One of the best parts about being a rideshare driver is obviously the flexibility. I can’t think of another job in the world where you can log in when and where you want, take months off at a time, and work as little or as much as you want. Even the pay is somewhat flexible.
Most jobs pay bi-weekly (every two weeks) or even monthly, which can make budgeting very tough. But I always liked the fact that drivers were paid on a weekly basis since it feels good to see an immediate result for all your hard work.
In early December, Lyft took this one step further by introducing Express Pay. For those who haven’t heard of it, it’s a cool new feature that basically allows drivers to get paid instantly. There are only a few requirements.
- You need to be an active Lyft driver (you can sign up here)
- You have to make at least $50
- You need an active checking account & debit card
Lyft has always been on the forefront of a lot of driver friendly features and this is just another example of that. And even though I usually get more rides and make more money with Uber, I’ve made it clear that I’m a big fan of Lyft and prefer driving for them. Plus, more competition is always a good thing for passengers and drivers, right?
So How Does It Work?
I actually didn’t even know that this technology was available until Lyft announced it but it seems pretty cool. All you have to do is make at least $50 (from rides, tips and referrals) and then you can cash out the money to your bank account with one click. It’s really as simple as that.
From Lyft’s website:
Express Pay uses push-to-debit technology, which lets you access your earnings in real time – you’ll just pay a $0.50 transfer fee. Most deposits will appear right away, but some banks require an extra business day. Visit the Help Center to learn more.
Power Driver Bonus And Driver Stats
If you do cash out any money using the Express Pay feature, you won’t get things like Power Driver Bonus until your weekly earnings come out. And here’s a quick comparison of how Express Pay will affect your Driver Stats.
One Word Of Caution
I think this is a great feature but I would avoid using it too often. We live in a world of instant gratification and there are times where being able to cash out money can get you out of a bind. If you have a big expense coming up or an unexpected one-time bill, that would be a good use.
But if you start depending on this feature too much, you may be tempted to spend it faster. And it isn’t a very good financial habit to build either since it costs you 50 cents to cash out each time. So my advice is to use it only when you really need it.
My Experience With Lyft’s Express Pay
I decided to cash out my weekly earnings a little early and see how the service worked. So I headed over to Lyft.com and this is what I saw:
Remember you need to have at least $50 to use the Express Pay feature. Once you’re ready, hit ‘Get Paid’.
The above screen is what you’ll see right before you cash out your money, looks like I had a good week!
You only have to add a debit card once but this step is pretty simple. I don’t really use my debit card that much but you will need a debit card that is associated with your checking account to cash out your money. You can’t just cash out the money to your checking account like you do with direct deposit. Once you add your debit card, it will be saved to your account so you won’t have to ever do this step again.
Once you’ve added your debit card, you’ll see the screen above and all you have to do is hit ‘Confirm Deposit’.
Once you confirm the deposit, you’ll get an e-mail confirmation to your inbox with all the pertinent information.
How Long Before I Get Paid?
Now the fun part starts. I cashed out at 9:06 pm and kept refreshing my bank account for the next 10-20 minutes but the money didn’t show up. I kind of gave up for a while and when I came back and re-logged in, the money was there (about 40-45 minutes after I cashed out).
The transaction actually said it posted at 9:14 pm which was only 8 minutes after I cashed out but for some reason I didn’t see it when I was refreshing my account. Maybe I needed to log in/out of my bank account. Either way, it should take no more than 20-40 minutes for the amount to hit your bank.
So while it’s not instant, it is pretty damn close. Altogether, it was a pretty simple and easy process in order to cash out. I will definitely be using this feature again in the future. Kudos to Lyft.
What About Uber Drivers?
This feature works great for Lyft drivers but what about if you want to cash out your earnings from Uber? Uber doesn’t currently have a feature like this but I suspect they will add it eventually. In the mean time, I was able to find a couple pretty reputable companies that are offering similar services for Uber drivers and other on-demand workers: Earnin (formerly ActiveHours), DailyPay and ClearBanc.
Earnin (formerly ActiveHours) has been around for a few years now and they even used to work with Lyft as a way for drivers to get paid long before there was Express Pay. RSG contributor Christian Perea has used it a few times when he was getting started as a driver and needed some gas money and it worked very well.
What I particularly like about the service is that they let the user choose how much they pay for the service ranging anywhere from $0.00 to $10.00. The company has also been around for a couple years and worked with many large companies so it is a pretty safe and solid platform.
Earnin will “unlock” your earnings if you forward them a copy of your trip earnings. They do it for Uber and Instacart drivers and are presently working on a way to support Doordash and Postmates as well.
They use the same technology as Lyft’s Express Pay so you should get your payment instantly (some banks may take longer just like with Lyft). But you do need to set up your account with them and get it verified before your first use. So if you think you might ever need it, you should go ahead and sign up today so you’ll get faster access to your earnings.
So drivers what do you think about Lyft’s new Express Pay Feature? Is it something you’ll be using or are you ok with waiting a week to get paid?
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-Harry @ RSG