Wagestream, the first income streaming app that allows employees to access a percentage of their wages before payday, has officially launched in Ireland. In partnership with Irish employers, Wagestream gives workers instant access to their own earnings at any time throughout the month and aims to remove the need for resorting to credit cards, overdrafts or expensive payday loans.
According to the Irish Central Bank, last year 350,000 people in Ireland used money lending services from 39 companies who offer loans at interest rates of up to 288%. Wagestream aims to help Irish consumers avoid using such services when occasional or unforeseen expenses crop up between paydays (back to school costs, car trouble, etc). Banks, credit cards and loan facilities from other established financial institutions will also be disrupted by this completely new concept of flexible access to wages, which gives cash flow liquidity back to employees.
Wagestream partner directly with employers to offer this service to their employees. Enabling their workforce to take a more proactive approach to handle their finances by having the freedom to choose when they get paid based on their financial commitments. This flexible access is set to a maximum of 50% of already earned wages at the time of the transaction and each transaction costs a flat fee of €1.75 regardless of the amount.
For employers onboarding Wagestream, there will be no changes to the existing payroll cycle or impact on cash flow. Wagestream is free to onboard, with no set-up costs for the employer. Companies that use Wagestream have seen staff work more hours, stay with the company longer and they find it easier to recruit new employees.
On launching the service in Ireland, CEO and co-founder of Wagestream Peter Briffett stated, “Having flexible access to your earned income is the future. Employees are being exploited by outdated short-term credit options and statistics show that there is a great need for a change. Historically lower-paid workers were the target for moneylenders, but now all layers of society waste a lot of their hard-earned money paying exorbitant interest rates for short term loans. Wagestream offers a solution to everyone, regardless of their salary, with no interest and no borrowing, that helps reduce the poverty premium. Our technology gives employees access to their own earned wages when they need them instead of having to wait until payday.”
In addition to streaming wages, the Wagestream platform allows employees to track their spending, access financial wellness education, follow a financial wellness programme and open a savings account. The financial wellness education on the platform is provided in Ireland by the Money Advice & Budgeting Service (MABS).
Adam Hankin, General Manager of Wagestream Ireland said, “it’s a pleasure to introduce new technology to Ireland that can make a real difference. Once an employer sets up an account, their employees will be able to download the Wagestream App and take control of their finances. They will not only be able to stream their wages as and when they need to, but they will also gain access to an incredible tool that will help them save and learn about how to manage their finances more responsibly.”