API’s for HCM and payroll: 8 startups to explore

Now that you are more familiar with the benefits and risks of using API’s in your HCM ecosystem, your next step is to find out which API’s your current vendors provide, and how you can use them. But as discussed, APIs can also be used to extend the functionality beyond what your vendors offer.

When you are looking for companies offering API services in the HCM and Payroll space, the ProgrammableWeb provides a directory that lets you search for vendors. They have listed 158 API’s from known and lesser known vendors. Their API profiles, include links for the related SDKs, tutorials, and sample source code for consuming those APIs.

Below you will find a snapshot of young companies that offering HCM and/or payroll API’s so you can get an idea of what is available. All of these companies were selected because they recently received a funding round. They are listed in alphabetical order. Being listed is not an endorsement.


I wrote about Check when I was researching payroll innovation. Check is a payroll-as-a-service API that lets you embed payroll directly in your vertical SaaS, HR, or time-tracking platform. If you use an ERP without a payroll, Check has an API to incorpate payroll functionality (US payroll only). They offer their solution to developers, who can include it in the business suites, so they don’t have to develop and maintain it themselves.

Citadel ID

Citadel ID provides an API to customer companies, allowing them to rapidly verify details of employment. Users can connect their payroll account and instantly share the information needed to run verifications for pre-employment screening. Citadel has pre-built integrations to a large number of payroll providers (US only).


Finch was build on the premise that the employment infrastructure remains complex, closed, and fragmented. So they created a universal HR and payroll service that lets applications access and manage HR systems through a single API. The API offers integration to payroll services, insurance, lending, financial management, benefits and other HR programs.


HrFlow.ai is an API-first company that provides state-of-art AI Talent Cloud Solutions for HR Tech companies. The system operates as an AI layer bridging the gap between your systems of engagement and systems of record. The company has 6 APIs available with which you can build workflows between data sources and destinations. The company operates a Marketplace with pre-defined connectors that eg simplify profiles, resumes, and CV data collection across different channel categories or push profiles and jobs data into systems of record.


Merge wants to integrate the HR and payroll and applicant tracking system of every customer (with accounting system next on the list). The idea is that you integrate once with Merge and connect to third-party platforms automatically.

The company integrates the official vendor APIs into the Merge Unified API. In a sense, they do the heavy lifting for you. Their current list includes the majority of HR solutions in the enterprise market, in an interesting combination of traditional and younger vendors, including global solutions.


Pinwheel developed an API for payroll data that handles everything from income and employee verification to easily switching and managing direct deposit. There are three primary use cases for the API:

  • Paycheck-linked loans (PLLs) – With PLLs, borrowers can opt to have lenders collect payment directly from their paycheck, essentially guaranteeing that the latter will be the “first money out.” This higher accountability model means lenders can significantly de-risk their loans.
  • Seamless switching of direct deposit accounts – Banks’ holy grail is to have customers switch their direct deposits from competing banks to their own. The current process usually requires employees to fill out a paper authorization form or navigate a clunky employee portal.
  • Income and employment verification – People still submit paper pay stubs or tax documents to prove their income and/or employment. The process is time-consuming, expensive, and doesn’t provide a good experience.


Puzzl, like Check, helps you embed payroll into your solution by offering a platform to add enterprise-level payroll services to applications. The Puzzl API enables developers to build payroll functions into applications with methods to manage employees, onboarding, paperwork, checks, reporting periods, shifts, employee checks, employer checks, companies, documents and more.


Wage delivers an API that lets people seamlessly and securely share their payroll data with the third parties they authorize – such as lenders, landlords, hiring managers, or other fintech services. Through partnerships with leading payroll providers, human capital vendors, and professional employer organizations, Wage provides direct-source payroll data.

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