How Can Earned Wage Access Help Your Business?
Discover how earned wage access improves employee retention and morale.
Earned wage access (EWA) — also known as on-demand pay — gives employees access to their earned pay before the traditional, scheduled payday.
With an earned wage access benefit, employers can provide greater financial wellness support for employees, leading to happier and more productive employees across an organization.
What is Earned Wage Access?
Earned wage access is a financial wellness benefit that lets employees choose when they get their earned pay instead of the traditional pay cycle.
This increased flexibility of their pay schedule allows employees to potentially improve their financial well-being and avoid predatory lending solutions that can damage their credit and rack up costly interest rates or other fees.
of employees reported feeling more motivated and productive at work when they had access to their pay on their schedule.1
Today, it’s not a question of whether a company will adopt the benefit but when.
According to Fisher Phillips, 89% of employees reported feeling more motivated and productive at work when they had access to their pay on their schedule.1
Due to this increased demand, more employers are considering earned wage access as a benefit for employees, many of whom want greater flexibility in how they are paid.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Earned Wage Access?
Earned wage access has a variety of benefits for both employers and employees. Let’s take a look at some of the ways each can expect to see some rewards. Additionally, there may be some perceived cons your company should consider when looking into EWA.
The Pros of EWA for Employers
Aside from the employee desire for earned wage access, employers should recognize the benefits and consider how earned wage access will help their company overall.
improvement in tenure rates by offering earned wage access.2 Higher retention rates can reduce the costs of back-filling positions and improve morale.
Increased Employee Retention
A DailyPay sponsored study from Mercator showed that earned wage access can improve tenure rates by 63%.2 Higher employee retention can reduce the costs of back-filling positions and improve morale.
Higher Employee Engagement
Research sponsored by DailyPay found that when people worry about finances at work, they’re less engaged.3 An outstanding employee experience may help employees feel valued, engaged and supported leading to better employee retention.
Better Customer Outcomes
Employees who are more motivated, engaged and happy in their roles are more likely to deliver better experiences such as:
Earned Wage Access Benefits for Employees
Financial stress is one of the most common reasons for employee turnover. According to the 2022 PWC Employee Financial Wellness Survey, financially stressed employees are twice as likely to look for a new job.4 Employees struggling with financial considerations have higher stress levels, and this can negatively affect their morale and productivity.5
8 in 10
employers believe employee financial wellness programs and tools help to create more productive, loyal, satisfied and engaged employees.6
According to a 2020 study by SHRM, more than 8 in 10 employers believe employee financial wellness programs and tools help to create more productive, loyal, satisfied and engaged employees.6
Cons of EWA
Depending on the EWA provider, there may be some perceived cons as well. Consider these potential factors when you evaluate EWA service providers.
Potential Fees for Employees
EWA vendors often have ATM-like fees associated with transfers. However, these fees are still a great alternative and far less expensive than predatory payday loans or paycheck cash advances. In addition to instant transfers for a small fee, we also offer 1-3 business day transfers at no cost.
Limited Pay Destination Options
Some EWA vendors may require you to make EWA transfers to a specific account or paycard. Consider a vendor that allows users to make transfers to the account of their choice. Furthermore, some vendors also offer additional options that allow unbanked or underbanked users to access the benefits of EWA, such as Friday by DailyPay.
Less Than 100% Earnings Access
Some EWA vendors may not allow employees to access 100% of their earned wages. For example, many EWA vendors cap at 50% of earned wages. Look for a vendor that allows users to access up to 100% of their earned wages.
What to Look for in an Earned Wage Access Provider
When selecting an earned wage access provider, evaluate various aspects of the experience for your company.
- Consider the vendor’s experience when dealing with the regulatory environment.
- Determine if the vendor has experience dealing with companies of your size and if they will meet your needs.
- Ensure the earned wage access provider can help improve the overall employee experience.
- Evaluate the security and privacy standards and how they protect sensitive information.
