Walmart is letting workers get paid whenever they want

Are America's malls dying?
Are America's malls dying?

Walmart is teaming up with Silicon Valley to make payday come early for its employees.

The company announced a new "Instapay" service for its 1.4 million workers. The service will allow Walmart workers to access, before payday, half of the wages they have already earned. They can withdraw that pay whenever they'd like to.

Instapay is part of a personal finance app called Even, which lets hourly and salaried workers plan ahead for bills, make savings goals and helps them figure out how much is okay for them to spend. Financial tech company PayActiv is also collaborating on Walmart's Instapay service.

The Even app connects directly to a worker's checking account, prepaid account or Walmart Associate Paycard, and links to Walmart's payroll systems.

"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," said Jacqui Canney, Walmart's chief "people" officer, in a prepared statement.

Walmart (WMT) is footing the bill for the app, including the "Instapay" feature, which workers can use up to eight times for free -- an allotment that rolls over annually if it is unused. After that, employees can pay $3 a pay period for access to Even Plus, a premium version of the app that offers additional financial services. That $3 also covers transaction fees.

According to Shah, the fees pay for the cost of transferring money on demand, which is more expensive than lump sum paychecks every two weeks.

The financial assistance comes at a time when Walmart associates are working in overdrive.

The company announced in September it would not be hiring holiday workers, but rather upping the hours for existing workers.

For part-time employees, additional hours could increase total pay more than an increase in hourly pay.

Walmart raised its minimum pay for most employees to $10 an hour in 2015, and the average pay for its full-time workers is now $13 an hour.

Part-time workers are paid about $10 an hour on average, $2.75 more than federal minimum wage.

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