the way our world of work re-emerges.

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What I Just Learned from PayPal’s CEO, Dan Schulman

I recently came across a LinkedIn article written by Martin Whittaker, CEO of JUST Capital, titled “What If Every Company Conducted An Employee Financial Distress Test?” In it, he spoke about a recent CNBC Squawk Box talk with PayPal CEO, Dan Schulman, who talked about initiatives that PayPay had recently implemented to help their financially stressed employees:

  • They increased base pay.
  • They lowered healthcare costs by an average of 60%.
  • They made every employee a shareholder of the company.
  • They created educational programs on financial planning and health.

Initiatives like these just make good business sense. When an employer shows an understanding of their employees’ financial struggles, and actually does something to alleviate them, it’s a win-win. Financial security increases. Productivity increases. Employees stay longer.

At DailyPay, we’ve followed suit, implementing similar initiatives. Last July, we made every employee a shareholder in our company, giving them a real stake in their future and the future of DailyPay. As co-owners of the business, we understand that employees are more fully invested in their day-to-day roles and in making an impact that continues to propel our company forward.

We also lowered healthcare costs this year, with a 50% company contribution toward dependent medical, dental and vision coverage. By reducing the overall costs of health care for our valued associates, we are demonstrating a commitment to them and to their family’s health and wellbeing and allowing them to keep more of their hard-earned pay.

As a company, DailyPay strives to provide a better pay experience to our partners’ employees, a more consumerized experience that mimics experiences in their personal lives. By giving employees greater control and flexibility with their pay, they can pay bills on time and meet emergency expenses. And they spend less time stressing at work because they feel more financially secure.

Last year, we implemented DailyPay for DailyPay, allowing our employees to experience the same benefit that we provide to our partners and their workforces. By doing so, we recognize that all employees, not just those who are financially disadvantaged, need this same flexibility and control to access their earnings when they need them.    

Whittaker said, “Investing in workers is not rocket science. It is good business.” He’s spot on. More companies should follow PayPal’s lead, recognizing that taking care of their employees results in a better experience for their customers, the employees themselves and their company.

Building a Generational Company

I was fortunate enough to be able to take off the last two weeks of December. This time gave me the space to clear my head, plan for 2020 and reflect on what has been a long but incredibly rewarding year professionally.  

I think the part that stands out most to me about 2019 is how our team at DailyPay began building a generational company. Nobody at this company believes we are building a start-up. Our mission is too important to trivialize it to that. We are building a generational company, one that I expect to be here for decades and decades to come. Importantly, each of us believes that the long-term success of our company has 1000% to do with the success of our people, both personally and professionally.  

In 2019, I am most proud of how we purposefully built generationally, making strategic investments in our people and our employee experience. This was clearly demonstrated through the following events from this past year:

1. DailyPay’s 1st Class of Director Promotions

In March, we named our first class of Directors at DailyPay. So much went into this. The company’s Operating Committee conducted an intensive evaluation process that spanned four months and involved hours and hours of internal and external interviews. There was fierce debate over candidates, forced ranking and, ultimately, we promoted a class of four extremely talented and vetted women and men. In a start-up, it’s so tempting to be expedient.  Promote squeaky wheels, hire externally, hand out promotions like they are participation ribbons. That’s not building generationally. We are building this generational company from scratch. That means laying solid groundwork and culture so that our Associates can earn their promotion to become Managers, who can earn their promotion to become Directors, who can earn their promotion to become Vice Presidents, who can earn their promotion to become C-Suite leaders, and ultimately become the CEO. I want people who will be at DailyPay for 20 years with this being the only job they’ve ever had. Imagine that. More here.

2. DailyPay’s Launch of Employee Resource Groups

In 2019, we launched a number of internal ERGs to support the diversity and professional development of our people. At DailyPay, diversity is our strategic edge. It is not political correctness. It is how we serve our partners and their workforces better. We leverage our diversity to better understand the needs of our customers. Additionally, our ERGs have been one of the best sources of recruiting our top talent. In the United States today, 50% of the children under the age of five are from a minority race or ethnic group. Our ERGs are a strategic investment we made in 2019 to build a generational company that reflects the workforce of tomorrow.

