With the increasing popularity of prepaid cards, it is no surprise that businesses are now using these financial products to pay employees. Payroll cards allow employers to skip the hassles and costs of issuing paper checks and allow employees to immediately access their wages without a trip to the bank or the costs associated with costly check cashing services.
Consumers faced with the option of receiving their wages on a payroll card should consider the facts to determine if it is a good fit for their lifestyles. A payroll card is a prepaid card issued by a financial institution to an employee on behalf of his or her employer or through an employer channel for the recurring payment of wages and other compensation. Payroll cards are FDIC insured, have a PIN number to allow their use at ATMs or to get cash back from a merchant purchase. The cards can be used like a debit card to make purchases wherever debit cards are accepted.
Research from Bretton Woods shows that payroll cards are a cost-effective option for basic money management and financial transactions, especially for consumers without a traditional checking account. On average a consumer will pay $83 a year to use a payroll card, $185 a year to use a general purpose prepaid card, or $273 for low balance checking according to Bretton Woods. And many consumers use payroll cards in a manner that generates no fees.
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