Allowing Employees Early Access to their Honest Dollar

Jason Lee

Interview with Jason Lee, CEO of DailyPay

Many of us have faced having “a lot of month left at the end of the money”, as the old joke goes. But the advent of DailyPay is helping employees to avoid that painful situation. Jason Lee, CEO of DailyPay, explains the thinking behind the company’s founding and its philosophy towards both its clients and its employees. 

Nice to meet you, Mr Lee! Thank you for sparing us some of your time today. First things first, how have you been handling the new year so far?  

2022 is certainly off to an eventful start. We are encouraged to see the COVID rates finally dropping and a return to a more normal life. We are proud to have just moved into our new global headquarters at 55 Water Street in Lower Manhattan, tripling the size of our previous office a few blocks north. Being part of the revitalisation of downtown has been quite inspiring.  

And filling those new offices are four new C-Suite leaders, who will play a vital role in DailyPay’s continued rapid growth. 

Coming on the heels of being featured in Time Magazine’s “Best Inventions of 2021”, DailyPay made its first adıyaman escort appearance at the 2022 CES Conference in January, announcing our digital wallet solution. 

On a personal note, with the continued rise in racially charged hate crimes, especially targeting the Asian communities, The Alicia and Jason Lee Foundation had the opportunity to work with University Settlement, a local non-profit organisation in New York to fund free self-defence classes to ensure that everyone in our community is equipped with the right tools to support themselves in case of any emergency. We’re planning on continuing this programme and expanding it to more locations in the New York City region.

In terms of career development, can you tell us more about your journey into the payroll industry? 

Instead of the payroll industry, I’d say my journey has taken me somewhere bigger – to a place where I’m working to create a new financial system that works for everyone. My journey began one night when I was craving pizza and couldn’t find my favourite pizza place on one of the delivery apps. This surprised me, because it’s one of the best-known pizza chains. I decided to get to the bottom of this and it turned out to be a payroll timing issue. At that moment, I came to the realisation that employers across the country were facing the same payment issue: the payroll system is built around the employer, rather than the employee, resulting in increased reliance on payday loans and massive amounts of overdraft fees for employees. I realised that the way companies were paying their employees was not only negatively affecting the employees but also their families and overall society.  

So, I made it a mission to recreate a new financial system, one that reimagines the money moves, from the moment work starts. In partnership with Rob Law, we created a one-of-a-kind on-demand pay platform and built DailyPay. Today, we partner with enterprises and Fortune 500 companies to ensure that money is always in the right place at the right time for employers, merchants and financial systems.  

Employers across the country were facing the same payment issue: the payroll system is built around the employer, rather than the employee, resulting in increased reliance on payday loans and massive amounts of overdraft fees for employees.

As the co-founder and CEO, what has been the biggest sacrifice to make it work?

Time. When you decide to start a company, you’re signing yourself up to work 24/7. In the early days, I had my hand in every part of the company, because DailyPay didn’t have the manpower or the funds to hire more workers. I would be pitching DailyPay to potential investors one day and making sales calls the next. But when you have a passion for what you do and afyon escort believe in the mission, the hours fly by. In hindsight, I can say it was all worth it. DailyPay is transforming millions of lives, and from America’s leading employers, especially during the pandemic. In fact, every single second of every single day, someone is using DailyPay to make a transfer. To know that we’re helping people achieve financial security through our solutions is rewarding and all worth it. 


Some would argue that financial literacy in itself is a privilege, and it takes a certain comfort level with money to even have access to resources. What are your views on this? If it does pose a problem, how can it be remedied?  

Financial literacy should be accessible for all, not just a privilege for a few. Everyone should have access to the resources and knowledge, regardless of one’s comfort level with money. The truth is some people have more access to this information than others, whether it’s passed-down knowledge from family members or from a high system of education. Regardless of where people are in their financial journey or career, everyone should have access to this information. One way companies can even the playing field is by offering financial literacy courses and providing a system to help their employees thrive. One easy way is partnering with DailyPay. We provide companies with the resources to ensure that their employees are set up for financial success. 

Can you walk us through setting up a payroll system with DailyPay? What should clients know beforehand? 

We believe that an on-demand pay provider should not have to adjust the client’s current workflow to accommodate the vendor. So, DailyPay designed an on-demand pay programme that results in zero changes to a client’s existing payroll, IT and HR processes. DailyPay does it all. We create a project plan, set up the system, provide marketing materials, and provide our partner with full service, from a first-class, personalised customer service team to a seamless pay experience that enables employees to have access to up to 100 per cent of their pay check 24/7/365. The best part is that DailyPay has developed an integrated solution with many payroll providers, which can reduce the implementation time to two weeks.  

Given its obvious negative implications, do you foresee any long-lasting positives that may come out of the global pandemic in terms of compensation? 

The demand for daily pay has skyrocketed during the pandemic, as many companies are realising the necessity of DailyPay to attract, retain and support workers. A survey conducted by DailyPay shows that organisations have experienced a 50 per cent reduction in turnover after implementing DailyPay; so, expect more companies to offer an on-demand pay benefit. A recent study with Aite-Novarica indicates that 95 per cent of DailyPay users stopped using payday loans and 88% have less trouble with bills and loan payments now. We’re hoping to help more workers manage their finances and, ultimately, their lives. 


