Challenger bank Branch today announced an integration with Domino’s to let employees of the pizza chain access their earnings after each shift. Over 400 Domino’s locations have already opted-in to the program, according to a press release sent from Branch.
The official partnership is between Branch and Servant Systems, the software developer behind Domino’s PULSE Franchise Office System, which manages reporting, accounting, payroll, and other financial tasks for over 3,000 Domino’s stores.
The Branch platform, meanwhile, is a scheduling and pay-management app for hourly workers that lets them access wages instantly, rather than waiting for a paycheck, along with budgeting and management tools for their finances. Like other instant pay services out there, Branch is popular in the restaurant industry, which relies heavily on hourly workers. Taco Bell and Dunkin’ are also among the company’s clients.
Through the new partnership, Branch will integrate directly with Servant Systems, which will act as something of a middleman between Branch and Domino’s. In turn, Domino’s employees at participating stores will be able to set up an account on the Branch app and access the aforementioned instant pay features as well as financial wellness tools.
Quick access to earnings was already a major selling point for apps like Branch when they first emerged to challenge the traditional payday loan. Now, with a pandemic wrecking havoc on the restaurants and the entire industry projected to lose billions of dollars in sales, faster access to earnings and tips is crucial in order for many workers to make ends meet.
Many restaurant workers have historically had to live paycheck to paycheck, their wages and in some cases their tips locked into antiquated accounting systems that haven’t evolved with the times. But with restaurant dining rooms closed, hours cut, and jobs uncertain, the ugly underbelly of this model is clearly on display.
It’s also getting increasingly apparent which restaurant-focused technologies have real value right now and which don’t. Branch and other instant pay systems (DailyPay and Instant, to name a couple) fall into that “useful” category of tools people actually need to get by in a COVID-19-era restaurant business.