3. DailyPay’s Relief Fund for Victims of the MyPayrollHR Shutdown

In September, the Human Capital Management community was shocked to hear about a massive case of alleged payroll fraud from MyPayrollHR, a payroll and benefits provider. Thousands upon thousands of employees did not receive their paychecks, and hundreds of business owners had payroll funds frozen, causing some businesses to completely fold. At DailyPay, we were deeply moved by this horrific situation. Day in and day out, we see how people across America radically improve their lives by being able to control the timing of their pay through our product, and so the thought of someone not receiving their biweekly paycheck was unacceptable to us. And so we acted. We quickly set up a $25,000 relief fund to support employees across America affected by this fraud. When you build a generational company, you have to stand for something bigger than yourself. I am proud that as a company we do. More here.

Here’s to crushing the ‘20s and continuing to build for generations.

Jason

2019: The Year of Awakening

2019 was a year of awakening for the #dailypay benefit — a year when three distinct groups awakened to this life-altering benefit and industry. Here is my take on 2019 and my prediction of what’s to come in 2020

Best-in-class employers

Given the labor challenges that several employers face today, including high turnover and modest income growth, several best-in-class companies — including recognizable brands and leading companies in their industries — embraced offering this benefit in 2019. Their executive leaders recognized the need to innovate in order to stay competitive in the labor market, and actively sought out cutting-edge benefits, including #dailypay.

2020 Prediction: The torrid pace of adoption within the Fortune 500 will only increase in 2020. Best in class companies operate best in class. We will see household names making big announcements about leveraging #dailypay as a key part of their employee engagement strategy.

Regulators

As there is more information available about the critical differences in the ways that daily pay offerings are structured, in 2019, regulators realized that there are meaningful distinctions between (i) earned pay that never have to be repaid by the employee and (ii) consumer loans that have to be repaid. Earlier this year, I testified on the floor of the California State Senate in opposition of SB-472, a bill that risked enabling payday lending a backdoor entry into #dailypay. Thankfully, that bill did not pass, protecting consumers from harmful payday lending practices.

In the fall of 2019, we partnered with the Office of Child Support and presented at the Child Support Employer Symposium. It was clear that state child support agencies are concerned with the protection of child support garnishments where on-demand pay is concerned. We were thrilled to be able to create a pay solution that protects the interests of single parents and is compliant with all state garnishment laws.

2020 Prediction: Regulators are smart, savvy, and innovation friendly. They will play a major role in separating the lending industry from the #dailypay industry through enforcement of already existing regulation. My prediction for 2020 is that regulators will rely on existing regulation and guidance to protect consumers from lending practices that have the potential of creeping into the #dailypay industry.

Payroll Companies

In 2019, almost every payroll company announced some type of strategy to participate in this space. The fact that payroll companies are beginning to announce their own solutions corroborates that there is broad market interest for this benefit. Many of these solutions naturally resemble discrete payroll runs and so the question in 2020 is how much employers are willing to do on their own to offer this benefit. Funding, time card approval, answering employee questions — all of these are responsibilities associated with running payroll and so the unanswered question is whether payroll departments are willing to assume these additional responsibilities on a daily basis.

2020 Prediction: Employers will place a huge premium on service levels when it comes to this offering, especially who is servicing the employee. My prediction is that payroll departments across the country will push back – and push back hard – on the idea that they are the ones servicing employees now on a daily basis, as opposed to bi-weekly payday basis.

As with all predictions, the only prediction that I can guarantee is accurate is that we will all be surprised by how 2020 shakes out. I can’t wait to re-visit this post in December 2020 and see how wrong we all were!

Jason

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You Shouldn’t Have to Run Payroll Daily

I am protesting daily payroll.

In a world where technology has enabled all services to be delivered with a tap of a button — and to be delivered instantly — the thought of “daily payroll” is horrifying.

 

How does this work if my employees have garnishments, such as child support? What about those employees with benefits deductions in arrears? And how will I ever convince my CEO or CFO that I now need payroll dollars to fund payroll every day, rather than just on the scheduled payday? Continue reading “You Shouldn’t Have to Run Payroll Daily”