Hi guys, welcome to the Fintech Coffee Break, I’m your host Isabelle Castro. This week I shared my coffee break with Stacy Greiner, COO at DailyPay.
DailyPay is a forerunner in the US and wage access space. Working with employers all over the country, they empower them to offer their employees access to wages they have already earned on demand, moving away from the traditional first and 15th-of-the-month salary.
While DailyPay is transparent and offers employees different options for access, some of which are free. That is not the case across the industry. The fairly nascent space has been the subject of criticism about dubious fee structures, at times offering little benefit over expensive loan options. Regulators have only just started tackling the space, with vulnerable employees at times being caught in the crossfire.
I spoke to Stacy about DailyPay’s approach and the potential of earned wage access should predatory actors be eradicated.
Hi Stacy, nice to meet you.
Stacy Greiner 1:04 Hi, Isabelle. Thanks for the time. Great to meet you as well.
Isabelle Castro 1:06 Thanks for coming on. I’m really looking forward to talking to you. To start off with I want to know what gets you up in the morning.
Stacy Greiner 1:14 That is a great question. My so technically what gets us up in the morning, my husband and I have this little rescue named Tucker, who is as his name might say, like up and Adam every single day at 6am. So he gets us fired up and out quickly before he has an accident in the house. So he’s like our alarm.
Isabelle Castro 1:36 That’s quite nice. I like that that’s a good energetic way to start.
Stacy Greiner 1:39 is yes, it is. No, no rest for the weary in the morning. But also easy to get up when you love what you do. So we’re very fortunate to have that as well.
Isabelle Castro 1:47 Yeah, but tell me about your career journey to daily pay and what brought you to the company?
Stacy Greiner 1:54 Yeah, that’s a good question. So I studied aerospace engineering is kind of how I started my career. And growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, it was my, literally my dream to be a pilot. I was working an hourly job in high school at Kmart. And you know, each time I got my paycheck, I would rush to the local airstrip. And for $25, I could rent a plane and for another $10, I could rent an instructor. And, you know, I paid my way through getting my pilot’s licence. And I was like, on my mission. Well, it turned out that without 2020 vision, or kind of perfect vision that apparently, your career options are pretty limited as a pilot. So I thought like, alright, well, I’ll just go to school and learn how to build planes. So I studied aerospace engineering. And I think what I love about engineering is it really is about taking something that is really complex and coming back with a very simple solution. And so I’ve spent my career and tech kind of doing just that. And, and here at daily pay, like that’s what we’re doing right. Getting paid should not be rocket science. It should literally be I work today, I get paid today. And so pretty excited about that mission. And that’s really what brought me here.
Isabelle Castro 3:09 Nice. I like it. I like it when people have kind of like, alternative ways into the fintech space. It’s
Stacy Greiner 3:15 really yeah, there’s a lot of Journeys you can take in life.
Isabelle Castro 3:19 Yeah, absolutely. And it gives you different perspectives on the tech space, I guess it helps with innovation as well.
Stacy Greiner 3:27 That’s very true. Is there a true I liked that you said that actually, because I think that’s one of the biggest benefits when you cross industries is that a lot of the problems are similar, right. And you can bring solutions from one industry into another and kind of more easily see what that simple answer might be.
Isabelle Castro 3:43 Absolutely. Carry on. Did I did I interrupt you?
Stacy Greiner 3:47 No, I just was thinking I really liked that that kind of draw that you made between industries? Because I think that that’s exactly right about what really sparks innovation.
Isabelle Castro 3:56 Thank you. So daily pay works in and wage access space. This is a fairly new space. Payroll has traditionally been periodically between the first and 15th some cases weekly, some cases monthly in Europe has normally monthly. Why the shift?
Stacy Greiner 4:16 Yeah. And I feel like part of you know, the answer of why the shift is a bit of you know, why not? But I think even more importantly, it’s, you know, life doesn’t happen in two week or monthly increments, right. Life happens on a daily basis. And we really saw the acceleration of employers understanding this need through the pandemic, where we had those who are employing frontline workers, like grocery stores, health care workers, are they really realise that their employees need this they need the ability to get to work, they need the ability to keep their families safe, and just providing them access to the money that they’ve already earned, rather than making them wait. Do you know two weeks into that pay cycle came out with something that they felt that they could do that really would make an impact in their employees lives.
