New fintech Cheq lets Aussies access their pay instantly
Cheq is backing the concept of your money on demand.
A new "Pay on Demand" app has launched to give Australians early access to their wages. The app, called Cheq, is pitched as an alternative to payday loans and will use machine learning, AI and statistical analysis to offer financial management solutions.
Users are charged a fixed transaction fee of 5% with no additional fees or interest, much lower than the fees and rates charged by payday loans or credit cards.
"As our society increasingly embraces the 'on-demand' model of consumption, it is only natural that we begin to see this flow over into remuneration," said CEO and co-founder of Cheq Tarek Ayoub.
"You can get food, TV shows, cleaning services, dog walking, and everything in between on demand. So why is it that we can't yet access our own money – money we have already physically worked for – as soon as it's needed?"
How Cheq works
To use Cheq, you need to download the app and connect it to the bank account you receive your salary into. At the time of writing the app is only available on Android.
Once you download the app you are able to cash out up to $200 of your wages into your account. When you cash out, the money should be deposited into your account within 60 seconds. On your next payday, Cheq will deduct the amount you cashed out from your pay plus the fixed 5% transaction fee.
Cheq also offers budgeting features in the app. It will analyse your spending and automatically create a budget for you using machine learning, AI, location data and statistical analysis. It will keep you on track using smart notifications.
How Cheq compares to alternatives
Cheq has positioned itself as an alternative to payday lenders. Payday lenders are restricted as to how much they can charge in fees, charging a maximum establishment fee of 20% and a monthly fee of 4%. Depending on how much you borrow with a payday loan and how much you take out the loan for, the costs can build up quickly. Payday lenders also tend to have high late fees, default fees and enforcement charges which can put you into debt quickly if you are late with your repayments.
To cover small unexpected expenses, people may choose to turn to other forms of credit such as credit cards. Credit cards can be a good option to cover small expenses if you are eligible for a low or 0% interest card and can pay off the entire balance within your statement period. Cheq may be a good option for those that aren't eligible for a credit card, that don't want to apply for a credit card or can't pay off their balance in the statement period.
There are also other "Pay on Demand" options available. For example, HR platform Employment Hero launched InstaPay in 2018 which allows users to access between $100 and $250 of their pay for a $2 fee. The main difference between Cheq and Instapay is the fee structure and that Employment Hero's tool is only available to its platform's users.
Ayoub wants to "put the power of accrued wages back into the hands of all workers".
"To achieve a future where Australians are free from payday lender-induced debt traps, the solution must be available to everyone."
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