Should You Be able to Access Your Pay as Soon as You Earn It?

“I’ve done my shift, I’ve done my work, so why am I waiting for my pay?”

With the cost of living far outpacing growth in wages, it’s not surprising that many Australians are looking for ways to access their salary before payday.

Paytime CEO Steve Furman told Finder he is seeing “1,500 enquiries a month from employees” looking to take advantage of the company’s earned wage access product.

Earned wage access lets workers access some of their salary ahead of time. It’s still relatively new in Australia, but it’s a common benefit offered to many workers in the US and the UK.

“The mindset for workers is shifting. People now think ‘I’ve done my shift, I’ve done my work, so why am I waiting for my pay?’,” Furman said.

How earned wage access works

Getting paid monthly or fortnightly means a long wait for your pay. It’s a classic problem for workers who live paycheque to paycheque (which could be as high as 1 in 10 Australians according to Finder research). And the classic solutions, like payday loans, can come with heavy interest charges. Pay on-demand apps charge percentage fees that can get very high.