5 nominations!

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5 nominations!

This week see’s the sixth Payments Awards at the Grosvenor Marriot Hotel, with companies across the payments spectrum jostling for the prestigious awards and prime industry recognition.

 

 

Hastee Pay is delighted to be nominated for five awards and joins Saxo Bank as the most nominated company from the 2016 awards.

We’re honoured to be alongside huge industry players such as HSBC, Nat West, Starling Bank, Mint, Iwoca and Worldpay.  We’re proud to be revolutionising how people get paid as well as increasing workers’ financial wellbeing by empowering them to pay themselves any day and remove the reliance on the traditional monthly pay cycle.

Our nominations are for:

Personal Finance App of the Year;

Best Mobile Payments Solution,

Lending Initiative of the Year,

Payments Start-up of the Year, and

Most Disruptive Payments Technology.

Whilst the Payments Awards is our industry version of the Oscars, there are no media predictions of who will win.

Watch this space….

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Link between financial and mental health

According to our Workplace Wellbeing Study many employers should open their eyes about the mental health at work of their employees.    

Of the 1,000+ workers interviewed, financial stress impacts their sleep (38%), social life (29%), relationships (29%) and importantly their health (23%)  

Nearly three-quarters of 18 to 34-year-olds have experienced difficult mental health at work or well-being issues linked to money  

52% of managers see value in providing employees with an on-demand payment app  

32% of people have not been able to make it into work as a result of not having enough funds to pay for their commute due to an unexpected cost  

Financials tress has impacted 21% of the workforce – this rises to 30% for people in higher level roles  

25% of workers state that they have suffered from a lack of concentration at work due to the financial stress 

54% of earners say the frequency of pay has an impact on their lifestyle choices    

You can’t get through a day without the subject of mental health popping up in your social feed, in conversations or on whatever news outlet you consume – mental health is a huge issue, but thankfully the stigma is slowly being removed and people are getting more comfortable speaking about it. There is still a long way to go. 

You can’t get through a day without the subject of mental health popping up in your social feed, in conversations or on whatever news outlet you consume – mental health is a huge issue, but thankfully the stigma is slowly being removed and people are getting more comfortable speaking about it. There is still a long way to go.  

Whilst recently trailing through the NHS website to reassure myself that my daughters latest rash was just because she had drawn on herself with a pen that she is allergic to and not anything more sinister, I came across this really helpful article on coping with money worries.

 

We are fully aware that we have a big responsibility, given the space in which we exist, to provide clear and objective information on how financial stress impacts on mental and physical health and how we see Hastee Pay being a contributor to the easing of these stresses and reducing the big payday spikes that can cause the problems.

 

Mind, the mental health charity,

have advice that states, amongst other factors, that getting organised is one of the key elements to a healthier relationship with your finances. Hastee Pay allows you to do just that, allowing you to smooth your income throughout the month, spending what you need to and removing the big peaks, therefore, foster and maintain good mental health at work. 

Honesty alert – Hastee Pay or solutions like ours are not the silver bullet to financial tranquillity, don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise. If you earn £20k a year but spend £25k, there is always going to be a deficit. However, good financial education coupled with help and advice from bodies like the NHS and fantastic charities like MIND on how to manage your money, all contribute to a solution that reduces financial stress.  

We believe Hastee Pay is part of this solution to help workers have a better relationship with their finances and contribute to maintaining a suitable and desirable mental health at work. 

 

 

Words by Jamie – Marketing Director

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Only a Pavement Away

Today we are announcing our partnership with Only A Pavement Way (OAPA), a recently-launched charity acting to help homeless and vulnerable people struggling to get into work overcome hurdles of finding employment.

Launched at the Houses of Parliament on 10th October, OAPA was founded by representatives from the hospitality industry. Its principal aim is to act as a conduit to help those struggling to get into work overcome hurdles by finding jobs within the hospitality, pub and restaurant industry, giving everyone the opportunity to establish meaningful careers. Initially focusing on helping the homeless to find jobs in the hospitality industry, the charity has extended its reach to ex-service personnel, ex-offenders and those with learning difficulties.

