Ever heard the phrase “more month than money” to describe times when you run out of cash before the next paycheck comes?
Walmart wants to do something about that for its employees.
No fees and no interest for Walmart employees
We all know the nation’s largest retailer caters to cash-strapped consumers. But many of its own employees fall into that category, too.
So Walmart has a new strategy to help its struggling workers, according to the New York Times: Give them limited free access to their wages before their next payday!
Through a partnership with the app Even, Walmart’s more than 1.4 million workers can now get paid in real time for hours they have already worked.
“We’re investing to give our people financial tools that help provide more stability in their lives, which we believe will empower them to be all they can be when they are at work serving our customers,” Jacqui Canney, Walmart’s Chief People Officer, says on the Even website.
The great thing about Even for Walmart users is that there no fees or interest because they’re not making a loan; employees are only allowed to take a portion of wages they’ve earned during the two-week pay cycle.
Even’s app subscription cost is absorbed by Walmart, the Times reports.
So what’s the catch? None really, except that you can only get an advance on your paycheck eight times a year under Walmart’s agreement with Even.
Any more than that and you will have to pay that subscription fee that Walmart would otherwise eat on your behalf.
The other potential concern here is more about planning; it’s the idea that taking money today means you have less to work with when payday does come around. It’s like solving one problem, but creating another!
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Walmart tries to do right by employees, but lags behind
This development is the latest in Walmart’s ongoing moves to reinvest in its employees.
Walmart now pays a minimum starting wage of $9 an hour, which is $1.75 higher than the federal minimum wage. Yet competitors like Costco and Target offer even more competitive starting wages — $13 an hour and $11 an hour, respectively.
Meanwhile, the average hourly wage for a full-time Walmart worker is $13.85. Yet the average hourly wage for a full-timer at Costco is about 77% higher — $24.50.