A technology firm, LastMile Financials, has launched an app, PayMasta, an earned wage access (EWA) solution to ease the pressure mounted on salary earners in Nigeria.
The app will give millions of Nigerian workers who depend on their salaries, access to withdraw a portion of their monthly income before their salaries are at the end of the month.
According to the company’s Chief Evangelist, Gerald Erih, who led the team, the app will make a difference in the lives of both employers and employees in the Nigerian market.
He said the firm’s plan is to expand into other African countries after consolidating its foothold in Nigeria.
Erih noted that it will put rest to anxiety that follows unforeseen issues as employees can now draw a certain percentage of their income when an emergency comes up.
The CE emphasised: “All we are doing is about helping people to achieve financial freedom. Mostly, our target audience is made up of people who basically work nine to five and live paycheque to paycheque.
“If you look at that, in Nigeria, that’s affecting almost everybody, that is between 80 and 90 per cent of the working-class population. So, we are about moulding them to not just have access to money that they have earned when they need it anytime, but also to help them plan their finances, and track their expenses to give them financial freedom.”
According to Erih, with this there’s less stress at work; and people are happy coming to work; because they do not have the burden of financial stress.
“Remember as we said, financial stress is the number one factor affecting employees globally; 70 per cent of employees interviewed in various services said financial stress is the number one and this leads to mental health issues. If you look at it, that is dangerous to the employer,” says Erih.
However, he continued, “If you don’t deal with the problem, then you might have to deal with the myriads of problems that may result from mental health issues.”
On support for raising offshore financing, the chief Evangelist highlighted that the company has raised some funds from Angel investors and is close to organising financing rounds.
He also mentioned that the digital infrastructure support worth about $300,000 that was received from Microsoft has been very helpful, because it made the team more productive.
On the ease of connecting to the platform, he said: “It’s quite easy; anyone can download the app to use its services such as personal finance management, bills payment, auto-saving for every spend etc. But if you want the EWA solution, then you have to be an employee of an already signed employer.
“However, if your employer is not yet signed up, then you can drop your employers details on the app, and we’ll do the rest to enable you to have access to your earned wage.”
He also acknowledged that the team has made reasonable progress in signing up employers both in the public and private sectors even before the launch of the app, with a long list of other companies waiting to sign-up as soon as the app goes live.
According to Erih, companies have to undergo a screening process and once they meet the set criteria, they are signed up immediately and their employees can access their earned wages.
He stated that the app will address the issue of the “perpetual debt cycle” that Nigerian salary earners are known for, at no cost to their employers thereby boosting the level of productivity in the workplace.
PayMasta, he insisted, is the leading provider of earned wage access and personal finance management, catering to two major problems of the average employee in Nigeria; adequacy of pay and timing of pay.