Engineering

Coverage matters. That's why Citadel now covers over 100M people in the US.

This post gives an overview of how Citadel’s coverage works and the 100M people and 35 payroll providers we cover via a single payroll API.


Citadel’s payroll API offers access to data that can be used in applications ranging from verifying employment and income, switching direct deposit accounts, and connecting HR admin accounts.

We are often asked about our coverage, but defining coverage can be complicated for a payroll API. We’ll try to break everything down for you in this post to give you a better understanding of how our coverage works and the many populations we cover. 

Defining coverage

To define coverage for Citadel’s payroll API let’s start at the source of the data - the end-user. Our end-users have access to their own payroll data through the payroll provider used by their employer. 

Citadel’s payroll API acts as a direct conduit for each end-user to securely transmit key data from their payroll account to our clients for a variety of purposes, such as applying for a new job or getting a loan, or switching their direct deposit accounts.

Citadel’s coverage is defined by the number of end-users who can access their data through our platform, and this is only limited by the number of payroll providers with which Citadel is integrated.

The biggest hurdle for any payroll API is that there are so many sources of payroll data and each source has its unique challenges.

To date, Citadel covers around 80% of the US workforce on the payroll. This percentage is growing every day as we continue to integrate with more payroll providers.

Integrations built around the US workforce

Let’s take a look at some data on the US workforce to bring some context to where Citadel has focused its engineering efforts and to see which unique areas of the workforce will become more easily accessible with our platform. 

Total workforce (160M)

Private sector (120M)

The private sector in the US is extremely active with thousands of businesses opening and closing every day. Workers are also constantly changing jobs and employment status with the current median job tenure being 4.1 years. 

Citadel covers this complex network of activity with real-time accuracy. Let’s take a look at the types of businesses in the private sector and how we cover each type. 

Small and Medium Businesses (SMBs)

While large enterprises (LEs) come to mind first when thinking of private employers in the US, it’s important to remember that around half of the workforce is employed by one of ~30 million small businesses. 

Connecting individually with each of these ~30 million businesses would be nearly impossible, and also add to this complexity that thousands of businesses are opening and closing every day. Luckily, most SMBs use payroll provider services, and Citadel is integrated with a number of payroll providers who specifically serve the SMB category including Gusto, Intuit, Namely, and Justworks.

Large Enterprises (LE)

Payroll data from LE can be particularly difficult to access because many do not use a major payroll provider, or if they do use a major provider the identity of the provider can be hiding behind many layers of abstraction with either an SSO or a custom login leading to an unrecognizable white-label interface. This ambiguity with LE logins is what makes our extensive provider mappings and custom integrations so valuable. 

We invested significant resources in building custom integrations with the top private employers in the US, and we’ve also built custom integrations with the majority of Fortune 500 companies. 

Top private employers in the US (# Employees):
  • Walmart - 1,600,000
  • Amazon - 800,000
  • Home Depot - 500,000
  • Kroger - 465,000
  • Target - 350,000

While the coverage numbers for these top US employers may seem low when only considering current, active employees of these companies, it’s important to remember that many of these companies are in the retail industry and see a large flux of employees in and out both seasonally and during the normal business cycles. In other words, many individuals have worked - at some point in their professional lives - for one of these top employers.

Our custom, living integrations give our customers valuable, pinpoint accuracy in these areas of the workforce with large yearly and seasonal changes of employment.

Connection to 35 payroll providers

There are roughly 100 major payroll providers in the US. ADP is the largest by far, followed by Paychex, then Workday. Citadel has robust integrations with these top three providers, covering an estimated 50 million end-users. However, stopping with these three providers would leave large gaps in certain areas of the workforce, so we continued in our efforts to engineer custom integrations in many more coverage areas.

We recently accomplished one of our strategic goals: to develop custom integrations with a total of 35 payroll providers by Q2 2021. Our integrations now broadly serve many additional facets - large and small - of the US workforce. These strategic integrations, in addition to the big three providers, represent 80% of the Human Capital Management (HCM) market in the US, and we can also claim 86.4% coverage of Fortune 1,000 companies.