We have heard that your company has a very joyful work culture. How does that translate into practice? 

One of my favourite aspects of DailyPay is the inclusive and diverse culture we have here. We proudly sponsor an enterprise-wide Diversity Leadership Council, as well as four Employee Resource Groups: DailyPride, DailyNoire, DailyWomen and DailyGray. These employee-led ERGs are integral to supporting our employees and allies in bringing their whole selves to work, including professional development sessions and networking. We also pride ourselves on our relatively low attrition rate, which is possible through our focus on our employees’ career development, recognition and needs. DailyPay employees receive a comprehensive benefits package (free health insurance plan, paid parental leave, FSA/HSA, and a 401(k) pension plan with employer contribution), meditation sessions, daily lunch stipends, and much more! It’s no surprise that we’ve won numerous awards on our culture from Newsweek’s Top 100 Companies to Fortune 2021’s 60 best small and medium workplaces in New York. 

Through on-demand pay, your company encourages more financial equity and literacy among employees. How can companies benefit from giving workers access to their money as they earn it? 

We have conducted multiple studies internally and with the assistance of third-party sources. According to a survey by the Mercator Advisory Group, DailyPay clients are able to keep employees as much as 72 per cent longer. A DailyPay survey found that 59 per cent of employees using DailyPay are more motivated to go to work, resulting in reduced absenteeism. There are also many external surveys that support the positive impact of daily pay for employers. According to Lighthouse Research & Advisory, 7 out of 10 employees who left a job for a new one would have stayed at their previous job if they were offered on-demand pay. Don’t take my word; look at the research. 

What is the contribution of payroll in achieving the goal of employee engagement and satisfaction?  

People tend to overlook the impact payroll can have on employee engagement and satisfaction. But, DailyPay offers a solution. Financial stress is an enormous issue for many individuals and families. So, when individuals are struggling financially to make ends meet or struggling with debt, it bleeds into every aspect of life, including work. However, DailyPay resolves this issue by cutting to the chase, providing employees with the tools to have a better financial standing, which improves both personal and work life. According to a DailyPay survey, over 80 per cent of employees report that their satisfaction with their employer has improved since the company offered DailyPay, and 87 per cent of employees report that their opinion of the organisation improved after being offered DailyPay.    

Tell us more about your digital wallet solution. 

Users working for a partner offering the DailyPay solution are able to contribute to their usable DailyPay Balance™ in their wallet, effectively eliminating the traditional payday.

DailyPay’s digital wallet solution is designed for the everyday working American. The DailyPay digital wallet solution connects to over 6,000 financial institutions and is compatible with any banking account, debit card or prepaid card that is in-network with DailyPay’s partnerships. Unlike traditional wallets, DailyPay’s digital wallet solution is the only automatically self-refilling wallet out in the market. Users working for a partner offering the DailyPay solution are able to contribute to their usable DailyPay Balance™ in their wallet, effectively eliminating the traditional payday. The DailyPay digital wallet solution is designed to support a multitude of services: bill payment, investing, buying goods and services, and more.  

The new normal workplace is changing and we’re seeing more and more people working in the gig economy. Do you see this impacting the way businesses manage payroll?  

The gig economy is here to stay and we’ve seen workers from all career levels pick up gig work. Now more than ever, employers need to wrap their minds around the gig economy and find out ways to incorporate gig workers into their business. They are missing out on a great amount of talent. With any change to a business, there may be challenges such as managing payroll. But it doesn’t have to be like that! Companies that offer an on-demand pay solution, like DailyPay, can easily manage their payroll while supporting gig workers. Gig workers don’t receive the typical company protection and traditional benefits packages like regular employees. Inconsistent income is a main concern for the gig economy. They have to work with inconsistent hours and pay. But with an on-demand pay solution, gig workers can have access to consistent pay and at no loss for the employer. 

You’ve mentioned your wish to build a new financial system that starts working the minute work starts. Do you think you’ve achieved this with DailyPay?   

100 per cent. Already, millions of employees have access to their earned wages at any time and from anywhere. We’ve even created solutions such as ExtendPX, which offers HCM companies a flexible, hassle-free solution that enables their clients to effortlessly embed on-demand pay into their systems so as to give more employees access to this new system. We’re living in a new era of payroll and it’s exciting to see how much the industry has grown over the years.   

Finally, what’s next for Jason Lee and DailyPay?  

DailyPay is committed to our ambitious mission to create a new financial system that works for everyone. We are committed to rewriting the invisible rules of money that say that, even if you work and earn every day, you still only get paid for some reason once every two weeks. Rules that prevent merchants from actually connecting with their shoppers at the right moment, when they actually want to buy something. Rules that decide who can and who can’t open up the best bank account for themselves.  

This article is originally published on March 13, 2022.

Executive Profile

Jason Lee

Jason Lee, Co-founder and CEO Before founding DailyPay, Jason spent nearly two decades on Wall Street creating new products and markets to manage areas of risk. Jason is also a member of the Forbes Finance Council. He received his BA from the University of Pennsylvania. In his spare time, he volunteers for various social justice non-profits and loves spending time with his wife Alicia and two children. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.