End Financial Stress

For millions of hard working people with Security, Dignity and Savings

End Financial Stress

For millions of hard working people with Security, Dignity and Savings

no more debt 90 million americans


Our story is the story of the 90 million1 working people living paycheck to paycheck with little to no savings. Due to small fluctuations in routine expenses, an unexpected car breakdown, or a medical emergency, people are far too often driven towards circular debt from predatory lenders and other oppressive financial arrangements. Their stories.

The difference - we have galvanized all our skill, experience, and resources to solve this problem, with Dignity, Savings and no additional debt.

This is our story.

Change makers dedicated to ending financial stress through innovation and technology


Waiting for payday is an artifact of the past. A practice rooted in IT systems that haven’t been modernized in decades. This practice hurts businesses because of the endless stress experienced by their workers who earn on an hourly basis and live paycheck to paycheck. This stress translates into lower productivity, higher turnover and zero engagement.

PayActiv fixes this inefficiency and helps businesses and its workers break free from a system that pushes people towards predatory short term lenders for basic needs like rent, groceries, and essential bills. It also keeps them away from outrageous bank fees. PayActiv fills this gap and helps forward looking businesses give their workers the peace of mind they need and deserve.

no more debt


We are the PayActivists

Safwan-finalSafwan Shah

Founder & CEO

As PayActiv’s founding CEO he is inspired every day by the transformative impact that PayActiv can bring to the lives of millions of people living paycheck to paycheck. An engineer by training, payments expert by experience and entrepreneur by accident, Safwan’s last job was at TSYS after the acquisition of Infonox, a payments company he founded and bootstrapped. His previous stints include being a rocket scientist at a NASA Center where a number of his experiments were part of the space program. Besides science and entrepreneurship, Safwan has also taught at Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley and Baskin School of Engineering at UC Santa Cruz. Safwan is a graduate of the distinguished Stanford Executive Program (SEP’09) and has an MS/PhD from UC Boulder.

Sohail-finalSohail Aslam

CTO & Co-Founder

He has developed numerous breakthrough products including the first biometric ATM and the worlds fastest medical image delivery system, but today crafting disruptive technology that enables society to own what they have earned just in time is his pride and joy. His work doesn't stop at PayActiv as he keeps his mental energy focused on problem solving while running after his 3 children over the weekend or running away at hiking trails around the bay area.

Ijaz Anwar

COO & Co-Founder

Knowledge base built on years of experience not only as a CPA, but also as an executive in the payments, operations, and strategic business development. Through it all, Ijaz has always possessed the spirit of an innovator and entrepreneur. He's committed to finding ways to impact the lives of millions of financially constrained people by giving them real-time access to their earned income. When Ijaz is not relentlessly pursuing his calling, he is trying to outscore and outwit his 2 sets of twins and dreaming of the day when he'll reunite with either his golf clubs or his squash racquet.

IrumM-finalIrum Musharraf

Director, Impact

A passionate social sector professional who believes that people will do the right thing given the right tools and environment. She is a proud PayActivist who uses her diverse background to build such tools for people, business, and society. If you want to hear more about the Impact she makes you could probably find her at a Bikram Yoga studio, waxing eloquent about progressive education in her community or moonlighting with fellow parents' in a rock concert.

pedro ibarraPedro I. Salinas

Director, Operations

A professional who has first hand knowledge of the challenges faced by employees living paycheck to paycheck, today has dedicated his time in innovating the next generation of pay which will bring universal financial inclusion, real time. A resident of Salinas, Pedro dreams of the day when he can look around the fields with hard working farmers and see how we helped the millions who strive for a better life. Sometimes he dreams of just being at a football or baseball game and enjoying what he has been able to achieve to date.

sabina bhaitaSabina Bhaita

Director, Marketing

A debt analyst by profession, she experienced the high level of financial stress among hard working people and society after the 2008 crisis. PayActiv has given her the avenue to make a positive impact in the lives of all working people irrespective of their age, gender or income level. She won't stop thinking about innovation and change for the financially stressed when you find her at a crossfit box or exploring a new restaurant in the bay area or hiking with her four-legged friend.


rajiv-lal-finalRajiv Lal

Sr. Professor of Retailing, Stanley Roth, Harvard University

Rajiv Lal, is the Stanley Roth, Sr. Professor of Retailing at Harvard Business School. He has also been responsible for the retailing curriculum and has served as the course head for Marketing, required study in the first year of the MBA program. Professor Lal also teaches in several Executive Education programs, has previously served as the Faculty Chair for the Global Management Program, and currently co-chairs the program on Building and Leading a Customer Centric Organization.

