‘It’s about time’ – Fintech entrepreneur launches Hi, a financial services product that reinvents company finance through a new asset class based around time
A company founded by a Scottish fintech entrepreneur has launched a new financial services product called Hi that is set to revolutionise company finance and how workers are paid – potentially saving hundreds of thousands of jobs and helping the UK economy recover and grow.
Payroll is the biggest expense and demand on working capital in almost every business. COVID-19 has thrown a spotlight on the importance of firms having enough working capital to recover, grow and protect jobs.
The brainchild of David Brown, chief executive of parent company Hi55 Ventures, Hi is a totally unique digital payroll system. In partnership with global IT services provider NTT Data, Hi is a new way for creditworthy companies to gain fast and affordable access to working capital based on their payroll. Lenders will be able to see its value and lend against it without adding debt to the balance sheet of the business.
Hi can achieve this by creating a unique asset class for working capital – Pay Asset Finance – which transforms how businesses view and verify employee time and pay. In turn, employees will also be able to gain the freedom to access their earned money weekly with the new system, and over time, instantly.
David Brown said: “Hi’s new category of trade finance, Pay Asset Finance, enables employers to release much-needed working capital from their payroll – a global first. Our aim is to make payday obsolete and simply become a settlement system to monies owed and due to the individual employee, making pay itself become the new form of secured credit.”
David is formerly co-founder and chief product officer of Previse and CEO of Oxygen Finance. Originally, Hi55 was known as Toupay, but he said: “I woke up one day and thought, it’s about time that a solution like this was created.”
Brown reckons Hi’s twin solutions of payroll funding and weekly pay will entice firms to sign on the dotted line as they grapple with the effects of the Covid-19 economic crisis on their finances – helping them to recover and grow.
Brown added: “I can’t remember a time when businesses needed fast, reliable access to cash more – Hi provides them with not only critical financial breathing space, but also, by creating a global standard for time, it generates significant cost and time savings for them.
“Hi enables employers to release much-needed working capital from their staff, a global first and the next generation for both trade and consumer finance combined.”
Hi allows investment grade companies to release working capital by externally financing pay and makes pay to employees more accurate, efficient and frequent. Through Hi, companies can defer their payroll for 30 days or more. Instead, it is funded externally, freeing up a firm’s working capital. Companies with good credit ratings would be able to gain the money at very low rates of interest. What’s more, it would not be construed as debt as it would not appear on a company’s balance sheet.
It also allows employees to see what they earn as they earn it. An app facilitates employee and employer collaboration and enables employer approval of an employee’s time, while its technology seamlessly integrates with a business’s existing payroll and timekeeping systems. It standardises time and reduces time/pay errors.
Employees do not need to pay for Hi, all costs will be borne by the employer, it can be used as an employee benefit or employee retention scheme.
Brown added: “Hi is the future, not only of employee pay, but of how companies deal with their payroll and access much-needed working capital. It offers a unique solution that improves the financial resilience and well-being of companies and their people, at the same time.”
Time is worth a great deal as it is linked to people and payroll. The consumption of time is the creation of money – the commodity that drives global commerce. Businesses are crying out for a new way of doing this, especially during this tough economic time due to Covid-19. It’s now about time for Hi.”