Financial Wellness in India and the Technologies Aiding It

There’s no stress like financial stress. Money plays a very important role in our lives and not having enough money could disrupt our health, both physical and mental. Not to forget the impact it would have on the performance at the workplace. In the light of increased workload and pressure, employers are now taking the financial wellness of their employees very seriously.

What is Financial Wellness?
Financial wellness refers to the overall health and stability of an individual in monetary or economic terms. It plays a key role in keeping individuals healthy and happy, and an increasing of companies are making it their top priority today. The average worker today, before even starting his job typically brings with them a huge debt in terms of college loans and personal loans that need to be paid off.

Organisations have now begun taking an active interest in improving the everyday financial situation for their employees. This need not be directly in the form of money. Food vouchers, sponsored trips or even simple spa and movie tickets are given out regularly as morale boosters, and they’re working.

How is Financial Wellness implemented and what are the technologies aiding it?
Ever since the onset of online wallets and digital payments, organisations have found it easier to give out benefits and bonuses. Sodexo meal coupons for example, have been adopted by almost all major corporates and are accepted at almost every eating joint in the country. The result? Flexible meal plans plans, more variety for lunches, and increased consumer spending – often resulting in higher happiness and engagement levels. Sodexo coupons are a win-win situation for both the employers and the employees as it saves them a large amount of money that would have otherwise been deducted as tax. The concept has become extremely popular and Sodexo is now the most widely accepted meal card.

Paytm too has rolled out a food wallet feature that is competing head to head with Sodexo, with similar features and benefits. Employees can now eat at KFC, PizzaHut, Burger King, or Taco Bell, while the Paytm food wallet also allows them to carry out their monthly grocery shopping at Big Bazaar.

Companies are also issuing corporate credit cards to reimburse any excess expenses carried out by the employee for the organisation. This could include travel expenses and client meals. Several banks, including State Bank of India, and ICICI Bank have extended their support to a prepaid card model. Expense management brand Happay has also created prepaid cards for business purposes, so that employers can get their money reimbursed easily.

Multiple credit-based companies are also trying to ease the financial pressure of employers and providing loans and salary advances without any added expense.

AmazonPay and FuturePay have partnered with EarlySalary in order for you to shop at the end of the month, without the impending thought of paying immediately. Another app – Simpl, allows people to collect all their online bills so that they can pay the amount in full at the end of the month.

EarlySalary is pioneering the concept of a salary advance to the mass market:

The model focuses on an instant salary advance that lets you pay off all piled up bills, but extends to far more uses – for example, you could splurge it on that dress you have been eyeing for a long time.
Users have a dynamic borrowing limit, depending on their needs, where they can pay back the money in equal monthly installments (EMIs).
Your child’s school takes only bi-annual payments? No problem, the EarlySalary School FeES feature allows you to pay off the entire amount in one go through a salary advance. The borrowed money can be paid back in installments without any additional charges.

Financial Wellness Is Crucial
Financial wellness directly impacts employee productivity. It isn’t rocket science to guess that stressed employees will not perform optimally at the workplace. No surprises then that organisations are also encouraging employers to take meditation and yoga classes. Some companies even offer to reimburse a part of their employee’s gym fees as a sign of encouragement and support. Once employers start promoting and helping with financial wellness, employees interaction and engagement sees an increase. Then there’s a host of other benefits:

Employer costs, such as medical expenses reduce.
The average retirement age also increases if you’re dealing with healthier employees.
Fewer work days are missed if a financial wellness plan is in place.
Perhaps most importantly, low stress on employees lowers attrition rates as well.

Financial Wellness is a top concern for most companies today, with employers trying to fight the financial stress and burnout of their employees head-on. From monthly bonuses and team outings to family and child support, companies have come a long way on financial wellness is concerned, and this would not have been possible without the tech easing the whole process.

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