Shmulik Fishman is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Argyle, the leading employment data platform that provides companies access to user-permissioned records in real-time.

Shmulik Fishman

Your Phone Number Is Your Password


164M workers are employed by 18M employers that use over 5.7K payroll processors in the United States alone. Each year, businesses spend over $11B to access the data within this network. And here is the kicker – Morgan Stanley estimates that nearly 72% of this income data is verified manually. Think of the last time you rented an apartment, got a new car, or applied for a mortgage. Your income was verified by self-submitting w2s and paystubs.

I’ve been fascinated by this problem since 2018, when we founded Argyle. Getting businesses closer to their consumer’s own payroll accounts is the most complicated puzzle I can find. What has surprised me most is how willing consumers are to link their payroll accounts to 3rd parties. In fact, this September, 81.5% of consumers knew their password when prompted for it. That’s what we are doing at Argyle every day – continuously optimizing a consumer experience that drives these conversion metrics.

But there is another side to this puzzle. And that’s allowing consumers to access their own payroll accounts directly. We call it Argyle Passport. It allows consumers to view & manage their own payroll connections. All by using your phone number as your passport password.

Argyle Passport works for returning consumers who have connected payroll accounts through one of Argyle’s partner clients – like SoFi, Checkr, or Newrez – and for first-time users of the Argyle Network as well. When accessing your passport for the first time, we will port over your previous connections if you have them. Given the millions of consumers who have already connected their payroll accounts to Argyle, you might be pleasantly surprised with your own results.

This is all made possible by the technology we have been building under the hood that binds payroll accounts based on employer-verified consumer phone numbers. And it’s another step towards our goal of 100% conversion. For now, phone number-based authentication will be through Argyle Passport only. This has been a passion project for Audrius and me since the start but is still very much in Beta mode. But I’m sure you can see where this is going over time. 🙂

I’m excited about getting the last part of our original product map out in the wild.