November 24, 2022
  • November 24, 2022

PayActiv 2022 Review: Early Access to Money

By on July 13, 2022 0

GOBankingRates rating

Quick Shot: PayActiv is a unique app and prepaid debit card that aims to serve around 7.1 million unbanked households in the country with a variety of financial tools, including cash advances of up to 50% of their withdrawals. PayActiv is advertised as the first Early Wage Access program approved by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
  • Fees
  • Characteristics
  • Security
  • Customer service

How did we calculate it?


  • Send and receive money
  • Bills
  • Access your withdrawal up to 2 days in advance or receive your advance payment even earlier
  • No activation fees or monthly service fees
  • Get financial information and access money management tools through the app
  • Funds up to $ 250,000 protected by the FDIC-approved Kansas City Central Bank


  • Charges may apply for some features
  • Can only access 50% of net salary as down payment
  • Some features are only available if your employer participates in PayActiv EWA

PayActiv review

PayActiv is the first Early Wage Access program approved by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Hence, it enables employees to access 50% of their paycheck before being paid. PayActiv is not a credit card or a loan company. There are no fees or interest associated with your cash withdrawal.

Described as a universal digital wallet on the PayActiv website, the service provides users with a free Visa prepaid card, money management tools, and the ability to access 50% of the money earned instead of waiting until the end of your billing period when you receive a check or direct deposit.

Key Features

PayActiv scored 4.7 on GOBankingRates based on the following features.


In an era when so many consumers are looking for fee-free banking, many also expect other financial services to be available free of charge and interest. And PayActiv is close, which is why it scored 4.9 in this category.

There are no fees to top up your Visa prepaid card or use it in multiple locations, including 37,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide.

There are no monthly fees for maintaining a PayActiv account or activation fees. Perhaps most importantly, you can take a cash advance of up to 50% of your earnings with no fees or interest.

However, any time you use the program to make a bank transfer, top up your card, pay your bill with a prepaid Visa card, or use your money on Uber or Amazon. You will also pay a fee of $ 1.99 if you receive a cash advance at the Walmart Money Center.

Compared to the high interest rate on payday loans or taking a cash loan on a credit card, PayActiv fees are, however, minimal.


PayActiv is a solid financial app with features that include automatic saving – if your PayActiv Visa card is linked to your bank account – low balance alerts and the ability to send money to friends and family who also have PayActiv cards for free.

What distinguishes PayActiv is the possibility of receiving up to 50% of the net remuneration earned in each period in the form of a cash advance. However, this access to earnings – the key selling point of the PayActiv app – is only available if your employer also participates in the program.


Obviously, the key to using any financial technology or having a new debit card is: what is the security?

There are two levels to consider when researching PayActiv’s security features: protecting your money and protecting your financial information. PayActiv scores high in both areas.

First, because the money in your PayActiv account is held by the Kansas City Central Bank, an FDIC insured institution, your money up to $ 250,000 is protected.

The PayActiv debit card provides Visa Zero Liability fraud protection that can protect you in the event of fraud and unauthorized use of your card. You can also easily block lost or stolen cards.

The PayActiv application uses secure encryption and transmission technology to protect your data.

Customer service

PayActiv offers a toll-free customer service phone number to call for assistance, as well as online live chat and email for those who prefer not to talk on the phone. Live support is available 24/7/365 online or by phone, according to the PayActiv website.

PayActiv is accredited by the Better Business Bureau of B, which usually indicates good customer service. But it also has 116 complaints on the website and only got 2.63 stars from BBB’s customer reviews. However, it got a TrustPilot score of 3.3.

The app is highly rated on the App Store and Google Play Store. Customer complaints are largely related to technical glitches that prevent people from accessing their funds or managing their money.

How PayActiv stands out

PayActiv is the first CFPB approved Early Wage Access program and is used by many employers in the United States, including Walmart, Uber, Pizza Hut, Subway, and Neiman Marcus.

Access to funds does not require a credit check, and the amount you can withdraw depends on the salary earned. Using PayActiv is free for many services, including withdrawals from a partner ATM.

Comparable cash advance options

There are many popular cash advance apps available today that can help people avoid high interest credit card advances or predatory loans. If your employer does not use PayActiv, it may be better to use another option.


The Empower app offers users free cash advances ranging from $ 25 to $ 250, as well as a cashback debit card.

One downside is that Empower charges a monthly fee of $ 8. However, there are very few extra charges. There is a $ 12 fee if you require an immediate cash advance; otherwise your money will be available in your linked bank account within a few days.

The Dave app

The Dave Mobile Banking App is another app that allows cash advances of up to $ 500 with no credit checks, no interest, no late fees. You can withdraw funds using a Dave debit card from any of the 32,000 MoneyPass ATMs nationwide.

Dave charges a membership fee of $ 1 per month, which is significantly less than Empower. You can even pay less for Dave than with PayActiv, depending on the PayActiv services you use each month.

Like Empower and PayActiv, Dave also offers money management features. Dave has a unique feature that helps you find side shows to earn some extra cash, which can help if you’re constantly quitting before paying.

How to apply

Applying for PayActiv is easy. If your employer is already a member, you must ask him to create a PayActiv account. If you are interested in joining PayActiv on your own, just download the application and create an account with your name, phone number and e-mail address.

PayActiv works best with a linked bank account, but it is not necessary to have a bank in order for funds to be pre-loaded onto a prepaid Visa PayActiv and use your Visa card for bill payments, purchases and more.

Who is PayActiv best for?

PayActiv is best for employees whose employers already use the service as it is a free and easy way to spend your earnings as you earn them, without waiting for your next paycheck.

Final shot

PayActiv is a revolutionary fintech company providing much needed service to many employees who only need a little help with the transition from payout to payout. With low fees and no interest, and with robust features to help you manage your money, PayActiv can help you better control your financial future.


  • How long does it take to receive money from PayActiv?
    • If you are transferring money to your prepaid Visa PayActiv Visa, you should receive the funds immediately. Transfers to bank accounts and other debit or prepaid cards will be processed within 48 hours, or you can pay a fee of $ 1.99 to receive your money immediately.
  • How does PayActiv work?
    • PayActive connects to your employer’s working time and attendance system, making your salary available as earned, rather than waiting to be paid. You can receive a cash advance of up to 50% of your daily salary. The money available through PayActiv will appear as a deduction for your next payout.
  • Does PayActiv give you a cash advance?
    • Yes. Employees whose employers participate in the PayActiv EWA program may receive a cash advance of up to 50% of earned remuneration. Direct deposits of checks may also appear on your PayActiv debit card up to 2 days prior to normal processing.
  • How many times can you use PayActiv during the billing period?
    • In one settlement period, you can make up to three transactions with a cash advance.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by PayActive, Empower, or Dave. Any views, analyzes, reviews, ratings, or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author himself and have not been reviewed, endorsed or otherwise approved by PayActive, Empower, or Dave.

about the author

Dawn Allcot is a full-time freelance writer and content marketing specialist with an interest in finance, e-commerce, technology and real estate. Its long list of authors for publications includes Bankrate, Lending Tree, and Chase Bank. She is the founder and owner of, a travel, technology and entertainment website. She lives in Long Island, New York, with a real menagerie with 2 cats, a rowdy kitten and three lizards of different sizes and personalities – plus her two children and husband. Find her on Twitter @DawnAllcot.