Access to earned wages helps meet the demands of today’s workforce

Learn how an education and childcare company launched a voluntary benefit that gives employees instant access to their earned pay.

It’s called Earned Wage Access (EWA) and it’s quickly becoming a go-to payroll strategy for employers across America. And for good reason, especially as an advantage in today’s highly competitive job market for frontline/hourly workers.

Using an EWA solution, employees can collect a percentage of the salary they’ve already earned, rather than waiting for their paycheck deposits every week or two. Advance wage access providers are generally free for employers to implement; employees pay a small commission per transaction when using the service.

According to a survey by LendingClub Corp., 64% of the nation’s population lives paycheck to paycheck. As a result, many employees are forced to take out risky predatory loans, pay late bills, or incur bank charges to make ends meet.

EWA benefits are an easy way for employers to help their workforce manage their cash flow. AlphaBEST Education, Inc., a Lewisville, NC-based early childhood education and services provider, recently launched an EWA solution. Kimberly Patterson, Director of Payroll and HRIS, says the company is very pleased with the results. In fact, she says, employee participation has quadrupled since the company created ZayZoon, a new provider, in early 2022.

AlphaBEST partners with school districts to provide before and after school programs in elementary and middle schools. Its business model focuses on its primary customers, the parents and guardians of students in its programs.

When AlphaBEST switched to ADP Workforce Now® in 2016 for payroll and HR, it was a dramatic departure from the organization’s old system, according to Patterson. AlphaBEST now uses many ADP Workforce Now modules, including onboarding, recruiting, document cloud, and more.

The payroll system change also opened up access to ADP Marketplace, an HR digital storefront of solutions that integrate with ADP.®. This is where Patterson found ZayZoon; “We really wanted to be competitive and make sure we’re serving our employees with a compensation-related benefit that can actually help them.”

“We’ve known ADP Marketplace for years and love it,” she says. “ZayZoon confirmed to me that the Marketplace is a valuable asset for any ADP client.”

Patterson researched several EWA vendors, but a demonstration of ZayZoon’s simple EWA offering sealed the deal.

“One click of the button and the rest is history; it was very smooth,” she says.

In a nutshell, ZayZoon is a voluntary benefit that gives AlphaBEST employees instant access to its on-demand EWA service, designed for small and medium businesses.

Patterson particularly likes that ZayZoon doesn’t touch the company’s direct deposit cash flow; instead, it uses a “split deposit” refund process, which separates EWA withdrawals from main payroll data. Patterson says it took “maybe 15 minutes” to implement and activate the solution, and his team benefited from ZayZoon’s multi-layered communication strategy to attract employees to the service.

“Of all the platforms I’ve implemented, this was the easiest,” says Patterson. “It’s great that ZayZoon also provides us with all the internal marketing. It makes the whole process very efficient and low risk.”

ZayZoon also stands out: the solution won the ADP Marketplace Rising Star award in 2022 for its exceptional value for ADP customers in its first year on the ADP Marketplace.

A particularly important aspect of an EWA solution is data security, and with ADP and ZayZoon, Patterson says she feels assured that high-level security is a core feature of the application.

Another major benefit is that employees have a direct line of communication through the app for any customer service issues or questions they may have regarding their deposits, the app, or advances.

“Being a ‘middleman’ for employees is very stressful and time-consuming,” she says.

Patterson even opened his own EWA account to make sure it works from an employee perspective and so far, it seems to.

“When I don’t hear about something, it’s a hit,” she says. “When he gets to me, there is a problem. So far he has done very well.”

Finally, she says, the company clearly recognizes the downside of an upcoming unforeseen expense, especially in today’s economic and public health environment.

“It’s a huge determining factor,” she says, adding that it’s almost a necessary advantage. “We really wanted to be competitive and make sure we’re serving our employees with a compensation-related benefit that can actually help them.”

“It’s a great product,” concludes Patterson. “Everyone at ZayZoon that I’ve come in contact with, in terms of implementation, customer service, and internal marketing, has been amazing and has made my job so much easier.”

Fast facts

  • Company: AlphaBEST Education, Inc.
  • Headquarters: Lewisville, North Carolina
  • Industry: Education and child care
  • Employees: 2,000
  • Partner of the ADP marketplace: ZayZoon

About ZayZoon

ZayZoon is on a mission to improve employee health through responsible financial products, including on-demand wages, financial education, and personal finance tools. Workers around the world rely on predatory products like payday loans and overdraft fees to bridge the paycheck gap created by predetermined pay cycles – ZayZoon aims to help break that cycle. ZayZoon’s on-demand access to salaries helps reduce financial stress and improve job satisfaction and productivity.

About ADP Marketplace

ADP Marketplace is a digital HR storefront that allows you to connect and share data on all your HR solutions. Simplify your HR processes, reduce data errors, and move your business forward with easy-to-use apps that integrate with your core ADP platform. Easily discover, try, buy, and implement ADP and third-party solutions, all with the simplicity of single sign-on, single data entry, and single billing. Learn more about

Tags: Wages and Salaries Compensation and Benefits Small Business Recruiting and Hiring Articles Mid-Sized Businesses Voluntary Benefits Turnover and Retention

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