BNZ and PaySauce take aim at Payday lenders

Bank of New Zealand (BNZ) and employment solutions provider PaySauce today launched BNZ PayNow, a no interest way for employees to access wages before payday and an alternative to predatory payday loans.

BNZ PayNow is a feature within the PaySauce mobile app that allows employees to draw down on funds they’ve already earnt, effectively letting them choose their own payday on demand.

BNZ CEO Angela Mentis says, “PayNow is a real game changer. It protects financially vulnerable workers and provides them an alternative to loan sharks and payday lenders with extortionate interest rates.

“BNZ PayNow means people can get access to their wages before the usual fortnightly or monthly pay run. For many people, PayNow will mean the difference between paying for staples such as food, clothes and education with their own money over high interest loans between pay cheques,” she says.

Although BNZ PayNow was initially offered on a limited basis via PaySauce’s mobile app, funding from BNZ addresses cash flow challenges for small businesses by covering the advance of accrued wages and taking the financial pressure off employers.

PaySauce CEO Asantha Wijeyeratne says PayNow was a passion project for the team.

“We’re all so accustomed to convenience and freedom as consumers, but payroll is still operating on an outdated model. It seems obvious that it should be possible for employees to access their own money when they need it, without resorting to exploitative high-interest lenders.

“With the crucial support provided by BNZ, we can provide working Kiwis with financial freedom and autonomy, without placing strain on small businesses. We’re proud to share this ground-breaking feature with the nation’s workforce,” she says.

BNZ PayNow is part of BNZ’s efforts to disrupt predatory lending in New Zealand which includes Good Loans, Habitat for Humanity and The Good Shop. Through these programmes BNZ has provided more than $9 million in support to vulnerable people.

Good Loans is a partnership between BNZ and Good Shepherd NZ, that provides no and low interest loans to people who are financially excluded from appropriate mainstream financial services. Good Loans is supported by the Ministry of Social Development and delivered by community partners like the Salvation Army, Aviva and Presbyterian Support Otago, and offers an alternative to using loan sharks and predatory lenders.