How customer and employee demand are driving innovation

14 May 2021

Peter Ingram. Image: Hastee

Hastee’s CTO Peter Ingram discusses the company’s earnings-on-demand platform and how demand is forcing organisations to innovate.

Peter Ingram is the chief technology officer of Hastee, an earnings-on-demand platform that allows workers to receive a portion of their earned pay straight away.

Founded in 2017, the London-based fintech snapped up $270m in equity and debt financing in 2019. Its app allows employees to access up to 50pc of their earned pay at any point during the month, instead of waiting for payday.

Hastee also offers a suite of financial education and management tools to help employees make better financial decisions.

As CTO, Ingram has led the charge on innovative solutions at Hastee, including the first ever earnings-on-demand card that allows employees to access and spend their earnings as they earn them.

Prior to Hastee, Ingram spent almost 18 years working for car hire and courier company Addison Lee, rising through the ranks to CTO.

‘Companies that are only just discussing digital transformation in their operations are very late to the party’

Describe your role and your responsibilities in driving tech strategy.

In my role as CTO at Hastee, it is my responsibility to oversee the direction of our technological innovation. To do this, I have to keep abreast of any new technology developments and immerse myself within new trends to understand how they can be applied to Hastee’s offering. It is important for me to think a little differently and understand the value of technology as the enabler to the work we are trying to do. This understanding is crucial from a business end-to-end perspective as well as a consumer one. A huge feature of Hastee’s technology strategy is that we are always looking for new ways to provide the best possible user experience to companies and their employees.

Are you spearheading any major product or IT initiatives you can tell us about?

Our focus is always to be at the forefront of the earnings on demand (EoD) and financial health movement. We want to spearhead a mass integration of EoD and financial health solutions within existing payroll systems and processes.

We were the first to market to offer this solution in August 2017 and now, nearly four years later, Hastee is fast becoming one the key market leaders to offer holistic financial health technology to employers.

Whether it’s changing the way employees access their pay, or providing better access to financial education and management tools, companies are now coming to Hastee to help them better equip their staff with the options they need to better take charge of their finances.

How big is your team?

Our technology team is 18 strong. While we are not opposed to outsourcing, we pride ourselves in hiring the best in-house and thus, try to limit the amount of outsourcing we do in order to give our talented members of staff the chance to upskill and excel. This fosters a great workplace culture and an even stronger understanding of the product and the solution we are providing to workplaces across Europe.

What are your thoughts on digital transformation and how are you addressing it?

Digital transformation has long been a necessity for businesses that want to stay relevant in the modern world. Companies that are only just discussing digital transformation in their operations are very late to the party. Hastee has been digital/mobile-first since our launch four years ago, and the idea of being fluid in the latest technology is a huge part of our technology strategy.

It is pivotal that businesses take a digital-first approach to business for fear of winding up in difficult circumstances due to a lack of agility. In the last 12 months alone, we have seen a fundamental shift in the way we work and live as a result of the pandemic. Technology, as a result, has been a crucial lifesaver for the survival of many businesses. Those companies that have embraced a digital-first approach and pivoted quickly have not only now survived, they are now starting to thrive again due to systemic changes in consumer behaviour. This alone demonstrates how important embracing digital operations can be to the success and long-term viability of a business.

What big tech trends do you believe are changing the world and your industry specifically?

Consumers are now more influential than ever. From an external point of view, consumers are able to influence organisations and the decisions they make on a larger scale through the power of social media.

A similar effect is happening from an internal point of view. Organisations can no longer afford to be blind to the issues faced by their employees, whether that be from a logistical point of view or for more personal issues such as mental and financial health.

However, this new-found responsibility required by organisations to their employees has driven major innovation within HR and people policies. Solutions such as Hastee are changing the game, allowing organisations to on-board a solution free-of-charge that adds value, reassurance and flexibility to their employees’ working lives.

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