These 5 trends in employee payments show the advance of American businesses

Businesses must constantly adjust to innovation. This year, American companies have incorporated new digital currency trends like never before. From cryptocurrency to AI, these offerings have revolutionized how employee payments operate.

Here are the top five trends in employee payments.

1. Cryptocurrency

A few years ago, cryptocurrency was still out of sight for many Americans -- especially businesses. However, its recent growth has opened the door for digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. More companies are now accepting cryptocurrencies as payment, and others are starting to use it to pay employees.

Many people like cryptocurrency due to its independent nature. Having a decentralized platform away from major banks gives them full control over their income. Additionally, blockchain technology in the digital world provides unique security to protect cyber money.

Transferring funds is simple and offers flexibility for all parties. Employers and employees will just need to work together regarding taxation.

2. Employee Ownership

In recent years, employee ownership of a company has grown more popular. An employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) allows workers to have a share of the company. That way, they have a more decisive role within the business.

An ESOP comes with countless advantages and works differently than most payment methods. Typically, they operate like a trust fund. The company puts funding into the stock and, upon retirement, illness or exiting the company, the employee receives the money.

Part of the reason this payment form is becoming more popular is because it allows a more even approach to business decisions and trajectory. Contributions to the fund are often tax-exempt for the company as well.

3. On-Demand Pay

On-demand pay shakes up traditional forms of payroll. Instead of the standard biweekly income, employees get to create a flexible payment schedule that works better for them. Americans come from all different economic backgrounds. Businesses are adapting to progressive models that give workers a beneficial experience.

Some methods of on-demand pay allow employees to access their income as they earn it, in real-time. Other models include pay cards for workers who need financial assistance.

Ultimately, companies will still pay the same wages. The only change is to payroll schedules. In turn, these payment trends could lead to lower turnover rates.

4. Digital Wallets

The digital world is expansive. Whether it's streaming, remote learning or telehealth, many systems and organizations now rely on digitizing to keep up with global needs. As a result, digital wallets are among the most popular payment trends.

These wallets come in the form of apps like PayPal, American Express and Venmo. They also take the form of complete financing interfaces like Apple Wallet, Google Wallet and Mint.

While direct deposits are already a form of digital payments, these wallets allow a fuller immersive experience. They let employees have more information on the transaction and include a convenient log for tax purposes.

Additionally, digital wallets offer more options for communication between the business and the employee, as well as financial companies and banks.

5. Artificial Intelligence

Artificial intelligence (AI) is an overarching field that covers countless devices and innovations of today. It has brought automation and faster ways to connect.

One instance is having an AI program or algorithm assist the payroll process. With automation taking the wheel, employees can focus on other pressing tasks.

Another example of AI for employee payments is through smarter transactions. AI is advanced enough that financial technology can recognize speech and biometrics as authentication for payment. In the workplace, these digital currency trends could be revolutionary for safety, efficiency and privacy.

Changing the Game

These employee payment trends show how far American businesses have come and how much further they can go. The future holds numerous possibilities, and what companies do next is sure to change the game.

Image Credit: ra2studio / Shutterstock

Devin Partida writes about AI, apps and technology at, where she is Editor-in-Chief

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