Every person who finds employment through OAPA will get 12 months unlimited, free use of Hastee Pay, giving them immediate access to their earned pay from day one to help empower them financially and reduce their financial stress as they establish themselves in their new jobs.

Additionally, to celebrate the launch of OAPA, Hastee Pay will donate 50% of all the proceeds for a period of three months from the operators and partners of OAPA who sign up to Hastee Pay before June 30th 2019.

We’re incredibly proud to support OAPA in its crucial mission helping the most vulnerable in society access their right to work and get back on their feet financially.

Immediate access to earnings will be so empowering for those coming from difficult situations who simply want to earn a living but would otherwise struggle to reach their first payday.

Words By James, CEO

Full release here:

OAPA PR Release FINAL

San Francisco at dusk

We’re on the DIT Trade Mission to San Fran

 

BREAKING NEWS.

We are delighted to announce we have been selected to showcase our expertise by joining the Department of International Trade UK Fintech Trade Mission to San Francisco this November.

We are looking forward to meeting with US regulators, VCs, industry players and gain insight to doing business overseas and continue our global expansion.

It is great to be recognised by the UK Government for the work we are doing at Hastee Pay. It is vital that we enable people to access their earned pay so they do not have to use expensive forms of credit at times of financial need. We are keen to learn and meet with industry players in San Francisco and expand our revolution of how people are paid.

We’ll be in San Francisco from November 12th -16th – will be sure to send a postcard or two.

 

Words by James – CEO

Disrupting Pay Cycle

Forward-thinking employers must explore alternative payment models to stay relevant in the wake of evolving demands from the modern workforce

Employers are continually challenged to go the extra mile in providing workplace perks. This helps businesses compete by attracting, retaining and motivating talent to maintain healthy levels of productivity in the workforce. Remote working schemes and free food and drink are increasingly common workplace benefits, but are these enough to satisfy the younger generations who will soon make up the majority of the workforce? Employers must fulfil their duty of care, but with millennials and now centennials known to be increasingly expecting workplace initiatives that are flexible, transparent, fast and mobile, employers could find that their duty of care has to extend to covering employee wellbeing beyond working hours. This is true of all work environments including within the growing gig economy.

The implementation of carefully-formulated wellbeing strategies in UK workplaces was recently reported to have grown by 20% within the past year, according to REBA’s 2017 Employee Wellbeing Research, and that trend looks likely to continue to grow throughout the coming years.

But why should employers care, and how far should the duty of care extend? Some might argue that providing paid employment with fair workplace policies and a comfortable working environment should be enough to keep workforces satisfied. Ultimately it comes down to how much the employer wants to keep up with the evolution of workplace trends and see the correlation to help them attract, retain and motivate the best talent and demonstrate greater levels of productivity.

While some employers will be content with simply following the best practice trends as they emerge, others will want to be seen as the leaders at the forefront, driving new trends in employee wellbeing and employee satisfaction. For those that wish to be known  as the leaders of the charge, it will be crucial to recognise the most pertinent daily struggles of their employees and explore proactive and practical ways to help provide some form of relief.

Following the money

By extending their duty of care to cover the financial wellbeing of the workforce, employers can increase their appeal to new talent, retain existing personnel and ensure the best possible engagement from their workforce. Research from debt charity Step Change shows that financial troubles have a significant impact on mental health with 5,000 users of the charity’s online debt counselling service over one year showing signs of anxiety or depression.

The charity’s research also uncovered more worrying findings, showing a steep 34 percent rise in the number of under-25’s seeking help with high cost credit in the last two years.  With experts at Manpower Group predicting that by 2020 millennials (now aged 21-35) and Gen Z (aged 20 and younger) will make up more than half of the entire workforce, the financial wellbeing of employees has never been a more important factor.

