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The pandemic propelled on-demand pay from interesting to essential! Jason Lee, the CEO of DailyPay shares with us why his company has been thriving in the last few months

Jason Lee DailyPay

First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID19 times? 

Jason Lee: I think it’s safe to say that the pandemic we are living through has opened everyone’s eyes, in every capacity of their lives. I’m the father of two amazing young children and have come to appreciate family time even more than I had before, and, to be honest have appreciated the incredible job our educators do with our kids while we are all at work. As a business leader, I must admit it’s been a transformational time. A time that has driven us all to reflect on the way every element of our business works,the way we lead, and given us the opportunity to make changes and design a future even stronger than what we thought we had built. 

Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined DailyPay

Jason Lee: Before founding DailyPay, I was at Goldman, Sachs & Co. for almost 20 years where I built and led the Global Structured Equity Group. After leaving Goldman, I saw a profound need for working Americans to have access to their money and financial wellness. 

In 2015, I realized that need in America. Hard working people needed money to support themselves and their family, and while they were working hard for it, they had to wait two weeks to get it, often putting them in dire financial situations. The two week pay cycle failed them. People were getting second jobs just to get immediate funds to make ends meet. I knew there was a better way.

I thought what if we were to radically change payroll and rebuild it from the ground up, but this time putting the employee at the center of the system.  

To do that, my first instinct, like every other technologist, was to blow up the existing system completely – to truly start from scratch. So I created DailyPay and that’s exactly what we did. We created a new “pay experience” for both the employee and the employer.  From the employee’s standpoint, she is now at the center.  She has complete control over her pay.  She can see what she earns each minute, access her money to pay bills on time, she can save from her income into her savings account, all before what used to be called payday. 

From the employer’s standpoint, they have a much more engaged workforce.  You see, when you put employees at the center of the pay experience, they actually start behaving differently.  For starters, they stay longer.  Our clients report an increase in retention by 41%.  Employees are more engaged, more likely to pick up extra shifts.  Importantly, this is all accomplished without changing a single thing about the employer’s payroll process today. And you know what, we are just getting started! 

How does DailyPay innovate?

Jason Lee: The team at DailyPay is never satisfied. We are always innovating. DailyPay is considered the gold standard of the On-Demand Pay Industry by our clients, and we push ourselves to live up to that name.  Our innovation spurs from our desire to make a difference and to go above and beyond our clients’ and users’ demands. We don’t’ take what we do lightly – and frankly, there is no room for error. 

We push ourselves to innovate in a few ways: 

  • We are constantly seeking to provide the best possible value to our partners. This has enabled us to drive new features, products, data, and insights to our partner companies — including our Cycle feature and the flexibility and compliance inherent in our partner portal.
  • We are also constantly looking to improve and delight our users. That’s why we created our SAVE feature — enabling users to save as they earn, without spending a dime. Our state-of-the-art app also allows users to easily and seamlessly interface with their pay.

Today, there are 27 companies in the United States, and even around the world.  We work with 80% of the Fortune 100 who offer on-demand pay. There is clearly a ripe space for innovation. 

As we’ve been building out our enterprise, we recognized pay as the most critical element of your employee experience. A positive pay experience provides a frictionless, digital and rewarding experience at every moment of the employee journey. Most recently, we introduced the PayEx  platform, a novel pay experience solution, that has several features including savings.

How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business and how are you coping?

Jason Lee: The safety and well-being of DailyPay’s employees has been my first and foremost priority. We made sure there was constant communication with updates to the situation such as town halls and employee resources that we made available. 

In terms of our industry, the pandemic propelled on-demand pay from interesting to essential. We’ve seen every change in the on-demand pay industry from the early days of the pandemic. In Mid-March, when the pandemic hit, 18% of all made advances with specified reasons were related to the COVID-19 crisis. There was so much media hype surrounding stocking up on groceries and toilet paper, we saw a 400% spike in DailyPay usage. 

While these numbers are a reflection of Americans panic buying and stockpiling household goods, they also display how people are incapable of living off of a biweekly pay cycle. Now more than ever, people are realizing the necessity of on-demand pay to the point that 1 in 6 people are looking for a job that offers an on-demand pay benefit.

On the other side, employers are searching for a viable recovery solution that offsets the loss in revenue and workers. With more employees demanding an on-demand pay benefit, companies will start to look into implementing a pay solution and will also discover along the way the many benefits on-demand pay for an employer. According to a recent  DailyPay study, 56% of employees that use DailyPay were motivated to pick up more shifts and 90% of employees shared that having access to DailyPay during the pandemic reduced their financial stress.

When companies provide benefits that decrease an employee’s financial stress, employees become more productive at work. 

We launched a Rehire America Index to aid employers as they navigate the rehire process.

How do you deal with stress and anxiety, how do you project yourself and DailyPay in the future?

Jason Lee: I suppose the “good” news is that in a hyper growth startup, one is constantly in a state of stress and anxiety!  That’s to say that we have a lot of experience managing through periods like this one.  My strategy is pretty simple — surround yourself with a great team, and stay maniacally focused on clients.  

Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?

Jason Lee: There are 131 million working adults in America, all of whom could use some feature in our product set.  We estimate that about 10% of the market is penetrated and so we have a long way to go.  At this point, since 90% of the working population doesn’t know about DailyPay or others like it, I would say our competition is the biweekly pay schedule and the results of it, like bank overdraft and late fees. Ultimately, this is a massive market opportunity and so that means this opportunity is going to attract several interested parties. 

Your final thoughts

Jason Lee: The world is changing before our very eyes. The global pandemic has had a profound effect on our culture and has changed forever the way we live, work, and interact with each other. But we can’t lose sight of the experiences and relationships that make us feel human. For example, my local grocery store was once a vibrant hub of the community, a true extension of the neighborhood. And now it’s populated by delivery men shopping to fulfill an order.

The experience now feels empty and that must change.  Because at a time like this with so much doubt and uncertainty, retail and all other similar industries must think of consumers first – to give them the gold standard treatment I believe every customer deserves. We must double-down on the experience to bring back brand loyalty and dependability. Because without it, there is no way we can repair those bonds of trust.

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DailyPay Rehire America Index

DailyPay PayEx

DailyPay SAVE

DailyPay CYCLE

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