Amid a labor shortage, payday advance apps like DailyPay help employers fill jobs for low-wage workers who have been targeted by payday loans in the past.
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Rotating electronic billboards at two of Little Rock’s busiest Sonic Drive-In locations spend more time trying to attract workers than selling shakes and slushies.
Among the flashing signs for drivers on Broadway and Chenal Parkway is a sign that says “Work today, get paid tomorrow.” Now offer DailyPay ”.
The sign is part of a sequence announcing “Help Wanted” and “Open Interviews” and talks about companies’ struggle to re-enter the workforce.
DailyPay is a payday advance app that has gained ground over the past few years.
In today’s fast-paced world, the concept of making payday anytime seems overdue, but the concept is just starting to take off, especially for low-wage folks, a group often targeted by predatory lenders.
This association is something that makes executives bristle with the 5 year application.
“That’s a bad question,” said Jeanniey Walden, director of marketing and innovation, when asked how DailyPay was different from a payday loan.
“We are not a payday loan company because there is nothing to repay with DailyPay. While you work, you earn money. While you earn money, that money belongs to you. let’s allow people to see how much money they make working and access that money as they earn it instead of waiting for a traditional business’s payday. “
Walden explained that the company is partnering with companies to allow workers to withdraw their pay hours after their shifts and before payday by logging into the company’s payroll manager.
The website or app allows money to be put directly into a bank account or prepaid card or other means of paying bills.
Convenience comes at a cost, with just a few dollars for every transaction. For an instant transfer, it will cost someone $ 2.99, while a transfer the next day will cost $ 1.99 or be free.
There is no interest, which is important because the sky-high rates on short-term loans are what led lawmakers in Arkansas to ban payday loan showcases about a decade ago.
DailyPay equates transaction costs with ATM fees.
Major employers offering DailyPay include Kroger, Dollar Tree, and Target.
The company boasts of signing seven of the top 10 fast food chains, including McDonald’s and Burger King (although none of these central Arkansas franchises do).
This similar trend among companies that rely on low wages is causing concern for some.
“I think DailyPay can work both ways,” said Arlo Washington, chairman of the People Trust Community Loan Fund. “It can be good for some and bad for others. If you don’t have good money management skills, it could put you in the debt trap.”
As a banker working in a space where few major banks choose to do business, Washington said its concerns were less about red flags related to payday loans and check cashing. He is worried about financial discipline.
“Very few low and moderate income families have access to financial education,” he said.
DailyPay, for its part, is promoting itself as a service that can help people facing more difficult financial situations by avoiding costly overdraft and late fees.
“Imagine if you didn’t have them anymore because you could take the money you need when you need it,” Walden said.
Washington is inclined to agree with this sentiment as it applauds something the app and others like it offer, which is better access to money.
“I think for someone who is not [financially literate] it’s a bad deal, but if you have financial education and can handle the app, i think that’s a good thing, ”he said.
Walden also seeks to allay fears about transaction fees by claiming that many partner companies pay them on behalf of their employees, and she also said the fees go down or go away the longer the money goes unclaimed.
“We would love if everyone could get their money without having to spend money,” Walden said. “I think there is an opportunity for all of us to understand.”
Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge’s office has so far told us that it hasn’t received any complaints about DailyPay or how it works.
A spokesperson said the office is tracking its progress but appears to be fully compliant with Arkansas law.