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Walmart Offering 'Financial Wellness' App for Workers

Budgeting, 'Instapay' could boost retention as labor market tightens

Walmart is now offering its employees a suite of “financial wellness” products that it said would provide workers the ability to manage their personal budgets and access earned wages ahead of scheduled paydays.

The new offering, which was created in collaboration with Silicon Valley-based financial technology startups Even and PayActiv, will enable associates to access the tools through the Even app, available for both iOS and Android devices.

The system, which Walmart said it would provide free of charge to hourly and salaried workers, could help engage and retain employees amid a labor market that has considerably tightened for retailers as unemployment drops.

“Money management is something people across every income level struggle with, in large part because they don’t have access to good tools,” Jon Schlossberg, CEO of Even, said in a statement. “In real life, if you want to get ahead, you’ve got to make a financial plan, and also have a way to fix the plan when it breaks. Even offers tools for both, together in one app. Working with Walmart and PayActiv gives us the opportunity to put these powerful, easy-to-use financial management tools in the hands of millions of hardworking Americans."

The Even app securely connects to an associate’s checking account, prepaid account or Walmart Associate Paycard, and links to Walmart's payroll systems. It automatically subtracts anticipated expenses from a user’s anticipated cash inflows, allowing associates to see exactly how much money they’re okay to spend.

Walmart said it would ensure associates can use the “Instapay” feature providing earned pay ahead of paychecks up to eight times per year for no charge. Should associates need to use Instapay more frequently, Walmart said it would subsidize the additional Even subscription required to do so.

Walmart said the Instapay feature would provide greater flexibility for associates when faced with unexpected expenses and help avoid overdrafts, high-fee “payday loans” or credit options.

“Every American worker faces unexpected and stressful between-paychecks expenses,” Safwan Shah, founder and CEO of PayActiv, said in a release. “With on-demand access to earned wages, Walmart associates will be able to save more, avoid the financial traps that reduce their take-home pay, and get a level of stability that few service sector employers provide.”

 

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