Disrupting the payroll cycle

Money is undisputedly the number one concern and driver on the minds of most employees. A study done by the American Psychological Association shows that 61 percent of respondents face poor mental health due to financial stress. Whilst free drinks and a nice working environment can improve our work life experience (and a little PR), for most people money is understandably the reason to get out of bed in the morning.

However, the rising epidemic of financial insecurity has led to a reliance on risky payday lenders, with one in every ten UK employees utilising payday loans every year and 70 percent of those relying on payday loans on a regular basis according to research by The Guardian and Pews. And that’s before you take into account overdraft fees and the even more worrying and costly alternatives. Employers that can offer a safer, easier and more ethical solution built around those principles will find it easier to recruit, retain and engage talent. By offering an alternative to payday loans, employers can encourage and reward productive behaviour, creating a positive multiplier effect for all parties to win; workers feel less stressed, resulting in greater productivity for employers. While many could be left scratching their heads over how this can be achieved, the answer is plain and simple. It’s time to disrupt the way people are paid.

While monthly payroll works for the employer, it doesn’t always serve the worker. Beyond the demanding expectations and requirement for instant gratification within younger generations, employers must acknowledge the financial burdens that can so quickly intensify, even for the steady earners. Research from The Times shows that, at a time when both consumer debt and the cost of living are high, and real wages and savings are down, 33 percent of middleclass families are struggling to pay the bills and couldn’t cope with an unexpected £500 bill.

Employers still wondering why any responsibility should fall on them should take note that 38 percent of workers would move to a company that prioritises financial wellbeing within its workforce according to research by Barclays. Those that employ full time workforces and those that rely on shift, variable, gig and seasonal workers could see huge benefits from offering workers quicker and easier access to their pay. It has also been shown that there is a direct link between effort and reward that benefits both employer and worker.

Removing the struggle of individuals waiting long periods for pay that they have already earned no longer has to rely on businesses changing their payroll cycles and risking cashflow dilemmas. With new HR technologies available, businesses can embrace giving workers instant access to the wages that they have already earned with zero impact on companies’ cashflow.

All of the evidence in favour of disrupting existing pay-cycles is there in plain sight but it’s down to employers to decide whether they want to adapt to the necessary demands of the modern workforce or sit back and watch as other businesses take strategic advantage and flourish through a stronger, happier and healthier workforce  I can’t help but suspect that within a few years, we’ll look back and laugh when reminiscing on monthly pay the same as we do with CDs, Blockbuster video rentals and landline phones.

Emerging Technologies and Disruption

In the last decade, we’ve seen numerous businesses appear from nowhere to challenge traditional conventions and as consumers, we’ve welcomed them.

How much are the emerging technologies influencing our lives? Uber has revolutionised travel in cities by simplifying booking or hailing a cab. Deliveroo took away the hassle of ordering a takeaway. Challenger banks are modernising the traditional banking system, and this probably wouldn’t be happening had PayPal not overhauled the way we pay and transfer funds.  

Emerging technologies are set to reshape the way businesses operate too. Take payroll, for example. The traditional pay cycle simply doesn’t fit comfortably with the way we live. It’s an area that is ripe for disruption. 

The wellbeing, attendance and retention of the worker is becoming increasingly important to businesses today. If used in the right manner the new emerging technologies can help businesses to take steps to alleviate pressures in their workers’ personal lives, they can leverage these workplace perks to reduce the spend on recruiting and staff turnover. 

More than 50 percent of all organisations globally have difficulty retaining some of their most valued employee groups, according to a recent Willis Towers Watson study. Research by Kronos and Future Workplace finds that 87 percent of HR leaders consider improved retention a critical or high priority for the next five years.

So, what should businesses look for in emerging technologies that are on offer? With so many new emerging technologies for businesses, it’s difficult to know what’s worth investing in. Factors such as integration, scalability and compliance must be taken into consideration.  

