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Rethinking Payroll With Blockchain And Mobile Wallets

Mobile digital wallets are revolutionizing the financial services industry and offering far more potential than just making and receiving digital payments. We explore one exciting area of development: branded mobile wallets as a payroll solution.
 
Imagine giving staff access to an all-in-one, company-branded, holistic financial solution on their mobile devices. Not only can a company make salary payments into the digital wallet, it can build an immersive company experience by offering loyalty programs, financial guidance and savings and investment options at bonus time.

For forward-looking companies, mobile wallets are best positioned to offer employers the digital technology they need to create meaningful and hardworking connections with employees by facilitating their financial wellness.

Mobile wallet technology is powerful in that is has both the functionality and adaptability needed to ensure long-term success. Employers are also able to customize and brand the wallet to remain top of mind and build that much-needed ongoing connection with their employees.

The technology is also well placed to reinvent the payroll system and set up financial wellbeing programmes, offering employees access to a wide range of tools and guidance that will equip them on their journey to financial success.

While building a digital employee experience using mobile wallets may seem revolutionary, it is eminently possible today and ticks all the boxes when it comes to creating a future-fit digital workplace experience for employees.

Most employees, regardless of age, already live digital lifestyles, relying heavily on their mobile phones for a host of work and home activities. By reinventing the employee experience using a branded, mobile wallet solution, employers could do everything from pay their employees via the wallet through to building an employee community through which they can engage digitally with their employees.

This technology would also create a digital experience that fosters the connectivity that is so vital for a company looking to enhance their employees’ need for meaning and a sense of belonging in the workplace.

But what, exactly, is a digital employee experience? In an Entrepreneur article, Enough About Employee ‘Engagement’! Focus on the Digital Employee ‘Experience’, guest writer Steffen Maier defines it as such:

“Digital employee experience” refers to the sum total of digital interactions between a staff member and his or her organization. The goal is, or should be, to create a physical and digital environment that inspires connection and collaboration, using a thoughtfully designed approach to make people feel supported throughout their day.” — Entrepreneur

Of all the emerging technologies, digital wallets, operated from mobile phones or other mobile devices, have shown steady growth. The 2019 Mobile Wallet Trends Annual Report released by Global Acceptance Transaction Engine (GATE) found the number of consumers using a mobile wallet to make a purchase was on the rise in many countries.

They forecast that globally more than two billion consumers would use a mobile wallet to buy something this year — almost a third more than two years ago. While China is the leader in the adoption of mobile wallet payments, other countries are starting to catch up.

Users are attracted to mobile wallets because of their convenience, transparency and security (see figure below for some of the security features). The mobile wallet stores payment information on the phone, including credit and debit card details, eliminating the need to carry cash or bank cards.

For employers, building a customized mobile wallet for their employees would address many of these limitations because it would be specifically developed to meet the company’s requirements. As such, it would fulfill both current and future needs because it could be customized and adapted to take advantage of future technological advances and employee needs as and when they happen.

“Digital wallets are slowly becoming the new mode of tap-and-go consumerism, making fiscal transactions seamless, transparent, safe and incredibly convenient.” — Business.com

As a company-enabled financing and payment alternative, mobile wallets offer employers unlimited potential to interact, empower and communicate with their employees. They can be primarily used to manage company payrolls, paying employee salaries into their company branded digital wallets. However, to this could be added services that include payday loans, company loyalty schemes and financial guidance; pointing employees in the right direction when they are looking save, spend their salaries and bonuses. These added functionalities would encourage full employee engagement with the mobile wallet. As a communication platform, it would also allow employers to build a sense of community and, ultimately, foster engagement and employee loyalty.

The payroll system is one of the most critical, and untapped, company touchpoints with their employees, with communications surrounding payroll normally coming from external parties such as banks or other financial services companies and loan providers. A company-branded mobile wallet would combine all employee financial interactions in one place, allowing the employer to hold, manage and improve the experience of the employee where it matters.

The benefits for employees of using the mobile wallet would be that they gain access to an easy and convenient system for online and in-store transactions; online payday loans; deals and bonuses; financial guidance and 401(k) retirement planning tools.

Deloitte’s notes: “Employers can provide easy access to information, offering similar default options, and enable the ability to streamline their most common interaction points with workers, such as onboarding, knowledge and data access, and routine transactions.”

All in all, mobile wallets as a payroll and financial wellness tool would provide a seamless digital experience for employees; one that is useful, addresses some of their biggest concerns and traverses both their work and home financial lives.

Employees’ digital engagements with employers are critical in enhancing their workplace experience. The blurring of lines between the work and home lives of employees makes it all the more important for employers to create a seamless digital experience, one that reflects how integral the digital experience has become in the way individuals operate in their day-to-day lives over the past decade.

Mercer sums it up well in their report, Technology — The New Imperatives for Financial Security:

“Ultimately, workers do not want to feel like they are traveling back in time when they go to work each day.”

 

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Paul Shumsky

Paul Shumsky

Technology Advisor

Entrepreneur

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