April 11, 2021
Wagestream is the first earned wage access provider to release its foundation Financial Inclusion Action Plan (FIAP) as part of its commitment to make money simple, not stressful and improve employee financial wellbeing.
The Financial Inclusion Action Plan program is led by Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand, the Centre for Social Impact and EY. Its member organisations are accountable for their actions to improve financial inclusion, wellbeing and resilience for its customers, employees, suppliers and the community.
Wagestream’s CEO Josh Vernon said; “We’re proud to be the first earned wage access provider to join the FIAP program and are delighted to work alongside like-minded member organisations to improve the lives of Australians with access to safe, affordable and appropriate financial services.”
Wagestream’s mission is to make money simple, not stressful and to ensure all employees have the tools they need to secure their financial future. At the heart of Wagestream is its social charter, which ensures that every product developed is designed to improve the financial wellbeing of people at work.
Wagestream’s aim is to see employees reduce reliance on high-cost short-term credit, build rainy day savings and develop financial behaviours that encourage long-term savings through its products and services.
Good Shepherd Australia New Zealand CEO Stella Avramopoulos said; “Financial hardship can impact us all, at any stage of our lives. By giving customers more control over how they access their pay, and tools to encourage savings and make better financial decisions, Wagestream hopes to improve the financial wellbeing of employees across Australia. We congratulate Wagestream on joining the FIAP community, an important movement to reduce inequalities and promote inclusive growth.”
In partnering with some of the biggest employers in the nation including Hungry Jacks, BPAY, JD Sports, Freedom, Glue and TSA, Wagestream recognises its opportunity to support financial wellbeing at scale.
The Wagestream app offers innovative tools that aim to overcome behavioural barriers to financial wellbeing such as pay tracking, earned wage access, pre-pay savings, 1:1 confidential money coaching, interactive financial education and the ability to measure reported employee financial wellbeing.
Mr Vernon said Wagestream’s FIAP focuses on transaction analysis, financial wellbeing measurement and product development to further understand and support financial vulnerability and wellbeing.
“Earned wage access is a new category in financial services and as such, our FIAP focuses on measuring and analysing our impact,” Mr Vernon said. “We’ll be seeking community feedback for our Code of Conduct for earned wage access, which focuses on a commitment to responsible outcomes. We hope that other Australian Fintechs will follow suit and show they’re committed to consumer outcomes.”
As a growing employer, Wagestream will also seek to build on its foundations in developing a flexible and safe workplace; introducing policies that provide better financial security to its own employees and supporting customer-facing staff to be equipped to provide guidance to those experiencing vulnerability.
Recent analysis of 1 million transactions and 2,200 anonymous surveys have found that 8 in 10 felt less stressed and 7 in 10 felt more in control of their money and 9 in 10 were able to reduce their reliance on high-cost credit.
With continued access to earned wage, people reduce their withdrawals over time. Our data shows that 12 months after making their first withdrawal, the average person makes fewer transfers a month and transfers a smaller percentage of their pay, indicating the ability to access earnings without being charged interest can help people absorb financial shocks, while also building up financial resilience.
Wagestream are leading mission-based financial wellbeing platforms, backed by social impact charities that are committed to tackling the poverty premium: Social Tech Trust, Barrow Cadbury Foundation, Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Fair by Design and Big Society Capital.