Walmart to offer prepayment app to workers

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Dive brief:

  • Instead of waiting two weeks for a paycheck, Walmart employees will be able to access their pay for hours worked through an app, The New York Times reports. The world’s largest retailer says it offers the service to help ease workers’ financial woes, discourage their use of expensive payday loans and other debt relief options – and keep them focused and productive at the same time. job.
  • But labor groups say Walmart should raise wages instead. According to The Times, Walmart’s starting salary is $ 9 / hr, which is $ 1.75 above the federal rate, but lower than Costco’s rate of $ 13 / hr and Target’s $ 11 / hr. On average, Walmart employees earn $ 13.85 / hr, compared to $ 24.50 / hr for Costco.
  • Walmart executives argue that raising workers’ wages does not solve their money management problems. The app, called Even, connects to workers’ bank accounts and calculates how much money they need to spend between paychecks to cover household expenses and other expenses.

Dive overview:

Other reputable employers, mainly retailers and restaurant chains like McDonald’s, Uber and Outback Steakhouse, now allow workers to access their pay the same day via apps.

Low wages are often live paycheck. Turnover is high in the retail and hospitality industries, so workers might find having instant access to their funds a compelling benefit. Employers bear the cost of some services, but employees can be charged up to $ 3 per day to access their funds.

Walmart and other companies offering same-day wage benefits may assume that workers’ money management skills will be positively affected by the service. But employers need to be careful about adopting programs or services that focus only on what they think employees might be doing incorrectly.

Financial wellness is no longer something HR can shirk responsibility for. Statistical evidence clearly shows a drop in the number of workers financial well-being as well as an increase in the amount of debt due, the latter being caused in particular by student loan debt. It is up to employers to provide support across the spectrum of well-being, and this includes education younger segments of the U.S. workforce and help this group adjust their financial behavior.

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