If there’s ever been a time to say “out with the old, in with the new,” 2022 would be it. After another year filled with continued pandemic stress, supply chain constraints, and a tight labor market, it's been crucial to stay on top of work and payment trends in order to keep workers satisfied and things running smoothly.
As we reflect on the past year, here are some of the biggest insights we uncovered in the world of Human Resources and payments. Both what’s in (contracting, the creator economy) and what’s probably never coming back to life (side hustles, tipping in cash). Read on for the full roundup of what’s in and what’s out as we head into 2022.
OUT: Slow payments
IN: Instant payments
Outdated payment methods like ACH or paper checks aren’t just a hassle for your business—they’re costly, too. ACH payments usually incur some charge, and the cost of cutting paper checks can add up for your organization. While this isn’t a new development, workers flat out rejecting these slower payment methods is.
W2 employees are no longer satisfied to wait 2-3 days for a payment to hit their account. Nor are 1099 contractors willing to wait 30-60 days (or longer!) for an invoice to be paid. People want their money faster—instantly, in fact—and know there’s the technology to deliver. With real-time transfers and digital disbursements available from modern payment platforms, there’s no excuse not to offer these types of instant payment options to your workforce.
OUT: Side hustles
IN: Independent contracting as a full-time gig
Gig work used to be seen primarily as a way to earn extra cash—now, it’s become a nearly 400 billion dollar industry. With new jobs popping up left and right, independent contractors are no longer pigeon-holed into one type of profession. Instead of being just a side hustle, workers feel empowered to start their own businesses and pursue a passion full-time. Contractors range from last-mile delivery drivers and copywriters to online creators.
In fact, the rise of the creator economy has snowballed in the past few years, fueled by the pandemic and the ability to monetize content on platforms like Instagram or TikTok. Companies have leveraged more creators to help tell their brand story in unique ways, and more people are discovering how to tap into their own creativity to monetize their unique skills online.
Whether contracting as a delivery driver, videographer, or other profession, more people are realizing they can make a full-time living off of operating their own small business, taking on their own clients and having control over their own schedules.
OUT: Big banks with big fees
IN: Free digital wallets
Big banks have been making money on overdraft fees and other pointless fees for years. In fact, last year banks collected $8.82 billion in overdraft-related revenue. People are getting fed up and craving banking practices that are free, fair, and reliable.
Free digital wallets answer that call—and more have cropped up in the past few years. Offering many of the same services as traditional banks, they combine the convenience of digital banking without the traditional fees.
Consider offering a benefit that comes with a free digital wallet for your workers. This allows unbanked or underbanked employees the opportunity to build their financial wellness and get a zero-fee checking account. Plus, digital wallets are constantly being updated and improved to create better experiences for users.
OUT: Cash tips
IN: Cashless tips
If 2021 made one thing clear, it’s that cash is on its way out. It’s dirty, it’s inconvenient, and it turns out it’s slow. Since consumers aren’t paying or tipping in cash anymore, trying to tip out your employees at the end of the night has become a hassle. It requires trips to the bank to make change and constant cash flow monitoring.
Digital, cashless tips take the management burden off of you and eliminate the wait for your employees. Workers can complete a shift and have their tips instantly sent to a digital wallet instead of waiting to receive cash and then deposit that cash into their bank account. And you no longer have to run around making change or monitoring cash flow constantly.
OUT: Stale Financial Benefits
IN: On-demand pay
Free coffee and breakroom donuts just don’t cut it anymore. Employees want more meaningful workplace benefits, and companies that fail to deliver will lose talent to the competition. So what moves the needle on worker satisfaction and engagement? On-demand pay.
On-demand pay options like earned wage access, cashless tips and mileage reimbursements, and other instant payments can improve people’s cash flow, assist them with unexpected expenses, and help independent contractors reinvest in their own small businesses.
Delivering fast, free payments in 2022
As we welcome in a new year, be sure your company’s payment processes are up to speed. Learn more about how Branch can help you deliver fast, free payments to your workforce—keeping workers engaged and cutting down on administrative hassle for you.