Working Smarter Café Podcast

How to Access Your Earnings Before Pay Day with UKG Wallet

February 23, 2022 Episode 3
How to Access Your Earnings Before Pay Day with UKG Wallet
Working Smarter Café Podcast
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Working Smarter Café Podcast
How to Access Your Earnings Before Pay Day with UKG Wallet
Feb 23, 2022 Episode 3

In this episode, we cover:

  1. The demand for earned wage access solutions
  2. The benefits and smile-worthy moments (including alleviating financial stress) that can accompany taking advantage of the new UKG earned wage access solution 
  3. How it’s possible the cost is $0 for your organization

For more information on the UKG Wallet earned wage access solution

Find additional customer content to help you work smarter on the Working Smarter Cafe Blog.

Show Notes Transcript

In this episode, we cover:

  1. The demand for earned wage access solutions
  2. The benefits and smile-worthy moments (including alleviating financial stress) that can accompany taking advantage of the new UKG earned wage access solution 
  3. How it’s possible the cost is $0 for your organization

For more information on the UKG Wallet earned wage access solution

Find additional customer content to help you work smarter on the Working Smarter Cafe Blog.

0:00:00  LAUREN:  Hey, and welcome to the Working Smarter Café.  I’m your host, Lauren Nawfel, and today’s episode is about UKG Wallet, a new product for accessing your earned wages when you want instead of waiting until payday.  Solution expert Bill Taylor is here to tell us all about it, including how it’s zero cost to your organization and that it works with any UKG product.

[Intro music]

0:00:34  LAUREN:  Hi, Bill.  Thanks for joining us today.  How are you?

0:00:37  BILL:  I’m doing great.  Thanks for having me.

0:00:39  LAUREN:  Oh, yes, you’re welcome.  And I like to start off with some fun facts about guests for our listeners, so we’re going to begin with two truths and a lie.  So if you could please share two things about you that are true and one that’s false, we’ll see if I can guess which one isn’t true.

0:00:56  BILL:  Sure, love games like this.  So good luck with these.  So first one, I’m an avid golfer.  Second one, I spent time drilling for oil in the Gulf of Mexico.  And the third one, my major in college was software engineering.

0:01:12  LAUREN:  Okay.  Okay, well, I feel like I’ve heard you talk about golf, so I’m going to guess that one is true, maybe.  I think the Gulf of Mexico fact is too cool not to be true, so I’m going to guess that your major was not software engineering.

0:01:31  BILL:  Wow.  That’s incredible.  You’re correct--

0:01:33  LAUREN:  Ah, awesome.

0:01:34  BILL:  --did not expect you to get that.  Nice job.


0:01:37  LAUREN:  Thanks.  So, so what was it?

0:01:39  BILL:  It was mechanical engineering.  

0:01:40  LAUREN:  Ah, okay.  And what’s the story behind the Gulf of Mexico, if you don’t mind sharing a, you know, quick SparkNotes version.

0:01:46  BILL:  Oh, yeah, sure.  It was interesting.  So it was mechanical engineering at Worcester Poly Tech and when I graduated I moved down to Lafayette, Louisiana, and was a drilling engineer on oil rigs out in the Gulf of Mexico.

0:02:03  LAUREN:  Very cool.  That’s a great fact.

0:02:06  BILL:  Yeah, yeah.

0:02:07  LAUREN:  All right.  Well, thanks for sharing.  And can you give us a brief overview of your role here at UKG before we dive into today’s topic?

0:02:15  BILL:  Sure, yeah, of course.  So I manage the OEM team within the global alliances organization, and what we do is we bring new product solutions and other revenue-generating programs to market through close partnerships with other companies.  It’s a very entrepreneurial role and it’s what I’ve always really loved to do.

0:02:37  LAUREN:  Awesome.  And we’re here to talk about one of those new solutions today, called UKG Wallet.  So can you talk to us about why we launched it and the problems that it’s solving for people?

0:02:47  BILL:  Yeah, sure.  So the killer feature today within UKG Wallet, it’s much more than this, but the killer feature is something called earned-wage access.  And what this is, is it allows employees to access a portion of their earned but unpaid wages as they work rather than having to wait for their traditional pay cycle.  One of the biggest challenges employers are facing today is employee recruitment and retention, and access to wages before payday has become one of the hottest employee benefits in the market today. 

0:03:19  But like I mentioned before, UKG Wallet is much more than that.  In addition to EWA, it provides a mobile banking solution, combined with powerful financial wellness tools and a modern pay card experience.  One of the biggest drivers from employees’ perspective has been the rise of financial stress.  This isn’t a new problem, but it’s something that’s been around for decades and gotten steadily, steadily worse over the years.  All one has to do is look at, you know, rising prices of housing, look at how much it costs when you go to the supermarket to buy food, or health care costs, just to name a few.

