Survey Reveals Employees Want Early Access to Wages

Friday, September 24th, 2021

 Nearly 25% of employees in America want access to their wages on-demand as they earn them rather than waiting for a traditional payday schedule, according to the results from the 2021 "Getting Paid In America" survey conducted by the American Payroll Association (APA) during National Payroll Week.

The annual APA survey asked, "Would you like access to some or all of your wages on-demand as you earn them instead of waiting for payday?" Approximately 5,189 respondents, nearly 25 percent, indicated this is a benefit they already receive or would be interested in receiving.  

"Having a quarter of survey respondents desiring or already receiving pay on-demand shows this is not a trend, it is here to stay," said Michael Baer, CPP, special advisor at DailyPay.

On-demand wage payment is an emerging tool for employees. The payment method enables employees to access a portion of their wages as they earn them through a third-party early wage access provider, rather than waiting for a traditional lump sum payment on a designated payday. Those advance funds are paid back to the third-party early wage access provider automatically on the traditional payday.

"We've seen a spike in employers searching for creative and new methods to positively impact their recruitment strategies," said Chris Ruppel, general manager of wage and corporate disbursements for Green Dot Corporation. "Many employers have resisted the switch from the traditional payday to earned wage access or on demand pay because of their limited knowledge of how this process can be easily implemented into their current payroll process."

The "Getting Paid In America Survey" also found that 68% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck.  Early wage access can help employees meet their financial commitments.

"Many organizations are looking at earned wage access programs and pitch them as an employee benefit. Instead, they should position earned wage access as part of a holistic financial wellness program that ultimately helps build a positive culture, providing experiences that allow them to do well and achieve long term success," said Imran Sajid, global senior director at SAP SuccessFactors.

The "Getting Paid In America" survey was held in conjunction with the APA's annual public awareness campaign National Payroll Week, September 6-10. Over 22,000 individuals responded to the survey, providing insight into how individuals are paid in America. For complete survey results, visit

The APA is the nation's leader in payroll education, publications, and training. Visit the APA online at