Whether it’s a customer tip a barber or a stylist cashing a paycheck at a salon, the Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the demand for contactless digital options. This trend paved the way for two Minneapolis-based tech companies to partner up and make digital payments and set a new standard for thousands of hair salons.
Salon software developer ProPoint Solutions, which sells a technology product called Super Salon that powers national salon franchises including CostCutters, Fantastic Sams and Supercuts, implemented fintech services from Plugged which will allow salons to pay stylists instantly, paperless and at no cost to salons or stylists.
“This year we have seen an increase in demand for cashless environments, especially around tips,” said branch CEO Atif Siddiqi (read more about the founder of the technology on our 2020 Tech 20 listing). A high-tech, employee-centric response to high-cost payday loans, Branch serves more than 300 employers to provide prompt payments and salary advances to hourly workers. Branch makes money through Branch Debit Card Redemption, the percentage that merchants pay when consumers make a purchase with a credit or debit card. The service is already popular with retail and chain restaurant employers, which is why Siddiqi said, “We have been considering what other industries this might apply to. “
ProPoint serves over 9,000 salons and 80,000 stylists. “Cash flow is paramount right now,” said Raj Mahajan, president and CEO of ProPoint. “Our industry faces many challenges, including retaining stylists, and many of them are unbanked. [meaning, they are not customers at a financial institution where they could easily cash or deposit wages]. What Branch offers are stylists to get their paycheck faster and owners to control cash flow. The reception was quite incredible.
Due to Covid-19, the use of contactless and digital payments has increased in 76% of hourly workers recently surveyed by Branch.
“We are trying to address the short-term cash flow issues for hourly workers, especially as they face additional financial challenges this year. Our mission is to help American workers grow financially. It is truly gratifying to see this happen.
How Atif Siddiqi’s efforts to simplify the hours of hourly workers led to his larger mission of improving their financial well-being. to listen By all means.