A Winning Strategy: Maximizing Payroll Team Efficiency with Earned Wage Access for Hourly Employees

January 23, 2024

by Matt Cromar

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In our recent webcast titled “The Productivity Well-Being Feedback Loop”, we sat down with industry experts Daniel Eckert, recognized FinTech and digital retail pioneer, and Emily Trant, Head of Impact & Inclusion at Wagestream, to discuss how improving employee financial well-being drives improvements in operational metrics. Aside from the clear benefits to hourly workers, we identified three key organizational stakeholders that can benefit from implementing an Earned Wage Access (EWA) program. Payroll, HR, and Operations all have something to gain through EWA, and in this first of three posts, we break down some of the key learnings from our discussion, specifically around how Payroll teams can benefit.

Understanding Earned Wage Access (EWA)

EWA is an innovative payroll solution that allows employees to access their earned wages before the regular payday. This flexibility is especially crucial for hourly employees, who may need immediate access to their earnings to meet urgent financial obligations. Legion’s 2023 State of the Hourly Workforce survey showed a 20x increase in demand for EWA solutions by hourly workers over the last 3 years. Legion Workforce Management Software’s (WFM) integration of EWA within its platform exemplifies the seamless fusion of workforce management and financial empowerment.

How Payroll Wins with EWA

Payroll teams have a mission-critical job at any company. In this webcast excerpt, Emily and Daniel dive into some of the benefits that present themselves when work and pay are more tightly coupled in WFM software and the grounds-up approach that Daniel implemented at Walmart as a pioneer in the EWA space.


Benefits of EWA for Payroll Teams

When combined with workforce management software, EWA programs can have significant benefits for payroll teams, including:

  • Streamlined Payroll Processes: Implementing EWA through platforms like Legion WFM simplifies payroll processes. Legion’s automated system calculates wages accurately, considering various factors like overtime, secondary wage rates, etc. This means payroll teams spend less time doing retroactive edits to timesheets and paychecks, greatly reducing their administrative burden. This precision is critical in maintaining compliance and ensuring employee trust in the payroll system.
  • Compliance with Labor Laws: Legion’s WFM platform ensures compliance with various labor and EWA licensing laws, including those related to overtime and predictive scheduling. Legion InstantPay is closely tied with proven hours worked, which is consistent with proposed licensing legislation across several states for EWA providers. Payroll teams can confidently offer EWA without worrying about legal compliance.
  • Out-of-the-Box Integration: Legion provides simplified integration to payroll systems to automatically enroll and maintain employee access to EWA. Legion makes it easy to roll out InstantPay while leveraging the existing interfaces you already have with Legion. Payroll teams don’t have to change their existing processes to support EWA with Legion.

The Role of Legion WFM in Facilitating EWA

Legion WFM stands with the capability to seamlessly integrate EWA into its workforce management platform. The platform’s AI-driven engine facilitates accurate, real-time wage calculations, which allows employees instant access to their earned wages. This integration ensures that the EWA offering is not just an add-on but a fully integrated component of the workforce management ecosystem.


In conclusion, integrating EWA in Legion for hourly employees is more than just a payroll enhancement; it’s a strategic move towards a more efficient, compliant, and employee-centric payroll system. Legion WFM’s innovative approach to integrating EWA within its platform paves the way for payroll teams to adopt a more holistic and effective payroll management strategy. Watch the entire webcast to learn how Payroll, HR, and Operations can all win together.

To learn more about how Legion InstantPay can help you, schedule a demo now.