PayActiv bridges the gap between paychecks giving people a chance to manage money worries with security and dignity, preventing devastating debt spirals.
Established in 1916, Goodwill of San Francisco, San Mateo and Marin Counties was the third Goodwill in the United States. 100 years later, it runs 20 retail stores, employs 650 people, and provides critical job training and support services to thousands of individuals in the regions neediest neighborhoods.
Each year, more than 14,000 people with barriers to employment come to Goodwill to find or regain economic self-sufficiency. While Goodwill fulfills its mission of giving people a second chance, some of their own face financial challenges of the cost of living in San Francisco.
Low and moderate income workers in particular face unimaginably financial stress that effects not only their job performance but overall well-being. A key benefit of PayActiv is that it provides immediate financial relief to employees by giving them access to their earned wages when they need it the most. This timely access to earned wages not only prevents what could otherwise turn into a devastating debt spiral but it also gives employees a chance to manage their money worries with security and dignity. In addition, PayActiv provides much-needed financial services like bank transfers, bill pay, a revolutionary budgeting and saving tool and much more at no cost to those who are unbanked and underbanked.
To hear how PayActiv has helped workers at Goodwill of San Francisco, we interviewed Tanya Moore, Vice President of Mission Advancement at Goodwill.
Tanya spent most of her career in the public sector, managing community programs in public health and wellness, looking at education policy, and more. She has been featured in Black Enterprise and O, The Oprah Magazine and was recognized as one of the “STEM Woman of the Year” by California State Assembly member in 2014. Tanya brought this experience to Goodwill of San Francisco to help support their mission: support individuals in poverty move out of that and find more viable, sustainable paths for being able to support themselves long-term.
She also had a personal connection to Goodwill, years ago, someone close to her participated in a program that Goodwill offered to help those struggling get back on their feet.
“To this day, I remember how much pride she took in having a job and in being able to work. You see the value a job can have on someone’s identity and self-esteem. When I had the opportunity to consider a position at Goodwill, I was definitely motivated by that.”
How is the U.S. financial stress epidemic affecting Goodwill of San Francisco?
“I think that one of the unintended consequences of the huge economic boom in our region from all these industries bringing innovation to the Bay Area is that it’s really fast-tracked income inequities. People are really feeling the difference of just how expensive it is to live here, needing to commute further and further distances to work [in search of cheaper rent outside of the city]. And in all honesty, we’re grappling with it.”
Tanya goes on to say:
“Certainly we’re going to keep revisiting the issue of wages, but we’re also looking at other things we can do to support our employees. So programs like PayActiv that can help relieve some of their pressure and stress is one way we are doing that.”
Other than the high living costs, why did you think employees need this program?
Tanya tells us that Goodwill of SF knew some employees would use PayActiv because they used to receive requests for pay advances. However, Goodwill had limits on employee pay advances like how many advances were allowed per quarter and other administrative restraints.
For them, PayActiv was a way to streamline advances and offer employees financial dignity:
“PayActiv was an easier way to provide advances for what has already been earned, but it also allowed for a bit more discretional privacy on the part of the employee. They don’t have to make a formal request to their colleagues in finance or HR. They just immediately, directly, independently transfer to their bank account or withdraw the money from one of the ATMs. It gave them more ownership on how to use their wages.”
What makes PayActiv different from other financial wellness programs?
Tanya highlights the distinction between financial literacy education and an actionable platform:
“A lot of the financial wellness programs I’m aware of really focus more on financial literacy education, which is important and helpful. People can benefit from that. But I feel [PayActiv] is a concrete tool to help people solve their problems. It’s actionable. It gives you a little more flexibility in how you decide to manage your money. PayActiv is the first step toward financial well-being for employees.”
"I feel [PayActiv] is a concrete tool to help people solve their problems. It’s actionable. It gives you a little more flexibility in how you decide to manage your money. PayActiv is the first step toward financial well-being for employees.”
When asked her final thoughts, this was Tanya’s response:
“What I noticed and appreciated was that the PayActiv platform was really developed with the employee in mind, truly designed from their vantage point—how this could be of direct help to the employee. I genuinely appreciated that perspective and level of consciousness.”