NEW YORK — Jamil Mangan is an aspiring actor who also works a temp job for extra cash.
"Emergencies always pop up, and they pop up when you least expect them."
But now he has a lifeline in the palm of his hand. He's one of more than 100,000 people using the app Daily Pay, which allows workers to tap into their current earnings days ahead of payday.
"I use it probably about twice a month, in times that I'm sort of in a bind, and I need some cash for the metro or a cable bill comes in."
"Our users range from the minimum range hourly employee all the way up to someone who makes six figures a year," CEO Jason Lee explained.
Daily Pay is just one of several insta-pay apps that are partnering with employers and their employees.
"These aren't mega amounts they're pulling out. It's $20, $60, $11.20?"
"That is exactly right. This is not folks trying to buy a new flat screen TV. This really is 'Hey, I've got rent coming due, and I'm just $80 short.'"
Fees range from just $1 to $3 a transaction. That's a far cry from high-interest, high-fee payday loans, but critics of insta-pay apps say they too can lead to bad habits like not planning ahead and not saving.