It’s Wednesday, and Jane needs to get her car fixed. Payday for Jane comes Friday via a payroll card that pushes money into an account she can use. But Jane is like many workers – stringing together multiple gigs to make ends meet and working for employers who pay her by check.
The two checks she’s getting tomorrow are just pieces of paper until she can find a place to get them cashed. And then she’s facing the possibility of paying a 10 percent fee just to get her money.
Neither help get her car fixed today.
Ingo Money and ADP announced today a collaboration that will help workers like Jane get faster access to the money they’ve earned. Ingo’s push payments technology will make it possible for Jane and millions of other consumers to use their mobile phones to cash checks and have those funds immediately loaded on their ADP payroll cards.
Validated ADP cardholders can use Ingo Check to have funds added to their accounts as soon as paper checks clear – within days, for free, or within minutes for a small fee. The funds are irreversible, meaning that once they hit that account, the money can never be clawed back – and cardholders can access them immediately to cover planned or emergency expenses.
Ingo Money CEO Drew Edwards says that solving this problem for the millions of employees who are paid by check and by the gig can be life-changing for populations that are largely underserved purely because they lack access to tools that can make it faster and easier to receive payments for work.
For Gary Lott, division vice president and general manager of compliance solutions wage payments at ADP, it’s a way for ADP to create a more valuable financial services platform for those gig workers and the employers who pay them.
How It Works
Employees with an ADP payroll card can now use their smartphone and the ADP app to snap a photo of a check. Ingo’s instant money service via Ingo Check pushes those funds to those cards for the employees to use anywhere the cards are accepted.
What Ingo allows, and that ADP could not previously offer, is the ability to submit a mobile check deposit from any source – an employer, a neighbor whose lawn they mowed or whose child they babysat, a grandparent who sent birthday money via paper check – and immediately use the funds via ADP’s existing online payroll card, which previously could only be loaded by an employer sending a paycheck for deposit onto that card.
Making the solution more flexible speaks to the reality for many gig workers, Edwards said: They are working more than one gig, and therefore must transform paper checks from multiple origin points into usable funds, preferably all in one place and accessible from a single card that can be used just like any other debit card.
Further, ADP’s payroll card can be used with other digital account-like vehicles, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, PayPal and other platforms.
The idea, he said, is to make the product as full-service as possible. Lott is on the same page: “The broader the capabilities we can provide to cardholders, the better.”
Another Way to Kill the Check
Most people hate checks. In fact, according to the Disbursement Satisfaction Index, only 96 percent of consumers say they don’t want to get them. Checks equal friction. It’s that friction, Edwards said, that Ingo was founded to solve, using a push payments platform that eliminates the need for consumers or businesses to send checks, and instead pushes those funds directly into a number of digital account options, including debit and payroll cards.
“Employers issue 20 billion checks a year,” Edwards noted, adding that mobile check cashing and deposit onto ADP’s payroll card is “a way for consumers to kill [the check] themselves and get the funds where and when they need them.”
A Smart Move for Employers
Edwards noted that the average payroll check that Ingo sees through its own network is roughly $385, with an average user depositing 2.2 checks per month. Small business customers, like hairdressers and gig workers, process more than 6.5 deposits per month.
“Imagine trying to make ends meet on that amount,” said Edwards.
It’s no easy feat, but it could, he said, be somewhat easier if those workers could spend money as soon as they earned it. Today, Ingo and ADP aim to deliver the closest possible thing by powering instant mobile check deposits for employees who are still receiving checks.
For employers, said Lott, the value comes from the efficiency of processing transactions electronically. Expedited pay and payments in advance are coming up more and more, both with ADP clients and among regulators. Edwards said that this new payroll card capability creates an opportunity for employers who want an alternative payroll option for their gig and freelance workers, and the ability to offer instant payment to workers as funds are earned.
Employees like Jane, Edwards continued, will increasingly want flexible access to funds they’ve earned, as they’ve earned them – today’s work, today’s reward, and the freedom to use financial resources as they’re needed.
Options and efficiency will only become more critical as the space continues to evolve.
“A lot of industries are moving to real time,” Lott said. “One day, we’ll all be getting into automated Ubers. This expectation among consumers that things happen at web speed – payroll is not going to be immune to that. They think, ‘I worked today; I want to get paid today, too.’”
Such immediacy, he predicted, may not be far off, and advances like what Ingo and ADP are laying the foundation, Edwards believes, will help to bring it about.