News, Culture & Society

Paytime: Australians are getting their pay early in the lead-up to Christmas 

Desperate Australians are accessing their pay weeks before it’s supposed to land in their bank accounts – as cost of living bites in the lead-up to Christmas

  • Popularity of ‘early pay’ for wages without having to wait until payday is growing
  • The technology has been popular overseas, including in the US, for years 
  • Australian company Paytime is now offering the service to Australians
  • Cash is not a loan with interest but rather allows staff to access what they earn 

Australians are increasingly having to access their salary days or weeks ahead of payday as workers head into Christmas and the rise in cost of living bites, new data shows.

Specific technology that allows employees to access their pay early has been an option for overseas workers for years and now Australia is joining the revolution.

Local tech firm Paytime now allows employees from any company that signs up to the app to access up to 70 per cent of their earned wages at any point during the month, with the cash deposited into their  bank accounts within minutes.

Sydney-based aspiring actor and part-time cashier Antonia, 19, used the app to pay off some overdue uni fees after her employer Supabarn signed onto the platform.

Queensland bartender Matthew Steffan also uses Paytime and said he was planning on accessing his wages early to pay for Christmas presents.

In Australia, along with Supabarn, Hungry Jacks, Aspen Pharmacare, Pizza Hut and McGrath Real Estate is getting on board with the new way to pay. 

Sydney-based aspiring actor and cashier Antonia (pictured) used early-pay to take care of some overdue University fees

The Paytime app

Users can access only the money they've earned

In the Paytime app (pictured) users can only access they money they’ve already earned but they don’t have to wait until payday

But Antonia and Matthew are not alone, with data from Paytime showing a sharp increase in usage of the app as workers who are living paycheck to paycheck increasingly feel the pinch. 

‘The lead up to Christmas always puts extra financial strain on families and individuals and we’ve noticed a big spike in people wanting to access their wages early to alleviate the stress,’ said Paytime CEO Steven Furman.

‘Nearly half of our users say they’re expecting to have to withdraw their wages early to be able to afford to go Christmas shopping.’

Mr Furman stressed the money wasn’t a loan and there was no interest, but rather the platform taps into employers’ payroll departments and provides a real-time link to access earnings.

‘With the current cost of living impacting everyone, making workers wait a fortnight or even a week to be paid is causing financial stress across all pay packets,’ he said.

Concerningly, just over half (52 per cent) of those who accessed their wages early, said it was for food and groceries, according to the data.

About 40 per cent said it was for unexpected bills like car repairs or medical expenses, while 36 per cent said it was to pay for household bills and 28 per cent used the money to pay for petrol.

Founder Steven Furman (pictured) said it was a more responsible way of helping out struggling Australians than loans which charge huge interest

Founder Steven Furman (pictured) said it was a more responsible way of helping out struggling Australians than loans which charge huge interest

The concept of early-pay is already popular overseas with US companies including Paypal, Walmart, McDonalds, Uber, Hilton, Unilever offering it to staff.

According to Mr Furman, it’s a more responsible way of accessing money than the short term loans offered by numerous companies – which normally charge exorbitant amounts of interest on already financially vulnerable people.

Paytime also funds the early withdrawals so there is no impact on the day-to day workings of company pay-rolls.  


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