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Fintech seeking to end ‘payroll poverty cycle’ launches in Ireland


Wagestream, a British fintech start-up whose backers include tech titans Jeff Bezos and Mark Zuckerberg, is launching its services in Ireland.

The London-based company has developed what it describes as a ‘pay as you go’ platform that allows employees to access their pay earlier for a lump sum.

Wagestream, which was only founded this year, is on a mission to end what it calls the “payroll poverty cycle” experienced by thousands of households struggling to make ends meet.

Its platform allows staff at participating companies to have access to a portion of their salary up front, ensuring that they don’t have to be overdraft or depend on credit cards or payday loans. at high interest.

More than 25 employers with over 25,000 employees are already using the service in the UK, after it launched there last month. Participants include the David Lloyd gym chain.

Breathtaking results

“The early results have been amazing: From eliminating financial stress to improving productivity and retention, shortening the link between work and reward is good for businesses and their employees,” said Peter. Briffett, co-founder and CEO of Wagestream.

The former Managing Director of LivingSocial for the UK and Ireland said the start-up was eager to work with Irish companies who wanted to give their employees “greater financial freedom and control”.

Adam Hankin, former head of sales for Linked Finance and LivingSocial, has been appointed Managing Director of Ireland for Wagestream, which is also supported by social impact charities such as the Joseph Rowntree Foundation.

Mr Hankin said that despite strong economic growth, recent figures from the Central Bank showed that many Irish households were still in financial difficulty.

He cited a study recently released by the Central Bank which showed 350,000 people were clients of pawn shops in Ireland last year, borrowing € 268million at interest rates of up to 288% .

Paralyzing problem

“The crippling problem with predatory high interest lenders remains: the Irish workforce should be given the freedom to access their earned income, thereby removing the inflexibility they currently face with the monthly pay cycle,” said M Hankin.

According to Wagestream, its service can be deployed by businesses without impacting treasury, payroll, or timing processes, and employers can choose to implement it as an uninteresting option for teams.

Last month, the start-up raised £ 4.5million (€ 5.09million) from backers including QED Investors, Firestartr and Village Global, a $ 100million venture capital firm. (88 million euros) that promises mentorship from leading tech figures such as the founders of Amazon, Microsoft, Facebook and LinkedIn.

The London Mayor’s Co-Investment Fund and Fair by Design Fund, whose charities include Big Society Capital, Nominet Trust and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, also support Wagestream.