0:03:59  And these and other costs have steadily risen while wages have essentially stagnated.  When you ask people what causes them the most stress, more than half of people are going to tell you that it’s related to some sort of financial situation or money matter.  And when you dig deeper into some of these statistics, they get quite alarming.  You know, 75% of the U.S. employee base live paycheck to paycheck today.  You know, imagine this scenario.  Imagine you’re on a monthly pay cycle and you’re faced with some sort of unexpected expense but you’ve worked three out of the four weeks already, but now you have an unexpected car repair or your water heater breaks and you don’t have any savings.

0:04:42  Your options traditionally have not been very good.  People will turn to credit cards.  They’ll turn to high-interest payday loans, or borrowing money from friends.  All those options tend to make the situation worse, not better.  I mean, you know, if you look at some stats around that, it’s alarming as well.  I mean, credit card late fees was a three-billion-dollar business last year, and things like payday loans can have, you know, three to four hundred percent interest rates.  So being able to access wages that you’ve already earned, take care of those expenses interest-free makes a lot of sense.  And UKG has always been a company looking to help improve people’s lives.

0:05:25  LAUREN:  Yeah.  Yeah, that’s great.  And when you said EWA when you were speaking, just to clarify for anyone listening, that would be earned-wage access, correct?

0:05:34  BILL:  Yeah, that’s right.  Yeah.  

0:05:37  LAUREN:  Awesome.

0:05:37  BILL:  And I can go into a little bit more detail.  I mean, I’m guessing nearly everybody listening to this podcast right now uses some sort of mobile banking solution, and that I found is the best way to think about UKG Wallet.  So it all starts with downloading a mobile app from the app store, and when you open that up it looks just like your mobile bank.  You can direct deposit to it.  You can schedule bills to get paid.  You can transfer money to other users.  And you can spend those funds using a digital card, or if you want a physical card, all you need to do is click a button in the app and it shows up in the mail.

0:06:14  In addition to those types of traditional mobile banking features, it also contains powerful financial wellness tools, such as smart savings, budgeting tools, the ability to reach out to a certified financial counselor, and there’s even something that we call a discount marketplace that provides users discounts on things that they’re already going to spend money on each month, so these are things like gas for your car or car insurance discounts, movie tickets for your family, and there’s going to be a lot more stuff coming in this area.  So these are things that really just save people real money every single month.

0:06:51  One of the features that I love talking about in the app is an integration with Uber.  So if you think about Uber today, it requires a credit card to use the service, and people that are under-banked or not banked at all, you know, a lot of people don’t have a credit card.  Now unfortunately, one of the biggest struggles for a lot of employees or under-banked or not banked at all is transportation, so Wallet allows a user to hail an Uber in the app and pay for the ride using their account balance or earned wages.  And that’s a pretty big deal for a lot of people.  

0:07:29  In addition to the features that I just mentioned above, the solution that deep API-level integrations with UKG products so it can also offer users earned-wage access and like I mentioned before that’s the killer feature that’s driving adoption, but it’s so much more than that.  

0:07:45  LAUREN:  Yeah.  I really love how this product just seems to make life more manageable and, you know, forgive the cheesiness of the phrase that I’m about to say, but just, you know, really a turn a lot of frowns upside down and just make a lot more smiles out there in the world.  

0:07:59  BILL:  A hundred percent.  It’s just a, it’s a great tool that really people have been, you know, asking for for a very long time.

0:08:06  LAUREN:  Yeah, and that leads me to the next question of, you know, is this just for hourly employees or can salary employees also use it?

0:08:13  BILL:  Yeah, that’s another great question.  So while it, you know, really started with the hourly employee initially, it can be used by either hourly or salaried employees.  When you think about what’s happening behind the scenes, the system’s just looking at the hours that somebody’s worked and then calculating the earned wages by multiplying that times your hourly rate, essentially.  So for hourly employees, it’s looking, the system’s looking at the punches. When did somebody punch in, when did they punch out, how much do they earn an hour and coming up with those earned wages.

0:08:46  If you’re salaried, you just really have just a set number of hours each day, and that’s how your salary is calculated.  So it’s more or less the same formula being used, and, and this is a good thing to support both hourly and salaried because when companies, this is an employee benefit, and when companies tend to roll out employee benefits, they want to roll these things out to their entire employee base.

0:09:13  LAUREN:  And all this sounds really fantastic, it does, but I have to ask you about cost.  Is this something that customers will need to pay for?

0:09:22  BILL:  Yeah.  So this is one of the best parts about this solution.  It’s always zero cost to the employer.  The product is offered at zero cost and implementations cost nothing, too.  As far as employees are concerned, it costs them nothing to access their earned wages if they direct deposit to the platform, and if they don’t direct deposit they’ll pay one dollar each time they access those wages, but that’s capped at five dollars in the two-week pay period.  There are a few other nominal fees an employee can incur, but it’s all things that you would see in your traditional mobile banking solution.