Isabelle Castro 5:07 Okay, cool. And my next question is why specifically now? Is it that we haven’t had the technology before now or the regulation? Or?
Stacy Greiner 5:16 Yeah, I think it is more technology. I think that that’s one of the things that’s beautiful about technology, right is it can be applied to things that work a certain way. And if you just ask the question, well, why does it work that way, it doesn’t need to work. That way, you can use technology to change the way that that money moves.
Isabelle Castro 5:36 Nice, nice. So recently, I mean, cost of living, has been going ridiculously high, people are getting loans a lot more. Just everything in general is more expensive, has the and wage access space changed within that landscape?
Stacy Greiner 5:56 I think it’s become more important in that landscape. You know, we saw recent study that from 2021 to 2022. Now the people that have trouble affording even a $400 kind of emergency payment has risen from 32% to 37%. Right, so there’s an increase in people’s need for flexibility of when they can access the wages that they’ve earned. And you know, more than half of people here in the US, I think it’s actually 58% of people in the US are truly living paycheck to paycheck.
Isabelle Castro 6:33 Okay. And so if they get access every day, they no longer have to do that they can just use it whenever they want.
Stacy Greiner 6:40 Right. And that’s, I think that’s what we’re so excited about is because it really gives that power back to the employee, right? As an employee, you show up, you bring your 100% to work every day. And if you need something in between pay cycles, right, the only option that people had was to go to a payday loan, take out more credit card debt, or, you know, pay overdraft fees on their bank accounts, right. And we’re really on a mission to put all of those kind of out of existence, people should not have to turn to predatory lending solutions, when they’ve earned money, and it just hasn’t been paid for them yet.
Isabelle Castro 7:16 No, I agree. What is what for you is the primary advantage of facilitating this personally, what is your favourite advantage of it?
Stacy Greiner 7:28 Yeah, I think personally, it really is bringing that kind of control back to an employee, right? There’s, you know, so much of your personal success in life or your personal ability to support yourself and your loved ones, right is your, your effort to come to work each day, and to then put that in control of, you know, you know, you’re in control of the effort that you put towards your work to peak give people that control of how they benefit from their work as well when they need to or want to benefit from that work. I think that’s probably kind of the most important benefit that we see that we’re bringing to employees. And, and, you know, it’s really gratifying because we hear that from our clients. A number of our clients on their, you know, quarterly earnings reports, the CEOs will cite, that daily pay has made a difference in their ability to attract employees retain employees, and that they believe in the benefit that it’s bringing to their employees.
Isabelle Castro 8:31 Okay. And do you find like, from your research and kind of like, conversations with your clients, do you find that employees themselves are more productive? Is it helping on that scale as well?
Stacy Greiner 8:45 It does, tremendously. And, you know, speaking with one of our largest clients recently, he said that this is rolling out earned wage access was the best thing that he’s ever done in his career, for their 10s of 1000s of employees across the country. And we also know through studies that we do with our clients that being able to see your earnings each day, because logging into daily pay is not only about I need to act, you know, I’m going to take access to my earned wages. Actually, people log in three and a half times more frequently, because they just want to see how much have I earned already this week. And when you see how much you’ve earned already this week, I’m going back to the control, right, that allows you to say, I actually want to earn more, I’m going to pick up more shifts, we see a tremendous increase in the number of shifts, right that Daily Pay employees pick up. In fact, I think it’s 26-27% More shifts that a DailyPay employee will pick up compared to non daily pay employees within that within that given employer, so we do see a tremendous impact to the productivity that employers are seeing. And we also see, you know, an impact in how people feel about their jobs. So we’ve got some great stats on just how how How much more employees feel that their employers care about them? Because they’ve offered them daily pay?
Isabelle Castro 10:05 Okay, that’s really cool. Yeah, I didn’t actually think of that kind of angle that it would be like a motivational thing as well.
Stacy Greiner 10:13 Yeah, I think that and that’s kind of the flip side, right of that power that we’re giving to the employee. It’s not just about access to your money, it’s really about putting you in control of how much you earn when you earn it, and kind of being able to earn at the pace, right that your life is, is coming.
Isabelle Castro 10:30 Yeah, and I guess they’re kind of engaging more in their finances that way. It’s not just like, it’s passive thing they actually can see and adjust according to what they need.
