What Is EWA, and Why Do You Need It?

Allow us to introduce you to your new favorite workplace perk: EWA. EWA stands for earned wage access, and it’s all about giving you access to your pay when and where you need it. If payday isn’t convenient thanks to any number of life circumstances, EWA grants employees the flexibility to make any day payday. As long as you’ve worked a shift in the current pay period, you can access those funds anytime you want!

Importantly, EWA is not a loan—it’s just early access to the money you’ve already earned. By partnering with your employer, EWA providers can see your shift records from the current pay period, so we know how much you’re entitled to receive on payday. The only difference is instead of making you wait, we’ll front you the money now and reclaim it on payday.

What Are the Benefits of EWA?

EWA has obvious benefits for employees and their long-term financial wellness. It may sound trivial to be able to get paid today instead of next week, but if you have bills to pay or emergency expenses to cover, EWA is the difference between staying on track financially or derailing your plans thanks to the unknown.

Without EWA, the only options for covering expenses between paychecks are predatory payday loans or credit card debt. Both of these alternatives tend to trap people in a high-interest cycle, creating long-term consequences that can take weeks, months, or years to resolve.

Plus, because you know you’ll pay the money back from your paycheck, there’s a clear upper limit to your near-term spending. When a financial roadblock hits, it’s easy to get carried away with credit card spending. That’s intentional on the part of the credit card companies—your credit limit feels abstract and intangible, so you’ll put your budget aside and just spend what feels right.

With EWA, that’s not the case. The instant wage access gives you your money in the moment you need it, but you’ll still feel the responsibility of preserving your financial standing long-term.

The EWA Big Picture

At the end of the day, EWA is just one tool in your arsenal for positive financial habits. Building a budget and practicing mindful spending are critical, but they don’t always cut it when the unexpected happens. It’s not always possible to build a safety net that covers larger costs like medical bills or home repairs, so EWA can serve as your backup—just in case.

Sold on the benefits? Check to see if your employer already offers EWA as an employment perk. Many companies consider EWA a worthy investment in employee satisfaction and well-being, so you may already have access. If that’s the case, download our app on the App Store or Google Play Store!

If not, use these tips to start the conversation! Your colleagues (and future colleagues!) will thank you for taking the initiative to improve your HR benefits.