Government (20M)

Government jobs in the US can be held at the local, state, or federal level.  At the state and local level, the education field encompasses 9.7 million workers with another 9 million in roles outside of education. The federal government also employs 2.9 million workers with the Department of Defense, US Postal Service, Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Homeland Security, and the Department of Justice being the largest federal employers.

We are integrated with many providers used by schools and state/local governments, such as ADP - and on the federal level, we have a custom integration with government-specific providers such as myPay, the provider serving the entire Department of Defense.

Self-employed (9M)

The self-employed population receives pay through a variety of platforms and often use accounting solutions to keep their books in order. Citadel targeted Intuit to kickstart our coverage in the hard-to-reach area of self-employed workers because Intuit would offer access to both accounting data in Quickbooks (2.3 million users), but also tax return data through TurboTax. 

Unemployed  (10M)

Unemployment is much more prevalent in some states than others, and this area has been especially important to focus on in the post-covid US with so many Americans suddenly depending on unemployment benefits as a primary source of income in the last year. 

To address this segment, Citadel has built integrations with the Departments of Labor in California, Florida, Texas, and New York.

Other segments

Gig Economy

The gig workforce is booming with more and more businesses providing the opportunity for people to make money on the side from their regular W2 job or to use these platforms as their primary income source. Citadel’s value really shows in this segment with so many workers daily moving in and out of this economy.

We have custom integrations with Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, Amazon Flex, Postmates, and TaskRabbit. These existing integrations cover over 5 million gig workers, and this coverage will continue to grow both as these businesses continue to gain more employees and also as we spread our integrations to other businesses in this segment.

Staffing Firms - Independent Contractors

Staffing firms are also seeing an increase in self-employed temporary or part-time workers. To cover this area Citadel is integrated with Robert Half and covers several more major staffing agencies.  

Social Security 

Over $1 trillion is paid out yearly in social security benefits with nine out of ten people over 65 receiving these benefits. Citadel is building an integration with the Social Security Administration, and we look forward to simplifying the verification of this critical income source for over 60 million Americans.

Self-improving coverage

Citadel’s coverage model works so well because it brings the applicant directly into the process. If you’re not familiar with our platform let’s walk through one of our product use-cases. An applicant who needs to verify their employment or income information simply follows a few steps within our platform to find their employer and payroll provider, and then they sign in to their payroll provider within our platform so Citadel can securely access their employment or income data. Our coverage hinges on these employees knowing their provider and being able to sign in, and luckily we’ve seen that many employees know their provider and credentials immediately - and those that don’t are able to reset their login credentials with their payroll provider within our portal.

These employees knowing their payroll provider and login credentials play into a critical component of Citadel’s growth and coverage because we could never have the resources to map millions of businesses to payroll providers. 

We are able to identify successful logins from employees and then keep track of the mapping for ‘Business A uses Provider B’ in our system. So, the next time an employee from Business A uses our portal we are able to direct them to Provider B. 

In this way, we have been able to significantly expand our high-confidence coverage to account for the cases when the employee of Business A may not know to pick Provider B, or may need to reset their credentials with Provider B to start the process. If a user doesn’t know their login credentials, it’s critical that we route them to the correct provider for resetting their login credentials. 

In all, this means that our coverage continues to improve and grow organically as Citadel’s solution continues to be more broadly adopted.

Conclusion

Payroll data is powerful, and we see a future where the entire full-time, part-time, government, gig, unemployed, or retired populations are empowered to easily and securely use their payroll data as leverage to take steps forward in their lives.

Citadel has put a lot of effort into building integrations to cover the US workforce, and we hope you’re interested in putting our work to the test.

We’d love to set up a demo to talk through our current offerings and to discuss some exciting products we will be releasing in the near future. 

Contact sales

 

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