Stacy Greiner 10:38 Exactly, exactly. Because they really don’t have visibility, you think between paychecks, right? You, you come to work when, when your shifts right have been assigned to you. And then you kind of find out two weeks later, how much you’ve earned for that period of time. And so this gives people like the moment that they log, you know, clock out at the end of the day, they can see how much now they’ve earned for that day. And that week so far,
Isabelle Castro 11:01 that’s really cool. So this is a relatively nascent sector. So regulators are still kind of working out how to regulate it. I saw recently that there was a proposal to treat and Wade access as a sort of loan. Do you think that’s fair? Is it a loan? I think
Stacy Greiner 11:19 It’s definitely not a loan. It’s definitely not a loan. And we embrace and have been working with the regulators. Because we do want regulation in the space. But earned way taxes is not alone. Because given its name, it’s truly wages that you have earned. So it’s not speculative. It’s not based on credit history, there’s no, you know that the employee that takes the DailyPay benefit is not going under some kind of contract or obligation, right to repay. It truly is just paying people what they’ve already earned. And because we are integrated directly into employee employers, payroll, and Time and Attendance systems, we know exactly how much that employee has earned. So there’s no algorithms or kind of underwriting happening in the earned wage access base. Okay, cool.
Isabelle Castro 12:09 Yeah. Because DailyPay focuses b2b Right? There are b2c options, though, aren’t there?
Stacy Greiner 12:18 That is correct. That is correct. So we are a b2b solution. We partner with some of the largest employers in the country, target Kroger, Hilton Dollar Tree. And we, you know, work directly with their people teams, their HR teams and bringing that benefit to their employees.
Isabelle Castro 12:36 Okay. Okay. So it’s, it’s not really kind of affecting, while it’s affecting the customers, but it’s not like they have to kind of be paying the fees and stuff. It’s more the employers doing this to benefit their employees.
Stacy Greiner 12:53 Lawyers are selecting Dailypay to benefit their employees. And we have a very transparent fee structure. So we have three ways to have foreign employees to have access to their earned wages, two of which are free. So one is they can have a free next day transfer into any bank account of their choice. The second option is they can take a free transfer on a daily pays Friday card, which is a general purpose reloadable card, I think if they want a free instant transfer, they can take it on to daily pays Friday card. And if they want an instant transfer, then to a third party account, there’s just a $3.49 cent flat fee. So it’s always a flat fee. It’s very transparent. You know, it’s one of the things that is really important to us, because in order to give somebody control over how much they’re working, how much they’re earning, we also want to make sure that it’s completely transparent, to really empower that control that they desire.
Isabelle Castro 13:50 Now, that’s super important. I’ve heard that other companies, some other companies are not doing that kind of transparency. And they do have very different fee structures, maybe outline for our listeners, but kind of other things out there that have kind of come out of the space.
Stacy Greiner 14:14 Yeah. I mean, I don’t know that it’s my place to comment on other people’s business models. But as you kind of insinuate, there are models that are more variable based on what people have drawn, right, or maybe less transparent. And so that’s just something that everyday really motivates us is to make sure that that fee structure is a completely flat fee, regardless of how much how much of your earned wages you’re accessing, and that there’s two free options, and that that those three options are completely transparent to our end users.
Isabelle Castro 14:48 I’ve seen that some of the other providers provide probably a tipping structure, which for me, was quite novel I mean, in your At the tipping kind of economy isn’t the same as in America. But it still did jump out to me like what it says there’s a weird way to go to financial services faith. Why are tips being used rather than a standard fee? Yeah, yeah.
Stacy Greiner 15:21 Well, I don’t know. We, we don’t follow a tipping model. So think that it’s a question mark. And so it’s not a model that we use. And I guess one of the reasons also why we just feel so passionately about having that flat, transparent fee and to free options.
Isabelle Castro 15:44 You mentioned payday loans before. I get the feeling that daily pay does not go into this kind of bracket. But recently, the California DEA FBI conducted a report that found that certain fee structures amount to similar fees that are just a bit under payday loans. I know probably for daily paid, that isn’t the case. Because one you already work with employers instead of the employees. But also it sounds like your fee structures. really reasonable. But more a general outlook. Is it really providing this benefit that people don’t have to go to payday loans? In general?
Stacy Greiner 16:34 I love that. You ask that because we are literally on a mission to put payday lenders out of business. So that you won’t have to ask this question in the future. But we’ve done third party research, right where 81% of DailyPay users have said that they have now completely stopped using a payday loan, another 15% have reduced their use of payday loans. So together, that’s 95% of the population. And nine out of 10 of those people have credited daily pay for their ability to stop or reduce their usage of daily payday loans.
