Fast food workers can now get paid same day through apps

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For people who live paycheck to paycheck, it’s the time between those paychecks that kills. While workers may get paid every two weeks, the bills (gas, food, utilities) don’t wait. But thanks to a new service offered at select fast food restaurants like Church’s Chicken, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, fast food workers now have the option of getting paid the same day they work.

Depending on the financial service providing the service, new same-day or next-day options are sometimes free, sometimes available for a small fee. Bloomberg signals new, faster payment services are designed to help fast-food companies attract and retain workers in a tight job market and keep them from moving into gig economy jobs with Uber, Lyft, Doordash, and more.

With such a same-day payment service, called Instant Financialworkers take home an average of $28, says its CEO Bloomberg. Instant Financial does not charge workers any fees, but charges the employer instead. According to its website, Instant Financial’s app alerts workers after they’ve completed a shift and offers them the option to deposit earned wages directly into a bank account, onto their Instant card (which works like a credit card) or withdraw cash. for free through a network of participating ATMs. Another service, called Branch, has been adopted by select Taco Bell, Panera, Applebee’s, McDonald’s and Pizza Hut locations. Branch allows workers to earn up to half pay the same day they worked for a flat fee of $3.99. ADP Payroll Processing Company offers its own version of this servicealso.

The services differ from payday loans in that there’s no interest — and in some cases, even no fees — for instant access to one’s paycheck. Payday lenders are often prefaced with the term “predatory” because they can take advantage of the inability of low-income workers to obtain traditional bank loans, charging them exorbitant interest rates. Mother Jones cited a statistic from the Center for Responsible Lending, which reveals that the average borrower pays $1,105 to borrow only $325.

The appeal of an alternative same-day pay system for workers is therefore clear. When I was at the tables, one of the benefits of tipping cash was that I could take money home in my pocket that night to put gas in the car, get groceries, etc., rather than waiting two weeks for a paycheck. Restaurant testimonials on the Branch and Instant Financial websites boast that offering instant payment services reduces turnover and helps attract employees. Fast food is all about instant gratification – now that’s true for employees too.

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