Could payday be about much more than getting paid? New report from Nest Insight highlights the potential for payroll to be a gateway to broader financial health.

    • Almost half of UK workers experience financial difficulties[1] – especially those on low, variable and unpredictable incomes, who often check their payslip carefully.
    • But most payslips have limited information and don’t connect to other workplace benefits or other money management support.
    • Payday is an under-used opportunity to support employees with their broader financial wellbeing.

There’s a big opportunity for payday to be about more than getting paid, according to a new report from Nest Insight. Receiving a payslip is a ‘high engagement’ moment, experienced by all employees. That means that payroll has the potential to be a crucial touchpoint for supporting employee financial wellbeing – giving people the information they need for decision making in real time at a moment when they are focussed on their finances, and overcoming behavioural barriers to action. Digital integration and smart technology could transform the role that payroll plays by making more of the important payday moment, supporting millions more people towards financial security.

In its new report, Smarter Paydays, published today, Nest Insight, the public benefit research centre finding better ways to support people’s financial wellbeing, spoke with employees and payroll professionals to understand experiences of payroll today and the interaction it can have with overall financial health.

The report has found that some forward thinking employers and solutions providers are already using payday in innovative ways to benefit employees. Nest Insight worked with one innovative payroll solution provider, PayCaptain, to understand and explore innovations that are possible or emerging in this area as part of this research. Having interactive payslips, free access to emergency cash from shifts already worked, savings via payroll, and access to budgeting tools and pensions dashboards was seen by both employees and their employers to have the potential to boost financial resilience, wellbeing and productivity. And there is scope to do more. Greater availability of more innovative payroll solutions, along with more employers putting in place systems that engage and support their workforce, will be important next steps.

Jo Phillips, Nest Insight’s Director of Research and Innovation, said:

“For many workers, especially those with variable pay, the moment you get paid is often the time you focus on your finances most intently. But payslips often give only limited information, when they could be a gateway to personalised, actionable information and behavioural support that could help you manage your overall finances, save money for emergencies or make the most of workplace benefits. A smarter payday could be an important moment to build financial resilience. If you’ve introduced a policy, tool, or payroll system to support financial wellbeing in your organisation then we’d love to hear more about it, or if you would like to partner with Nest Insight on real-world trials to build evidence and understanding please get in touch.”


Notes to editors

Read the report: Smarter paydays – Harnessing the power of payroll to build financial resilience (PDF)

About Nest Insight

Nest Insight is a public-benefit research and innovation centre finding better ways to support people’s financial wellbeing, now and in later life. We focus on understanding the lived experience of people on low and moderate incomes, learning about their financial needs, challenges and goals through rigorous and thoughtful analysis. We partner with employers, product providers, academics and policymakers to identify, invent, test and evolve practical solutions and see what works best for people in the real world. This builds the case for systems-level change. Our findings are shared widely and freely so that people around the globe can benefit from our work. For more information, visit:

About Nest Insight’s strategic partner

BlackRock is a global investment manager serving the UK market for more than 30 years with a purpose to help more and more people experience financial wellbeing. BlackRock’s Emergency Savings Initiative is made possible through philanthropic support from the BlackRock Foundation and the BlackRock Charitable Gift Fund. The initiative brings together partner companies and non-profit financial health experts to make saving easier and more accessible for low- to moderate-income people across the US and UK, ultimately helping more people to establish an important financial safety net. For more information, visit

About our programme partner

The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) vision is ‘everyone making the most of their money and pensions’. MaPS is an arm’s-length body committed to providing access to the information and guidance people across the UK need to make effective financial decisions over their lifetimes. For more information, visit

About our research partner

PayCaptain is a cloud payroll solution designed to transform the payroll experience for companies and their employees. Intelligent, automated and backed by 24/7 expertise, PayCaptain aims to be the most helpful payroll system on the planet. For more information visit

This research was funded as part of our broader emergency savings work via programme partner grants. We worked with PayCaptain to understand and explore innovations that are possible or emerging in this area and as a route to recruiting some of our research participants. PayCaptain have not funded or influenced the work.

[1] CIPD (2023). Good Work Index