Open APIs & microservices are essential attributes in any disruptive and emerging technology. Avoiding monolithic blocks of code will reduce the time and cost spent getting the integration right, avoiding the technical debt traditionally accrued through work that must be redone repeatedly.  

The ability to scale up easily is paramount, therefore a worthwhile technology must incorporate autoscaling – available through any technology built with microservices from AWS, Google or MS Azure.  

While there are plenty of emerging technologies that are designed to help businesses be better at integration, security and scalability, it is essential that those ones also deliver a return on investment, adding true value for both the organisation and the worker.  

With Hastee Pay’s solution, businesses can embrace giving workers instant access to the wages that they have already earned with zero impact on companies’ cash flow. 

Hastee Pay’s innovative technology is buzz-worthy by disrupting how workers are paid forever.

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Is the way workers are paid ripe for disruption?

Employers are continually expected to take a keen interest in providing workplace perks. This helps businesses prosper by attracting, retaining and motivating talent. Remote working schemes and free food and drink are popular workplace benefits, but are these sufficient to please the younger generations? Employers must fulfil their duty of care, but with millennials and now centennials known to desire workplace initiatives that are flexible, transparent, fast and mobile, employers could find their responsibilities extend to protecting staff employee wellbeing outside work.

The implementation of carefully-formulated wellbeing strategies in UK workplaces was recently reported to have grown by 20 percent within the past year, according to REBA’s 2017 Employee Wellbeing Research, and that trend looks likely to grow.

But why should employers care, and how far should the duty of care extend? Some might argue that providing paid employment with fair workplace policies and a comfortable working environment should be enough to keep workforces satisfied.

By extending their duty of care to cover the financial wellbeing of the workforce, employers can increase their appeal to new talent, retain existing personnel and ensure the best possible engagement from their workforce. Research from debt charity Step Change shows that financial troubles have a significant impact on mental health with 5,000 users of the charity’s online debt counselling service over one year showing signs of anxiety or depression.

With experts at Manpower Group predicting that by 2020 millennials (now aged 21-35) and Gen Z (aged 20 and younger) will make up more than half of the entire workforce, the financial wellbeing of employees has never been a more important factor.

These studies show that yes, now is the time to disrupt the way people are paid. While monthly payroll works for the employer, it doesn’t always serve the worker. Beyond the demanding expectations and requirement for instant gratification within younger generations, employers must acknowledge the financial burdens that can so quickly intensify, even for the steady earners.

Removing the struggle of individuals waiting long periods for pay that they have already earned no longer has to rely on businesses changing their payroll cycles and risking cashflow dilemmas. With Hastee Pay’s solution, businesses can embrace giving workers instant access to the wages that they have already earned with zero impact on companies’ cashflow.

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Mobile Project of the Year!

See below for the Press Release on our win at Digital Technology Leaders Awards 2018!

 

 

 

 

Digital Technology Awards 2018 – Win 

 

 

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Millennials: The Forgotten Generation

It seems today’s younger generations have been struck a raw deal. They’ve been priced out of the housing market, the retirement age has risen, and they’re dogged with debt in a world that encourages them to keep spending. This is confirmed in a 2018 study from by Resolution Foundation which revealed that UK millennials are the second worst-hit financially in the developed world and it looks that they have a lack of financial education.

Another study from the National Endowment for Financial Education, indeed, demonstrates that while 69 percent rated their financial knowledge highly, only 24 percent of millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy. Could it be that through a lack of financial awareness, this generation is truly struggling to survive between Instagram posts of smashed avocado on toast? Or could it be that the demands of modern society are forcing them to over-stretch themselves and rely too heavily on parents, credit cards and overdrafts to fund their lifestyles without any real regard for future financial stability?

