SOURCE: Activehours

Activehours

May 21, 2014 09:00 ET

Activehours Unlocks the $1 Trillion Held in Payday Cycle Limbo

48% of U.S. Hourly Workers Live Paycheck-to-Paycheck; Activehours Launches First Mobile App to Make Payday Any Day

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - May 21, 2014) - Today, Activehours launches a game-changing solution that lets the more than 75 million hourly workers in the U.S. unlock their pay. With the Activehours mobile app, available on iOS and Android devices, hourly workers can access their pay as soon as they earn it, without having to wait for payday.

"Every year, more than $1 trillion of hourly pay is held back for two weeks because of the way pay cycles work today. Yet, more than half of hourly workers in the U.S. live paycheck-to-paycheck or borrow money to stay afloat," said Ram Palaniappan, Activehours founder. "It doesn't make sense to incur overdraft fees or take out payday loans when your workplace owes you money. If you work everyday, why can't you get your pay every day?"

Activehours is designed for any hourly worker, regardless of their employer. Activehours is already helping employees from more than 100 different companies in the U.S. get their pay early, including large retailers and banks as well as state and federal government workers.

Until Now, Consumers Have Been Burdened By an Unfair & Exploitative Financial System

A new survey by Google Consumers Surveys, commissioned by Activehours in April 2014 found that 56 percent of hourly workers had to borrow money between pay periods, and 37 percent have given up going to the doctor or dentist when they fell short of money before payday.

Other findings:

  • Struggling Millennials: 56 percent of U.S. hourly workers are living paycheck-to-paycheck or borrowing money to stay afloat while two-thirds (67 percent) of hourly workers 25-35 are living paycheck-to-paycheck or borrowing money to stay afloat.
  • Something's Missing: 54 percent wish there were better alternatives to avoid bank overdraft fees.
  • Bills Bills Bills: 53 percent said bills due before payday are the greatest burden on their finances.
  • Waiting for Payday: 38 percent of respondents have had to give up or postpone gifts for birthdays or weddings and 25 percent had to give up or postpone Christmas while waiting on a payday, respectively.
  • Financial Frustration: Most hourly workers reported being frustrated with the current U.S. financial system and 1 in 2 respondents believe the current U.S. financial system favors the rich.

Millions of Americans are finding themselves stuck in a vicious cycle of bank overdraft fees and payday lending. In addition to interest on short-term loans, late fees on bills, and fees on deposit advance services from banks, Americans paid another $31.3 billion in overdraft fees in 2013. Another disheartening statistic: Only one in seven payday loan borrowers can afford more than $400 needed to pay off the full amount of these lump-sum repayment loans by their next payday.

"I was exhausted trying to keep up with the endless payday loan merry-go-round. I'd get a loan intending to pay it off but couldn't, so I was slammed with fees and the stress of knowing that it would be due again in two weeks. The hole was getting deeper," said Stephen Prentice, IT support technician in Dallas, TX. "I stumbled upon Activehours at a time when I was struggling to pay rent, and I honestly thought it was too good to be true. I can borrow money based on my actual hours and they only ask me for a tip? No fees or huge interest rates? Now, with Activehours, I'm done with payday loans, I avoid bank fees and I'm on top of my bills."

New Era of Financial Empowerment

Workers upload their timesheet with the Activehours mobile app, and can withdraw what they have already earned to date, giving them the flexibility needed to avoid late fees on bills, buy groceries or take their significant other on a date. With no fees and no interest, users pay Activehours what they think is fair.

"Waiting for payday is very stressful in the first place and that pain is worse when workers find themselves with no choice but to use predatory services. We're taking consumers out of products they hate and are forced to pay for, and giving them a product they love and are voluntarily paying for," said Palaniappan. "Many financial products, unfortunately, were created to exploit consumers, even though the technology needed to put consumers first already exists. Activehours is changing that -- we're putting power back in the hands of people."

To download the free Activehours app and unlock your pay, please visit:

See here for an infographic of the Trillion Dollar Waiting Game and more data from the survey.

Methodology
This survey was written by Activehours and conducted using Google Consumer Surveys, from April 2014. More than 500 U.S. hourly workers ages 18 and older responded. For more information on the survey methodology please contact Christina Schultz, christina[at]highwirepr[dot]com.

About Activehours
Activehours is the new, faster way to get paid. Unlike the traditional two-week pay cycle, Activehours unlocks your pay by giving you the money you've already earned when you need it most -- any time, any day. With Activehours, you choose when to get paid for the hours you've already worked -- finally giving you control over your finances. Founded in 2013, Activehours is driving consumer-empowered finance through mobile technology by breaking open the more than $1 trillion held up in America's pay cycle. For more information on Activehours or to download the app, please visit www.activehours.com.

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