What is Clair?
Clair is a New York-based mission driven digital banking platform that provides America’s workforce with fee-free access to their earnings when they want them via the Clair Debit Mastercard and FDIC-insured spending & savings accounts. Our on-demand pay product is embedded within the digital or physical punch clocks of our HR technology partners, where employees clock in and out of work everyday. By giving people access to their earnings when they need them, Clair is rewiring the way America’s workforce gets paid – in a manner that is instant, on-demand, and via direct deposit.
What is your company’s role in the payments industry (program manager, issuer, processor, service provider, etc.)?
Clair, is an embedded fintech. We partner with Galileo, the API payment processor for world-leading fintech brands. Galileo’s best-in-class payment technologies enable Clair to keep doing what we do best — bringing frictionless, high-quality financial services to America’s workforce.
What kinds of payments & special features do you offer?
Our flagship product is fee-free Clair On-Demand Pay. We have an API connection with prominent human capital management companies that provide us with real-time pay/time data for our end-users. After clocking out of each shift, users are immediately able to access a portion of that shift's earnings, without paying a fee. In addition, Clair offers a suite of other banking tools, such as Clair Savings and Spending Accounts, a physical & virtual Clair Debit Mastercard, free ACH transfers and fee-free cash withdrawals at 40,000 in-network ATMs, and more.
What kinds of companies are you looking to partner with?
Clair has formed partnerships with numerous HR technology and Time-and-Attendance providers across the country - making us instantly accessible to thousands of businesses and millions of hourly workers. We partner with workforce management firms, PEOs, as well as human capital management companies & payroll providers. Through these partnerships, businesses and employees instantly gain access to Clair as a free benefit. It’s a win-win-win.
What do you think the future of payments holds in the next five years?
Instant, on-demand P2P payments are already table-stakes for consumers and soon these rising expectations will translate to the speed and flexibility of how employees want to receive their paychecks too. The two-week pay cycle hasn’t innovated in 100 years, and Clair has the potential to fundamentally rewire how American workers think about getting paid.
The current wage cycle causes real pain. Senselessly, millions are pushed into financial instability over nothing so much as timing. With inflation, this is only getting worse. Money rightfully earned is trapped in limbo, acting as an interest-free loan for the employer at the expense of the employee. I’m excited for a future where instant payment access for all employees (both hourly & salaried) will become the rule rather than the exception.
On the morning of June 20th I received an email from “Brian T, President & CEO, Innovative Payments Association.” While this alone was not odd, in the email “Brian T” asked for my “cell phone number for an urgent task.” I thought this was a little strange considering Brian had my cell phone number. Also, what urgent task could Brian have for me at 8:30am on Juneteenth, a federal holiday? Perhaps naively, I responded to “Brian T” with my cell phone number.
Minutes later I received a text message from an unknown number pretending to be Brian Tate telling me he’s “rushing to a conference” (on a federal holiday?) and that he needed me to purchase $500 in Apple Store gift cards to provide to a client. I immediately recognized the request as fraudulent and cut off communications with the scammer. After examining the initial email further and calling the real Brian Tate to confirm the scam, I realized that “Brian T” was emailing me from a Gmail account, texted me from an out-of-state number that had no connection to Brian, and even misspelled Brian’s name, all red flags for potential scams.
While the scam was obvious to me, the communication was convincing enough that I initially took the bait. The scammer had done his research, knew who Brian Tate was, and that I worked with him. The email appeared to come from him, and it was only after further inspection did I discover it had not.
While I was fortunate enough to recognize the scam before it was too late, many are not. Email scams such as the one I was exposed to are on the rise, and everyone must use some basic tips to ensure they don’t become victims. According the FBI, below are some tips to protecting yourself online:
With the proliferation of email scams over the last couple of years, everyone should follow the above tips to avoid being targeted by scammers, and if you are targeted as I was, be able to quickly recognize and mitigate any potential damage.
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.