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Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Want Employers to Offer Instant Access to Earned Wages, According to New Marqeta Study

Marqeta’s survey finds that a growing gig economy and the desire to avoid debt in today’s economy make Accelerated Wage Access (AWA) an attractive employer offering.

Workers today are interested in employers that offer expedited access to their earned pay, according to a new study conducted by Marqeta. In partnership with Qualtrics, Marqeta surveyed over 1,200 Americans to understand the evolving nature of today’s workforce and its impact on financial preferences. The survey found that 40% of Americans of all ages (18-65+), and half of those under the age of 50, consider themselves part of the gig economy. Of those, 80% said they would be interested in an employer that paid them right after their shift or when a job was completed. This was also true for all Americans surveyed, where nearly two-thirds of respondents (62%) said that the option to receive payment immediately after work is completed would heighten their interest in a particular employer, shedding a light on the growing desire for companies to offer expedited access to pay.

With inflation and interest rates remaining high, instant access to earned wages is a benefit that could help Americans reach more financial stability. According to the survey, the primary reason for wanting to get paid immediately was to be able to pay bills on time, which was consistent across every age group (18-65+), and highest among 35-50 year olds. The second most common reason was being able to budget more easily, further underscoring the importance to American workers of prompt compensation to meet their financial needs.

“American workers are suffering to make ends meet and are feeling the effects of high interest rates, inflation and a potential credit crunch,” said Simon Khalaf, Chief Executive Officer of Marqeta. “Demand for solutions like Accelerated Wage Access is on the rise and allows more businesses to offer their employees fast and secure access to their earned money, helping to reduce their need for credit and improve their overall financial well-being.”

Accelerate Wage Access (AWA), defined as solutions that allow access to wages earlier than the two-week pay cycle can help people manage their finances in a secure and cost-effective manner when integrated with an employer. As the gig and creator economies continue to grow and represent a considerable portion of today’s US workforce, consumer expectations for their finances will likely make this feature more prominent. The survey highlights how the younger population could drive further change toward faster pay in the coming years:

  • 56% of ages 18-24 year olds consider themselves part of the gig economy and 77% would be interested in an employer who offered an option to get paid immediately.
  • The next age group, 26-34 years old, had almost half (48%) consider themselves part of the gig economy and 71% would be interested in an employer who offered an option to get paid immediately.

Marqeta explores AWA and how it benefits workers and businesses in its newest white paper, Accelerating Prosperity: The Power of Accelerating Worker Access to Pay, including stats from its latest survey. The report outlines AWA’s role in embedded finance and how it can help improve self-sufficiency for workers and the ability to recruit top talent and productivity for businesses.