Types of Earned Wage Access
Typically, there are two types of on-demand pay models. The difference between the two is the presence or absence of an employee-directed payback or an employee obligation to repay. Let’s take a look at the two models:
- Employee Payback Model: In this model, the on-demand pay provider makes an advance to an employee, and the employee then pays back the provider on payday in one of two ways:
- Via a debit of the employee’s personal bank account on payday
- Via an employee-authorized payroll deduction (also known as a wage deduction)
- Non-Payback Model: In this model, the on-demand pay provider makes a payment to the employee’s designated direct deposit account. The employee does not pay the provider back in this model. DailyPay follows this model.
Employee Payback Models are particularly vulnerable to being seen as credit transactions. The CFPB Advisory Opinion created a narrowly tailored exception for these models only if they meet specified restrictive criteria.
EWA Implementation Methods
Companies can implement EWA technology in a few ways with the most common options being automatic load onto a prepaid card, deposited via ACH onto a user’s existing direct deposit or where an employee’s earnings are transferred into a bank account facilitated by the EWA provider.7
Wage Deduction Model
How to Implement Earned Wage Access
Getting started with earned wage access involves planning and collaboration across internal staff and your vendor. During the earned wage access implementation process you should consider vendor partnerships, industry requirements, security and more.
Luckily, the more established vendors like DailyPay make implementation simple and easy.
DailyPay has developed an integrated solution with many payroll providers, which may reduce the implementation time to two weeks. DailyPay will work with you throughout the implementation process to ensure a smooth adoption of earned wage access throughout kickoff, testing, transmission, training and launch.
Get More On-Demand Pay Insights.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is earned wage access?
Earned wage access is a financial wellness benefit that lets employees choose when they get their earned pay instead of the traditional pay cycle. Read more about what earned wage access is.
Is earned wage access the same as on-demand pay?
Yes, earned wage access and on-demand pay are different terms for the same benefit. Read more about what earned wage access is.
Which companies offer earned wage access? How does my company get earned wage access if we don’t currently have it?
Earned wage access through DailyPay is available to companies across the United States. Ask your payroll or human resources department if your company offers DailyPay.
How much does it cost to sign up for earned wage access?
There is no cost to your company when you sign up for DailyPay. Employees pay a small ATM-like fee of $3.49 for an immediate transfer or have a no-fee option for a transfer in one to three business days.
Is earned wage access the same as a payday loan?
No, earned wage access is a cost-effective alternative to predatory payday loans. Employees pay a small ATM-like fee for an immediate transfer or have a no-fee option for a transfer in one to three business days, which can save thousands of dollars and avoid damage to credit scores and financial health. Learn more about how DailyPay helps workers avoid the vicious cycle of predatory debt.
Why should a company offer earned wage access to their employees?
Earned wage access has various benefits for employers and employees. Increased retention, better productivity and greater financial wellness are a few of the notable benefits. Learn more about the benefits of earned wage access.
What is the difference between earned wage access and early wage access?
Some companies may offer “early wage access” which allows employees to get their direct deposit a day or two before the typical scheduled day.
What is “On-demand payroll” and is this the same as “earned wage access”?
“On-demand payroll” is often used as a synonym of EWA but it's a broader term. On-demand payroll can also include off-cycle payments and reward payment options.
Is “earned income access” the same as “earned wage access”?
Early income access is another term for earned wage access. It may also be referred to as on-demand pay.
Are there fees associated with earned wage access?
Yes, there are fees just like using an ATM, but we offer a no-fee EWA transfer option (1-3 business days). Learn more about no-fee EWA.
What are earned wage access apps?
EWA providers feature apps where users can track their earnings, save money and make transfers to the account or card of their choosing. Learn more about the EWA app.
What is earned wage access software?
While it is often referred to as software, EWA is a tool that can be integrated in existing softwares such as payroll. EWA “software” is an app where employees can make transfers of their earned wages and track spending.
Explore More about Earned Wage Access
See Why Top Companies Choose DailyPay
Greater financial control with access up to 100% of their DailyPay balance to meet the challenges of unexpected financial disruptions.
Improved planning with visibility to spending and earned pay in one easy-to-use app.
No need for a pre-existing checking or savings account.
Minimal change to payroll processes — DailyPay handles it all.
Seamless integration with HCM, payroll, banking and benefit applications.
Enterprise-grade platform that keeps data private and the service running so it's always there when your employees need it.