On the one hand, they have been lumbered with a higher cost of living as average price inflation for the UK recently reached its highest since April 2012. On the other hand, highly targeted online ads, social media influencers plugging products from high-paying brands and a growing influx of ‘must-have’ subscription services are just a few of the forces encouraging them to keep spending.

Financial education is needed

There are various factors contributing to the struggles of younger generations. Student debt, which has now reached a record high of £100bn, is forecast to reach £160bn by 2022. A debt-free future seems increasingly unlikely for younger generations considering university tuition fees are now at £9,000 per year.

According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies think-tank, an estimated 83 percent of graduates will not fully clear their debt within the three decades in which they are expected to complete repayment. Further research from First Direct reveals that 43 percent of millennials are planning on using money inherited from their parents to pay off their debts, which clearly means that financial literacy is heavily required.

The continuing housing crisis means one in four millennials are yet to fly the nest. While it’s easy to assume this generation has become comfortable living off their elders, a study from the Resolution Foundation found that despite having to spend three times more of their income on housing than their grandparents, they have to make do with a poorer standard of accommodation.

When it comes to employment opportunities, millennials are often accused of being job hoppers. Gallup’s 2016 study “Millennials: The Job-Hopping Generation,” does indeed reveal that millennials are the most likely generation today to switch jobs. Yet, the report suggests that many millennials would rather not have to continually switch jobs, they do so because employers don’t give them compelling reasons to stay

The report states that “while millennials can come across as wanting more and more, the reality is that they just want a job that feels worthwhile — and they will keep looking until they find it.” Hardly surprising considering less than half of UK graduates are in jobs that actually require a degree.

Striking a healthy balance

This generation are facing unique financial challenges that differ significantly from those that their parents encountered that’s why for them a huge financial education is even much more important.
Clearly, younger generations would benefit from educators who should review their approach based on the challenges that these generations are facing, and employers should do their part too.
Employers should also consider taking steps to increase financial wellbeing in the workforce because they have a responsibility to ensure their financially vulnerable workers are given a fair chance, just like the generations before them.
From providing free financial education and guidance to reviewing whether payment processes really fit in with modern financial demands, employers must shoulder some responsibility. In doing so, they could even benefit from gains in recruitment, retention and productivity through more financially healthy and confident employees.
It’s evident that the world has changed when it comes to managing personal finances. Today’s younger generations have been thrust into coping in adverse financial conditions and they’re displaying worrying signs of financial illiteracy. They are being forced to adapt to new financial struggles with no real guidance on how or where to start. Responsibility should not just fall on the individual, family unit or the government. Employers will need to shoulder some of this responsibility if millennials are not to be forgotten and given a fair deal.

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How To Reduce High Cost Credit

First seen in FT Advisor in June 2018

It’ll take more than the FCA’s new guidelines to reduce financial difficulty caused by high cost credit options. Education and fintech innovation must form a combined approach to bursting the personal debt bubble says our CEO, James.

The majority of those using high cost credit options must understand the financial ramifications, but they are increasingly finding it difficult to escape the vicious cycle of debt – which obviously increases the financial stress. While the FCA’s guidelines are intended to reduce the number of people relying on high interest credit options including home-collected loans, in-store credit cards and rent-to-own schemes, it’s easy to wonder whether enough is really being done.

Three million people in the UK currently rely on high cost credit schemes and 19 million regularly use overdrafts and are in financial trouble. Just last month, consumer group Which? revealed that unarranged overdraft fees can cost borrowers up to seven times more than a payday loan, although high street banks escape the criticism and reputation of the payday lenders.

While its plans to impose caps on charges are a welcome move, the FCA would do well to explore longer-term steps that could change the narrative for those living with debt from a tale of owing to owning. It’s not the FCA’s job to simply change the fortunes of those burdened by debt and help them live happily ever after, but while capping charges and issuing mobile alerts are a step in the right direction, they will fall short of the level of action that is required to make a meaningful change reducing the financial difficulty.

