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.
We are the PayActivists
Safwan Shah, Founder & CEO
As PayActiv’s founding CEO, Safwan 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 Aslam, CTO & Co-founder
Sohail has developed numerous breakthrough products including the first biometric ATM and the world's fastest medical image delivery system. 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 three children over the weekend or running on hiking trails around the bay area.
Ijaz Anwar, COO & Co-founder
Ijaz has a 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 two sets of twins and dreaming of the day when he'll reunite with either his golf clubs or his squash racquet.
Pedro I. Salinas, Operations & Support
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 Bhatia, Strategic Alliances & Partnerships
A debt analyst by profession, Sabina experienced the high level of financial stress among hardworking 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.
Irum Musharraf, Director, Impact
A passionate social sector professional who believes that people will do the right thing given the right tools and environment, Irum 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.
Sr. Professor of Retailing, Stanley Roth, Harvard University
Marketing, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
Finance, Leavey School of Business, Santa Clara University
Hospitality, Conrad N. Hilton College, University of Houston
GM and VP Yahoo! Small Business
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.