Valet Living and Earnin make everyday payday with earned wage access
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Think of almost any aspect of how we work today, and it is safe to say that it has become far more flexible than the way it was in the past.
Want to work remotely for a company that is on the other side of the country? That is increasingly an option. Want to start work early in the morning in order to attend a yoga class in the afternoon? Flexible working hours are now the norm for many.
But what if you need to get paid in a way that fits your own unique needs and schedule? Well, in some places, yes, but nowhere near widely enough.
Technological innovation and an increasing realization that being more flexible to your workforces needs has led to significant improvements in almost every aspect of working life. And yet, in contrast, the way in which people get paid remains stubbornly stuck to the typical payroll cycles of every two weeks or each month.
As the only nationally recognised full-service amenities provider to the multifamily housing industry, Valet Living can offer its associates as flexible a working schedule as the amenity services and tasks that they carry out on its behalf.
From a full-time student looking to offset his or her costs by working 5-nights a week helping residents save time by taking out their trash, to a part-time worker that tops up their wages by taking a client’s dog out for a walk while they go to their office – that presumably does not allow pets at work – Valet Living prides itself on providing flexibility to its more than 8,000 associates.
It is for that reason that the company, which services property management companies at apartment communities, sought out a solution that would also enable its associates to get greater flexibility in how they are paid.
Having initially searched through a series of options, Valet Living was encouraged to consider Earnin by an associate who was already using it to gain early access to his earned wages.
“An associate reached out to me and said, ‘Hey, you should check out Earnin’,” explains Tara Kidd, senior director of accounting at Valet Living. “So our payroll leader reached out to Earnin and really got to understand its offering and the fact that there was no need for integration made sense for both us and our associates.”
Once the partnership was agreed, Earnin – which has enabled its members to gain early access to more than $10 billion of earned wages across thousands of companies set about developing a bespoke offering that would enable Valet Living associates to draw forward their earnings through its Cash Out service that provides Earned Wage Access (EWA).
Much like the individual offering, all that was required for Valet Living workers to access the service was a smartphone to access the app and upload their proof of earnings, such as an electronic timesheet, and a checking account.
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Once this was set up, the associates were able to access a portion of their earnings ahead of payday to cover everyday expenses, or to avoid penalties such as credit card costs and overdraft fees.
Since the program was rolled out across Valet Living, the partnership has already been adopted by 20% of associates and granted them access to more than $700,000 of their earned wages.
To be able to see that such a significant portion of its workforce have made use of the service has been a welcome development for Valet Living as a whole, but it has had a particular impact because of the currently high cost of living that has added additional financial pressures for employees.
It is at times such as this, where the use of Earnin has been shown to prove particularly valuable to its members, with a recent survey showing that over the course of its existence, it has enabled members to avoid more than $1 billion in overdraft fees.
Furthermore, the greater flexibility it offers in terms of accessing pay has stopped members from having to risk taking on such penalties.
According to the survey, were it not for the funds provided through Earnin, more than a third of members (35%) would have considered taking out a payday loan, 38% would have considered going into their overdraft and 44% may have not paid certain bills on time.
“Earnin showed how our associates are using the service and it’s for things like gas, utilities, and groceries. To see the percentage of those who had used payday loans before had decreased substantially was really quite life-changing” explains Kidd.
“For me to see our associates have been able to pull back from a payday loan is just an amazing feeling because that is just a downward spiral in my mind, so it made me feel it was a success.”
This sense of success experienced by Valet Living, is something that Earnin has increasingly seen from its company partners since it started to roll it out to employers as well as individual employees.
And right at the heart of these successes has been the fact that unlike other forms of financing where the fees are fixed or hidden, or exorbitantly high, Earnin puts the power in the hands of its members to decide what is fair and what they can afford.
“Our model is very unique,” explains Ratesh Dhir, vice president of Business Development & B2B, at Earnin, “we allow people to tip whatever they think is fair and that number can include zero dollars, but the vast majority do decide to leave a tip.”
Outlining the concept as being akin to that of going to a restaurant, where you have complete freedom over whether or not to leave a tip to the service staff, he explains that such a model also drives the company to ensure that its service to members and partners is of the highest quality in order to incentivize further tips.
And when it is contrasted against the alternatives that people might use, that concept of a tip becomes clear.
“If you need to access money and you want to borrow $200 from a payday lender, that can cost you $100 in interest and late fees if you don’t pay it back in time, and even if you take an overdraft, that will be $35,” says Dhir.
“So given that we are saying, ‘hey, pay whatever you think is fair, most people are more than happy to support us”, but it tends to be the equivalent of an ATM fee.”
As a result of this, Earnin is increasingly being approached by companies who like Valet Living are keen to offer the service as a workforce benefit, with many of them also prompted to do so by existing workers.
So in the eyes of Dhir, much like the other areas of work that have become vastly more flexible, it is not if you get paid as you work will follow but when.
“If you look at the younger generations and the way things are changing, there is an expectation that things will be available almost instantly, so why will people want to go and work somewhere where they don’t get paid for two weeks?,” he says.
“I think that being able to offer to pay people sooner is going to become a huge competitive advantage for employers.”
Employers interested in learning more can visit www.earnin.com/employers and book their personalized demo today.