Sunday, 16 June 2024

Paywatch expands regionally and strengthens industry partnerships

5 min read

Paywatch, one of Asia's largest enterprise earned wage access (EWA) solutions, continues its growth trajectory following the expansion into Indonesia and Philippines, supported by a partnership with VISA to drive greater financial literacy and access to safe money transfer services.

The expansion of its presence in Southeast Asia with new markets such as Indonesia and the Philippines strengthens Paywatch’s regional footprint and makes the company the largest EWA provider in Southeast Asia. Paywatch now serves more than 300 employers and 500,000 employees in these markets, processing over $4 million a month in earned wage access across all markets this past year.

Richard Kim, co-founder and CEO of Paywatch, said: “While everyone has been affected by challenging macroeconomic forces, frontline workers are particularly vulnerable to these challenging conditions. By providing them access to earned wages, we’re giving them the ability to better manage their finances – leading to better mental and financial health. Looking ahead to 2024, we are actively exploring other markets within Asia – in particular Thailand and Vietnam. In addition, we will be looking to deepen our partnerships with leading banks and other financial players.”

Having been supported by global financial institutions across multiple Southeast Asia markets, the partnership with Visa strengthens Paywatch’s network of banking and payment partners in the region. To date, Paywatch is the only multi-country bank-backed EWA service provider, supported by banks such as Hong Leong Bank, OCBC and UOB. In addition, Paywatch is the only Southeast Asian startup to have received funding from the Vanderbilt University endowment and University of Illinois Foundation.

Expansion into The Philippines and Indonesia

Indonesia and Philippines have one of the highest attrition rates in Southeast Asia (15.1% and 17.5% respectively) as a result of employee’s poor job satisfaction and pay. In addition, many employees are unbanked or underbanked (estimated 78% of the population in The Philippines and 77% of Indonesia). As such, many face financial challenges such as cash flow problems and debt traps which can be solved with the access to earned salary anytime and anywhere.

To help employers combat high turnover rates by giving employees access to cash flow tools, Paywatch launched in both markets. In the Philippines, Paywatch started its operations in-market in November, with partnerships with Wilmar International, one of Asia’s leading agribusiness groups, Shang Properties, an established real estate developer in the country and Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, servicing an estimated 3,000 employees.

In December, Paywatch partnered with a local banking partner to launch the first bank-backed EWA service in Indonesia. Since the launch of that partnership, Paywatch has grown within the local manufacturing and financial sector.

Empowering financial freedom with Visa’s partnership

As part of Paywatch’s goal to provide financial empowerment for frontline workers, Paywatch launched a partnership with Visa to empower individuals with greater financial control and literacy. This partnership, which was recently featured at the Singapore Fintech Festival 2023, saw the integration of financial literacy content from Visa into Paywatch’s app. This move is designed to provide customers, primarily frontline workers, with invaluable skills and knowledge to navigate the complexities of personal finance effectively. This partnership has already seen success with over 40% of our active users using the content.

In addition, Visa's money transfer solution – Visa Direct – will be integrated into Paywatch’s platform. This integration aims to simplify and secure the process of transferring money abroad. This will give frontline workers, who often support families across borders, access to a user-friendly and reliable solution for sending money home.

Re-disseminated by The Asian Banker

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