One-on-One With DailyPay's Jeanniey Walden

Changing the way workers access pay can aid retention and hiring, the executive says
Jeanniey Walden
Illustration by Olivier Balez

Jeanniey Walden is chief innovation and marketing officer of Daily Pay

Jon Springer: Welcome to the Breakroom, Jeanniey. The two-week pay period is just one of those things we rarely give much thought to—but when we do, it’s like, why not disrupt it?  Why has this construct lasted until now?

Jeanniey Walden: I know, right! The two-week pay cycle is part of this archaic financial system that dates back 70 years, to World War II. Today, we are so far away from the economics of a post-war economy that this structure is no longer relevant. It is a long overdue time for change. So at DailyPay, we made that our mission to create a new financial system by rewriting the invisible rules of money, and we’re starting with pay. 

By changing the way pay works, we can offer employers a better way to provide their workers with the financial wellness they deserve. What we do is not a cash advance that could harm employees. It also is not a hidden trap for earned pay incentivizing spend. DailyPay is exactly what it says in our name. It is the ability to track the pay you have earned daily, and access it when you need it, to support your family and your financial needs.

This money is important. It demonstrates additional wealth a worker might not realize they have. It’s a new kind of balance, what we call a Pay Balance, and this compliant, risk-free secure enablement of funds changed the paradigm completely for millions of workers.

Over the past few years, we have partnered with leading employers, including Kroger, Leever’s and Dave’s Markets to ensure their employees have a complete and accurate picture of their real-time financial profile and the power of choice and control over their earned pay. This is how the world should work. A simple, continuous movement of money from the minute you earn it to becoming immediately usable at any merchant you choose.

Every day in our industry we’re hearing about companies giving bonuses to entice unemployed folks to consider working there, or stores delaying openings because they cannot find enough workers. From a big-picture perspective, what’s going on out there? It’s not just pay frequency, right?

In a post-COVID world, companies are trying to survive so many effects of this virus including disrupted supply chains, employees who are finding it more advantageous to stay home and enjoy unemployment benefits as they recover, health concerns and even a shift in family priorities/access to child care. All of this results in companies having a harder time to reach the hearts and minds of people looking for work. Pay frequency isn't all of it, but it is a consideration for both the short-term return to work and the long- term enablement. 

In a recent poll, 52% of job seekers said they are looking for on-demand pay in the next job. Why? A few reasons:

  1. It enables those employees moving off of weekly unemployment benefits and stipends to return to work with little to no disruption in access to cash;
  2.  It ensures that employees still can access what they need, when they need it to take care of their families;
  3. And DailyPay also offers things that go beyond pay frequency, including on-demand rewards and on-demand off-cycle payments to help ensure workers have the best experience.

We’ve seen many companies including Kroger use the DailyPay benefit in their promotions to hire people. As a bonus, offering DailyPay gives those employers an immediate advantage in the labor market as companies can hire 53% faster and their employees will stay up to 45% longer.

How can the data from Daily Pay benefit employers?

Smart companies are acting competitively with recruiting, retention and employees’ best interests and financial wellness top of mind. This includes paying employees as they work, offering flexible scheduling to support family needs and leveraging technology to fill the staffing gap and retain workers.

With DailyPay’s Partner Portal, employers have direct backend access to the employee dashboard, where program admins can view enrollment, usage and more. We offer enterprise-grade usage reports—inclusive of enrollment, adoption and transfer activities, which are available upon implementation. With DailyPay’s Partner Portal, companies can utilize these metrics to create concrete goals and gain insights on the benefits employees are seeking, which leads to longer employee tenure.

A recent study from the Mercator Advisory Group revealed the impact on-demand pay can have on a company’s bottom line. Longer employee tenure benefits employers in many ways. Employees who stay longer at their jobs are more engaged, more knowledgeable and can execute their tasks more effectively, ultimately providing better service to customers. It also means that employers need to replace employees with less frequency, saving multiple millions of dollars in administrative costs associated with turnover. It is estimated that the costs range from 1.5 to 2 times the average annual salary of the position needing to be replaced. That could equate to hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Automation, gigs, pay, remote: Work is changing in lots of ways. Beyond pay, what areas of work are you keeping an especially close eye on?

Ha! All of them. The way work works is evolving. Finally, the future of work has arrived, it just forgot to include “pay” in its evolution, and we want to be a part of that. We recently announced that we secured $500 million of capital to invest in new market opportunities for our industry-leading technology platform, in addition to extending market leadership position in on-demand pay among the largest employers in the world. We believe it is not just work that is changing, but when you change how work works, it also creates changes to the way workers live and we think that is a key consideration for every employer in the future.

The initial application of our first-of-its-kind technology platform was to redefine how money moves between employers and their employees. We are now expanding our platform to change the relationship between merchants and their shoppers, as well as financial institutions and their customers. The DailyPay platform enables money to start working the minute work starts.

What have you personally learned over the last year or so from working with food retailers such as Kroger, Dollar Tree and Leevers?

I think both DailyPay and our client partners have learned a lot. This industry is filled with front-line heroes! While we were all in our homes trying to stay safe, so many food retail employees put their health on the line every day to ensure the rest of us had access to the food and supplies we needed for our families. There has never been a better time to be in this industry.

We grew together and we are honored to continue to support all of our client partners. In a recent HR Tech Panel, Kroger shared how the DailyPay app was a welcome relief for Kroger’s 400,000-plus employees, especially during the snowstorms in the South earlier this year. Through DailyPay, Kroger employees were able to get access to their paycheck via the DailyPay app instead of waiting for a delayed paper check in the mail.

With the retail, food, and supermarket industry struggling to attract and retain workers, DailyPay has also been an effective recruiting tool that many companies are advertising. DailyPay delivers real results and impacts real lives.

Lightning Round

What was the first thing you ever got paid to do?

Delivering a local newspaper called The Penny Savers. I got paid 2 cents a newspaper!

Who does the food shopping for your household—and where does it get done?

We split the shopping. We usually go together to our local Kroger where I buy all of the fruits, vegetables and snacks, and my husband, Vince, shops for the meat, cheese and seafood. Come over for a great dinner!

I hear you one day want to write a book for children. Do you have a title yet?

"Funny Bunnies Selling Carrots" (Have you seen my pet bunnies?) 

Is there a story behind the unique spelling of the name “Jeanniey”

My Mom wanted my name to have an “ie” in it and my dad wanted my name to end in an “y”.

Mets, Yankees or other?

Pirates. “We are family” (You can take the girl out of Pittsburgh ...).



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