May 17, 2024

20 Striking Earned Wage Access Statistics

We were recently joined by Wagestream and Purple for a webinar all about earned wage access (EWA). The discussion covered market trends, what to look for in an EWA solution, and the impact of flexible pay solutions on both employees and employers. Additionally, Rachelle Dugan, director of payroll for Purple, shared her experience implementing myFlexPay as an EWA solution for her employees. Hear Purple’s EWA story here. 

In this blog, we’re highlighting 20 EWA statistics from the webinar and what they mean for your organization. But before we get into that, let’s start with some background on EWA 

Introduction to earned wage access 

Earned wage access is an innovative financial service that enables employees to access a portion of their earned wages before their scheduled payday. Unlike traditional payday loans, EWA provides interest-free, immediate access to funds that employees have already earned, reducing the need for other high-interest or predatory solutions. It offers a flexible, sustainable way for employees to manage their finances. 

The service is designed to alleviate financial stress, improve financial well-being, and enhance overall productivity by giving employees greater control over their earnings. As a result, EWA has become an increasingly popular benefit among employers looking to support their workforce and foster a more engaged, stable, and productive environment. 

At OneSource Virtual (OSV), our customers can offer our myFlexWallet solution to their employees at no additional cost. This employee digital wallet comprises a variety of financial well-being tools, including myFlexPay for earned wage access. Learn more about myFlexWallet. 

20 striking EWA statistics

The first set of statistics covers market trends and employee sentiment around financial well-being. 

1.   76% across all age groups say it is important for their employers to offer EWA 
2.  86% say that financial stress impacts their productivity 
3.  80% think employers should play a role in supporting financial well-being 
4.  Financially stressed employees are twice as likely to seek a new employer 
5.  59% of millennials prioritize jobs that offer EWA 

It’s clear that today’s workers not only want support to ease financial stress but also expect employers to do something about it. For many, this weighs heavily on whether they stay with an organization or if they even join in the first place. 

But once employees have access to EWA, how do they use it? We often hear from payroll leaders who are hesitant to roll out EWA because they fear the early access to wages could lead to financially stressed employees worsening their situation by using up their earnings sooner. 

In practice, we’ve found the opposite to be true. By giving employees access to their earned money sooner, they resort to loans and credit cards less frequently, freeing them from the burden of interest payments. They also tend to contribute more to savings. Additionally, they don’t need to wait to make critical purchases — such as groceries, car repairs, or transit fares — making it easier for them to reliably work and earn more. Access to tools like savings and EWA can fundamentally change how employees think about and manage their finances. 

Of employees with access to EWA, we found that: 

6.   20% transferred wages instead of using a credit card 
7.   29% transferred wages to smooth out income fluctuations 
8.   18% transferred wages to cover commuting costs 
9.   28% transferred wages to replicate a weekly pay cycle 
10. 77% transferred wages for necessary bills and purchases 
11.  85% reported decreased usage of credit products 
12. 85% reduced or maintained their previous level of spending 
13. 90% reported improved financial circumstances 

Wagestream and OSV partner to deliver myFlexPay as an earned wage access solution to Workday customers. In addition to offering earned wage access, it enables employees to set up a savings account that they can automatically contribute to from every paycheck. 

This savings account may seem like a small benefit, but it has a staggeringly high adoption rate compared to traditional payroll savings programs and can make a big impact on employee financial well-being. 

14.  Typical payroll savings programs only achieve around 1% adoption 
15.  32% of employees with myFlexPay use the savings feature 
16.  80% of employees that use the savings feature contribute every payday

Now that we’ve seen some statistics on how employees view and use earned wage access, we can explore the impact it has on the organization. Improved recruitment, retention, and employee self-service go a long way to lightening the load for payroll and HR teams. 

Organizations offering employees EWA as a benefit saw: 

17.  27% faster recruitment 
18.  16% reduction in turnover 
19.  11% increase in shift uptake 
20. 40% reduction in pay inquiries

Not having to fill roles as often — and being able to do so faster when the need arises — saves time and resources spent on hiring and reduces the disruptions associated with employee churn. Additionally, the increase in shift uptake improves operational efficiency and reflects higher employee motivation and engagement. 

And we know all payroll professionals will be delighted to experience such a significant reduction in pay inquiries. The less time spent on these administrative tasks, the more time you have to dedicate to the high-impact projects you care about. 

Purple’s experience with EWA

As the director of payroll for Purple, Rachelle Dugan is always looking for ways to improve the pay experience for her employees. But even she was skeptical of EWA at first. She remembers thinking, “No one is going to use it and it’s going to be a ton of work for me and my team.”  

Looking back now, she admits she misjudged the impact of EWA as well as the work that goes into implementing it. “The OSV and Wagestream partnership has made it so simple. We didn’t have to do anything,” she says. “It’s no work. My team loves it. I love it... I have yet to have anyone complain. Not one.” 

You can hear more of Rachelle’s story here. 

Bringing EWA to your employees 

You’ve now learned more about what EWA is, how employees feel about and interact with it, and the impact it can have on your organization. What’s next? 

If you want to listen to the full discussion, the webinar is available on-demand. 

If you want to learn more about myFlexWallet and myFlexPay, check out this eBook. 

If you’re tired of watching videos and reading blogs, we’re always happy to hop on a call to answer your questions and provide a demonstration of our solutions. Contact us. 

About OneSource Virtual 

In addition to providing industry insights, OneSource Virtual (OSV) delivers patented in-tenant technology and expert services that efficiently automate the administrative, transactional tasks of Workday payroll, taxes, payments, and benefits. We eliminate complexity to give business leaders the confidence they need to drive strategic change.  

Our customer-centric approach puts your goals and objectives at the center of everything we do. With over 1,000 active customers and 95% customer retention, OSV is the leading exclusive provider of Business-Process-as-a-Service (BPaaS) solutions for Workday customers. 

Stay up to date with the latest news from OneSource Virtual

We share regular updates and communications about OneSource Virtual and our services in our newsletter. Sign up to be notified and receive this information straight to your inbox.

Required fields