Clair: Social impact fintech offering on-demand pay access
Nico Simko managed Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A), investment, and partnerships due diligence on 10+ payments FinTechs worth over $25 billion while at J.P. Morgan. Originally from Switzerland and Argentina, Nico holds a B.A. in Economics from Harvard University. He is the Co-founder and CEO of Clair, a digital banking platform, where he manages the company’s overall strategic direction and its relationships with its shareholders and customers. He speaks on an array of topics.
Conception of Clair
Clair is a New York-based mission driven digital banking platform that provides America’s workforce with fee-free access to their earnings anytime via the Clair Debit Mastercard and FDIC-insured spending and savings accounts. The company’s on-demand pay product is embedded within the digital or physical punch clocks of its HR technology partners, where employees clock in and out every day. By giving people access to their earnings when they need them, Clair is bringing financial confidence to America’s workforce.
In first conceptualizing Clair, Nico observed that the American financial system suffers from a big gap in how people are compensated for their time and labor. “Two week pay cycles present a significant challenge to many, who may need faster and easier access to their earnings and a higher level of flexibility and autonomy over their finances. Clair addresses this need by providing a fee–free solution that allows you to get paid for your work when you clock out, or whenever you might need it, along with a whole host of financial services (debit card, ATM access, saving and spending accounts, and more.)”
Fintechs- Challenges Galore
Over the past year, the Clair team has more than tripled in size, and is continuing to build an innovative solution that places control over their finances into the hands of America’s workforce. Clair’s business model creates a rare four-way win. Employees win by getting on-demand access to their earnings, something that is highly desirable in today’s flexible post-pandemic work environment. It also protects them from predatory alternatives to early pay access like payday lenders. Employers win by having a new benefit to attract and retain talent in a tough hiring environment, while increasing workforce productivity in the process. Today’s post-pandemic world has more job opportunities than ever.
Key solutions offered
Clair partners directly with HR tech providers, so it’s a seamless process for employers to offer this benefit to their employees. Clair doesn’t charge employers or employees to access their pay early. “Additionally, through our banking partner Pathward (formerly known as Metabank), employees are able to use their Clair Savings and Spending accounts as well as a Clair Mastercard Debit Card, providing long-term access to financial services to chronically underbanked populations.”
The digital banking platform – benefits
Clair is redefining access to credit through future paychecks. By eliminating the wait between paycycles, Clair gives people the freedom to access the money they have earned for free whenever they need it. That means no matter who you are, if you have a job and a paycheck, you’ll always have cash on-hand if you need it. It also offers a full suite of banking features that comes without the fees of traditional accounts, including free ACH transfers domestically, access to a free physical / virtual debit card to tap and spend, and no overdraft fees, minimum account balance fees, or membership fees for having a Clair account.
“Focus on what matters. Be open – one of Clair’s biggest assets is its team, and how transparent every level of leadership is in encouraging everyone to truly understand all aspects of the company and product, answer tough questions, and devise smart solutions. Be energized – Clair was born out of long brainstorm sessions between three friends in a small conference room – and that tenacious drive to create something impactful and important has never left.”
The success mantras
I always say, “We work for America’s workforce. Having worked in financial services for several years, it is clear to me that a large population of Americans are underserved by current financial institutions. At Clair, this is visible in our commitment to offering Clair On-Demand Pay for free and monetizing through interchange fees.”