What makes for good payroll infrastructure? 5 things to consider.

March 21, 2023
Check Team

Check Team

Embedded financial services are on the rise. According to Bain, financial services embedded into e-commerce and other software platforms accounted for $2.6 trillion, or nearly 5%, of total US financial transactions in 2021, and by 2026 will exceed $7 trillion. Traction in payments and lending is predicted to continue and be bolstered by the growth of other services, like insurance, tax, and payroll. 

The recent surge in popularity of services like embedded payroll is not surprising to us. With the ability to seamlessly provide new value without needless complexity and time commitment, companies of all sizes are reaping huge benefits.

But what is it that makes the technology so valuable? Below, we’ll take a peek behind the curtain to understand what good infrastructure looks like from an embedded payroll partner. The right partner will be one that can help you compete in the short term with competitive features and fast time-to-value, as well as set you up for long-term growth. In addition to good infrastructure, you’ll want to see a track record of innovation and reliability, as well as a capable team. 

We’re a little biased, but we believe Check offers the best embedded payroll platform on the market. We invented the concept of embedded payroll and have been doing it longer than anyone else. 

Why use Check for your payroll infrastructure?

Of course, being the first doesn’t always mean being the best – but with Check, it happens to be true. Here are five reasons why we believe our API is the very best in embedded payroll, whether you’re looking to redesign your internal payroll experience or package payroll as part of your product offering.

1. An API-first platform

The core mission at Check– and, really, our reason to exist – is to pioneer the concept and strategy of embedded payroll. We are, and have been from day one, laser-focused on developing a clean and extensible API that enables complete flexibility. 

Every payroll-related task that our partners (and their end users) perform is powered by our API. For that reason, each new feature or function exists in the API first, and then UIs are built on top. Because the front-end experience is owned mainly by our partners, everyone’s workflows are a bit different. Our API-first methodology enables them to embed payroll more deeply into their existing user experience.

This isn’t true for every embedded payroll provider. In fact, consumer-focused payroll businesses often take the opposite approach. Instead of building API-first, they will reverse-engineer their infrastructure to open up APIs for an existing front end. The result is closer to a whitelabel experience, where your customer’s specific needs aren’t front and center.

To put it simply, our approach is to future-proof what we build. We want to encourage our customers to innovate as needed, whatever their latest configuration may be.

2. Feature and integration flexibility

In addition to federal, state, and local regulations, every industry has unique requirements for payroll too. Your ability to incorporate support for one or many different industries will give your payroll offering a competitive advantage.

For example, a union-regulated employer of tradespeople has specific rules governing how bonuses should be taxed for each individual. And these rules can change year-to-year and place-to-place. The Check platform provides the ability to automate this calculation based on these types of regulations. This kind of feature flexibility matters if you want to provide a more compliant payroll experience for your customers.

Another example is piece-rate pay. Beyond traditional salaried and hourly work frameworks, millions of people are paid every day in units other than time. For truck drivers, miles become a key input to pay. For agricultural workers, pay might be based on the amount of food harvested. Paying by piece rate is key to paying these workers accurately and on time. 

These features are important for managing complexity behind the scenes, but the trick is to keep the user experience clean and simple. That’s why Check also offers Components, providing you with pre-built UIs that are easy to use and speed up time-to-value. 

3. Proven scalability

If you’re supporting 10- to 20-person companies today, but are looking to support 500-person companies in the near future, you need an embedded payroll partner that can scale with you.

Check is an established embedded payroll platform that knows what it takes to successfully support companies running payroll for thousands of employees. Why does that matter? Our experience has given us the advantage of seeing where things most commonly go wrong, such as when a new employee mistypes their bank account or SSN numbers during onboarding (And yes, we have a fix for these). 

4. Powerful payments infrastructure

One of the most common payroll support tickets comes from employees complaining that they didn’t get paid on time. Part of the problem is that many banking systems are antiquated, with standards that don’t meet modern expectations. But, this is usually because of human error.

Because worker data is constantly changing, data accuracy and synchronization can be a big challenge. In most cases, payroll administrators have to manage data across multiple spreadsheets, as well as maintain a laundry list of workarounds in order to ensure payroll is submitted on time. As the amount of data moving between systems increases, so too does the number of payroll support tickets.

That’s why Check proactively validates and tests bank account information to ensure people have the right accounts linked to their payroll. Our API provides immediate visibility into failed payments so that you can fix the problem proactively. And if you require additional support, you have access to Check subject matter experts, all of whom have the deepest experience in payroll available in the market today. 

5. Accessibility and ease of use

We believe that making technology more widely accessible makes it significantly more effective. Our approach is to empower non-technical users to problem solve with tools to help them debug like a developer. With our admin tool, Check Console, we help payroll admins perform powerful tasks, like:

  • Retry a payment
  • Configure withholdings preferences
  • Update employer or employee information
  • Create certain benefits or post-tax deductions

By providing a ‘back door’ into the API through the Check Console, payroll administrators and operations teams can take action to ensure payrolls run smoothly. It’s a no-code way to access the power of the API.

Learn more about Check today

We believe payroll can be your next growth opportunity, but you’ll need the right partner to get there. With our industry-leading infrastructure and engagement model, Check is uniquely positioned to help you launch a differentiated payroll experience, enabling long-term customer loyalty and growth. To learn more about the Check Platform, contact us.

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