Digi announced a partnership between its innovation arm, Digi-X, and financial wellness platform HariGaji to offer Earned Wage Access (EWA) for Digi’s HR super app, altHR. This will give users access to “short-term liquidity”, as they can withdraw “up to 50% of their earned salaries directly from the platform at any point in the month”.
What is Earned Wage Access?
As employees, we’ve usually been paid every month for the work we’ve done. However, since a lot of us are living paycheck-to-paycheck, the current system might not be entirely ideal—especially if we need to dig deep into emergency funds.
With earned wage access, it simply suggests that the workforce should be paid on demand. Implementing a system with EWA allows employees access to their money as soon as they’ve earned it, and gives employees peace of mind knowing their money is at their disposal whenever they need it most.
HariGaji, the financial platform that partnered with Digi’s altHR app to provide access to EWA, claims that EWA has tons of benefits. Its app claims to increase workplace productivity by 20%, a 16% increased employee retention rate, and even better employee-employer relationships.
“The Earned Wage Access partnership is a key milestone for HariGaji and altHR. We’ve been working on this for a long time and it’s great to finally see it come to live. EWA is going to revolutionise the way employees manage their finances, giving them the flexibility and freedom to focus on their jobs and help employers stay competitive in this tough job market. This partnership will enable companies using altHR to adopt EWA within a few clicks, giving them a lot more reasons to join the movement,’’ said Annamalai Thani, CEO and Co-Founder of HariGaji.
How altHR uses EWA
Employers on the altHR app (iOS, Android) will have access to the Earned Wage Access feature at no additional cost. This allows them to effectively offer salary advances to their employees without impacting their working capital. Employees will be able to access emergency funds with a reduced waiting time to within an hour for updates on withdrawal requests.
And while they will be subjected to a transaction fee of RM15 for the first transaction or withdrawal in the month, HariGaji will be processing all subsequent transactions within the same month for free. The launch of the feature is Digi’s step toward their “commitment to empower Malaysian businesses through digitalisation”, according to the company.
“Today, financial accessibility has become more crucial than ever. We regularly speak to our customers to see how altHR can contribute to employee engagement and empowerment, and the launch of HariGaji’s Earned Wage Access feature on altHR is another example of Digi’s steadfast commitment to supporting businesses, employers, and employees in Malaysia through digitalisation and connectivity,” said Kathryn Lee, the Head of Digi-X.
Of course, EWA isn’t an original HariGaji and Digi concept. In fact, a few different EWA models are reportedly seeing varying success at the moment. However, experts believe that the model that places the cost on the employer is the one that will win.
“What we’ve found is that EWA startups typically service a mix of customers across both models, where the employer pays in some cases and the employee pays in others. Broadly speaking, an EWA startup’s goal is to prove its value as an employee welfare and retention tool,” says Jennifer Ho, partner at Integra Partners.
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