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Empowering Gig Economy Workers to Reach Their Financial Goals

Measurable Successes:

3x

The transition from Plaid to Argyle increased Moves’ conversion rate threefold.

Moves at a Glance

  • Goal: Helps independent workers achieve their financial goals, starting with easy access to money they can rely on
  • Launched: 2020
  • Founder: Matthew Spoke
  • Headquarters: Toronto
  • Users served: 4k and counting
  • Average gig accounts per user: 2 to 4

The Background

Inclusive Services for a Deserving Community

In 2019, tech entrepreneur Matthew Spoke was looking for a way to help gig economy workers, whose efforts to secure labor rights and achieve financial security were then big news in the media. To arrive at a plan, he spoke with rideshare drivers, food delivery people, couriers, grocery shoppers, and more. He learned that while they enjoy the flexibility and autonomy of their careers, they worry about their pay instability and lack of a safety net in cases of hardship.
In response, Spoke founded Moves, a Toronto-based financial services startup specializing in the needs of gig economy workers. Unlike traditional banks, which typically perceive said workers as high risk, leaving them more vulnerable to predatory lending, Moves provides gig economy workers with easy access financing solutions like cash advances without credit checks or skepticism, so they can cope with business expenses and achieve financial health.

The Problem

Insufficient Income Transparency

In order to approve gig economy workers for cash advances and determine their eligible amount, Moves needed comprehensive insights into their income and work history. Initially, Moves relied on Plaid, the API they integrated with to connect users’ bank accounts, but that posed two challenges: 
  • With Plaid, Moves could only make indirect income inferences based on bank deposits they recognized as being originated by a gig platform.
  • There was also a timing delay. Plaid’s transparency is limited to pay that has already been deposited, which can be as long as weeks after it has been earned. 
Complicating matters was the fact that most of Moves’ users earn pay from two to four gig platforms on average. They might be an Uber driver, DoorDash courier, or Taskrabbit contractor all in the same day, for example. Moves needed a way to see how much money their users were making from every source in real time. That’s when Moves had the idea of building a proprietary API that could access and aggregate users’ profile data from every gig app. They began working toward a solution internally when they crossed paths with Argyle. For Spoke, it was a game changer. 
"When I found out about Argyle, I realized, ‘This is great, we don't need to build this,’” he said in a recent interview. “This is not our core competency, so we would much rather buy than build. We just didn't know that Argyle existed."

The Solution

Comprehensive Employment Data Across Multiple Income Sources

Today, Moves deploys Argyle at the outset of their user journey. The data Argyle provides is Moves’ primary means of creating user profiles and pre-approving users for a cash advance. The two-step process is seamless for all parties:
  • First, the Moves application prompts users to select their gig economy income source from Argyle’s comprehensive database, which covers 40% of the U.S. workforce, including more than 95% of the gig economy.
  • Once selected, users enter their credentials just like they would to log in to work. 
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From there, Argyle’s technology takes over, making the user-permissioned, real-time data connection Moves needs to confirm consistency of income. If users have more than one income source, they simply repeat steps one and two for each gig platform they do business with. 

The Results

More Transparency, Better Decisioning

Once a user has connected all of their income sources, Moves looks at their historic total earnings and weighs that amount against predetermined pay thresholds to arrive at their cash advance limit. In essence, it’s a calculation of how much they can afford to pay over a reasonable period of time.
“Now, Argyle is our sole engine for the first layer of approval toward a cash advance. It’s our primary indicator for making decisions,” said Spoke.
In effect, Argyle enables Moves to advance the right amount to the right people, helping to prevent defaults and protecting users from oversized cash advances they can’t afford. 

Less Friction, Superior Conversion

Before Argyle, Moves was asking users to log in to their bank account through Plaid at the beginning of the user journey, which precipitated a huge drop off in user engagement and a high percentage of incomplete profiles.
“There's a factor of trust and comfort that crosses people's minds when it comes to their bank account that’s different than logging in with Google or Facebook or even your gig app. Bank accounts are very sensitive for most people, and they are most hesitant to enter those login credentials,” Spoke explained.
By introducing Argyle at the beginning of the workflow and moving Plaid to a point later in the product experience (once trust has been established), Moves has seen conversion rates improve. 

“Gig economy workers are already using their gig accounts to log in to third-party products on their phone, so asking them to do it to create a Moves profile was less of a behavioral change than requesting access to their bank account,”

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The Future

Leveraging the Power of Employment Data

As Moves grows beyond Canada to the United States and evolves its platform to provide additional services and a more interactive, social experience, they plan to expand their relationship with Argyle to include:
  • Data like qualitative work performance (e.g., star ratings, customer reviews, etc.), which Moves can tie to challenges that incentivize users to engage with their platform
  • Data like tip earnings, which Moves can tap to offer users advice for boosting their income (e.g., through better customer service)
  • Capabilities like account switching, making it easy for users to change their default bank account
  • Capabilities like auto-populated applications, giving users a quick, turnkey method for creating new accounts on additional gig platforms
Moves’ goal? To not only serve gig economy workers’ financial needs but also to optimize their financial potential.

“We see our relationship with our users becoming more important than their relationship with the various gig platforms they’re on, and Argyle will be a big part of that equation,”

said Spoke.

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