We’ve heard it said a thousand times: if you don’t have happy employees at your company, you won’t have happy customers. One startup helping companies ensure their staff are fully engaged is Wagestream, and what better way to engage employees than offering them a way to access a percentage of their wages before payday. In this episode of Voxpro Studios, we are joined by Adam Hankin, Wagestream’s General Manager for Ireland, to discuss the income streaming app’s ambition to rid the world of overdraft fees and improve people’s financial wellbeing.
In this interview, Adam also talks about:
- How financial stress is impacting employees’ health and productivity
- Minimising the number of touchpoints for end-users
- Guiding companies through the process of adopting a new product
- Being a social impact company and how it helps with investment
- Raising $50m in series A funding and getting Bill Gates on board
“We’re all about improving people’s financial wellbeing and not adding stress.”
In the following extract, Adam talks about the process of educating people in companies about Wagestream, what it is and what it offers.
“It’s about getting a lot of people comfortable with the idea. So we initially talk to HR directors and every HR director on the planet should want to stop their employees getting into debt and improve their financial wellbeing so that’s normally a pretty positive conversation. We then get introduced to payroll who normally say, ‘we have a perfectly running payroll system running here, are you going to mess this up?’
“The way that it works, we front all fees so it doesn’t affect the company’s cashflow at all. This is part of the genius of it. So we have a piece of tech that sits in between the employer bank account and the employee bank account. Literally, if you request money, Wagestream puts the money through that middle account into the employee bank account. Then when Accounts do their payroll at the end of the month, they put it into that middle account. They don’t have to make any deductions themselves. It hits that middle account and diverts the €200 that you’ve streamed already, it gives the €1.75 fee to Wagestream and the rest to the employee.
“Money just passes through, it’s like a smart account that just remembers. Then with the savings element, because we have that set up, and because you want to save €20 a month into your savings account, once it hits that middle account it just diverts the €20 into that.
“We get them comfortable with it. The reality for a person in Payroll is the only thing they really need to change is the bank account that they pay into. So it’s the same if you walked into your boss and said, I’m moving from AIB to Bank of Ireland, it’s a very simple process in that regard. We do have to make them comfortable. We always do a test phase with ten, 20 or 30 employees to make sure they’re happy with it. The last thing we want to do is mess up someone’s payroll. We’re all about improving people’s financial wellbeing and not adding stress.”
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If you enjoyed this episode you might be interested to hear about &Open, a ‘customer happiness platform’ that helps brands like Airbnb, WeWork and Turo stay connected to users through personalised gifting. Also, be sure to sign up to our newsletter to receive our latest news and insights and to get the lowdown on our latest podcast episodes.