Jaya Grocer, a Malaysia-based mass-premium supermarket chain, has partnered with earned wage access (EWA) provider Paywatch, to enable real-time access to salaries for Jaya Grocer employees.

This partnership, part of Jaya Grocer’s comprehensive, innovative and technology-enabled employee wellness program, aims to enhance employee financial flexibility and reduce financial stress through EWA to promote better mental health and drive productivity, the duo said in a statement on Monday.

Amidst its network expansion plans this year, Jaya Grocer expects the partnership to strengthen its value proposition for employees while significantly reducing employee turnover.

Cited a recent study, the statement noted that 42 percent of employees in Malaysia have high levels of financial risk, and 62 percent of employees say their mental health is impacting their work productivity.

Employee well-being programs, therefore, are increasingly vital for businesses today, specifically for people-centric, labor-intensive industries like retail grocery, where challenges such as the financial stress of employees can adversely affect operations, service levels, and business growth.

With this partnership, over 3,100 Jaya Grocer employees nationwide can gain access to the Paywatch solution and platform, enabling them to use EWA when needed, for example, in an emergency or unforeseen circumstances.

Specifically, the partnership will address key pain points of employees, including barriers to employee upskilling and engagement, financial inclusion, and overall well-being.

As the only bank-backed EWA solution in Asia, the solution from Paywatch will also enable Jaya Grocer, to advance its environmental, social and governance (ESG) commitment, supporting employees in building sustainable livelihoods and improving their resilience to navigate macroeconomic challenges.

“We constantly look for new and innovative ways, tapping on technology to enhance our competitive advantage as an employer of choice in the grocery sector – this is especially important in supporting our expansion plans,” said David Jansen, Head of Human Resources, Jaya Grocer.

“We collaborated with Paywatch as it offered our employees bank-standard security measures and compliance on a simple-to-use platform,

“Our employees have shared how much they appreciate having a practical and helpful financial tool, and they see it as a truly unique benefit that Jaya Grocer has enabled for them,” he added.

According to the statement, EWA provides employees timely access to a portion of their earned salary before their scheduled paydays, typically to tide over short-term, unexpected expenses.

The Paywatch solution provides EWA, alongside financial tips and resources from Visa, on a single platform to help users navigate the complexities of personal finance and encourage better money management skills.

For businesses, the solution has been effective in demonstrating a commitment to supporting the financial well-being of the workforce and driving work performance.

Data from Paywatch shows that the solution can reduce employee turnover by up to 40 percent while significantly improving productivity.

Working with Tier-1 regional and global banks to fund the solution, Paywatch can offer EWA to employees at a flat nominal fee.

“There is a strong correlation between happy, financially secure employees and successful companies,

“We are excited to embark on this latest partnership, which will set a new standard for employee well-being at Jaya Grocer,” said Alex Kim, Co-founder and President of Paywatch.

“Employers are always looking for innovative ways to support and motivate their employees,

“As a holistic solution, Paywatch helps employers cultivate great workplaces and supports their efforts in alleviating money-related stress and distractions for employees so that people can thrive professionally and personally,” he added.

Established in 2007, Jaya Grocer has grown to become the leading mass-premium supermarket chain in Malaysia.

It operates over 51 stores today, with the majority located in Klang Valley and plans to open many more in the near future.

Paywatch is an earned wage access (EWA) service provider backed by major banks. The firm operates in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, South Korea and Hong Kong.

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