The jilted generation

The reality is that these guidelines will not be enough to prevent people experiencing severe financial stress by paying extortionate fees to borrow before payday. As wildly acknowledged, this problem won’t be solved overnight, a good start however would be having similar standards, limits and restrictions across the full range of finance options so people can more easily compare and make informed decisions. Fundamentally better education around personal finance, combined with digital tools that provide more transparency and control over their own finances, will be how people will turn their fortunes around. Shaping this two-pronged approach should be central to the FCA’s efforts in helping people avoid high cost credit and therefore financial troubles.

In late 2017 the FCA themselves uncovered an estimated 4.1 million people in the UK living in financial difficulty, owing to missed domestic or credit bills. It said that the consumers that had failed to pay bills in three or more of the six preceding months were most likely to be aged between 25 and 34. For younger generations, there are various financial challenges which make them worse off than the generations before them.

The ongoing housing crisis means one in four millennials are yet to fly the nest, let alone pay off student loans on time. An estimated 83 percent of graduates will be unable to fully clear their debt within the three decades in which they are expected to complete repayment. When it comes to building up a nest egg, things also look bleak with 43 percent of millennials intending to use money inherited from their parents to pay off their debts.

A 2018 report by Resolution Foundation suggests that UK millennials are the second worst-hit economically in the developed world, but things could be even more dire for future generations which could really experience financial difficulty. If they too are laden with lifelong financial burden and their own parents have not had the means to save an inheritance to pass down, how are they to cope?

A new balance

Educators and employers should be obligated to offer free financial guidance and the FCA should be making steps to support both parties in making this happen. The challenge is that even with free resources available, younger generations believe they have a strong handle on their finances, therefore they don’t pay attention at their possible financial difficulty. According to a study from the National Endowment for Financial Education, 69 percent rated their own financial knowledge highly, yet only 24 percent of millennials demonstrate basic financial literacy.  

There are plenty of recent studies supporting the fact that younger generations have and will continue to have the odds stacked against them.  In an age where technology dictates how we live our lives, steps should be taken to provide better education around personal finance with the aid of technology. Just as the likes of Uber, Deliveroo and Airbnb have disrupted out-dated conventions, Fintech is revolutionising the way we handle our money by putting more control in the hands of the consumer.

The FCA could begin to make a real impact by encouraging employers to explore Fintech products that can help workers build a better understanding of their finances and reduce their financial difficulties and therefore their financial stress. Considering financial troubles have a significant impact on mental health according to debt charity Step Change, which in turn impacts peoples’ productivity at work, it is in the interest of employers to consider their workers’ financial wellbeing too.  

With experts at Manpower Group predicting that by 2020 millennials (now aged 21-35) and Gen Z (aged 20 and younger) will make up more than half of the entire workforce, the financial wellbeing of employees has never been a more important factor.

Employers needn’t dig deep to provide such support, with solutions emerging that are helping workers quickly pay off overdraft charges, credit card bills and other unexpected expenditures, free to implement with zero impact on the business’ cashflow.  

There are now Fintech solutions that can grant access to income as it is earned which is of great use to those who need access to funds before the end of the month. Income smoothing is a far more powerful and fair solution, avoiding the negative cycle of inflated repayments and debt which, in the long term, increase the financial difficulty.

Fintech solutions that are breaking down the traditional conventions of monthly pay cycles, which don’t necessarily fit in with modern financial demands, are not only going to relieve the financial stress of workers but have the added benefit of encouraging them to stay in work and be more productive.  

Debt should not be a taboo issue; politicians, institutions, businesses and employers need to embrace initiatives that allow those who need financial support to access it without getting themselves into situations that can quickly spiral out of control. Educators and employers are ideally placed to support workers to become more financially savvy and less financially stretched using the latest fintech solutions that are disrupting pay forever helping, hopefully, people’s financial difficulty. 

Hastee Pay