Jun
21
2018
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Disrupting the paycheck, Gusto’s Flexible Pay allows employees to pick when they get paid

People should get paid for work they have done. It’s a pretty simple principle of capitalism, but a principle that seems increasingly violated in the modern economy. With semi-monthly paychecks, the work an employee does on the first day of the month won’t be paid until the end of the third week — a delay of up to 21 days. That delay is despite the massive digitalization of bank transfers and accounting over the past few decades that should have made paychecks far more regular.

Gusto, a payroll and HR benefits provider focused on small businesses, announced the launch of Flexible Pay today, a new feature that will allow its payroll users to select when they receive their income for work already completed. The feature, which must be switched on by an employer, will cost employers nothing out-of-pocket today. The launch is limited to customers in Texas, but will expand to other states in the coming year.

As Gusto CEO Joshua Reeves explained it to me, a kid mowing lawns in a neighborhood has a much more visceral connection to income than the modern knowledge economy worker. Cut the grass, get cash — it’s that simple. He also pointed out, with irony, that terminated employees experience much better payroll service than regular employees: they have to be paid out on their last day of work outside of the standard paycheck schedule. Reeves and his team wanted to offer that flexibility and convenience to every worker.

Flexible Pay allows users to choose when they get paid, outside of typical paycheck schedules

The key to this new feature has been Gusto’s increasing data about small businesses. Gusto now serves 1 percent of all small businesses in the U.S., and it has comprehensive access to its customers’ financial and payroll data. With integrations to time sheet services and proper risk modeling, Gusto is able to predict exactly what salary a worker has already earned, and can front the money at minimum risk to itself.

One major challenge for Gusto was how to reconcile the books of the employer with the irregular paycheck schedules desired by employees. Gusto handles all the logistics transparently, including tax withholding, so that for employers, the paycheck distribution looks and feels “normal” on its books.

That means that Gusto is effectively loaning money to companies, since it is paying payroll in advance. Gusto is funding those loans off its balance sheet today, but over time, the company expects to create a financial facility to underwrite the product.

For Reeves, Flexible Pay is “the right thing to do.” He believes that this new level of flexibility will empower workers to control their financial lives. In the long run, as more users get habituated to the product and its convenience, he hopes that the feature will draw other employers into using Gusto based on employee demand.

The unfortunate reality in the American workforce is that huge numbers of workers live paycheck-to-paycheck, by some counts as many as 80 percent. A bill can come due just a day or two before a paycheck hits, but without cash in a checking account, people often have to resort to predatory financial products like payday loans or high-interest credit cards in order to make ends meet. Flexible Pay is one step in the right direction of fighting for workers to get the money they justly deserve.

Oct
31
2017
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Microsoft 365 for small and medium businesses is now generally available

 Microsoft 365 lets businesses subscribe to a bundle with Office 365, Windows 10 and the company’s mobile device management tools. The early focus for this program was enterprises, but a few months ago, the company also launched a preview version of Microsoft 365 for small and medium businesses. Today, Microsoft 365 Business is coming out of beta and is now generally available to… Read More

Aug
03
2017
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Small business loan platform Kabbage nabs $250M from Softbank

 Kabbage, a company with some 115,000 customers and $3.5 billion in loans that has built an automated platform for lending money to small businesses and individuals using a large set of data points to determine a customer’s credit score, is announcing some big cabbage of its own today. SoftBank Group is investing $250 million in Kabbage — funding that Rob Frohwein, the co-founder… Read More

Jul
10
2017
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Microsoft launches new email marketing and invoicing tools for small businesses

 In the shadow of its Inspire partner conference, Microsoft today launched in preview three new tools for small businesses: Microsoft Connections, Microsoft Listings and Microsoft Invoicing. These join the company’s existing stable of small business tools like Microsoft Bookings and the Outlook Customer Manager. Microsoft Connections allows its users to create Mailchimp-like email… Read More

Feb
22
2015
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Main Street Hub Lands $20M To Bring Social Media Marketing To Small Business

Main Street store fronts. Main Street Hub, a company that helps mom and pop businesses run social media marketing, customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation recently announced it has received $20M in debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank. The company has raised a total of $40M. The most recent funding before this announcement was $14M in Series B in January, 2014. It has 6000 subscribers who… Read More

Nov
07
2014
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Confirmed: Yahoo Loses Amit Kumar, Its Small Business VP And GM

Yahoo_Sunnyvale_BuildingDSign Yet more personnel changes afoot at Yahoo. Amit Kumar, pictured here, the company’s GM and VP running its small business division, has left the company. Re/code first reported earlier today sources saying that he would be leaving, and now we have confirmed directly with Kumar that he has already left: “Yes, I have left Yahoo and am now planning my next steps,” he writes in… Read More

Jun
11
2014
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Weave, A New Kind Of Telco For SMBs, Rings Up $5M Led By Ronny Conway

5185753236_d4448815b5_b Weave, a startup out of Utah that has developed a unique VoIP-based unified communications service for small and medium businesses that it is selling first targeting dentists (more on that below), is today announcing that it has raised a Series A of $5 million. The round of funding is notable in that it’s the first investment to come out of A Capital, a new VC firm started by… Read More

Apr
09
2014
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Kabbage Gets $270M More To Lend To Small Online Merchants

cabbage patch Kabbage, a platform for online merchants to borrow working capital, is picking up some cabbage of its own: the startup has closed a $270 million credit facility from Guggenheim Securities, the investment banking and capital markets division of Guggenheim Partners. Atlanta, Georgia-based Kabbage will use the funds to build out its financing business both in the U.S. and beyond. This is one of the… Read More

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