Earned Wage Access And Instant Payments Can Help Provide Extra Cheer This Holiday Season

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As the holiday season approaches, unfortunately, so do additional bills associated with the fun and merriment. Paying bills late is a costly problem for millions of Americans.

Half of U.S. adults struggle to pay their bills on time, according to research from ConsumerAffairs.

Subsequently, American households carry a total of $17.29 trillion in debt as of the third quarter of 2023, and the average household debt is $103,358 as of the second quarter of 2023.

Among American adults surveyed by the U.S. Census, 90% say the biggest reason people can’t pay their bills on time is a result of price increases related to inflation which have led directly to their cash shortage.

Yet so often, the ability to pay a bill comes down to something as simple: the timing of your paycheck.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 43% of Americans are paid biweekly, 19.8% semimonthly, and 10% monthly. When you consider that 62% of adults said they are living paycheck to paycheck, according to a recent LendingClub report, it becomes clear that an unexpected financial expense can be devastating financially, sending someone on a seemingly never-ending cycle of debt.

So what can the American worker do to stay out of debt while still being able to pay bills on time, even if that includes an unforeseen expense?

Many of America’s leading employers are offering their employees a financial wellness benefit, earned wage access, which empowers them with choice and control over their earned pay. This benefit allows them, for either a low fee or no fee at all, to pay bills on their own schedule without having to wait for an arbitrary payday.

To ensure that the money moves safely, quickly, and easily into the pockets of American workers, earned wage access providers have partnered with innovative instant payment services provided by companies such as The Clearing House and The Federal Reserve. By leveraging these instant payment ascending services, employers have equipped their employees with a powerful tool in the fight against inflation.

“Thanks to advances in real-time payment infrastructure, human resource teams can offer this kind of benefit without changing the way they process payroll. By working with your financial institution and payment processors, you can implement earned wage access via real-time payments, instead of through traditional ACH payments,” noted Jim Colassano, SVP, Product Development and Strategy, The Clearing House.

“Through participating banks, consumers can benefit from the flexibility that instant

payments offer, such as the ability to complete last-minute or emergency payments.

With this capability, consumers can avoid late fees, the risk of account overdrafts, the

potential for service disruption and damage to their credit scores,” added Dan Baum,

Senior Vice President and Head of Payments Product for the FedNow Service.

And the proof is in the holiday pudding. A recent study by Arizent/Employee Benefits News, commissioned by DailyPay, a leading earned wage access provider, revealed that about 7 in 10 users (69%) who previously paid late fees do this less often or stopped completely since they started using DailyPay, The survey also showed that over 6 in 10 (62%) who previously incurred credit card interest charges do this less often or stopped completely since they started using DailyPay.

For employers, leveraging advancements in payments technology can play a critical role in helping their employees avoid incurring additional debt this holiday season. By empowering them to pay bills on time with earned wage access, hard-working Americans can avoid needless late charges and have more money to spread holiday cheer.

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