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How some Aussies don’t have to wait till payday to get paid


Here’s something that will blow your mind.

In the US (where else!) some workers can draw their earnings daily instead of waiting for the traditional weekly or fortnightly pay run. How good is that!

You’ll never have to ask your co-workers again “When’s payday?” because it’s every day.

Now before you rush off and apply for a US work visa, you may be interested to know that this week a management platform launched something similar here in Australia.

Around 3500 businesses in Australia have the Employment Hero platform, which means around 54,000 employees will now have access to InstaPay.

If you work for one of these companies, you can use the Employment Hero app to view your hours worked and then access between $100 and $250 a week of those earned wages.

No need to grovel to your employer for a pay advance and no interest charged – just a $2 processing fee each time.

Employment Hero funds the advance. You automatically pay back the money on your next payday. Interestingly, Employment Hero doesn’t call InstaPay a loan because it says no interest is charged.

I’m not sold on that because I’d certainly call it an IOU – a loan from your future self to you.

We are certainly living in interesting times. Do I like this? I think it’s a very clever idea and one that unfortunately meets a growing demand for short-term loans. We spend more than we earn and this is an enabler.

But to be fair, what are the alternatives … a cash advance on your credit card, a payday loan or, in the worst case, no food on the table?

Research from Employment Hero shows that over 2.5 million workers have taken out a payday loan to meet financial demands, highlighting the growing amount of debt Australians carry.

Millennials are most inclined to seek payday loans, with over a third (37%) taking out a loan, compared with Gen X (26%) and baby boomers (10%).

So, yes, it does meet a demand but “Budgeting 101” would say that if you’re living from pay to pay something is wrong.

Essentially this is a band-aid solution to an injury that probably needs a little more attention.

InstPay does come with a savings tracker to help employees set saving goals.

Written by Effie Zahos

Effie Zahos

Money magazine editor Effie Zahos is the author of A Real Girl’s Guide to Money: From Converse to Louboutins, available for pre-order now. Effie started out as a graduate trainee for one of Australia’s major banks. She moved to TV in 1997, kick-starting her career in finance journalism as head researcher for Channel Nine’s Money Show. A regular finance commentator on TV and radio, she also wrote The Great $20 Adventure, a children's book aimed at enhancing the financial literacy of young Australians.

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