Isabelle Castro 17:10 Okay, that’s amazing. You must feel really great about yourself.
Stacy Greiner 17:14 You’re really great about that.
Isabelle Castro 17:17 I’d read that and be like, Wow, that’s my whole year. Me. Exactly. Exactly. It feels great. Yeah, I bet. In some of the kind of research that I’ve done around and wide access. Some people there’s a lot of bad press. They’re concerned that things like wage access can get vulnerable customers into a cycle of debt. I mean, is this a valid concern? In your opinion, looking at the space,
Stacy Greiner 17:56 I think that kind of term cycle of debt, just by the term debt, right is referring to loans and kind of predatory lending types of solutions that, as I mentioned, we’re working to put out of business. So for us earned wage access really is about giving that true visibility and transparency to what you’ve actually earned. So that you can both plan your life based on what your earnings are. But also be able to pay your bills and for your life. When you need to at the pace that those that those appear in your life. So we really see this as much more about giving control to employees, and not at all about, you know, them ending up owing money that they’re not able to repay, since that’s just not how earned wage access works.
Isabelle Castro 18:47 So really, it can be the antidote
Stacy Greiner 18:51 to the cycle of debt is the antidote. Yes. Is the antidote, just like well,
Isabelle Castro 18:56 I like that. I like that. Well, hopefully, regulators will see this in the coming months, years that they go to regulate it. It sounds like with people like Dailypay, it’s on a good trajectory.
Stacy Greiner 19:11 Yes, we believe that that the difference has been seen the difference between earned wage access and those other loan types of products?
Isabelle Castro 19:20 Yeah, no, definitely. So grilling is over, I get to ask you a couple of questions about yourself. What’s a piece of advice that you have been given that you would give to someone else?
Stacy Greiner 19:35 That’s a great question. I’ve been very fortunate to get a lot of good pieces of advice, but I think probably the one that has stuck with me most is as you think about progressing in your career, right? Really showing up and giving 150% each day to your current day job and just kind of raising your hand for what other things that you feel like you could solve for the team.
Isabelle Castro 19:59 Nice. I like that. Am I 100% prescribe to that myself as well. So we’re on the same vibe, your curveball question, which I picked just before this interview is a really nice one. If you could pick on one fictional character to kind of come to life and be a friend, who would that be?
Stacy Greiner 20:25 Oh gosh, fictional character to come to life you my friend. I’m going to have to go with Harry Potter.
Isabelle Castro 20:30 Nice. Okay. What are you put to him? Specifically? Harry Potter himself.
Stacy Greiner 20:34 Yeah, okay. Yeah. Love his his tenacity of his kind of upbringing story, and then just kind of the miraculousness that he gets to see the world I think is really cool.
Isabelle Castro 20:47 Yeah, I am a great fan of Harry Potter. So I completely agree with you. That would have been in my top three. If I was answering that question for sure.
Stacy Greiner 20:59 Sounds like we should be grabbing coffee because we want to talk about we should
Isabelle Castro 21:02 definitely I’m in New York in August so I hit you up. How can people get a hold of you? Or DailyPay? Sure.
Stacy Greiner 21:11 I am on LinkedIn as the Chief Operating Officer at daily pay. You can reach me at Stacey dot Greiner at daily pay.com.
Isabelle Castro 21:20 Okay, cool. Thank you so much for your time. I’ve really enjoyed our conversation.
Stacy Greiner 21:24 Isabelle. I really enjoyed as well thank you so much for your time today.
Isabelle Castro 21:28 Thank you have a good rest of your day.
As always, you can reach out and chat with me or my personal LinkedIn or Twitter @IZYCastrowrites. But for access to great daily content, check out Fintech Nexus on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. You can also sign up for our daily newsletter bringing new straight to your inbox. For more FinTech podcast fun, check out the website, where you can find more fascinating conversations hosted by Peter Renton and Todd Anderson.
That’s it from me. Until next time, enjoy your downtime.
Isabelle is a journalist for Fintech Nexus News and leads the Fintech Coffee Break podcast.
Isabelle's interest in fintech comes from a yearning to understand society's rapid digitalization and its potential, a topic she has often addressed during her academic pursuits and journalistic career.