Meet InstaPay: A revolutionary way to get paid


Reimagine the way you get paid with InstaPay. Get on-demand access to a portion of your earned wages and reduce your reliance on high-cost credit and payday loans.

Surprised with a big bill before payday? Need a flat tyre replaced on your way to work? Or has a beloved pet suddenly fallen ill? In the past, you’d have to rely on high-interest credit cards, Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL) providers and payday lenders to find the funds you needed —or you’d be living on rice and beans until the next paycheck. Not anymore.

Enter InstaPay:¹ an Earned Wage Access (EWA) product that revolutionises the way you get paid. InstaPay gives you on-demand access to a portion of your wages before payday, so you can avoid payday loans and build budgets around your life, not your pay cycles.

What is InstaPay?

InstaPay is an Earned Wage Access product that gives users early access to their earned wages before payday. You can request up to 50% of your earned wages, up to $1000 a week, for a processing fee of 1.3% when withdrawing into a Swag Spend Account, and 1.5% for withdrawals into any other bank account. Because it’s money you’ve already earned, there’s no interest, credit or late fees involved. 

InstaPay was created by the team behind Employment Hero to help employees access their earned wages on-demand. By using InstaPay, you have an alternative to credit cards, BNPL and payday loans —all of which put people into debt.

You can use InstaPay to manage bills between monthly pay cycles, handle emergencies (like taking your sick cat to the vet), and budget for events like Christmas and birthdays. You can even use InstaPay to invest in shares, or save extra towards a special goal.

What is Earned Wage Access (EWA)?

Earned Wage Access is a no-credit option for employees to access the wages they have already earned on-demand. Rather than getting paid in rigid pay cycles, employees can request their pay as soon as they earn it, whenever they need it.

The concept of employers offering Earned Wage Access as an employee benefit is still new in Australia, but it’s taken off in America. Big players in the US market like McDonalds, Walmart, Uber and PayPal offer earned wages benefits to their employees. In fact, 80% of the Fortune 200 companies now offer earned wage access.

The difference between Earned Wage Access and Early Wage Access is significant, even if the names sound similar.

Earned Wage Access: A no-credit feature that allows an employee instant access to wages they have already earned, reducing debt and leaving their credit scores unaffected. InstaPay is an Earned Wage Access product.

Early Wage Access: A personal/credit loan that an employee can access before they have completed any shifts, which is then recuperated through direct debits.

How does it work?

If your employer uses Employment Hero HR and Payroll, you have access to InstaPay.

To request an InstaPay amount, download the Swag app and click on the ‘Money’ tab, then ‘Income’.

Here, you will see a real-time calculation of how much funds you have available to access. These available funds are calculated as 50% of your earned wages to date, and capped at a maximum of $1000 per week.




Next, enter in the InstaPay amount you would like to access. The fees per InstaPay transaction are $3 when transacted into a Swag Spend account, and $4 when transacted into an external bank account.

Why we created InstaPay

We created InstaPay because payroll needs to be brought into the modern age.

People have become accustomed to wait weeks to get paid for the work they did that day. So when an emergency or surprise bill comes their way, they turn to credit, BNPL and loans to bridge the payday gap —even though the technology exists to pay people in real-time.

Out goes the old, and in comes… InstaPay.

InstaPay began with a simple question: Why shouldn’t you get paid at the end of your shift for the work you did that day?

The world’s become more fast-moving and streamlined, and it’s time for pay to catch up.

We’re living in a world of instant access to everything we love: pizza, movies, and music. So why can’t people stream their wages as quickly as they can stream a podcast?

Historically, we’ve been paid weekly, fortnightly or monthly because of administrative headaches like paper-based processes, payroll tax, compliance and regulation, bank management and liaising with accountants.

Today, payroll doesn’t need time-consuming processes. Thanks to leaps in digital technology InstaPay enables employees to be paid in real-time, as soon as they’ve earned it.

How do people use InstaPay?

In January 2023, the Swag team conducted an ‘InstaPay Saves the Day’ survey where we spoke to InstaPay users and asked them how the feature has helped them manage their finances. We received 118 responses and were amazed by the results.

Suzanne uses InstaPay to put food on the table before payday

I am a single mother working full time to support my daughter, sometimes in-between getting paid I fall short.

The last time I needed InstaPay I had run out of basic food in the house and didn’t have enough money to get us through to pay day.

I was lucky enough to have access to InstaPay which helped with a food shop so I was able to make dinners for the next few nights.

—Suzanne, Inventory Controller from Western Australia

Nelson uses InstaPay to grow his investment portfolio 

It makes life easier especially if you are falling short on the month. With inflation and everything going on – it has helped with my portfolio for investments on some short term positions.

—Nelson, Sales Consultant from New South Wales

Stephen uses InstaPay to handle bills and budget better 

We are building a house and right now we have bills coming in everyday.

InstaPay helps by enabling me to take a little of my pay early to help offset the bills.

And it also has a limited amount that I can take out each week, so I don’t get a shock on pay day.

It is a great idea, all companies should be using InstaPay.

—Stephen, Caretaker from Queensland

How do users rate InstaPay?

In the InstaPay Saves the Day survey, we also asked participants about their experience using InstaPay. The results were overwhelmingly positive, with 98% of those surveyed saying they would definitely use InstaPay again.

InstaPay Graph

Results taken from the January 2023 InstaPay Saves the Day research report.

  • 93% would recommend InstaPay
  • 98% would definitely use InstaPay again
  • 89% of users rated InstaPay as excellent
  • 57% used InstaPay for emergencies
  • 36% used InstaPay to manage their bills

InstaPay Graph

InstaPay is a revolutionary solution to the problem of rigid pay cycles. By embracing a modern way to get paid, you can handle emergencies, pay your bills with ease, and even support your saving and investment goals.

To learn more about how InstaPay can help you budget better and manage your finances between paydays, read our InstaPay Factsheet.

  1. The InstaPay feature is available to employees of organisations using Employment Hero HR and connected Payroll.
  2. Users pay a $3 fee to draw down an InstaPay amount into their Swag Spend account. Drawdowns into an external bank account incur a $4 fee.