Some companies are giving workers early access to their earned wages rather than have them wait for their paycheck every two weeks.
One reason for the shift: Venmo, PayPal, Apple Pay and other technologies have made access to money feel instantaneous.
"The way Millennials are interacting with tech and money, the expectation of immediacy will ultimately change the way we get paid," said Doug Politi, president of compliance solutions at ADP (ADP) at an event earlier this month.
The support for these kinds of pay programs has been overwhelmingly positive, according to Glassdoor Senior Economist Daniel Zhao.
Giving employees more control of their finances could eliminate their need to use payday lenders, which charge high interest rates, to deal with unexpected expenses. That's why instant pay models could be positive for workers, Zhao added.
The healthier the American consumer, the healthier the economy: Discretionary spending accounts for some two-thirds of US GDP growth.
The United States' biggest employer, Walmart (WMT), has already changed how it is paying its workers. Since the end of 2017, Walmart employees can get instant access to their wages via an app called Even that doubles as a financial planner. The app also helps people to budget and allows them to automatically save from their paychecks.
Companies have different models for who pays for the instant transfers. Walmart, for example, allows employees early access to two paychecks per quarter for free via Even. Workers can get constant access to the instant pay function for $6 a month.
Although instant pay is merely an option for workers and hasn't totally replaced the traditional payday, some 400,000 Walmart employers are using the app, said David Hoke, Walmart's senior director of associate health and well-being.
One issue the company wanted to tackle was the bumpy pay cycles in lower-salary retail or seasonal jobs, Hoke said.
Although Walmart is the company with the biggest footprint, it isn't the only one dabbling in pay innovation.
Restaurant chain Noodles & Company (NDLS), which employs just under 10,000 people, also gives its workforce the option to use Even. Offering instant compensation for its workers allows the company "to differentiate ourselves given the low unemployment rate and the high turnover in the restaurant business," said Amy Cohen, director of total rewards at Noodles & Company.
"I absolutely think this is the future of payroll," she added.
Ride-sharing companies Uber (UBER) and Lyft (LYFT) allow their drivers to draw down on earned wages before payday as well.
At this point, instant payments are not ubiquitous in the US labor market. Only some companies offer the option at this point. But a change seems underway to turn the world of payments on its head.