Somewhere along the way, we all learn about work, pay and access to funds. If we’re paid too slowly, our personal obligations can stack up and we can fall behind in our payments. But if our employer pays us on a regular cadence, our lives and planning have far more stability.

It’s with this notion in mind that many businesses—especially firms with over 300 employees—are turning to payroll cards over paper checks. Companies in a host of industries stand to benefit from payroll card programs:

  • Construction
  • Wholesale trade
  • Arts and entertainment
  • Real estate sales and rental/leasing
  • Agriculture, fishing and mining
  • Transportation
  • Repair and maintenance services
  • Food services (deli, fast food, restaurants)
  • Personal care services (hair, nail, spa)
  • Retail
Workers in these sectors who don’t have a checking account, or who don’t want direct deposit, often find payroll cards easy and convenient. Instead of waiting in line at their neighborhood check-cashing place on pay day, they get paid electronically and often without surcharges to a Visa® payroll debit card.  Cardholders can use the card immediately for fee free purchases, “cash-back” withdrawals, or visit any of 50,000 Allpoints ATMs worldwide to get cash.

Payroll cards also enable the unbanked or underbanked to participate fully in the digital economy:  e-commerce, phone purchases and phone and online bill pay. Plus, with electronic protections against unauthorized transactions that may result from a lost or stolen card, payroll cards can be safer than carrying cash.

Payroll cards are accepted at any of the millions of businesses that accept debit cards.  And payroll cards can be used for over-the-counter cash withdrawals at any Visa or Mastercard® member bank. Even workers who do maintain a banking relationship can find payroll cards provide faster access to cash than depositing a paper check and waiting days for it to clear.

For companies too, the cost-savings and efficiencies are notable. There are limited fees involved and payroll cards are far more cost-efficient than traditional paper-check methods.

Manually distributing a paper check costs a business about $3.00 in processing fees, postage and float,” says Elaine Szeto, Chief Product Officer, Western Alliance Bank. “Payroll cards reduce costs and streamline the process. Plus, employees appreciate the ‘green’ and hassle-free approach. It all makes so much sense.”

Many Finance Managers see payroll card programs as a key part of the Treasury Management relationship they have with their bank. Payroll card services integrate easily with existing software systems and can be executed anytime from anywhere using an online system. This is particularly helpful if employees are geographically dispersed, or to ensure employees get paid in the event of an office closure or natural disaster. 

If you’re a business owner considering payroll cards for your employees, ask yourself these questions:

  • How are we processing payroll? 
  • How much time goes into this process? 
  • Do we use paper checks or direct deposit? 
  • Is there an external provider who handles our payroll? If so, what are we paying them?
  • What makes most sense for us and for our employees?
  • How can we make payroll more convenient, affordable and safe for us and our workers?
  • Do we want to save money on payroll processing?

Properly executed, payroll card programs provide a convenient and affordable solution for businesses while delivering a flexible, easy-to-use cash access tool for employees. Contact Bridge Bank to learn more about how payroll cards can improve your business—and keep your employees happy.  

* Skylight PayOptions is provided by TSYS who is not affiliated with Western Alliance Bank or Bridge Bank.

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