Lal was a Professor at the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University since 1982. He was the Thomas Henry Carroll Ford Foundation Visiting Professor at Harvard Business School for 1997-98. He was the Visiting Professor of Marketing at INSEAD, France in 1986, 1988, 1992, and 1993. He did his undergraduate work in mechanical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur, India and received his PhD in Industrial Administration from Carnegie-Mellon University. Lal has served as an Area Editor for Marketing Science and is the Co-editor of Quantitative Marketing and Economics.

Lal's current research is concerned with the Future of Department Stores in America. In addition, he is studying how to build and sustain Customer Centric retail organizations. His most recent work explored successful retail strategies for global expansion. He has written extensively on the impact of using the Internet as a channel of distribution on a retailer's pricing, merchandising and branding strategy.

Lal's earlier research has focused on pricing, trade promotions and salesforce compensation plans. He has continued to work in this area and has recently completed a study of compensation plans used by German salesforces.

Baba ShivBaba Shiv

Marketing, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

Sanwa Bank, Limited, Professor of Marketing Graduate School of Business, Stanford University

In his academic career spanning over than 20 years, Professor Shiv’s research has won numerous awards including the William O’Dell award for an article that made the most significant, long-term contribution to marketing theory and practice. Two of his research publications received the Citation of Excellence from Emerald Management Reviews (Top 50 Management Articles in 2005 and 2009). In 2001, Professor Shiv was identified by the Marketing Science Institute as one of the future leaders of the next generation of marketing academics. His work has been featured in a variety of media outlets including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, CNN, Fox Business, Financial Times, The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Radio Lab.

He served as the editor of the Journal of Consumer Research. He is also on the editorial boards of the Journal of Consumer Psychology, Journal of Retailing, Journal of Marketing and the Journal of Marketing Research.

sanjiv-dasSanjiv Das

Finance, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University

William and Janice Terry Professor of Finance

Senior Fellow at the FDIC Center for Financial ResearchProfessor Das previously held faculty appointments at Harvard Business School and UC Berkeley. He holds post-graduate degrees in Finance from NYU, Computer Science degree from Berkeley, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management and is also a qualified Cost and Works Accountant. He is a senior editor of The Journal of Investment Management, co-editor of The Journal of Derivatives, and Associate Editor of other academic journals. Prior to being an academic he worked in the derivatives business in the Asia-Pacific region at Citibank. His current research interests include: the modeling of default risk, machine learning, social networks, derivative pricing models, portfolio theory, and venture capital. He has published over eighty articles in academic journals, and has won numerous awards for research and teaching. His recent book “Derivatives: Principles and Practice” was published in May 2010.

jeanna-abbottJeAnna Abbott

Hospitality, Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston

Spec’s Charitable Foundation Professor of Social Responsibility

Conrad N. Hilton College, University of HoustonJeAnna teaches in the areas of hospitality business law, organizational behavior/conflict management, and negotiations. She has earned a number of honors, including several Dean’s Awards for Excellence in Applied Research, the College’s Teaching Excellence Award, the College’s Service Award, and the UH Alumni Association Outstanding Faculty Award. She has also served as the executive director of both the National Association of Catering Executives/Catering Research Institute and the Society of the Advancement of Food Service Research.While teaching at the College, she has served simultaneously in a number of other leadership roles at the University. For instance, she chaired the University’s Promotion and Tenure Committee from 2005-2011 and served as Associate Dean at the College from 2001-2005. She is an adjunct professor at the Law Center, as well as The C.T. Bauer College of Business. She also serves as the University’s Faculty and Staff Ombudsperson.She is also an avid athlete and a proponent of living a well-rounded, healthy lifestyle. In this regard, she has competed in seven Ironman triathlons.

amer-akhtarlAmer Akhtar

GM and VP Yahoo! Small Business

Amer Akhtar is currently VP of Product and General Manager of Yahoo! Small Business. Most recently, Amer was the MD and Country President for ADP in Shanghai, China, where he was responsible for ADP’s overall HR technology and services strategy and operations in China.Before moving to China, Amer Akhtar was General Manager for ADP Resource, based in the company’s Atlanta offices, Amer grew this business from a complete start-up.


Before joining ADP, Amer was with with Investor Growth Capital, a VC firm. Amer invested in Software and Services companies, and was responsible for setting investment strategy, sourcing and executing deals, and managing the investments at the board level. He also led the wireless business development team at Vicinity Corporation, a venture funded startup that he helped grow into a public company. Amer has also worked as a product manager for Microsoft Corporation and as a strategy consultant to Fortune 500 companies with Braxton Associates, where he advised clients on growth and M&A strategies.


Amer earned his MBA from Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School of Business and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and B.S. in Computer Science from Lafayette College.


Launched with a seed investment from an affiliate of SoftBank Capital and founders, PayActiv investors include visionary leaders from Silicon Valley and the financial services sector. Read more


1 Brookings Papers on Economic Activity. "The Wealthy Hand-to-Mouth" 2014.

It is more than a paycheck,
it is peace of mind!

It is more than a paycheck, it is peace of mind!

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