In the first of a two part article, we examine the push and pull techniques used to communicate pay and explore the pros and cons of Push services.
There’s a plethora of epayslip services now available, from integrated modules in self-service packages to third-party add-ons for existing payroll systems. All differ slightly in their service offering, but most fall in to one of two camps when it comes to delivery of pay information: they push or pull it.
What do we mean by push or pull?
Services that push information, deliver pay data from the sender to the employee. An example would be a PDF of a payslip attached to an email.
Services that use pull communications, provide access to pay data at a centralised point for an employee to retrieve. An example would be services like our Epay solution where employees login to a secure online portal to view their payslips.
The benefits of push services
Proactive: Push services are useful for organisations with a stable workforce, who want to receive their payslip to the same email address or mobile application each pay period. Many systems provide an acknowledgement when the payslip has been delivered: reassuring payroll the payslip has arrived.
Engaging: some push services, especially those to smartphones allow organisations to send notifications to employees, offering the option to message people when needed.
The disadvantages to push services
Delivery can be less secure: Many push services email payslips. The most primitive send unsecure email attachments. Others password protect PDFs, which is slightly more secure, but requires a system administrator to generate and maintain passwords. Secure email is another option that sends payslips as encrypted messages. This however, requires software to be installed on the computer sending and computers/devices receiving the email. More IT deployment time is needed to support users to install the secure email application.
Access can be more restricted: To view a pushed payslip, an employee needs a reliable email address or a smartphone application. If an employee is on sick leave, holiday or working overseas they may have limited or no access to the email account or a mobile data connection. This could prevent viewing of the latest payslip. Also, if using a secure email solution, access from an alternative device would only be an option if the required software was already installed.
Payslip history can be difficult to manage: Payslips are still requested as proof of income for loans or mortgage applications. Payslips pushed to email can be lost or deleted. Those sent to mobile applications difficult to print. The end result of both is more requests to the payroll team for copy payslips.
Push can be resource intensive: Now and in the future on-costs for push services can be difficult to control. As employees change email addresses or devices, there are starters, leavers or temporary workers, IT resource is required to deploy push epayslips to alternative points. If epayslip providers charge for support calls costs can soon mount up.
One of the bigger challenges of push services going forward is managing where data is pushed to. Right now there’s a buzz around smartphone applications and developing apps for iOS, Android and Windows Phone. These platforms all require different versions of the Epay application: which costs time and money. As little as three years ago, many employees wouldn’t have used these applications, now they’re part of everyday life. So, what’s next? The industry talks of digital mailboxes and integrated communications from applications such as Facebook. At the pace technology evolves will you see a return on investment from your push service before needing to migrate to something else?
In part 2: pulling epayslips
In part 2 of this article, we explore the pros and cons of pull epayslip services: providing pay data at a centralised point for employees to retrieve. Click here to read the article.