Paying employees with a reloadable debit card is a smart way to reduce expenses.
As companies move to using a paperless payroll method, one stumbling block has been that a certain percentage of employees are “unbankable”, meaning they do not have a bank account due to poor credit, they are teens without accounts, or they have recently immigrated to the U.S. About 17% of employees in the U.S. fall into this category.
Traditionally, “unbankable” employees have required paper checks to be issued; printing and delivery charges must therefore be paid by the employer, and often exorbitant check-cashing fees must be paid by the employees.
With employee debit payroll cards, companies may now make the move to 100% paperless payroll delivery. In addition, bankable employees can enjoy specific benefits as well, such as immediate expense reimbursement or access to low cost payroll advances with no cost to the employer.
A few reloadable debit cards offer Early Pay Distribution (EPD) as a benefit for employees. With EPD, employees can instantly access their earned but unpaid wages. Traditionally, employees who faced financial shortfalls might have to resort to expensive alternatives such as high-cost short term loans to cover their expenses. With EPD employees may access their earned wages for a small flat fee, usually only a few dollars per transaction.
While evaluating debit card options, employers should be aware that while some cards offer EPD, not all provide it with no cost to the employer. Look for employee debit payroll cards which provide zero liability to the employer, as well as no employer fees.
Some cards provide more benefits than others. Be sure to check into all features thoroughly, as all reloadable debit card options are not created equal.
Beyond available features, the most important thing to look for is full disclosure of any and all fees charged. Horror stories in the press about fees eating up a huge percentage of an employee’s wages fuel fear and reluctance to look into using a reloadable debit card.
Although such stories are probably based on truth, in reality they affect a very small minority of people using such cards. In fact, if employees educate themselves about the fees associated with their cards, they will be able to avoid most fees and in fact do most of their banking with no fees at all.
These Debit Cards come with a variety of options, and such fees associated with them are options the employee may choose to use—or not.
One of the best examples of this is that many cards charge fees for international bank transactions. If an employee takes his or her employee debit payroll card to Mexico and withdraws cash from an ATM, they will most likely be charged a fee.
Fees may also be incurred for using an ATM outside the bank network, or for overdrafts. Keeping in mind when and where these fees may be charged may eliminate many of the potential fees which could be incurred with card use—and many transactions are fee-free.
On the surface, each payroll debit card can look remarkably similar. Depending on how the card is used, fees can vary widely, and can make a huge difference in the real cost of using employee debit payroll cards for the employee.
Be sure to ask for a full list of fees charged, and compare cards you are considering before making a decision on the card that will work best for you and your employees.Get more information on the benefits and drawbacks of switching to Paperless E-payroll.
Reloadable Debit Card