PaySauce is a SaaS fintech platform providing solutions for people at work in 14 jurisdictions across the Asia-Pacific region. The company makes payroll software, simplifying the way employers manage the human side of their business, from digital contracts through to timesheets, payroll, banking and filing with the inland revenue.
Founded in 2015, its mission is to be a straight up provider of effortless solutions for people at work. In practice, they make the relationship between the employer and employee frictionless and easy, and give small business owners time back in their business.
PaySauce currently has 45 staff, based in New Zealand, and many of them have come from entrepreneurial and startup backgrounds, running their own businesses, meaning they understand that payroll is no one's favourite task!
"We're a small crowd with lots of smart people pulling together. It's pretty cool," says Marie-Claire Andrews, Head of Sales & Marketing, PaySauce.
PaySauce is both the name of the company and its product. Particularly popular in New Zealand's farming industry, one in two employing dairy farms in the country use PaySauce's solution to meet their payroll needs. However, while New Zealand is the company's main focus, the country is one of 14 jurisdictions it works across. The remaining countries include Australia and most of the Pacific Islands.
The reason it has such credibility in the farming industry is due to its ability to solve a crucial challenge. A few years ago, PaySauce worked to ensure all farms were compliant with the IRD requirement that no staff ever dropped below minimum wage in a pay cycle. The company took over implementing that solution, fixing the issue nationwide without farmers having to worry about a thing.
PaySauce’s rostering tool was also a big hit with the rural sector, flexible enough for the various different work patterns that farmers need to run the farm.
In addition to its reputation as a leader in the rural and farming sector, PaySauce has a strong presence in the construction, hospitality, and professional services industries.
Andrews notes that this comes down to a growing desire from a range of organisations to meet regulatory requirements while remaining productive.
"We've got a significant proportion now of businesses who, just like every other SME, want to save time and know they are compliant," Andrews says.
For the wider small business sector, PaySauce offers a unique feature called PayNow, which effectively allows employees to choose their own payday.
The company believes getting paid fortnightly or monthly is something of an outdated idea and purely based on keeping things simple from an admin point of view.
The company partnered with BNZ, and through PaySauce's mobile app, PayNow gives employees access to a portion of ‘earned wages’ - the wages that an employee has earnt any time they look in their app - before their actual payday.
This free offering makes it simple for an employee to pay for unexpected challenges, whether it's bills, getting their car fixed, or even getting to a funeral, with BNZ advancing the money instantly. Once payday comes around, the funds are deducted from the employee’s wages and paid back to BNZ. This service is completely free to both the employee and the employer. As its funded by BNZ, there are no cash flow implications for the employer, and neither the customer nor their employee is required to be a BNZ customer!
PayNow has been created to meet an already-present demand. Although the company ensures it has an overview of habits and offers support with links out to budget advisory services if necessary, they’re meeting the existing demand for a solution that gives people access to their earned wages while maintaining privacy and autonomy.
By providing the PayNow service, PaySauce offers a genuine alternative to payday lenders, who charge extortionate fees and interest charges. This can result in spiralling debt for some employees. With PayNow employees don't need to worry about having difficult conversations with their families or bosses. Instead, they can just access their wages and go about their lives.
As a result of its offering, PaySauce estimates it has saved approximately NZD$1.4 million in payday lending fees. Not only that, but it gives employers visibility of how the employee is using the facility. This can be the catalyst for a positive engagement to help with budgeting.
Further to its people-centric approach, Andrews says PayNow is what inspired her to join the company.
"I just thought a business that would build something like that for no commercial return must have a good heart. And it does," she says.
"I think that's part of our advantage in the market - we're genuinely about the people."
PaySauce is designed to take out employment and admin worry as well as stress over the pitfalls of employment, because while it is easy to start a business in New Zealand, these factors can make running one very overwhelming.
"If small businesses are employing, that's awesome, they're growing, and we want to support them to do that and just help them sleep at night by knowing that they're compliant," Andrews says.
Regarding the impact of the pandemic, the company's rural and farming customers were already accustomed to working remotely. However, for its customers across other industries, the ability to remotely manage teams, leave requests and mobile payments has become a mainstay of their operations.
There are three market trends PaySauce is currently focused on addressing: the anxiety around compliance, a lack of time, and the challenging recruitment market.
Because the company serves SMEs, the reality of these organisations and the working lives of their staff is that their hours are full already, without the added hassle of managing payroll and other financial requirements. PaySauce offers them a software platform that fosters greater efficiency, giving small business owners hours back in their day that would otherwise be spent going through everything manually.
As for the recruitment market, employers need an advantage over the next business to attract good staff. PaySauce firmly believes the foundation of a strong relationship between employer and employee is paying the team right. If the team knows that a good system is in place that can give them access to the timesheets, payslips, leave balances and real time information about wages, it's going to be transparent and visible and easy to have employment conversations with your boss.
When it comes to the future of PaySauce, Andrews says there is a lot in the pipeline.
"The startup days are definitely behind us. We're on a scale up trajectory now. So definitely masters of our own destiny," she adds.
"We're excited because we’re in a strong position to reinvest for future growth. And that's absolutely what we're going to do.
"We are also exploring Australia as our next market so that's inspiring for us. We want to stay focused on delivering a quality product on a scalable platform to that target market, which is SMEs. We love our small businesses. We just think they’re under-served with good technology. So that's who we're going to stick with."