Citizens Bank Launches Early Access to Wages

Citizens Bank

Citizens Financial Group is the latest lender to introduce a way for corporate clients to give employees early access to their paycheck, the Providence-based bank announced Tuesday (March 29).

Separately, Citizens said it plans to launch Citizens Paid Early in the second quarter of 2022. It will allow customers to receive their direct deposits up to two days early.

“Acquiring and retaining strong talent is more important than ever, and this program enables our clients to offer their employees a valuable benefit,” said Michael Cummins, head of treasury solutions at Citizens, in a statement. “This solution also offers employees tools that can help reduce their financial anxiety.”

A Citizens’ 2022 Payments Pulse survey of 200 mid-market treasury executives found 70% were already offering some form of earned-wage access and another 24% are expecting to offer it soon.

Another survey of 1,000 workers by Visa reported 95% said they are interested in working for an employer that provides early access to pay.

The feature mirrors the offerings found at challenger and other banks.

Last summer, Fifth Third Bank gave customers of the bank’s Momentum Checking platform access to early paychecks. Dubbed Early Pay, the feature rolled out in some markets and had the effect of helping customers avoid overdraft fees. Also, it did away with the need for some of those people to turn to payday lenders.

Read more: Fifth Third Bank Launches Early Pay for Checking Customers

“Fifth Third Momentum Checking’s Early Pay gives our customers access to their paycheck closer to when they earn it, giving them more time to focus more on their financial well-being,” said Tim Spence, president of Fifth Third Bancorp, in a statement at the time.