0:09:59  As an example, you know, a fee for a same-day money transfer to another bank would be a good one.  The money isn’t being made here in fees, which is an important point to make, and let me explain kind of where the money’s being made because it makes a lot more sense when you tell somebody something’s zero cost.  If you take a Visa card or a credit card to a store to make a purchase today, that merchant, that store pays that card company a transaction fee, and Visa is actually behind the UKG Wallet card.  

0:10:34  So when an employee makes a purchase, you know, that merchant pays a fee to that card provider.  That card provider shares that fee with our partner that’s behind the scene that’s powering our platform, called PayActiv, and then they share some of that with us.  So that’s where the lion’s share of the money’s being made, and we do everything possible to keep fees at an absolute minimum.

0:10:58  LAUREN:  That’s wonderful to hear, and hopefully your answer to this next question will continue to make people’s day.  You know, what about UKG solutions, what product does an organization need to have to take advantage of UKG Wallet, does that matter?

0:11:12  BILL:  Yeah, that’s another great question that I’m asked all the time.  It’s, it’s any of our products.  So one of the first things we did when we put this deal together was to make sure that we took care, took advantage of UKG’s robust API ecosystem across all of our products.  You literally don’t have to worry about what products you have.  The platform, the Wallet platform supports everything.  We even support mixes of UKG products and third-party products, so you could have a UKG time product, a third-party payroll or a UKG payroll product, third-party time, it doesn’t really matter at all.  We have a ton of robust methods for integrating with anything.

0:11:54  LAUREN:  And would using UKG Wallet impact the business processes that are already established at an organization?  So for example, does it change the way that companies have to administer payroll?

0:12:05  BILL:  Yeah, that’s, that’s another critical question there, and the answer is no.  So the way that this works is employees access their earned wages, deductions are written back to the payroll system, and so a company just runs payroll like they always have on their normal payroll cycle, and basically that float gets paid back and then the remaining wages get disbursed to their employees, just like they do today, so there’s no impact whatsoever on a company’s payroll process.

0:12:37  And there’s other benefits to this method, too.  You know, those deductions are visible to employees, so it’s easy for them to see periodically how much of those funds they’ve accessed, and that really saves, you know, the HR and the payroll team from getting a lot of questions from their employees.

0:12:56  LAUREN:  Great.  And, Bill, I know you’ve been talking a lot about UKG Wallet this year and you presented about it at our UKG customer conferences as well at the end of 2021.  I’m curious to hear what the reaction has been.

0:13:08  BILL:  Yeah, you know, I spent about 15 years in product and, you know, I’ve never quite seen such high demand for something as I’m seeing with this.  It’s been overwhelming, to be honest.  So every session at those two events that you just mentioned were jam packed, and we regularly bumped up to our time limits, and people would stay for the entire, like the entire room would say for the entire Q&A session, so I would say, you know, demand is strong, to say the least.

0:13:39  LAUREN:  Awesome.  And if listeners who are tuning in now would like more information or to see a demo of UKG Wallet, what should they do?

0:13:47  BILL:  Yeah.  So anybody that’s interested in learning more about UKG Wallet, regardless of what that is, they may have already made a decision that they want to go with an earned-wage access solution, they might just be kicking the tires, need a demo, need to learn more about it, all they need to do is reach out to their UKG sales rep or their ERM and they’ll walk them through the process from there.

0:14:11  LAUREN:  And I know there also is a page on as well, so I can link to that in the show notes for any listeners who are interested in taking a look at that and maybe just sort of reading more about it.

0:14:23  BILL:  That, that’s a great point, Lauren, actually.  That product page is fantastic.  If anybody wants to find it, if you type if UKG Wallet into Google it’ll be like the first or second hit, and it’s got, you know, a two-minute intro video. It’s got product tour videos.  It’s got all kinds of content that you can download.  And it’s even got a form right in the middle of the page if you need a demo or just want some questions answered, you can click on that, fill it out, somebody will get in touch with you.

0:14:50  LAUREN:  Great.  Well, thank you so much for being here, Bill, and sharing all of this wonderful information with listeners.  Really, really appreciate it.

0:14:58  BILL:  It’s my pleasure.

0:14:59  LAUREN:  We are going to wrap up with our closing question.  If you had to choose between drinking coffee or tea for the rest of your life, which would it be?

0:15:08  BILL:  Oh, we’re closing out on an easy one.  So yeah, I’ll take coffee any day.  I’ve got a cup in front of me right now.

0:15:16  LAUREN:  All right, and there you have it, folks, another coffee lover at the café.  Thanks again, Bill.  Enjoy that cup of warm brew.

0:15:24  BILL:  Thank you so much, Lauren.  It’s been a pleasure.

[Closing music]