Fund manager - Ascension Ventures
Wagestream helps employees avoid debt by making some of the wages they’ve already earned available when they need it most, such as when unexpected bills and expenses land.
- 100 Number of companies using Wagestream
- 350000 Number of employees with access to Wagestream
- 40% Percentage of users that have avoided turning to a high cost lender
Becoming financially resilient is a big challenge for many people in the UK. For some, the smallest short-term need can result in increasing amounts of debt and a reliance on high-cost loans. Debt has a huge impact on the workforce – 85% of UK adults say they experience stress on a regular basis, with most citing money worries as the primary cause. Research by PwC found that stressed employees were twice as likely to miss work as a result of issues related to personal finance, and more likely to spend time dealing with financial issues during work hours. Education, access to advice and debt consolidation can help to reduce the financial burden, but they can’t make debt go away.
Wagestream helps employees avoid debt by making some of the wages they’ve already earned available when they need it most, such as when unexpected bills and expenses land. This means they don’t have to wait until payday, and can pay bills without going further into debt. Wagestream also works together with The Money Charity and Money Advice Service to give tips on managing money and budgeting, while also building financial resilience by offering employees the chance to build up a savings pot.
The investment came from the £10 million Fair by Design Fund, managed by Ascension Ventures, which Big Society Capital invested £5 million into. Wagestream charges employers to use the technology, who then benefit from happier employees and increased retention. It also charges employees a very small percentage as a transaction fee.
Over 100 companies with 350,000 employees have joined Wagestream, including the NHS, Rentokil Initial and David Lloyd. Wagestream reports that 42% of users avoid turning to a payday lender, 37% avoid going overdrawn, and 65% are able to cover an unexpected bill with their own wages. The employers using Wagestream have seen a 16% reduction in employees leaving their business, while 82% of Wagestream users feel more positive about their employer due to being able to access their earned wages throughout the month.