Should employers really make their employees wait two weeks to get paid? You may not think it’s that important, but imagine if you had less than $400 in your bank account right now. You might start wondering why, in today’s digital age, you have to wait 14 days to get paid for work you did two weeks ago.

Well, our guest—a rocket scientist-turned fin-tech-entrepreneur—says there’s no reason employees should have to wait. It’s their money, Safwan Shah says, and they should have access to it on demand. And if they don’t, the employer is essentially using the employee as a source of credit for itself, and at zero interest no less.

In addition to founding his own payroll-type company to address this problem—which incidentally recently raised a $20 million Series B round—Safwan wrote a fascinating book on the topic. His company, PayActiv, is now in business with the likes of major employers like Walmart and Uber, helping to fulfil what Safwan calls his life’s mission: to eliminate financial suffering of the neediest. 

In this episode, Safwan offers a history of why we have the two-week pay period in the first place, and even gets biblical on us, citing the thoughts of both Moses and Mohammed. Yes, it turns out they both prescribed that employers pay employees for their labor right away.

So listen to Safwan drop some ancient and modern knowledge on using timely payroll to help the poorest among us, and let us know what you think!

Discussed in this episode

Safwan’s book, It’s About TIME: How Businesses Can Save the World (One Worker at a Time)

Safwan’s company, PayActiv