New App Helps Employees Pay Bills, Save Money

By Aliah D. Wright Apr 15, 2015
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Want an app that stops your employees from treating their retirement savings like their personal piggy bank?

Unlike other financial apps such as Mint and Pageonce and most banking apps, the DoubleNet Pay app aims to help employers promote financial wellness among their employees by paying their bills and placing money into savings accounts after taxes—and before they receive their paychecks.

Even though economic conditions have improved, the typical working household still has almost no retirement savings, according to a report by the National Institute on Retirement Security, The Continuing Retirement Savings Crisis.

The report examined the retirement readiness of working-age households, based principally on an analysis of the Survey of Consumer Finances from the U.S. Federal Reserve System.

According to the report, half of households haven’t saved anything. Nearly 45 percent, or 40 million, working-age households do not own any retirement account assets, whether in an employer-sponsored 401(k) plan or an IRA.

The creators of DoubleNet Pay, which debuted March 31, 2015, say their aim is to change that.

The app automatically tracks and pays employees’ bills around their paycheck cycles, leaving them with an exact amount for discretionary spending. For now, the app is only available within the ADP Marketplace. ADP has more than 620,000 clients worldwide, according to its website.

“Our vision in creating DoubleNet Pay was to help employees by providing them with the same technology tool they use to manage many aspects of their lives—an app,” said DoubleNet Pay co-founder and CEO Brian Cosgray, a former financial advisor with Merrill Lynch. The DoubleNet Pay app enables employees to overcome the hurdle of changing their spending behaviors to accomplish financial wellness.

“Financially healthy employees are less stressed and more productive, and better able to adequately prepare for their retirement,” said Cosgray, who founded the company with Cody Laird, who spent 20 years in the technology division at SunTrust, where he helped build the SunTrust Bank retail-banking platform. The other co-founder is Bret Levy, a computer scientist who spent more than 15 years in software development with Scientific Games Corporation, focusing on state lottery software systems.

In an interview with SHRM Online, Cosgray said when employees are financially healthier, it keeps them from doing things like treating their 401(k) accounts like an emergency fund, which not only isn’t a good retirement savings strategy but can also create a paperwork headache for HR.

Although DoubleNet Pay may be found in most smartphone providers’ app stores, it only works if individual employers have made the app available to employees. ADP is the first payroll provider to do so.

An employee decides how much money should be deducted for bills and savings before he or she gets a paycheck. DoubleNet Pay then pays the bills and deposits any savings into an FDIC-insured savings account in the employee’s name. The remainder goes to the employee.

“People don’t like having to keep track of their bills and keep everything organized,” Cosgray said. “We electronically track upcoming dates and amounts due around the paycheck and we present [that information] to the employee before the pay period, and if something doesn’t look right they can take it out of the queue so they always have an override.”

Aliah D. Wright is an online editor/manager for SHRM.

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